Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Retire in Morro Bay, California?
Overview: About half way between San Diego and San Francisco, mellow, "beachy" Morro Bay became a summer vacation destination at the turn of the 20th century. After World War II, it also became a fishing village and still is one today.
The city has a scenic setting, bracketed by Morro Bay Park's lagoons and saltwater marshes. Fishing boats moor in the busy harbor, and the Embarcadero, the town's wharf, is dotted with eateries that serve up the day's catch of fresh oysters and salmon. Festivals include the Avocado and Margarita Festival, the Oyster Festival, the Mermaid and Pirates Parade and the Morro Bay Harbor Festival, a time to partake in fresh BBQ and lots of wine. The Harbor Walk is a boardwalk that extends from the Embarcadero to iconic Morro Rock, peregrine falcon reserve just off shore. The town has a public arts foundation, an art center and an Art in the Park celebration three times a year. Downtown merchants also have a street fair, and an art walk happens the second Friday of every month.
Neighborhoods are not particularly landscaped, with telephone poles, small yards, narrow roads and few sidewalks. Homes are mostly small, a variety of shapes and packed closely together. A very expensive home, which is only expensive because it has an ocean view, may sit next to an unsightly empty lot.
The farmers' market is open on Thursdays and Saturdays. The town's golf course sits next to the sea, and although the water is usually cold, surfing, sailing, kayaking and stand-up boarding are popular activities. The Piedras Blancas Light Station and the Hearst Castles are easy day trips.
Population: 11,000 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 54%
Cost of Living: 70% above the national average
Median Home Price: $645,000
Climate: Summers are cool, quite often foggy and have temperatures in the 50s and 60s Winter temperatures are in the 30s, 40s and 50s. On average, the area receives 16 inches of rain each year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but French Hospital in San Luis Obispo, 12 miles away, accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but French Hospital in San Luis Obispo, 12 miles away, is accredited.
Public Transit: Yes, a bus and a curb to curb service
Crime Rate: Well below the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Liberal
Is California Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? No
Cons: The earthquake risk is 1,343% higher than the national average.
Notes: The Dynegy Power Plant has been here since the 1950s but ceased operations in early 2014 and merged with Vistra Energy in 2018. The plant is currently being decommissioned.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
Thanks to the treaty that ended the Mexican-American War, the Golden State became a U.S. territory in 1847. Soon after, someone discovered gold at Sutter's Mill. Fortune seekers quickly flooded the area, and shortly thereafter, California entered the Union as its 31st state.
California has 900 miles of coastline and claims the highest and lowest point in the continental U.S. Its terrain varies dramatically - from sandy beaches to rugged mountains, from deserts to fertile farmland. Landmarks like Hollywood, Disneyland, and the Golden Gate Bridge play a large part in the nation's history and imagination.
Although Texas and New York have tried to close the gap, California's economy is still the nation's largest. Agriculture, manufacturing, biotechnology, and tourism are some of its leading industries.
Cities of the Golden State have put some odd laws on the books. It's illegal to molest a monarch in Pacific Grove. Want to throw a frisbee on an L.A. County beach? Better ask a lifeguard first. What about bowling on the sidewalks of Chico? Strictly forbidden!
Population - 39,802,500
Persons 65 years old and over - 13%
High school graduates, age 25+ - 81.0%
Bachelor's degree or higher, age 25+ - 32%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 39%
White persons, not Hispanic - 39%
Median household income - $64,500
Median home value - $399,000
Social Security Taxed - No
Source: U.S. Census
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