When most people talk about ‘moving’ and ‘California’ in the same breath, they are considering moving out of the state. We all know about the high taxes and inflated real estate values in the Golden State but there’s a reason why 38 million people call it home. It’s a beautiful place with a diverse population and extremely temperate climate. I should know, I’ve spent all 26 years of my life in this state(except for 3.5 months in college).
Still, the top tax rate in California is a whopping 10.3%, one of the highest rates in the nation. That’s probably why no ‘income tax states’ like Florida, Texas and Nevada are so popular among retirees. But this designation can be a little deceiving since states often make up for the lack of income tax by raising property tax or sales taxes. Texas, for example, has the third highest property tax in the country. The cost of higher fuel taxes, sales taxes and other taxes could amount to higher than expected overall taxes in these no income tax states.
I’ve never read an article about how you would save money by moving to California so I’d like to provide some counter arguments to the theory that moving out of the state is always a prudent financial move.
Family & Friends Are Nearby
Since I grew up in California, all of my friends and family are nearby. Most are in Los Angeles(2 hours away), but it’s nice to be able to go home whenever I want and see everyone. A 2 hour drive is a lot more doable than a cross country flight.
I have a few friends out here that only get to visit their family around Christmas-time and are forced to pay exorbitant airline ticket prices and travel during the holidays. Meanwhile, I can go home for major holidays, birthdays, Father’s/Mother’s day, etc and it will only cost me $50 or less in gas.
California is a Vacation
I’ve lived in San Diego for 10 years now, and every summer around early June an influx of ‘Zonies come into town(Arizona residents). They drive in with their lifted trucks, hordes of people and take over the beach front properties from June-July. I don’t really blame them though, since the temperature in Arizona can get up to 110 degrees in the summer and San Diego is only a 6-7 hour drive.
So while other people treat California as their summer vacation destination, we’re spoiled to live here all year round. We don’t need to take a vacation to escape the heat. I think many people still do, but if you’re content with your lifestyle, you can save money by already living in a vacation destination.
Everything Can Be Free
Since I’ve never lived anywhere other than California, I’m not 100% sure about how it works out there but I assume that outdoor activities are nearly impossible or a lot more expensive during the middle of a snowy winter. The nice thing about living in California is that the weather rarely prohibits you from doing anything.
I like doing a lot of free outdoor activities like playing basketball, beach volleyball, hiking and snorkeling. Since the weather can be just as nice in the winter as it is in the summer, I don’t need to coup myself up in a sweaty gym during the winter months. I can still participate in everything I love to do year round and it’s all free.
On the surface, it might not seem like you would save money by moving to California. As soon as people see the higher tax rates, relative to some other states, they tend to scoff at moving back to California. But I’m here to tell you there are plenty of hidden costs out there and it doesn’t cost much more to move to California.
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If you’re looking to move back to California(or even out of it!), I found a great website where you can compare reputable moving companies at MovingRelocation.com. You can quickly and easily pull up multiple quotes and save yourself some time and money.