Moving to Palm Springs? Here’s Everything Retirees Need to Know

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Palm Springs highway road with palms trees on both sides.

13 minute read

What You’ll Gain From Reading This Article: This article provides a comprehensive overview of the allure of retiring in Palm Springs, California. Readers will learn about the city’s appealing climate, diverse recreational opportunities, and vibrant culture.


With its scenic coastlines, majestic mountains, and sun-drenched skies, California has long been a popular choice for retirement. Palm Springs, in particular, is a major draw for retirees.

In the picturesque Coachella Valley, Palm Springs is an enchanting oasis of captivating desert landscapes, abundant sunshine, and a vibrant culture. Plus, there are virtually endless things to do in Palm Springs, California. From shopping to golfing to tasting new restaurants, you can do whatever suits your fancy. Also, Palm Springs is just two hours from both the beach and Los Angeles, and it’s only four hours from Las Vegas. Hollywood A-listers have been coming to Palm Springs since the 1920s to stay and play but still be within a short drive of L.A. Palm Springs has even earned the name of “Hollywood’s Playground.”

When it comes to living here, Palm Springs retirement communities offer something for everyone. You can choose from dozens of options in and around Palm Springs, whether your top priority is low-maintenance living or a 55+ community with plenty of amenities.

So, is Palm Springs a good place to retire? We’ll let you decide. Read on for our guide to everything retirees should know about moving to Palm Springs.

Retiring in Palm Springs: Pros and Cons

View of the city street in the daytime in Palm Springs, California.
Image provided via gg-foto / Shutterstock.com

Pros

  • Pleasant climate – Palm Springs gets abundant sunshine almost year-round. With very little rainfall and no snow, it’s an ideal destination for outdoor activities.
  • Recreation opportunities – There are so many fun things to do in Palm Springs. From hiking to golfing to browsing art galleries and museums, you can pursue your favorite hobbies and explore new ones.
  • Quality of lifeCalifornia is the 7th happiest state in the country. Living in Palm Springs, which is more affordable than many places in California, can help you live a fulfilling life.

Cons

  • Summer heat – Palm Springs is in the desert. It gets hot in the summer, with temperatures often soaring into the triple digits. This can be overwhelming to some people.
  • Influx of tourists – With its golf courses and stylish hotels and spas, Palm Springs is a haven for tourists. During the peak season, this can lead to increased traffic and noise.
  • Limited public transportation – You won’t find an elaborate subway, bus, or train system here. In fact, public transit is pretty limited.

Palm Springs Climate

View across a pond of a resort in Palm Springs.

If you like warm, sunny days, then you’ll feel right at home in Palm Springs. Summers tend to be dry and hot here, with average highs around 100 degrees. Also, humidity levels stay low in this desert climate, and you won’t see much rain in Palm Springs. It only rains about five inches—or less—every year. Winters are mild, averaging about 70 degrees with clear, blue skies most of the year.

With such a pleasant year-round climate, locals have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Golfing is especially popular in Palm Springs, which has been dubbed the “golf capital of the world” for its more than 100 area golf courses. Other popular options include hiking and cycling, water activities like swimming and boating in local lakes, as well as exploring the vast vistas of Joshua Tree National Park.

Palm Springs Taxes

Palm trees outside of Palm Springs City Hall.
Image provided via Rebekah Zemansky / Shutterstock.com

If you’re thinking about moving to Palm Springs, you might be wondering just how far your budget will go. Fortunately, the cost of living in Palm Springs is about 15% less than the average in California. However, it’s still about 20% higher than the national average.

Palm Springs Property Taxes

Compared to some regions in California, Palm Springs offers relatively modest property tax rates. Rates typically range from 1-1.5% of a property’s assessed value. Keep in mind, though, that his rate can vary depending on voter-approved bonds.

Palm Springs Retirement Income Taxes

Like all of California, Palm Springs doesn’t tax retirement income from 401(k)s, IRAs, and pensions. There’s also no tax on Social Security benefits. However, other forms of income, like wages, dividends, rental income, and interest, are subject to state income tax rates, which range from 1-13% depending on income level.

