Beautiful landscapes, exciting entertainment, diverse and flavorful food to find; California is home to so much more than just the sunny days you see on TV. Of course, that might explain why the Golden State has the most seniors out of any state in the country, with nearly 6 million older adults calling it home.
As one of those adults, you might be interested in what retirement may look like if you decide to stick around for your senior years. And there are plenty of options in front of you, depending on the route you decide to take. But with options like Continuing Care Retirement Communities (a.k.a. Life Plan Communities) available, you might not have to look too far for your dream retirement scenario.
For those who don’t already live here, a retirement in California may seem like an unattainable dream. But with options like Continuing Care Retirement Communities (a.k.a. Life Plan Communities) available, your California retirement may be more attainable than you think.
With that in mind, we want to review some of the top reasons you should consider living in a California CCRC:
1. An Abundance of Scenery
From the sky-high mountain tops that run through the entire state, to the pristine West Coast beaches, to some of the most beautiful urban architecture in the country, there’s something to look at wherever you go in California.
Because the state is so vast, there’s a seemingly endless list of places to check out across California. So, for the sake of this blog, we’ll be focusing on some highlights from the Northern California region:
Mountains, Trails and More
One of the top reasons so many people move to (or stay in) California is the wonderful topography and trails that run throughout the state. For those looking to get a slice of adventure in their retirement plans, here are some of the best mountains to visit when living in Northern California:
- Mount Diablo: Open year-round for those looking to explore its trails and sights, this mountain reaches a peak of 3,849 feet and is a fan favorite for locals in the region.
- Montara Mountain: With a peak of 1,898 feet above sea level, Montara Mountain is well-known as a challenging, but gorgeous oceanside location for hiking, mountain biking, trail running and more.
- Snow Mountain East: Part of the greater Mendocino National Forest, Snow Mountain East is great for backpacking trips and is usually recommended for experienced hikers and campers.
Living near a beach has been consistently shown to reduce stress and improve your mental health. And with a 900-mile coastline available to visit, there’s always a little piece of paradise within your grasp. Here are some local favorites to check out in your free time:
- Santa Cruz Beach: One of the most popular family-friendly beaches on the west coast, this destination boasts a mile-long, carnival-filled boardwalk as well as the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
- The Great Beach: Complete with a lighthouse and luscious golden sand, this 10-mile-long beach is only within an hour of San Francisco
- Baker Beach: Running along the same coast as the Golden Gate bridge, this beach offers barbeque spots and picnic areas. Be careful though, as this beach is more for walking due to the strong currents and cold water.
Urban Hot Spots
- Walnut Creek: Featuring multiple pedestrian malls, prominent culinary destinations, and a beautiful urban ambiance, this small Bay Area town packs a big punch.
- The Transamerica Pyramid: This 48-story building is the second-largest skyscraper in the San Francisco skyline and is just a stone’s throw away from the coast of the city.
- Golden Gate Bridge: An iconic landmark of the West Coast, the 4,200-foot suspension bridge is world famous for its architectural prominence.
- Old Sacramento: As a National Historic Landmark, this 8-block area of antique buildings includes mostly architecture from the Gold Rush era of California and features shops, hotels, restaurants, museums and more.
2. World-Renowned Vineyards
A cherry on top to the wonderful scenery mentioned above, the vineyards maintained in Northern California’s wine country are some of the most sought after in the world. Between the consistently mild temperatures year-round and the nutrient-rich soil that lives there, the Golden State has some of the best climate available for growing high-quality wines.
And there’s no shortage of vineyards to go around, particularly in the Napa Valley and Sonoma County area. In fact, as of 2020, the state of California was responsible for over 4,700 wineries – roughly half of all wineries in the United States. And with 81% of all U.S. wine coming from the vines in California, it’s no wonder why so many choose to live here in retirement.
Who could pass up the opportunity to have locally grown wine from some of the finest vines in the country during their golden years?
3. Endless Amenities (At Home and Beyond)
Living at a California CCRC not only means you get to enjoy all that the great cities and towns have to offer, but you also get the perks that come with living in an all-inclusive senior living community. Today’s CCRCs are designed to cater to the wants and needs of the next generation of older adults.
The question then becomes, what does that look like? Well for one, there’s an endless list of activities and social spaces to take advantage of, all within the same grounds as your apartment or home. To name a few, here are some of the more common amenities you can find at a modern life plan community:
- A wellness center and spa, complete with gym equipment and a swimming pool
- Outdoor spaces that create a social atmosphere (think fire pits, grilling stations, and more)
- Specialized gourmet dining, with seasonal menus that change daily
- An on-campus bar or restaurant
Some communities offer even more than this, with other amenities like performance venues, an art studio and free transportation services into the nearby towns and cities. In doing this,CCRCs give their residents everything they need at home, as well as easy transit to and from some of their favorite local spots for entertainment.
4. The Assurance of Continuing Care
Above all else, the most important part of any good retirement is your health. That’s why, at a CCRC, everything you might need to live out your golden years in comfort is accounted for and taken care of.
Though nearly every resident starts off living independently, you never know what type of health-related issues may arise to either you or your spouse/partner years. Living in a CCRC means that no matter what comes up, you’ll always have coverage and care available to you – with predictable costs and a team of care specialists to help you each step of the way.
It’s all part of the agreement you sign with the community when you first move in, which is why CCRCs are also referred to as “Life Plan Communities” – because living at one means you’ll have a plan in place regardless of what life throws at you.
Live in a CCRC in California Now
There are plenty of opportunities to live in a life plan community, particularly throughout California. One of the newest and more exciting communities in the area is our very own Viamonte at Walnut Creek, a modern senior living campus offering everything you need for an enriching retirement.
If you’re interested in the community or simply want to ask a few questions, please call our team at 925.621.6600, or fill out the form found here.