4 Communities in Hemet

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Overview 

Located inland from Los Angeles in Southern California, Hemet is an increasingly popular destination for retirees. Year-round warm weather, plenty of hiking trails, and lower housing costs make this an attractive city for active adults seeking the beauty of California without the high price tag.

Climate & Geography 

Hemet is located in the San Jacinto Valley and surrounded by the Santa Rosa Hills and San Jacinto Mountains. It experiences a dry, desert climate with very hot and dry summers and pleasant winters. There is little rainfall throughout the year, and while snow and freezing temperatures are possible in central California, they are rare in Hemet. There are over 270 days of sunshine each year.

The city is 80 miles southeast of Los Angeles and part of the Inland Empire, which continues to grow rapidly. The Angeles National Forest to the north of Los Angeles forces growth and expansion toward San Bernardino, Riverside, and Hemet.

Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment 

Hemet is currently in the process of restoring its downtown, the Shoppes at Harvard, by revitalizing historic buildings and adding more shops to the city’s oldest retail area. Residents can find brand-name shopping centers in the city as well as in nearby San Bernardino and Riverside.

Active adults can also find plentiful outdoor recreation in the city. The Diamond Valley Lake, Hemet’s largest recreation area, is an active drinking reservoir with bountiful wildflower blooms each spring. Hikers can walk around the whole lake, bicyclists can enjoy the Lake View Trails, and equestrians are allowed on the North Hills Trail. Though there is no swimming allowed in the lake, there is a nearby aquatic center, and history buffs can also visit the Western Science Center, which houses 1 million paleo and archaic artifacts discovered during the construction of the lake.

There are also six golf courses, the Ramona Bowl Amphitheatre for outdoor concerts and shows, and scenic views at Simpson Park.

Cost of Living & Taxes 

Though Hemet’s cost of living is higher than the national average, it is lower than California’s. The biggest difference is housing, as Hemet’s home prices are much lower than the state’s average. Utilities and transportation are above the national average, and groceries match the rest of the country. Health care, however, is far below both the averages in California and the U.S.

California is not considered tax friendly to retirees because it taxes pensions, 401(k)s, IRAs, and other forms of retirement income at some of the highest rates in the country. The exception to this is Social Security, which it does not tax. Property taxes are lower than average, but sales taxes are high. Groceries and prescription drugs, however, are exempt.

Health Care

The Riverside and San Bernardino metropolitan area ranks the top 70 communities in Gallup’s Well-Being Index. 

Hemet has one high performing hospital according to U.S. News, Hemet Valley Medical Center, which was rated for its performance in treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). Within 20 miles are three more high performing hospitals: San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital, Loma Linda University Medical Center-Murrieta, and Kaiser Permanente Moreno Valley Medical Center.