Palm Springs Tax Exemptions for Seniors

Active adults age 65 and older in Palm Springs can take advantage of the Senior Property Tax Assistance Program. This program provides a partial exemption from property taxes for eligible seniors based on their income level and property value.

However, you must meet certain criteria, including income limits and owning and occupying the property as your primary residence.

Palm Springs Health Care

Chairs lined up in a hospital waiting room.

Living in Palm Springs provides easy access to many reputable hospitals and medical facilities, including Desert Regional Medical Center and Eisenhower Health, which is known for its high-quality care and comprehensive services. Desert Regional also serves as the only designated Level 1 trauma center in the Coachella Valley, giving you peace of mind that help is there if you need it.

The region has many specialists, practitioners, and clinics that cater to diverse medical needs, and you can also benefit from proximity to medical centers in nearby Los Angeles. Should you need specialized treatment, you can access quality services right in Palm Springs.

Where to Live in Palm Springs

Palm trees lining a scenic road in Palm Springs, California.

Palm Springs has many unique neighborhoods, each with a distinctive feel. For example, Indian Canyons sits adjacent to the largest grove of wild palm trees in the world, while Midtown is more metropolitan, featuring a fun vibe and the famed Agua Caliente Spa Resort Casino.

Check out the section below for a quick look at some Palm Springs retirement communities.

Sun City Palm Desert – Palm Desert

Low $300ks – High $1Ms

Palm trees surrounding the outdoor pool at Sun City Palm Desert in Palm Desert, California.

This resort-style, 55+ community contains attached and single-family homes for sale. Homes range from 1,000 to 3,200 square feet, and some feature casitas as well as golf cart storage. Amenities include a clubhouse, an outdoor pool and spa, and two championship golf courses.

Sun City Shadow Hills – Indio

High $300ks – Low $1Ms

Palm trees surrounding the outdoor pool at Sun City Shadow Hills in Indio, California.

The single-family homes in this active adult community start in the low $400s. Built between 2003 and 2016, Sun City Shadow Hills offers more than 30 floor plans that range from 1,099 to nearly 3,000 square feet. Also, a 35,000-square-foot clubhouse offers many amenities, including a fitness center and indoor lap pool.

Del Webb Rancho Mirage – Rancho Mirage

Low $600ks – High $1Ms

The outdoor patio and barbecue at Del Webb Rancho Mirage in Rancho Mirage, California.

Like many Palm Springs retirement communities, this 55+ community offers a robust array of amenities. Residents can take advantage of a fitness center, a library, and an aerobics and dance studio. Outdoor amenities include a resort-style pool as well as tennis and pickleball courts. New and resale homes are available.

Trilogy at La Quinta – La Quinta

Low $500ks – Low $1Ms

The outdoor patio and barbecue at Trilogy at La Quinta in La Quinta, California.

Situated against the Santa Rosa Mountains, this 55+ community features 1,238 upscale homes. Active adult homebuyers can choose from 12 single-family floor plans that range from 1,381 to 2,769 square feet. Also, onsite amenities include a full-service spa and four lighted tennis courts.

Terra Lago – Indio

Low $500ks – Mid $1Ms

Aerial view of the clubhouse at Terra Lago in Indio, California.

This Tuscan-themed community features 639 attached and single-family homes. There’s no age restriction within Terra Lago, and residents pay a reasonable homeowners’ association (HOA) fee that covers cable, internet access, as well as access to the clubhouse and amenities.

Four Seasons at Palm Springs – Palm Springs

High $500ks – High $800ks

A private outdoor pool at a home in Four Seasons at Palm Springs in Palm Springs, California.

Four Seasons at Palm Springs provides easy access to everything the area has to offer. This gated 55+ community contains 477 single-family homes that range from 1,900 to more than 2,800 square feet. Additionally, every home includes a private courtyard and expansive great room. Residents can also enjoy amenities such as a fitness center, a salon, and cafe.

Trilogy at The Polo Club – Indio

High $400ks – Mid $900ks

An outdoor lounge space at Trilogy at The Polo Club in Indio, California.

