By in Country Guides October 29, 2020

Relocating to the third-most populous county in California, with 40 miles of coastline and many Fortune 500 companies, seems like an excellent idea. However, before hiring an international moving company to help you relocate, you should calculate the Orange County cost of living.

Moving to Orange Country will put you in a movie-like location with plenty of entertainment, employment, and educational opportunities. Even though the prices can get a bit steep, salaries are more than enough to cover all of your expenses. To help you become a Californian faster, we answered some of the essential relocation questions like How much do you need to live comfortably in Orange County?, What is the average income in Orange County?, and What salary do you need to live in Orange County?

What Are the Things You Should Know Before Moving Internationally to OC

When it comes to relocation, inspirational quotes about moving and change won’t get you through the whole process. Extensive research and detailed planning will. However, before making a moving abroad checklist, you should learn a few things about your new home. Knowing the basics will make adjusting to a new country that much easier, that’s why if you opt for settling in OC, you should remember some of the essential facts:

  • It is one out of 58 California counties
  • The Department of Education supervises 28 school districts
  • Almost 30% of the residents are foreign-born
  • The median age is 36
  • Many Fortune 500 companies are located here.

There is a lot of information to take in. Luckily, you are moving overseas to the US, one of the friendliest countries in the world, meaning that people here will welcome you with open arms and help you find your footing.

How Does the Average Cost of Living in Orange County CA Compare With the Rest of the State

If you figured out how to move abroad, and you hired an overseas moving company to help you with that process, then it is time to see how exactly the relocation will improve your life. The US is one of the best countries to live in because you can choose a variety of locations to call home. From sunny beach towns to famous worldwide metropolises, there is something for everybody.

Settling in CA will put you in a state with a higher cost of living index than the US average. However, with higher expenses come higher earnings, so you don’t have to stress about covering all of your bills. Since CA is pricey on its own, that reflects on OC as well, but some expenses like healthcare and utilities are cheaper than the national average.

Flag of CA
The cost of living in the Orange County index is slightly higher than in the rest of the state

How Utilities and Groceries Affect Orange County Cost of Living

When moving across the world, you will still be expected to pay your bills no matter where you settle in, and the OC is not an exception. Data from the website Numbeo shows that a monthly bill for basics like heating, cooling, water, garbage, and electricity costs around $140. If you want to add unlimited internet data, you’ll have to pay $68 more.

The OC is filled with high-end restaurants but also inexpensive diners, and it is in the vicinity of one of the best vegan cities in the world – Los Angeles. That’s why if you are used to eating out, you will need around $15 for an inexpensive lunch, while the price of a three-course meal in a mid-range restaurant is around $75. Those that like to cook on their own should know that the groceries are within national average prices, so you can find a gallon of milk for $3.50 and a loaf of bread for $3.40.

People in the restaurant.
You can compare utilities and groceries with other states to see where they are more affordable

What Are the Most Expensive Cities to Live in OC

How do you know it is time to relocate overseas? Have you found an ideal location that ticks all of your requirements and fits your budget? The OC will give you the opportunity to pick and choose among 34 incorporated cities, and settling in one will be solely your decision. If the money is not the problem and you can afford all kinds of housing options in some of the most expensive spots, check out some of the priciest locations, according to Niche’s website:

  • Are you ready to relocate to a place where every day will feel like a vacation? Laguna Beach will not only put you in the vicinity of some breathtaking beach fronts, but also you’ll get to enjoy some vast green spaces. From basking in the sun to hiking, Laguna Beach is a great spot for outdoor enthusiasts to put down some roots. Additionally, with a strong sense of community and a small-town vibe, it is one of the best places to live abroad. With the median home value of $1,700,400, Laguna Beach is not for every pocket, but overall it is worth paying the price to be a resident here.
  • Those relocating to Newport Beach should be ready for an exciting lifestyle because this community boasts high-quality restaurants, golf courses, plenty of shopping opportunities, and award-winning hotels. If you are wondering how to live abroad, especially in Newport Beach, just embrace all outdoor activities. After all, with daily temperatures of 80 degrees in summer and less than 10 inches of rain per year, what else can you do? However, outdoor paradise comes with the price because the city’s median home value is $1,787,300.
  • If you are relocating to Southern OC in pursuit of an art career, Dana Point just might be the place you’ve been looking for. Its active art community is recognized by the whole state. Additionally, Dana Point Harbor is buzzing with many restaurants and small shops. Add biking trails and parasailing opportunities, and you got yourself an active community where you’ll never get bored. With a median home value of $861,600, it is the most affordable option out of three.

