Independent Living in California

From old-growth Redwood forests to white sandy beaches, California has earned its nickname as The Golden State for good reason. California is home to great weather, year-round sunshine, and unmatched beauty. There are many great retirement communities in Southern California and the rest of the state. A Place for Mom’s Senior Living Advisors can help you or your loved one find the best retirement communities in California that meet your family's needs.

Currently, A Place for Mom partners with more than 880 independent living communities in California. The median monthly cost of independent living in California is about $3,000.

Top cities in California

Independent Living in California

Find Independent Living in California

California Independent Living Regulations

Each state regulates senior living communities differently. Because independent living is often provided by assisted living communities, states may regulate independent living within their guidelines for assisted living. You can use APFM’s guide to assisted living regulations to learn more about access to facility records in California.

In California, independent living communities — also known simply as retirement communities — are geared towards seniors who are able to live on their own, without daily assistance, and prefer to live among people their age. This usually means residents are self-sufficient and do not require hands-on care. Think of independent living communities as age-restricted (typically 55+) complexes, which provide organized activities, meal services, and transportation.

Cost of Living

California is considered to be one of the most expensive states in the country. The main reason for this is that the state has some of the most densely-populated cities in the US, as well hundreds of miles of pristine coastline. This leads to California having extremely high property values, especially in major cities such as Los Angeles or San Francisco. These scores are based on a scale where 100 is equal to the national average.

Price Indexes

  • Cost of Living: 139
  • Groceries: 121
  • Housing: 227
  • Utilities: 118
  • Transportation: 139

Demographics

California is considered to be one of the most liberal cities in the country, both politically and socially. The state has consistently voted Democratic in the past several elections and the California supreme court was one of the first to legalize same-sex marriages in the United States. Most, if not all of the major cities in California are considered to be very friendly to members of the LGBTQ+ community. Outside of the cities, California tends to be more conservative within its significant rural population. California is also the most diverse state in the country with the largest Hispanic and Latino community on the West Coast.

2016 Presidential Election

  • Voted Democratic: 62%
  • Voted Republican: 32%
  • Voted third party: 7%

Population

  • Median age: 37
  • Over the age of 55: 26%
  • 2018 population: 39,557,045
  • 2020 population: 39,874,333
  • Estimated 2025 population: 40,678,732

Miscellaneous

  • 31% regularly attend a religious service
  • 46% consider themselves atheist, agnostic, or a non-believer
  • Across the state there are a total of 23,558 congregations
  • There are 395 Masonic lodges in the state

Climate and Weather

As one of the largest states in the country, California has an extremely varied climate. Southern California has a desert-type climate that experiences long periods of droughts. On the other end of the extreme, Northern California is a mountainous, temperate rainforest that can receive lots of snowfall during the winter. Many people choose to live in California because of the state's relatively low humidity levels and its proximity to the ocean. However, some seniors who live in any of the more densely-packed cities may experience respiratory difficulty from air pollution. The state also often experiences forest fires which can severely impact the air quality rating.

Humidity and Precipitation

  • Average monthly precipitation: 2”
  • Average maximum precipitation: 16” (December)
  • Average humidity level: 61%

Air Quality

  • Average air quality rating: 57 (Moderate)
  • Peak air quality rating: 83 in August (Moderate)

Moderate conditions means that those who are sensitive to particulates in the air should limit the amount of time spent on outdoor activities.

Seasonal Temperatures

  • Average temperature: 59°F
  • Average summer temperature: 71°F
  • Typical summer high: 116°F (July)
  • Typical summer low: 34°F (June)
  • Average winter temperature: 47°F
  • Typical winter high: 76°F (February)
  • Typical winter low: 8°F (January)

back to top

Cities in California
and surrounding area

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

K

L

M

N

O

P

R

S

T

U

V

W

Y