California – Retirement Guide

California   Retirement Guide

Top Retirement Cities in California: 

Eureka Palm Springs | San Diego | San Luis Obispo

At a glance, California appears an ideal locale in which to settle down for retirement: the weather is stunning in most regions, miles of palm-fringed Pacific coastline beckon, outdoor activities like hiking, birding and biking rival anywhere in the nation. But a closer look shows a more complicated picture.

The state’s average cost of living stretches nearly a third higher than the national average, the median home cost is over $330,000 and the state income tax on top earners (over $1 million annually) is a whopping 13.3%. That said, the state also lays claim to the largest number of retirees in the nation according to census data and the state does not tax Social Security payments.

Whether individuals are relocating there, or simply retiring close to home, it does remain a haven for many retirees. Thankfully, not every town is as expensive as the quaint streets and sunny beaches of Santa Barbara, where the median home price is more than $735,000. Indeed, there are values to be had in towns like San Diego, also based along a jaw-dropping stretch of warm sands.

Pros: Beautiful weather, excellent outdoor activities, vibrant culture in urban areas
Con: High top state income rate of 13.3%

At a Glance:
Best For: Sun seekers
Population: 38,041,430
Cost of Living: 35% higher than national average
Median Home Cost: $ 330,400
Unemployment: 9.8%
Top State Income Tax: 13.3%

We’ve sussed out locations that will be attractive to retirees for many reasons, including a decent cost of living, gorgeous environs — from deserts to mountains and beaches, a wealth of cultural activities, top-notch universities and stunning golf courses.

Top Retirement Cities in California:  Eureka Palm Springs | San Diego | San Luis Obispo

Photo by Alexis Fam Photography via Flickr. All statistics were up to date as of publication. See these sources for the most current data.