Homes in this gated active lifestyle community range from 1,294 to 2,549 square feet. These residences feature tall ceilings, granite countertops, as well as covered outdoor patios. Also, the 25,000-square-foot Polo Club houses numerous amenities. Outdoor amenities include an artisan studio, three pools, and three tennis courts.

Villa Portofino – Palm Desert

High $300ks – Mid $700ks

Lounge chairs beside the outdoor pool at Villa Portofino in Palm Desert, California.

This 55+ community is situated on 50 acres and contains condos as well as attached and single-family homes. At the 30,000-square-foot clubhouse, residents can enjoy many amenities, including a fitness center, a 100-seat movie theater, as well as a beauty salon.

Four Seasons at Terra Lago – Indio

Low $400ks – Low $600ks

Palm trees and fountains on the grounds of Four Seasons at Terra Lago in Indio, California.

This gated, resort-style community features 682 single-family homes. Residences range from 1,559 square feet to 2,747 square feet and include modern features like LED lighting in the kitchen. When it comes to things to do, residents can participate in activities like yoga, Zumba, and paint-and-sip classes.

Heritage Palms – Indio

High $300ks – High $700ks

Exterior view of a home in Heritage Palms in Indio, California.

Located within walking distance of two shopping centers, this guard-gated golf community offers single-family homes and attached duplexes. These homes range from 1,382 to about 2,500 square feet. Also, the onsite amenities include a clubhouse, a chef-driven restaurant, and four lighted tennis courts.

PGA West – La Quinta

Mid $400ks – High $4Ms

Exterior view of a home at PGA West in La Quinta, California.

Homes in this master-planned country club community start in the mid $400s. Started in 1985, this community contains more than 6,000 single-family and attached homes. Some residences include a private patio and pool. Also, an active HOA takes care of common area upkeep.

Escena – Palm Springs

Low $1Ms – High $1Ms

Exterior view of a home at Escena in Palm Springs, California.

Spanning over 450 acres, Escena will contain 594 single-family homes upon completion. Residences in this active lifestyle community offer between 1,940 and more than 3,500 square feet. Amenities include a clubhouse, an 18-hole golf course, and a pro shop.

Domani – Palm Desert

High $400ks – Low $500ks

The outdoor pool at Domani in Palm Desert, California.

This 55+ community offers new and resale single-family homes. Residences feature upscale elements such as granite kitchen counters and ceramic tile master baths. Residents can also take advantage of a variety of amenities like a state-of-the-art fitness center and courts for bocce ball and pickleball.

Desert Vista Village – Yucca Valley

High $300ks – Low $400ks

Walking paths and benches on the grounds of Desert Vista Village in Yucca Valley, California.

Homes in this 55+ community offer between 1,241 to 1,501 square feet. These single-family homes are built to maximize efficiency, featuring low-flush toilets as well as energy-efficient vinyl windows. Residents also have access to numerous amenities, including two bocce ball courts and a nine-hole putting green.

Desert Highlands – Desert Hot Springs

High $200ks – High $300ks

Attached homes or condos on the grounds of Desert Highlands in Desert Hot Springs, California.

Built in the early 1980s, this established active adult community features a private natural hot water well—a unique offering among Palm Springs retirement communities. These attached homes start in the high $200s and feature mountain views. Residents pay a reasonable HOA fee that covers things like landscaping and trash removal.

55places Will Help You Explore Palm Springs Retirement Communities

If all of this information has you convinced that Palm Springs, California is the place for your retirement, we’re ready to help! Contact 55places today, and we’ll put you in touch with a local real estate agent who is an expert in Palm Springs retirement communities. They’ll help you find the right home in the perfect community, so you can start enjoying all the Golden State has to offer.

Discover what’s next.

To learn more information or connect with a real estate expert, contact us today.

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

Financing is the difference!

Get the details in The 62+ Loan Homebuyers Guide.

55places Mortgage is a joint venture between Mutual of Omaha Mortgage and 55places.com.
Details here.

We're here to help! (800) 928-2055

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