Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Retire in Sebastopol, California?
Overview: Twenty miles inland from the Pacific Ocean and about an hour north of San Francisco, rural, mellow Sebastopol makes its home. It is surrounded by rolling hills and vineyards and is a part of the state's fertile wine region.
A closely-knit, well-to-do enclave, Sebastopol has a bohemian vibe and a "live and let live" outlook. Veterans of the 1960s hippie movement feel at home here, as locally-owned organic markets, herb shops, holistic healing retailers and art galleries dot the small, quaint downtown. A few celebrities live here, and a healthy arts scene, music scene and growing foodie culture enhance Sebastopol's easygoing charm. This was once apple-producing country, and that heritage is still celebrated with the annual Apple Blossom Festival and the Gravenstein Apple Fair. Neighborhoods are wooded, and homes, everything from ranch ramblers and Cape Cods to arts and crafts styles, are spread out. Even fairly modest dwellings have a hefty price tag.
Population: 7,800 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 50%
Cost of Living: 110% above the national average
Median Home Price: $875,000
Climate: The area has few temperature fluctuations. Summer temperatures are in the 60s and 70s, and winter temperatures in the 30s, 40s and 50s. Winters bring rain and fog.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by the Joint Commission? No, but Santa Rosa Memorial is just eight miles away and is accredited. It is also a Primary Stroke Center.
Public Transit: Yes, with stops at the senior center, post office, hospital and grocery
Crime Rate: Well below the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Very, very liberal
Is California Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? No
Cons: The earthquake risk is 1,500% greater than the national average.
Notes: Santa Rosa (about 10 miles) is where many residents go for city amenities. A wetland sits between Sebastopol and Santa Rosa, and most winters it floods eastern Sebastopol. Palm Drive Hospital, the local facility, is small, with just 37 beds. Sebastopol has grown by 10% within the last decade or two.
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, gold was found at Sutter's Mill. The land crowded with fortune seekers, and, shortly thereafter, California entered the Union as its 31st state in 1850.
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, 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 continues to be 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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