Have you considered all the implications of retiring in Los Angeles? EP Wealth’s financial advisors have tips to get you started.
Retirement can be an exciting, transformative phase of life—and, for some, there’s no better way to spend their golden years than by enjoying the golden rays of sunny Los Angeles. There’s something for everyone in the vibrant city of LA—whether you see yourself exploring the gorgeous Santa Monica beaches, eclectic downtown art scene, tranquil San Fernando Valley, expansive views of Topanga Canyon, or the stately manors and gardens of Pasadena. An Advisor at EP Wealth can help you craft a financial plan for retirement in the beautiful City of Angels.
Here are three key factors that make LA a nice location for retirees:
- Beautiful Weather: With just 35 days of rainfall per year and temperatures rarely dipping below 40 degrees, it’s no surprise Los Angeles ranks among the best places to live for weather. On the approximately 21 days when the temperature reaches 90, the humidity is so low, it’s a comfortable sauna heat—and with the gentle ocean breezes or seasonal Santa Ana winds, some would call it a paradise.
- Vibrant Culture: Los Angeles is a cultural mecca with international cuisine from the world’s best chefs and a full calendar of music, arts, and entertainment events. From Cinco De Mayo mariachi to the Nisei Week Golden Dragon Parade, there are many ways to engage with and celebrate LA’s flourishing local sub-cultures. And don’t forget Hollywood celebrity spotting! While LA is certainly enriched by its diversity, the people here stand united in supporting environmental stewardship, neighborhood development, and business growth.
- World-Class Healthcare: Distinguished medical professionals reside at nationally acclaimed healthcare facilities like UCLA, Cedars-Sinai, Providence, and Kaiser Permanente.
Cost of Living in LA
The cost of living in Los Angeles compares favorably to other major cities in California. Consider the following:
- Housing and Healthcare: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Angelenos pay similar costs of living compared to the national average in 6 of 8 metrics. Housing and healthcare were two areas where spending diverged: we spend2% more of our household budget on housing and 1.9 percent less on healthcare.
- Cost of Living Compared to Other Cities: A couple without dependent children would need about $76,710 after taxes to live comfortably in Los Angeles. This calculation factors in food, transportation, housing, and medical expenses, applying the 50/30/20 rule for needs/wants/savings. Los Angeles ranks 6th on the list below more expensive cities like San Francisco, San Diego, Boston, New York, and Seattle.
Financial Planning for Retirement in LA
We can’t predict the factors that will put a strain on our retirement nest egg. A savings plan can help you equip to weather the unexpected and still have the resources to enjoy what Los Angeles has to offer — be it restaurants, museums, concerts, or an exceptional bottle of wine.
California is known for having one of the highest income tax rates in the nation, which can impact retirement income sources like Social Security, pensions, and withdrawals from retirement accounts. To optimize tax benefits, retirees might explore tax-efficient withdrawal strategies and take advantage of available tax credits.
Additionally, leveraging tax-advantaged investment accounts, such as Roth IRAs, can provide tax-free income in retirement.
Investment Approach: Risk Adjustment and Asset Realignment
Three years prior to retirement, you may want to consider drawing down on some of those high-risk investments. Generally speaking, this might mean reallocating your money from high-growth stocks to bonds, dividend-paying stocks, and/or money market accounts.
You may also need to consider diversifying or rebalancing your portfolio—and you may be considering an investment in the local real estate market either for your retirement estate or as an appreciating asset to generate extra income.
All things considered, a one-size-fits-all approach is unlikely to address your priorities, goals, and lifestyle preferences. A financial advisor can help put together a, financial plan that allows you to possibly plan a retirement in LA.
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