Carmel By The Sea, also known as Carmel, is a city in Monterey County, California. It’s best known for the beautiful scenery and the rich artistic history throughout. Retirees are sure to enjoy this beach town for its quaintness and wide assortment of activities, both outdoor and indoor.
Climate & Geography
Carmel has a cool summer mediterranean climate, which results in mild, comfortable weather all year round. During the summer, marine layer clouds can often result in foggy, overcast mornings with light drizzles that give way to sunny skies. Average precipitation is minimal, with no snowfall and less than 20 inches of rainfall, and there are approximately 269 sunny days throughout each year.
Carmel has a white sand beach that borders the city to the west, which is along the shores of Carmel Bay, and beyond that is the Pacific Ocean. To the east lies a number of small mountains and valleys. The city has a long history of planned development aimed at retaining the natural beauty of the land, for instance, buildings are built around the existing trees and there are no street lights or parking meters in the downtown area.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
The constant warm weather in Carmel offers an assortment of outdoor activities for residents. Active adults enjoy strolling and bike riding through Point Lobos, Garrapata State Park, and Carmel Beach Boardwalk. They also frequently swim in Carmel River State Beach, China Cove and Gibson Beach, and Monastery Beach. The surrounding mountains provide the perfect opportunity for natural sightseeing and hiking as well.
The downtown plaza is filled with shops and restaurants to explore. Wineries and galleries are scattered throughout the city.
The larger city of San Jose is approximately 75 miles north of Carmel for residents who want more extensive shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
Cost of Living & Taxes
The overall cost of living in Carmel is extremely high: over two-and-half times the national average. This is primarily due to the high cost of housing and homes, at six times the average with the median home cost just under $2 million. In addition the cost of groceries and health care are well above average, though utility costs are below average.
Although Social Security benefits are exempt from taxes in the state of California, all other forms of retirement income, such as pensions and retirement savings accounts, are fully taxed. Property taxes in the state are fairly low, but due to the high cost of homes this can be a sizable expense. However there is a homeowners' exemption to help offset property taxes, and some residents may qualify for the Property Tax Postponement Program.
There are two highly ranked medical centers and hospitals located within 16 miles of Carmel By The Sea. They are Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula and Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula is regionally ranked and rated high performing in six adult procedures/conditions. Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System is ranked high performing in heart failure.