Retirement Communities in California
California attracts retirees from all over the world. From the Pacific coast on the west, to Sierra Nevada on the east, California offers something for everyone. The diversity in the weather, from warm in some spots to cold in others, gives seniors the option of choosing what best suits their preferences.
Retirement in California offers access to the highest (Mount Whitney) and lowest (Death Valley) points in the contiguous United States. Some of the other popular places to visit in the state are Lombard Street in San Francisco, Napa Valley, Disneyland in Anaheim, Universal Studios in Los Angeles, The San Diego Zoo, Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park, Aerial Tramway in Palm Springs, Pebble Beach, and the Board Walk in Santa Cruz.
Retirees in California experience an overall Mediterranean climate. It is generally cooler and rainy in the wintertime and dry in the summertime. However, the temperature can range anywhere from artic conditions in parts of Sierra Nevada to very hot in Death Valley, which some regard as the hottest place in the world.
Taxes in California
California maintains a state sales tax rate of 7.50% (in 2015), which can reach up to 10% depending on the local taxes in various cities and counties. Marginal state income tax rates range from 1% for the lowest income earners up to a maximum of 13.3% for those earning over $1 million. Social Security is tax-exempt. Real estate taxes are limited to 1% of the assessed value of the property.
California Retirement Housing
Planning ahead for the later stages of retirement can help you and your loved ones avoid difficult, and often costly, situations in the future. One of the more important and complex decisions to consider is where you will live throughout your retirement years. Many older adults seek to live in their home as long as possible; yet, others choose to live in a setting that is better able to meet their current and future needs.
If you are independent and active today but are looking for age 55+ communities in CA that are able to meet your lifestyle preferences today, and are also equipped to provide for your future healthcare needs, then a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) could be the right solution for you.
What Makes Continuing Care Retirement Communities In California Unique?
Sometimes referred to as Life Plan Communities, CCRCs are the only type of retirement community that offer residents access to a full continuum of care; ranging from independent living to assisted living and/or skilled nursing care. California CCRCs are defined by the Department of Social Services as age-qualified retirement communities offering “… a long-term continuing care contract that provides for housing, residential services, and nursing care, usually in one location, and usually for a resident's lifetime.”
How Are CCRCs Regulated In California?
All CCRCs are regulated at the state level, although Congress has considered various proposals over the years to introduce greater federal oversight. There are approximately thirty-eight states that regulate CCRCs through various departments, such as insurance, financial services, aging services, or social services. The remaining states have no regulatory structure in place. CCRCs in the state of California are regulated by the Department of Social Services.
Financial regulation of CCRCs and Lifecare communities in California should not be confused with healthcare-related regulations. For instance, if the healthcare facility located on a CCRC campus is Medicare or Medicaid- certified it will be regulated by the appropriate agency within the state. But these agencies do not regulate the overall operations, residency contracts, and financial management of the community.
What Are Common Entry Requirements For California CCRCs?
Virtually all Continuing Care Retirement Communities in California have entry requirements, which may include some or all of the following:
- Entry fee to cover the housing unit’s cost and other services and amenities, including contractually provided access to health care. The entry fee may also help keep monthly services fees lower than they might be at a comparable rental community.
- Minimum age requirements as allowed by the Housing for Older Persons Act.
- Medical reviews. Providers will often request medical records, talk with a prospective resident’s primary care physician, or request a health exam. The specific type of contract offered by the community will determine the degree of emphasis placed on this requirement.
- Medicare and possibly a Medicare supplement policy, or a similar private-pay plan.
- Will, health care power of attorney, and durable power of attorney.
- Assets and savings equal to a multiple of the entry fee. A typical range is between 2-4 times the entry fee, but this can vary.
- Monthly income equal to a multiple of the monthly service fee. The range is usually similar to that required for assets and savings.
Why Do Some Retirement Communities Require Entry Fees?
The vast majority of California CCRCs require an entry fee. The purpose of an entry fees is three-fold. First and foremost, it secures a resident’s contractual and priority access to a continuum of care. Additionally, the money received from entry fees is also used to help pay down, or limit, the amount of debt required for development, expansion, or long-term capital projects, which keep the community attractive and competitive in the marketplace. Finally, many CCRCs- particularly non-profit providers- offer a financial assistance or endowment fund to help ensure that if a resident runs out of money due to a longer than average stay in the healthcare facility, or some other unforeseen circumstance, they will not be forced to leave the community. Some portion of the entry fee may go towards this endowment fund.
How To Find Out More About CCRC Retirement Communities In California
For more information on top-rated CCRCs and Lifecare communities in California search our continuing care retirement community directory and propriety database for helpful profile reports. Our reports include retirement community pricing, important contract details, healthcare aspects, and more. By utilizing My LifeSite you will be equipped with the information you need and questions to ask as you begin contacting retirement communities directly.