Any retired US Federal Civil Service workers out there. If so, I'd like to hear from you.
Since you are going to start in san jose, where bus transit is quite good, spend some time shopping and getting to know the used car market. Keeping a car in SJ can be a pain. Maybe you buy one month before moving out. I bought a 2 year old Terios 4 wheel drive for $12,000. And yes, cars don't come cheap. Basic liability insurance is $200/yr and annual registration is about $...