5 expensive US cities to retire in

Retirement » 5 Expensive US Cities To Retire In

San Jose, Calif.
San Jose, Calif. © cheng/

In San Jose, Calif., average energy costs are $243 per month, compared to $172 in San Francisco. Food, medicine and gasoline tend to cost about the same, but a car is a necessity in San Jose.

MaryAnn Ellison is a San Jose native who retired in her hometown after a 30-year career. "My husband and I bought our home over 35 years ago, and that alone has made it possible to retire in this city," she says. "We paid our mortgage off a long time ago and never got a home loan. That's a huge mistake too many people made; then it blew up in 2008. … If we'd taken a second mortgage like our friends, I'd probably need to work into my 70s, or we'd have to sell the house and move somewhere cheaper."

At $783,250, the average home price in San Jose is a bit less than San Francisco's, but still far above national averages. "I guess if we sold, we could have a more lavish lifestyle someplace cheaper, but this is my home," MaryAnn said. "I'm not going anywhere."


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