These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In California


We analyzed over 394 places in California to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

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When most people think of calling it quits on a career, they immediately think of a move to Florida.

But not everyone wants to spend their golden years in Florida; some of us want to stay close to friends and family and within the great state of California.

But where exactly in California? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.

To that end, we have tried to identify the places in California that are safe, affordable, and have plenty of things to keep you busy well into retirement.

What did we find after pouring through all the data? Let’s just say we hope folks in Maywood don’t mind us spreading the word. Here are our top ten places in the Golden State to retire:

  1. Maywood
  2. Cudahy
  3. Guadalupe
  4. Holtville
  5. Parlier
  6. Hawaiian Gardens
  7. Bell Gardens
  8. La Puente
  9. Lynwood
  10. Orange Cove

Why did Maywood take the top spot? And where are Los Angeles and San Diego? Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details.

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How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Golden State

To create our list of the best places in California to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Golden State with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.

This left us with 394 places from across the state.

For these 394, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • Low cost of living
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (As measured by population density)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport

We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 394, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Maywood, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.

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1. Maywood

Maywood, California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 27,703
Cost Of Living: 125
Distance to Closest Airport: 13 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,220
Maywood ranked 1 overall thanks to its 132 place rank for cost of living and 39 place safety rank.

2. Cudahy


Population 2014: 24,073
Cost Of Living: 113
Distance to Closest Airport: 13 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,715
Cudahy ranked 2 overall thanks to its 89 place rank for cost of living and 88 place safety rank.

3. Guadalupe

Guadalupe, California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,160
Cost Of Living: 106
Distance to Closest Airport: 134 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,089
Guadalupe ranked 3 overall thanks to its 71 place rank for cost of living and 26 place safety rank.

4. Holtville

Holtville, California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,067
Cost Of Living: 101
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,813
Holtville ranked 4 overall thanks to its 37 place rank for cost of living and 102 place safety rank.

5. Parlier


Population 2014: 14,750
Cost Of Living: 95
Distance to Closest Airport: 15 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,372
Parlier ranked 5 overall thanks to its 10 place rank for cost of living and 180 place safety rank.

6. Hawaiian Gardens

Hawaiian Gardens, California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 14,432
Cost Of Living: 125
Distance to Closest Airport: 20 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,649
Hawaiian Gardens ranked 6 overall thanks to its 132 place rank for cost of living and 76 place safety rank.

7. Bell Gardens


Population 2014: 42,712
Cost Of Living: 134
Distance to Closest Airport: 14 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,915
Bell Gardens ranked 7 overall thanks to its 160 place rank for cost of living and 120 place safety rank.

8. La Puente

La Puente, California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 40,342
Cost Of Living: 135
Distance to Closest Airport: 20 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,427
La Puente ranked 8 overall thanks to its 163 place rank for cost of living and 53 place safety rank.

9. Lynwood

Lynwood, California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 70,789
Cost Of Living: 127
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,578
Lynwood ranked 9 overall thanks to its 139 place rank for cost of living and 215 place safety rank.

10. Orange Cove

Orange Cove, California

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,473
Cost Of Living: 97
Distance to Closest Airport: 24 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,699
Orange Cove ranked 10 overall thanks to its 20 place rank for cost of living and 84 place safety rank.

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…

So there you have it, the best place to retire in California goes to Maywood.

