Fiscally, California is one of the worst states to teach in. You lose a significant amount of your income to rent each month, 10% goes towards CalSTRS, state income tax is high, and healthcare costs aren't covered by most districts. I hated seeing 30% of my income taken out through taxes and retirement contributions, and then having to shell over $300/mo for healthcare and $2000/mo for rent. It's impossible to get ahead financially. I moved to another state and fiscally I'm much better off. The only thing I miss about teaching in California is having the ability to strike. This gave the union power which they used to negotiate things that made teaching more effective (90 min of collaboration each week, class sizes under 30, no more than 2 preps).