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Retiring in Santa Cruz

By Brandon Phillips

retire abroadSanta Cruz, a popular city near the ocean in California, is one of the first places that comes to people’s minds if they are considering moving to the beach when they retire. Along with being the home to many amazing beaches, Santa Cruz also houses many great dining and entertainment options as well as the famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

Unfortunately, good things come at a cost. And living in Santa Cruz is no exception. An average apartment starts at around $1,500, and that’s for only one bedroom. Two bedrooms start at over $2,000!

At first sight, houses appear to be the same story. If you only look at the front page of websites it would appear that you can’t get a decent house for anything under $700,000. However, if you look around a little more you will find out that you can actually get one for quite a bit cheaper. While these ones are usually a little smaller and aren’t as nice as the more expensive ones, it is an option for retirees looking to stay in a house they can call their own.

The gas is also rather expensive, with prices starting at a little over $3.00 per gallon at the time of writing this. However, this shouldn’t be much of a surprise due to the fact that California is currently the most expensive state when it comes to gasoline.

Fortunately, dining isn’t as much of a financial concern as the cost of rent and gas. If you are into fancy eating you’ll most likely burn through your wallet pretty fast. But you would do this in any city in America. Of course there’s always the option of going over to McDonald’s and getting a burger and fries for a few dollars. But you most likely don’t want to spend the rest of your life eating at fast food restaurants. What you want to look for is some nicer restaurants without the outrageous prices. Luckily, there are quite a few of those around as long as you know where to look.

Now we get to safety. Unfortunately, Santa Cruz isn’t exactly the safest city in California. Actually, it’s far from that. According to multiple lists it’s in the top ten most dangerous in the country, and is usually near the top of those lists. This of course depends on the part of the city that you live in, but if you want to retire to a safe, quiet city you might not want to choose Santa Cruz.

Luckily, If you can look past these issues there is a huge reward. And that is the beaches. Whether you want to spend day after day out on a boat, play volleyball on the beach, or just sit back in the sand and enjoy the view, there’s something for everyone at Santa Cruz’s wide selection of beaches. As a bonus, most beaches are free to enter, so you can enjoy this pastime for free.

All in all, Santa Cruz is a pretty good city for a certain type of person, but may not be the best choice to retire to. But if you are considering it, make sure that you have enough money saved to pay for rent and gas. In my opinion, the only reason you would really want to retire here is if you’re a big fan of the beach, but even then there are probably some better options.

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