If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:

  • Rancho Mirage
  • Los Gatos
  • Monterey

For more California reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In California

City Rank Population Cost Of Living Distane To Airport Crimes per 100k
Maywood 1 27,703 125 13 1,220
Cudahy 2 24,073 113 13 1,715
Guadalupe 3 7,160 106 134 1,089
Holtville 4 6,067 101 12 1,813
Parlier 5 14,750 95 15 2,372
Hawaiian Gardens 6 14,432 125 20 1,649
Bell Gardens 7 42,712 134 14 1,915
La Puente 8 40,342 135 20 1,427
Lynwood 9 70,789 127 11 2,578
Orange Cove 10 9,473 97 24 1,699
Imperial 11 15,782 108 12 323
Sanger 12 24,587 104 10 2,627
Bell 13 35,896 129 13 2,604
Imperial Beach 14 26,857 142 12 1,965
Lomita 15 20,539 168 11 2,103
Laguna Woods 16 16,302 124 31 760
Rialto 17 101,367 115 12 2,448
Norwalk 18 106,455 139 18 2,176
Baldwin Park 19 76,411 136 21 2,042
Paramount 20 54,813 124 14 3,004
Compton 21 97,663 119 10 3,837
Bellflower 22 77,521 142 16 2,471
Huntington Park 23 58,787 127 11 3,767
South Gate 24 95,515 130 12 3,342
San Fernando 25 24,050 134 23 2,000
Chula Vista 26 253,031 147 12 2,029
Placentia 27 51,860 177 18 1,569
East Palo Alto 28 28,920 155 13 2,413
Artesia 29 16,698 150 19 2,054
Monterey Park 30 60,966 172 17 1,853
Lompoc 31 43,045 119 127 2,339
Stanton 32 38,455 141 25 2,101
San Gabriel 33 40,173 187 20 1,588
La Habra 34 61,341 154 21 1,881
Pico Rivera 35 63,698 136 18 2,566
Reedley 36 24,858 105 19 2,651
Calexico 37 39,281 104 1 4,393
El Cajon 38 101,582 146 14 2,538
Lawndale 39 33,155 144 4 1,673
Diamond Bar 40 56,259 182 12 1,370
El Monte 41 115,243 144 23 2,209
Ridgecrest 42 28,282 99 108 2,079
Farmersville 43 10,675 93 43 2,032
Davis 44 66,093 173 12 2,328
Montebello 45 63,353 146 17 2,498
Alhambra 46 84,400 167 18 2,264
Cypress 47 48,748 172 22 1,647
Santa Ana 48 331,266 144 27 2,126
Sacramento 49 476,075 113 11 3,790
Lakewood 50 80,926 156 17 2,396
La Mirada 51 49,038 158 23 1,476
Glendale 52 195,380 189 18 1,668
La Palma 53 15,791 187 22 1,640
Carson 54 92,475 143 11 2,654
Covina 55 48,429 147 16 2,515
Grand Terrace 56 12,252 122 16 2,171
Newman 57 10,553 105 49 1,724
Downey 58 113,082 152 15 2,810
Hercules 59 24,596 149 21 1,272
Aliso Viejo 60 49,437 170 33 623
Santee 61 55,435 148 14 1,666
Soledad 62 26,008 117 72 1,095
Rosemead 63 54,457 155 20 2,447
Grover Beach 64 13,337 145 124 2,819
San Pablo 65 29,516 119 17 4,753
Citrus Heights 66 84,678 117 16 3,637
La Mesa 67 58,239 157 10 3,076
Fillmore 68 15,203 132 42 1,105
Azusa 69 47,420 133 18 2,593
Colton 70 53,129 101 15 3,222
Corona 71 157,395 149 13 2,294
San Ramon 72 73,826 229 15 1,044
Corcoran 73 23,634 97 48 1,599
Selma 74 23,808 103 15 4,788
Kerman 75 14,110 104 19 3,515
