Top Places to Retire in California

Top Places to Retire in California

Looking to make a big, permanent move in sunny California? We’ve all dreamed about retiring on the beach, waking up to the waves and dining out under the light of a beautiful sunset night after night. But there are several other cities in this Golden State that are perfectly well suited for your golden years, depending on your personal interests and budget.

San Diego – For the retiree who plans to get out there and take advantage of the beautiful weather, this city is for you! Not only is it a prime location, but there is so much to see and do! With miles of beaches, several different districts within the city, sporting stadiums, museums, parks, a strong tie to the arts, and several other attractions, this city has the perfect mix of everything all at your fingertips. There are thousands of popular restaurants, several different wineries and breweries, as well as more family friendly places to take the visiting grandkids.

The cost of living is over 40% higher than the average American city, but it’s a great option for those who can afford to live amongst the city’s large population of almost a half million, about 10% of which are retirees.

Eureka  - For the outdoor enthusiast who wants to be a bit further away from it all and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature with the familiar elements of home, Eureka is the place. A more sleepy town nestled in between several beautiful national forests and state parks, it caters to the more laid back retiree who enjoys hiking, bird watching or fishing. The weather usually hovers around 50-60 degrees year round, and the town also features some of the most beautiful Victorian homes on the West Coast.

It’s a much smaller population, with around 30,000, but as a result, the median home cost is in the low $200,000s.

San Luis Obispo – Much cheaper than Santa Barbara, the more popular alternative, this community has quite a bit to offer. Just a few miles from the beach, and close to other highly trafficked locations along the Central Coast, this city has a cute little downtown, perfect for shopping and enjoying a bite out to eat. Very citizen-minded, it was one of the forerunners in placing a public ban on smoking. Of course, there is lots more to do a little further outside the town, with plenty of wine tasting, golf courses, hiking trails and even the historic Hearst Castle nearby.

The population is still small, but growing more and more popular with retirees every year, with the average home costing around $450,000.

Concord – This destination features high health care coverage, and is still very close to San Francisco for those who want to be near the city by the bay. A much more intimate community with a high population of people over 60, and 77 golf courses in the metropolitan area, it’s the Goldilocks fit for the retiree who isn’t too, too active, but also isn’t ready to settle down either. Close to public transportation and home to a plethora of farmers markets and the Concord Jazz Festival, this city has quite a bit to offer its population of a little over 100,000.

Average housing prices hover around the low to mid $400,000 range.


Photosource:, CNaene