Best Retirement Areas In California


The Best Places To Retire On The West Coast

Great Rural Towns in California to Retire or Buy a Home.

What makes each of these cities fantastic for retirees?

Retirement is known as ones golden years for a reason. If planned well, retirement can be fun, social, and relaxing. However, much of retirements enjoyment depends on where one ends up living. And, for many, the West Coast is the ideal. There, you can find natural beauty, bustling cities, good hospitals, comfortable weather, and much more. But what areas of California, Washington, and Oregon are best for retirees? Wonder no more: Stacker has compiled a list of the 50 best places to retire on the West Coast.

Though the majority of these locations are in California, its worth noting that the California Dream can be complicated for retirees. Its a notoriously expensive state. The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey showed a 2020 poverty rate among California seniors of 10.5%. To combat the issue, the state government in 2019 launched CalSavers, a retirement savings program for those who arent offered such accounts by employers. State officials have also discussed increasing access to food stamps for seniors and making it easier to qualify for Medi-Cal. Given all this, its clear that, depending on where you live, the ability to retire comfortably in California often rests on one thing: financial wealth.

The 15 Best Places To Retire In California

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Why do people choose California to retire? Lets discover the best places to retire in California and learn what makes the Golden State stand out.

Do you like the idea of spending your golden years in The Golden State?

Well, were not surprised! The allure of its ocean views, sumptuous weather, laidback lifestyle, and outstanding natural beauty is hard to resist. So hard, in fact, that a staggering 261.7 million people are set to visit California this year.

Sure, its high cost of living and taxation of retirement income are definite drawbacks. Yet life on the West Coast offers such an array of incentives that its no surprise so many would-be retirees find themselves California Dreaming.

Where are the best places to retire in California, though? As the third largest state in the country, narrowing down your options can be a real challenge.

Thats why we wanted to put this guide together. In a bid to simplify the decision-making process, were going to discuss 15 of the best retirement destinations in California. In no particular order, lets dive in.

Palm Springs Has Some Of The Best Retirement Communities In Southern California

What did Frank Sinatra and his pals know best? If ever there was an oasis to enjoy retirement in the desert, Palm Springs is it. This resort town of 48,000 is affordable and sunny. Chock full of golf courses, Palm Springs has become a magnet for retirees. With its dry climate, picturesque landscape, art and culture, Palm Springs is listed as one of Condé Nast Traveler’s 2016 12 Best Places to Retire in the U.S.

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Recreation Culture & Entertainment

California has a reputation as a haven for people with imaginative minds, and you can see this in its multifaceted cultural offerings. The state is home to many famous cultural institutions and national parks. There are many well-known colleges found throughout the state as well including University of California at Berkeley, Pepperdine University, Stanford University, University of California at San Diego , University of Southern California and University of California at Los Angeles .

California is mainly known as the Golden State but also referred to as “The Land of Milk and Honey,” “The El Dorado State,” and “The Grape State.” Some popular attractions that active adults love exploring include Hollywood, Disneyland, Yosemite National Park, Alcatraz, Angel Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. California is home to many huge events such as music festivals, the Monterey Jazz Festival and the largest three-day rodeo.

California has the largest economy in the United States and leads it in agricultural production. California is also known for film production, food processing, petroleum, computers and computer software, tourism and aerospace. There is so much to do and see throughout this diverse state.

The Best Places To Retire In California

The Top 20 Retirement Cities in California

As you continue planning for your retirement, have you found yourself considering relocating to a state with panoramic views and access to the ocean? Perhaps you find yourself California dreaming? You would be in good company if you are eyeing the Golden State as your destination for retirement. In fact, California has been one of the most desired places to retire for decadesand for good reason.

Generally speaking, the state makes wellness and health a bit easier thanks to ample sunshine and beautiful temperatures that encourage more outdoor activity. There is also a culture of healthy food options and physical activity, making the state perfect for an active retirement. Further, most large cities and even smaller towns offer easy access to nationally top-rated medical systems, physicians, and specialists.

But theres more to life in California beyond the wellness focus and beautiful temperatures. There is also a booming job market, making it ideal for adults who want to continue to consult or work, either part-time or full time, in their retirement.

Now that you are considering California living, its time to narrow down which city could be your best bet. In such a large and diverse state, you might wonder which areas would be best suited for your retirement aspirations. Weve got you covered with a quick rundown of Southern California, central California, the Bay Area, and Northern California.