Anaheim 76 342,973 156 16 2,710
Ontario 77 166,892 127 1 3,046
Kingsburg 78 11,582 113 19 3,039
Albany 79 19,020 212 12 2,676
Lindsay 80 12,688 97 52 2,238
Santa Paula 81 29,990 137 47 1,773
Mission Viejo 82 95,246 186 31 981
West Covina 83 107,441 150 17 2,845
South Pasadena 84 25,914 240 18 1,948
Orange 85 138,980 176 23 1,714
Walnut 86 29,822 202 14 1,083
Gonzales 87 8,336 113 64 1,475
Santa Maria 88 101,468 127 133 3,433
Lake Forest 89 78,940 182 28 995
Long Beach 90 468,594 158 17 3,146
South San Francisco 91 65,537 197 2 2,181
Tustin 92 77,765 183 25 1,913
West Hollywood 93 35,053 187 10 4,541
Rancho Santa Margarita 94 48,758 172 29 471
Yorba Linda 95 66,335 211 15 1,126
Palos Verdes Estates 96 13,568 398 10 928
Woodlake 97 7,452 98 42 2,039
Riverside 98 313,041 122 14 3,593
Madera 99 62,559 103 23 3,358
Inglewood 100 111,133 136 3 3,170
Lincoln 101 44,397 143 20 1,081
Chino Hills 102 76,187 174 10 1,432
Twentynine Palms 103 25,601 87 33 1,417
Elk Grove 104 158,455 131 22 2,331
Rocklin 105 59,002 145 19 1,845
Port Hueneme 106 21,949 130 47 1,986
La Verne 107 31,592 166 10 2,741
Mcfarland 108 12,784 94 80 2,307
West Sacramento 109 49,946 117 10 3,117
Buena Park 110 82,191 156 23 2,733
Fowler 111 5,908 111 10 3,503
Rancho Palos Verdes 112 42,282 277 13 1,173
Alameda 113 75,763 209 2 2,465
Atascadero 114 28,792 148 104 1,806
Roseville 115 124,250 140 15 2,626
Duarte 116 21,676 146 21 1,873
Hollister 117 36,067 146 45 1,757
Vista 118 96,181 151 31 2,106
Solvang 119 5,345 189 108 1,683
Colusa 120 5,962 112 41 1,912
San Bernardino 121 213,044 98 18 5,335
South El Monte 122 20,375 142 21 3,764
Ione 123 7,318 112 42 901
Westminster 124 91,255 166 27 2,634
Bakersfield 125 358,700 104 103 4,536
Canyon Lake 126 10,810 139 31 1,304
Moraga 127 16,549 279 10 954
Fullerton 128 137,945 171 22 2,569
Solana Beach 129 13,146 255 18 1,597
Sierra Madre 130 11,060 230 25 949
Cotati 131 7,347 146 49 1,401
Newark 132 43,635 170 11 2,475
San Marcos 133 87,808 156 27 1,687
San Dimas 134 33,896 160 12 2,065
Santa Clarita 135 179,030 148 32 1,532
Fountain Valley 136 56,440 194 30 1,964
Dublin 137 49,694 190 17 1,746
Taft 138 9,063 101 100 3,552
Laguna Hills 139 30,768 191 32 1,579
Oakley 140 37,391 129 34 1,374
Murrieta 141 106,326 136 40 1,435
Escondido 142 147,603 141 28 2,396
Laguna Niguel 143 64,299 211 36 975
Chowchilla 144 18,411 98 36 2,286
Rohnert Park 145 41,352 141 50 2,164
Brawley 146 25,478 97 21 4,274
Moreno Valley 147 198,872 111 24 3,516
Berkeley 148 115,688 231 10 4,782
Williams 149 5,166 104 42 1,355
Whittier 150 86,400 157 22 2,877
Clayton 151 11,328 204 21 1,015
Watsonville 152 52,085 141 31 3,367
Mountain View 153 76,741 259 20 2,298
Arroyo Grande 154 17,536 176 123 2,326