What Are the Most Affordable Spots in OC

Finding the best places for living overseas that fit not only your budget but your needs as well might take some time. OC is famous for its housing prices that can drain your bank account. However, if your goal is to become a resident, there are more than a few affordable places:

  • Buena Park is about 24 miles southeast of Downtown LA, and it is a well-known tourist destination. If you are looking for one of the best places to live abroad with family Buena Park might be it. Not only is it extremely rich with entertainment options like Knott’s Berry Farm, but it is also served by seven school districts. Here median home value is $540,200, while rent will cost you $1,600 a month.
  • Settling in Anaheim will put you in a diverse community where even those who have to break the language barrier won’t feel like they don’t belong. The most populous city in the OC hosts not only Disneyland but two sports teams and MUZEO, offering its residents plenty of fun things to do. To stay here, you’ll need $1,570 monthly for rent.
  • First things first – if you are considering settling in Santa Ana, make sure you ship your car overseas because you will probably use it. The city is well connected with the rest of OC, and you will be just a short ride away from many amenities. Additionally, Santa Ana has 37 elementary and eight high schools your kids can attend, and if you are relocating in pursuit of knowledge, there is more than one college you can enroll in. If you opt for renting, like more than half of the residents, you’ll need $1,500 a month for rent.
CityPopulationMedian RentMedian Home ValueMedian Household Income
Laguna Beach23,200$2,230$1,700,400$121,500
Newport Beach86,300$2,175$1,787,300$122,710
Dana Point33,900$2,010$861,600$97,520
Buena Park82,790$1,600$540,200$72,820
Anaheim350,000$1,570$538,700$69,500
Santa Ana333,500$1,500$455,300$61,780

Data from website Niche.

What Are the Tax Rates in California

No matter if you are relocating alone or with your family, you won’t be able to escape paying taxes. Becoming a resident of CA means that you won’t pay the lowest tax rates in the US. Californians might pay the base sales tax rate of 7.25%, but they save up when it comes to real estate taxes that are among the lowest in the country.

Furthermore, since you will be working in CA, you should think about income taxes, and the state has progressive ones. This means that rates are lower for those who earn less and higher for those earning more. The CA income tax system is similar to the federal one, and there are nine official brackets with rates from 1% up to 12.3%.

Tax return papers.
Paying taxes is something that you cannot avoid, no matter where you stay

What Are the Other Expenses That Affect the Cost of Living in Orange CA

One of the most common moving mistakes is rushing the whole process. To avoid being surprised with some unexpected costs, make a checklist before you start going over your budget.

How Is Orange County Cost of Living Affected by Healthcare

One of the things that is more affordable in OC than many other places is healthcare. Data from the website NerdWallet shows that the doctor’s visit is around $125, while a trip to the dentist will knock $110 out of your pocket.

What Are the Overall Costs of Transportation

When relocating across the world, are you considering the option of car shipping overseas? If you do, know that the price of gas in OC is around $3.60 for a gallon. However, if you opt for using public transportation, you will need $105 for a monthly pass or $2 for one trip ticket.

Route 66
OC is well connected with the rest of CA, meaning you might spend a lot of money on gas

What Is the Average Income in Orange County

Looking for work in OC is a smart move since the unemployment rate is decreasing, and it is currently 3.2%. Have you passed all the steps in acquiring a work permit and a visa? When you have gathered all the necessary documents to travel abroad, it is time to figure out What salary do you need to live in Orange County? According to the website PayScale, the average income in OC is $71,000 per year. However, this can change depending on the industry you work in.

Calculate How Much Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Orange County

Are you moving for love and plan on living with your partner? Or maybe you are relocating with your family? When it comes to the amount of money you should earn to live comfortably, know that it will depend on your household size and your overall lifestyle. Use the LivingWage calculator, and you will be able to tell just how much money a family with two, three, or four members can spend per year.

Person holding a wallet.
Use the calculator to figure out how much money you need

Is Orange County a Good Place to Live

You hired an Orange County international moving company to handle your move, meaning you don’t have to worry about how to box up shoes nor how to pack jewelry. While a professional overseas shipping company is providing you with moving and packing services, you’ll have enough free time to research OC. Even if you have a shred of doubt about your decision, you will soon learn that this is the spot with endless employment, entertainment, and education opportunities. The OC can give you everything you wish for. This is the place where people come to achieve the American dream, so don’t hesitate to be one of them.