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Seal Beachs Outdoors Feature All Kinds Of Opportunities

The citys coast is known for its incredible vistas and the second-longest wooden pier in California, an excellent spot to visit to wind down from all the moving stress. You can also relax by taking a long walk on its long beaches or perhaps even take a lesson in surfing.

If youre looking to explore a park close by, the 965-acre Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge features all kinds of outdoor activities that nature enthusiasts can enjoy. Its an excellent location for observing wildlife, photography, and even fishing, but you can also go on a guided walking tour at the end of each month. Seals are also a very common sight in the area and are responsible for the citys current name.

The 10 Best Places To Retire In California In 2021

The Golden State has something for everyone, especially retirees. The iconic and beautiful State of California is home to thriving cities it is perfect for active adults who arent looking to slow down during retirement and want to make the most out of their newfound freedom.

If you are in California dreaming of your retirement, NewHomeSource has identified the top 10 California cities for retirees. Now, you can finally live the life you dreamed about during all those years you worked indoors.

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Here Are 10 Affordable Places To Retire In California According To The Median Home Price:

Apple Valley



Wasco, California has the lowest median home price of around $110,000 and Bakersfield, California has the highest at around $145,000.

Source: US News & World Reports Best Places To Retire.

If you want to be at peace with nature, you can go trekking or camping. You should know that there are places in California that can offer you these activities. You can even go fishing through lakes. Entertainment will help you to optimize your life alongside your family. These activities will further enhance your effort to enjoy your life to the fullest in many ways. Also, upon knowing the affordable places to retire in California, you can have for yourself the joy it can bring to you and your family.

As early as now, you should look at the options when it comes in choosing the best place to retire. Although your retirement will not be so soon, you should look up on great places where you can spend your life after you retire. In this way, you can have your projected budget that you can allot in finding the best place you think can serve you the most. In California, you will surely get the best spot you want to retire. You can even look it up on the Internet in order to serve as your reference.

South Palm Beach Florida

TOP 10 Best Places To Retire in California – Nowhere Diary

It’s no secret that the Sunshine State caters to retirees. Jake Hill, CEO of DebtHammer, says that if you have the money, you should head to the palms.

“As the cost of living rises nearly everywhere in the nation, retirees may need to be more choosy than ever before when choosing their relocation spot. I highly recommend South Palm Beach for retirees looking for a safe area with good weather, accessible grocery stores and a bubbling local entertainment environment for seniors. There are always events going on throughout the city, and seniors will appreciate the opportunity to leisurely play golf, tennis or swim in the many available pools.”

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What Are The Pros And Cons Of Retiring In California


  • From the epic national park, and incredible nature to mountains, beaches, and hiking trails, California has everything.
  • The temperature in summer is around 80 degrees to 85 degrees F, whereas in winter it is 65 degrees to 68 degrees F.
  • California is the hub of tech companies and the film industry. California is home to Google, Facebook, Netflix, Tesla and many more such big companies.


  • The fire danger in California is real, and we all know past news.
  • The overall cost of living is much higher compared to America. However, the fastest-growing cities in Californiaare hoping for newcomers.
  • Driving from point A to Point B in California is a nightmare, everyone owns a car and the traffic jam is tremendously annoying.
  • Some California cities have higher crime rates than the national average. These are the most dangerous cities in California that you should avoid.

Final Words

So, is California a good state to retire? Of course, it is. If California was always your dream then please make sure you reside in any of these top places to retire in California. Here you can have a life that you always dreamt of. Its time to give wings to your dreams and reside in any of these affordable retirement homes in California. You deserve it! Read our ultimate California moving checklist.

San Diego The Best Of The Best Places To Retire

Thanks to a mediterranean climate with 267 sunny days per year surrounded by over 70 miles of beaches and mountains to the east limitless activities and recreations and diverse neighborhoods who wouldnt want to live here?

  • Over 90 golf courses
  • San Diego Zoo, Seaworld, Legoland and Disneyland
  • Padres and Chargers professional sports teams
  • A vibrant downtown Gaslamp District
  • 20 major universities and community colleges
  • International airport, located in downtown San Diego

Californias 2nd largest city is a playground spread out over 4,200 square miles.

A comfortable home in a safe community a great place to connect with family staying active all in a nearly perfect climate and with a huge selection of affordable homes, retirement in San Diego will lead you to the best home of your life.