Indio 155 82,539 114 16 3,242
Huntington Beach 156 195,686 202 28 2,365
Signal Hill 157 11,245 142 16 4,802
Folsom 158 73,334 157 23 1,887
Livingston 159 13,461 104 66 2,191
Danville 160 42,891 266 15 1,063
Simi Valley 161 125,699 162 29 1,398
Mendota 162 11,360 98 36 3,160
Hawthorne 163 85,889 151 3 3,779
Rolling Hills Estates 164 8,184 307 12 1,478
Orinda 165 18,390 314 11 1,038
Banning 166 30,281 104 23 2,466
Huron 167 6,777 105 44 3,202
Eastvale 168 55,298 153 6 1,786
Riverbank 169 23,310 110 59 3,071
Fontana 170 201,355 121 8 2,195
Napa 171 78,511 157 40 1,992
Menlo Park 172 32,792 368 14 1,881
Richmond 173 106,469 120 17 4,812
Pasadena 174 139,065 194 21 2,777
Dana Point 175 33,861 222 41 1,577
Yucca Valley 176 21,083 96 20 2,883
Santa Clara 177 119,525 212 2 2,869
Dinuba 178 22,828 100 23 4,906
Eureka 179 27,039 113 127 8,583
Waterford 180 8,579 104 67 2,494
Arcadia 181 57,251 249 24 2,129
Loma Linda 182 23,648 129 20 3,086
Poway 183 49,040 181 20 1,031
Dixon 184 18,718 131 21 2,569
Los Altos Hills 185 8,244 703 11 909
Winters 186 6,843 120 23 2,571
Moorpark 187 35,033 175 35 902
Coachella 188 42,576 96 22 3,095
Seaside 189 33,729 141 51 1,847
Avenal 190 14,553 105 55 1,181
Ceres 191 46,570 105 55 3,712
Fortuna 192 11,863 114 139 4,459
Highland 193 54,032 115 25 2,896
Exeter 194 10,468 107 46 3,362
Burlingame 195 29,618 371 2 2,690
San Marino 196 13,294 433 20 1,700
Hughson 197 6,895 121 60 2,233
Fairfax 198 7,546 208 27 1,590
Windsor 199 27,113 154 65 1,254
Yucaipa 200 52,406 122 31 2,001
Fort Bragg 201 7,274 130 129 3,890
Morgan Hill 202 39,875 198 22 1,697
Cerritos 203 49,599 189 20 3,248
Red Bluff 204 14,069 107 107 7,392
Sonoma 205 10,818 172 41 1,848
Pittsburg 206 65,761 121 26 3,857
Irvine 207 229,850 215 27 1,376
Lemon Grove 208 25,963 137 9 2,468
Pleasanton 209 73,164 237 18 1,783
Encinitas 210 61,008 224 22 1,658
Hanford 211 54,523 99 31 3,965
Rancho Cordova 212 67,167 119 20 2,901
Porterville 213 54,949 100 62 2,478
Camarillo 214 65,985 172 40 1,571
San Bruno 215 42,090 203 3 2,765
Fresno 216 506,132 105 4 4,639
Mill Valley 217 14,178 287 21 1,403
Lemoore 218 24,788 104 33 3,142
Glendora 219 50,855 160 15 2,570
Los Angeles 220 3,862,210 164 5 2,649
Visalia 221 126,942 106 37 3,371
Sunnyvale 222 145,921 253 5 1,729
Lodi 223 63,158 115 42 3,776
Clovis 224 98,815 124 4 3,319
San Luis Obispo 225 45,911 185 117 3,657
Marysville 226 12,144 101 31 4,883
Gustine 227 5,610 97 51 3,475
Arvin 228 20,028 90 89 3,295
Orland 229 7,451 104 79 1,919
Palo Alto 230 65,998 415 12 2,057
Coalinga 231 17,235 96 56 2,529
Oceanside 232 171,400 146 34 2,704
American Canyon 233 20,089 138 31 3,101
Villa Park 234 5,911 300 20 1,505
Pinole 235 18,754 141 20 3,737
