Nevada vs California for Retirement

Nevada vs California for Retirement

Retiring can be both a nerve-wracking and exciting time. Freeing up time to travel, spend time with your family, and doing things you want to do is thrilling. Both Nevada and California offer great reasons to consider retiring there. When choosing between Nevada or California, consider all aspects of retired life to make the best decision for you.

Comparing California vs Nevada for Retirement

After all, choosing a new place to retire should not be an impulsive decision, but a well-informed one based on your preferences. Below are some main differences between retirement and overall living styles in both Nevada and California.

Is it Better to Retire in California or Nevada?

When making the decision between retiring in California or Nevada, people who want their money to go further may consider Nevada, as California is more expensive. Nevada is also more tax-friendly for retirees. On the other hand, California does have its own set of advantages, including the ocean and beaches.

Interested in retiring in Nevada? Check out the 10 Best Places to Live in Nevada!.

Cost of Living in Nevada vs. California

Overall, the cost of living in California is 58.7% higher than the cost of living in Nevada. Cost of living may be a dominant factor in your decision depending on where you are at. Transportation and groceries are also a bit higher than in Nevada. California is also quickly becoming more populated, with 34.6 million more people living in the state than in Nevada.

Housing Costs

More often than not, housing is a big piece of the puzzle when figuring out living expenses for your retirement. Nevada has lower real estate prices, making it cheaper to live in than California. At the time of writing, the median value of owning a home in California is $950k, while in Nevada it’s $320k.

For “big city living”, the Las Vegas housing market is much more affordable than Los Angeles or San Francisco. These differences may be lower on your priority list, but may make an impact when deciding on a place to retire in the long run.

Taxes in Nevada vs. California

Comparing Nevada vs. California taxes may also be important if you’re considering retiring in either state. California is attractive to many in terms of living environments and natural beauty, but may be opposite in terms of taxes. Since the cost of living is much higher, California has taxes on almost everything. Nevada on the other hand is known to tax less.

The most significant taxes you pay in Nevada are sales tax, property tax, and excise taxes for items like cigarettes and alcohol. In California, taxes include income tax, property tax, sales tax, capital gains tax, excise tax, and retirement tax.

Taxes apply differently to everyone depending on what situation you’re in, so it’s important to understand the way they apply to you when you retire. Nevada can be an excellent option for retirees due to the laid-back tax system. Social security benefits and retirement accounts are not taxed in Nevada. The state also does not impose any income taxes if you have a working partner or have a child living with you. 

The Climate in Nevada vs. California

California experiences many different climates depending on which area you're looking in. California has hot desert climates, mild winters (or snowy depending on region) and all around great weather through the year.

Nevada is warm pretty much year-round, and is considered the driest state in the US, so naturally, it packs a lot of heat in the summer months. The winters can be mild and on the cooler side depending which area of Nevada you're looking in.

Entertainment in Nevada vs. California

Both Nevada and California offer world-class entertainment. California has gorgeous beaches, mountains and skiing, Disneyland, Hollywood and Yosemite National Park to name a few. There are many other places to choose from for a fun-filled adventure. California also has great shopping, golf courses, and great landscapes for those who cherish scenic beauty.

While California makes a great competitor, Nevada is the entertainment capital of the world. On top of its world-famous nightlife, Nevada has destinations like the Hoover Dam, The National Atomic Testing Museum, Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historical Park, and Red Rock Canyon National Park. Nevada also has unique attractions like visiting the Fly Ranch Geyser, the Neon Boneyard, and the Seven Magic Mountains.

Conclusion - Retiring in Nevada or California

At the end of the day, both states can be a great places to retire depending on your interests and lifestyle. The choice is yours! Hopefully, this article makes the decision a little bit easier.

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