Rest assured youre in good hands.With top ranked healthcare facilities, the San Diego medical community provides the best care available.

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Oceanside Is One Of The Cheapest Beach Towns In California

On the northern border of San Diego County, the beachside city of Oceanside attracts retirees for its climate and easy lifestyle. As far as Southern California’s desirable beach towns go, Oceanside real estate is comparatively affordable. The median house price is $520,000. A two-bedroom rental averages $1934 with the cheaper real estate located inland from the coast. On the rental front, there are several active retirement and 55-plus communities, as well as senior apartments.

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Living In Palm Springs

The median home price is $420,000 , with two-bedroom rentals running $1124 on average. Retirees enjoy an active lifestyle in Palm Springs, with plenty of outdoor activities and cultural events. Residents can continue their education at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Cal State San Bernadino in adjacent Palm Desert or at the Palm Springs Art Museum. About 45 minutes northeast, nature enthusiasts can enjoy a day’s outing at Joshua Tree National Park in the high desert.

California Here You Come

If California has captured your heart, make sure your plans include community living in a senior living community. Here, senior living means access to healthy resources, maintenance-free living, new friends, beautiful views, and work opportunities.

Not every community will suit your preferences and budget, but you can maximize your time in a community when you know what to look for and what questions to ask. Check out our community finder page to browse all of our Life Plan Communities.

Heres to making California your retirement dream come true!

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Transportation In Palm Springs

Getting around town and in and out of Palm Springs is easy, with an international airport located close to downtown, a local bus service, access to Amtrak and Greyhound. San Diego is just two hours’ drive. Palm Springs is surrounded by smaller desert communities, the San Bernardino Mountains, Salton Sea, Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead.

Retire In North San Diego County

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The best places to retire in coastal cities in North County San Diego include:

To generalize the coastal North San Diego housing market, Oceanside is the cheapest place to retire with Del Mar being the most expensive.

Please click here to take a look at this report to research the current housing trends in San Diego County.

The best places to retire in inland cities in North County San Diego include:

In our next segments, we will explore the locations of major cities and towns of North County San Diego that many retirees call their home.

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Most Affordable & Best Places To Retire In California

Why is California a popular retirement destination?

Well, California is a popular retirement destination because everyone wants to reside in a place thats economy is financially stable. California exempts retired people and military retirees from personal income tax which is the main reason every retiree wants to reside here. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to living in California but the stunning beaches and few affordable places make it one of the best retirement hubs for senior citizens.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, you wont pay any extra penny, but Ill get a small commission that encourages me to deliver more helpful content for you.

The Top 20 Retirement Cities In California

People who are nearing retirement age are looking forward to leaving the work aspect of their lives behind. Some may be independently wealthy with the ability to live anywhere that they desire. Others are living on a fixed retirement income which varies from one person to another. When you think of places to retire in the United States, each state has something unique to offer. But when it comes to diversity and a large amount of selections, Californias sheer size makes it an attractive locale to research. Weve taken a look at the best retirement cities in California and have chosen them according to their suitability for retirees from a variety of backgrounds and circumstances. Here are the top 20 with a rundown of the features that make them so appealing to people who are looking forward to spending their golden years in the most suitable locale.

20. Modesto, California

19. Temecula, California

18. Fairfield, California

17. Orange, California

16. Berkely, California

15. Fresno, California

14. San Francisco, California

13. Sunnyvale, California

12. Ventura, California

11. Santa Rosa, California

10. Irvine, California

9. Sacramento, California

8. Pasadena, California

7. Carlsbad, California

6. Visalia, California

5. Burbank, California

4. Glendale, California

3. Torrence, California

2. Roseville, California

1. Thousand Oaks, California

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Eureka Has Some Of The Most Affordable Homes In California

If your ideal retirement locale is one without crowds, traffic, and pollution, consider small town Eureka with its population of 27,000. Located in Humboldt County on the Northern California coast, Eureka boasts beautiful scenery and a mild year-round climate. With its pretty Pacific beaches and towering redwood trees, Eureka is a haven for nature enthusiasts.

It also hosts an abundant stock of Victorian homes in the historic downtown district, great for those who are looking to restore an older home or who take pleasure in walking along picturesque streets to admire the architecture. Some of the cheapest real estate in California can be found in Chico. Since the median home price is $285,280, Eureka is among the affordable options in Northern California. Eureka rent prices run below the California average, with a median of $892 per month for a two-bedroom unit.

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