Lincoln 236 44,397 143 49 1,081
Petaluma 237 58,912 165 42 2,162
Agoura Hills 238 20,630 216 24 1,216
Livermore 239 83,901 181 24 2,070
Vallejo 240 118,078 116 26 5,006
Wildomar 241 33,601 127 36 1,752
Tiburon 242 9,100 424 17 1,186
Delano 243 52,883 96 74 3,216
Los Banos 244 36,626 105 63 2,820
Menifee 245 81,658 126 34 1,969
Oxnard 246 201,744 142 48 3,601
Calabasas 247 23,956 250 19 1,131
Salinas 248 154,077 128 49 4,039
Manhattan Beach 249 35,534 388 3 2,574
Anderson 250 10,066 105 126 7,083
Arcata 251 17,679 124 121 4,412
Atherton 252 7,034 751 14 1,108
Perris 253 71,377 108 28 2,921
Martinez 254 36,876 153 19 2,839
Morro Bay 255 10,383 166 116 2,735
Tracy 256 84,573 139 36 2,827
San Mateo 257 100,114 233 5 2,171
Rancho Cucamonga 258 170,170 149 5 2,321
Hesperia 259 91,757 103 28 2,832
Torrance 260 147,181 198 8 1,887
Palm Desert 261 49,953 133 10 4,640
San Clemente 262 64,673 222 41 1,168
Lafayette 263 24,685 300 12 1,847
Brentwood 264 54,062 152 31 2,500
Truckee 265 16,191 168 24 1,124
Monrovia 266 37,035 175 23 2,065
Brea 267 40,443 182 17 2,910
Rio Vista 268 7,646 122 36 2,014
Redding 269 90,725 115 127 4,997
Hemet 270 81,203 103 28 4,663
Patterson 271 20,736 114 43 3,211
Benicia 272 27,450 168 24 1,857
Ripon 273 14,645 136 50 1,884
Carpinteria 274 13,323 212 69 1,621
Beaumont 275 39,620 114 25 2,637
Montclair 276 37,685 129 5 4,553
Vacaville 277 93,994 134 31 3,037
Gridley 278 6,566 97 46 3,883
Carlsbad 279 109,296 198 27 1,770
Modesto 280 205,984 109 54 5,287
Atwater 281 28,686 105 62 4,204
Manteca 282 70,693 125 48 3,219
Escalon 283 7,252 119 58 2,495
San Leandro 284 87,159 153 3 4,733
Redondo Beach 285 67,511 224 6 2,377
Concord 286 125,017 151 21 4,528
Costa Mesa 287 111,635 191 32 3,386
Thousand Oaks 288 128,126 194 32 1,347
La Habra Heights 289 5,398 227 21 1,055
Temecula 290 104,955 142 42 2,510
Los Alamitos 291 11,598 235 22 1,896
Stockton 292 297,223 106 51 5,765
Pleasant Hill 293 33,842 184 17 5,312
Sebastopol 294 7,535 192 57 1,778
Pomona 295 151,142 127 9 3,427
Pacific Grove 296 15,365 207 51 2,154
San Juan Capistrano 297 35,562 193 38 1,251
El Cerrito 298 24,136 138 14 4,155
Belmont 299 26,503 283 8 1,539
Apple Valley 300 70,561 103 39 2,644
Oakland 301 402,339 156 3 7,773
Antioch 302 105,630 127 29 4,770
El Segundo 303 16,839 237 1 3,480
Adelanto 304 31,773 90 37 3,081
El Cerrito 305 24,136 138 15 4,155
Santa Cruz 306 62,045 199 16 6,114
Cloverdale 307 8,692 135 77 2,139
Auburn 308 13,690 137 30 2,476
Paradise 309 26,246 104 73 2,164
Merced 310 80,490 104 55 3,978
Novato 311 53,451 190 30 1,590
Turlock 312 69,875 114 59 4,124
Tulare 313 60,663 100 44 4,139
Paradise 314 26,246 104 78 2,164
Santa Rosa 315 170,782 149 56 2,626
Sausalito 316 7,043 253 17 3,592
