27 Mar, 2010
Retirees Live the Golden Years in California
Posted by: Beach Reporter In: california
Come grow old with me–the best is yet to be, especially when we live by the sea! Shown above is a favorite afternoon “stroll” spot, Seal Beach Pier, preferred by seniors living in nearby Leisure World retirement Village.
An estimated 4+ million Californians have reached the age of 65, and while some retire and opt to leave the Golden State, about 11 percent of the population stays to enjoy sunshine, beaches, and mellow weather. Florida has a reputation as a place to go when you get old, but for Californians who purchased homes previous to reaching retirement age, it’s usually difficult to leave.
Top reasons cited for heading out of state include taxes, cost of living and family members elsewhere. The need to connect with a support system becomes more important to aged adults, and although numerous California cities have set up and funded programs for senior citizens, some still can’t afford to pay the bills. Food, transportation to medical care and shopping, and other such assistance helps keep seniors in their homes longer (and safely off the roads when they become to old to drive). People looking to retire often check out a city’s programs for the aged before they pack up and move.
Something noticeable about seniors in California is the “happy quotient”. Those who stick around seem to stay younger longer when they get out and partake of the beaches, sports, activities and clubs that California offers.
Some of the hot spots for seniors include San Diego, a retiree favorite. The weather is one of the reasons seniors like living in San Diego. But you’ll also find large and active retired populations around the Monterey Bay area. With a world class aquarium, seniors have the opportunity to be trained and give tours. Such attractions provide continued education and interaction with all ages for volunteers.
There are many places where retirees choose to live in California, and one near-coast city, Laguna Woods, was incorporated in Orange County and is comprised by seniors who live in the former Leisure World, now called Laguna Woods Village. With a population was 16,500 and median age of 78, Laguna Woods may take claim as the city with the oldest population in the U.S.
What do seniors do? Since it never snows in most of California, outdoor activities and beaches are the number one draw. Golf is a popular sport, but the “never grow old” attitude challenges seniors who run marathons, participate in triathlons, sail, surf, ride bikes, and swim. You never hear about seniors falling on the ice and not rebounding. If they fall, it’s usually tripping over a rug, missing a step, or some other such accident.
Head for the Seal Beach Pier on a Wednesday afternoon and you’ll see a share of seniors taking walks on the wooden structure. Since another retirement village, Leisure World, in Seal Beach is nearby, the beaches beckon for those who are active and can drive. Life’s a beach for those who are lucky enough to retire in California with enough money to pay the bills, and watch the sun go down over the Pacific Ocean.