When you think of retirement, where do you envision yourself to live? Do you find yourself soaking up the sun on sandy beaches? Reading on a porch overlooking mountain ranges? Or do you want to live a more fast-paced lifestyle in bustling urban centers?
Wherever you pick, you know one thing: you will not want to be living in a boring town with nothing to do.
Retirement in America is no longer about spending years huddled up at home getting older, but rather about exploring life and spending quality time with family and friends. Retirement is actually an extremely social time for many older Americans.
So when you plan your future long-term vacation, how do you know which cities are the best for retirement? If you are living in large cities like New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco, you might find it hard to afford on your pension.
You also may want to find a city that is filled with many other retired families because what’s the use of being retired if everyone you want to socialize with is too busy to hang out?
When people think of glamorized retirement states, many first think of Florida. But what about other states, what about California? It is one of America’s most idealized states because of the perfect weather, activities, and people. So why not think of California as a top destination for your retirement?
When you stop and think about, California has it all. It has mountains and trails, beaches and surfing, and cities with a seal or two. What else could you possibly want?
The best of the best, of course.
Luckily, we have figured out just which cities in California are best for retirement. Here are the top 10 best cities for retirement in California for 2019:
We analyzed 348 places in California to bring you the best of the best. After crunching the numbers, we found just which city came in first: San Marino.
San Marino reigned over the rest because of its unparalleled retirement factors: great weather, great people, and most importantly, great location.
No matter where you end up California, you will likely love the environment and location.
Interested to see how we crunched the numbers? Keep reading for a detailed look at our top 10 best cities for retirement in California and to learn more about methodology.
For California state reading:
- 10 Best Places To Live In California
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In California
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In California
- Best Places To Retire In America
How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Golden State for 2019
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 — 1481 cities and towns.
We then narrowed it down to places with at least 10,000 people that weren’t townships. This left us with 348 places from across the state.
- Low cost of living as measured by rent
- Low crime
- Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
- Nice weather
- Distance to the closest international airport
- Other retirees (High median age)
We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 348, with the lowest number being the best.
Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case San Marino, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.
San Marino is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Incorporated on April 12, 1913, the city was designed by its founders to be uniquely residential, with expansive properties surrounded by beautiful gardens, wide streets, and well maintained parkways. The city is located in the San Rafael Hills. The population was 13,147 at the 2010 census.
Palm Springs is a desert resort city in Riverside County, California, United States, within the Coachella Valley. It is located approximately 55mi east of San Bernardino, 107mi east of Los Angeles, 123mi northeast of San Diego, and 268mi west of Phoenix, Arizona. The population was 44,552 as of the 2010 census. Palm Springs covers approximately 94 square miles, making it the largest city in the county by land area.
Auburn is a city in and the county seat of Placer County, California. Its population was 13,330 during the 2010 census. Auburn is known for its California Gold Rush history, and is registered as a California Historical Landmark.
Sierra Madre is a city in Los Angeles County, California whose population was 10,917 at the 2010 U.S. Census, up from 10,580 at the time of the 2000 U.S. Census. The city is located in the foothills of the San Gabriel Valley below the southern edge of the Angeles National Forest. Pasadena and Altadena are to its west, with Arcadia to its south and east. Sierra Madre is known as “Wisteria City”, and its city seal is decorated with a drawing of the now widely known 500-foot vine. It is also called the “Village of the Foothills” and was an All-America City in 2007.
Moraga is a suburban incorporated town located in Contra Costa County, California, United States, in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is named in honor of Joaquin Moraga, whose grandfather was Jos Joaquin Moraga, second in command to Juan Bautista de Anza. As of 2010, Moraga had a total population of 16,016people.
Torrance is a U.S. city in the South Bay region of Los Angeles County, California. Torrance has 1.5 miles of beaches on the Pacific Ocean. Torrance has a moderate year-round climate with warm temperatures, sea breezes, low humidity and an average rainfall of 12.55inches per year.
Alameda is a city in Alameda County, California, United States. It is located on Alameda Island and Bay Farm Island, and is adjacent to and south of Oakland and east of San Francisco across the San Francisco Bay. Bay Farm Island, a portion of which is also known as “Harbor Bay Isle”, is not actually an island, and is part of the mainland adjacent to the Oakland International Airport. The city’s estimated 2017 population was 79,928. Alameda is a charter city, rather than a general law city, allowing the city to provide for any form of government. Alameda became a charter city and adopted a council-manager government in 1916, which it retains to the present.
Saratoga is a city in Santa Clara County, California, United States. It is located on the west side of the Santa Clara Valley, directly west of San Jose, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The population was 29,926 at the 2010 census. Located on the Western edge of the Silicon Valley, Saratoga is known locally for its suburban small-town feel, wineries, and high-end restaurants. Major attractions of Saratoga include Villa Montalvo, Hakone Gardens, and the Mountain Winery.
Imperial is a city in Imperial County, California. Imperial is located 4 miles north of El Centro. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 14,758. It is part of the El Centro metropolitan area. Nearby recreation facilities transform the desert into a popular Valley tourist destination due to availability of activities. Three year-round golf courses are within minutes of Imperial. The sand dunes provide a place for campers and dune buggy enthusiasts. This region is well known for its abundance of bird species such as dove, quail, ducks, pheasant and geese.
Claremont is a city on the eastern edge of Los Angeles County, California, United States, 30.3 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. It is in the eastern San Gabriel Valley, at the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, and has a population, as of the 2015 United States Census estimate, of 36,283 people.
Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire In California Yet…
So there you have it, the best place to retire in California goes to San Marino.
If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:
- Los Banos
For more California reading, check out:
- 30 Things To Know About Moving To California
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In California
- 10 Safest Places In California
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Retire In California
|22||Rancho Palos Verdes||42,412|
|26||South San Francisco||66,587|
|35||South Lake Tahoe||21,506|
|45||Palos Verdes Estates||13,582|