San Diego 317 1,341,510 164 6 2,387
Commerce 318 12,975 127 15 8,030
Lake Elsinore 319 56,243 114 29 3,182
Scotts Valley 320 11,711 196 21 2,399
Cupertino 321 59,787 340 7 1,782
Palmdale 322 155,810 108 46 2,605
Victorville 323 119,603 95 35 4,193
Hermosa Beach 324 19,725 296 5 2,940
Los Altos 325 29,762 463 9 1,105
Goleta 326 30,333 208 89 1,506
Capitola 327 10,043 183 26 6,541
San Jacinto 328 45,497 105 27 4,343
Upland 329 75,089 160 5 3,109
Susanville 330 16,537 106 78 2,551
Willows 331 6,118 98 65 3,089
Walnut Creek 332 65,923 205 15 3,812
El Centro 333 43,268 102 8 5,227
Firebaugh 334 7,935 97 41 4,713
Calistoga 335 5,244 166 54 1,449
Indian Wells 336 5,089 203 13 2,475
Seal Beach 337 24,477 225 23 2,124
Piedmont 338 10,957 396 7 2,190
Lancaster 339 159,092 105 53 2,861
La Quinta 340 38,774 143 18 3,639
San Rafael 341 58,588 221 23 3,169
Newport Beach 342 86,594 371 35 2,296
Mountain View 343 76,741 259 8 2,298
San Francisco 344 829,072 243 36 6,254
Woodland 345 56,390 122 8 3,642
Pacifica 346 38,283 202 5 1,904
South Lake Tahoe 347 21,394 135 40 2,935
Hillsborough 348 11,148 719 4 932
Oakdale 349 21,260 119 65 4,068
Calimesa 350 8,143 114 31 3,389
Fairfield 351 107,983 128 38 4,067
Placerville 352 10,415 121 42 3,168
Mammoth Lakes 353 8,154 138 70 1,704
Redlands 354 69,787 133 24 4,275
San Jose 355 986,320 197 7 2,820
Milpitas 356 69,346 194 5 3,234
Chino 357 80,810 144 6 2,477
Palm Springs 358 45,827 123 2 6,583
Santa Cruz 359 62,045 199 27 6,114
Campbell 360 40,327 226 5 3,642
Tehachapi 361 13,818 107 82 2,605
Marina 362 20,198 147 47 2,579
Emeryville 363 10,497 146 9 16,385
St. Helena 364 5,895 236 49 1,051
Santa Fe Springs 365 16,859 143 19 7,105
Shafter 366 17,261 93 94 2,943
Pismo Beach 367 7,789 192 124 5,302
Ojai 368 7,558 182 59 1,720
Santa Monica 369 91,619 295 6 3,671
Yreka 370 7,675 98 46 4,690
Clearlake 371 15,121 93 58 5,145
Saratoga 372 30,627 431 8 1,002
Ukiah 373 15,956 124 92 4,293
Blythe 374 20,101 91 68 4,158
Barstow 375 23,110 88 64 4,318
Laguna Beach 376 23,114 353 36 2,275
Healdsburg 377 11,466 181 68 2,241
Fremont 378 221,654 206 9 1,892
Chico 379 87,517 123 74 4,059
Grass Valley 380 12,861 135 46 6,103
Oroville 381 16,015 101 55 6,774
Coronado 382 24,333 288 5 2,309
Claremont 383 35,569 171 8 2,507
Santa Barbara 384 89,669 247 80 3,001
Corning 385 7,617 107 90 4,516
Desert Hot Springs 386 27,678 96 9 4,798
Big Bear Lake 387 5,104 125 36 5,995
Hayward 388 149,596 149 8 3,661
Norco 389 27,143 153 9 2,534
Malibu 390 12,830 461 22 2,626
Beverly Hills 391 34,536 578 9 3,422
Monterey 392 28,053 186 52 4,053
Los Gatos 393 30,163 329 9 2,118
Rancho Mirage 394 17,634 160 6 4,003

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