Situated between San Francisco and Los Angeles, this pristine town comes at a price; the cost of living here is 10 percent above the national average, and the median home price can reach nearly $500,000. Combined with California’s 13.3% top state income tax, a move to San Luis Obispo can be a financial stretch for many retirees. Still, if cost isn’t an issue, living here leaves you in proximity to a vibrant downtown filled with shops and restaurants, as well as ample outdoor activities like hiking, biking and wine tasting.
Retirees interested in continuing education courses can indulge in learning at California Polytechnic State University, located in town. Culture lovers can get their fix at the town’s Performing Arts Center or the San Luis Obispo Art Center.
Con: Median home prices are nearly double the national average, high cost of living
Best For: Well-heeled retirees
Cost of Living: 10% higher than national average
Median Home Cost: $499,500
Top State Income Tax: 13.3%
Crime Rate: 21.8% lower than national average
History buffs enjoy visiting the central Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, also known as the Mission Plaza, one of the nation’s premiere examples of Spanish Mission Architecture.
Weather is typically pleasurable in SLO. The town enjoys warm, dry summers and mild but somewhat wet winters. Additionally, 2 well-regarded medical centers are located in town, though residents can commute to Los Angeles or San Francisco if they desire.