15 Best Places to Retire in California in 2022

From the good food, rich culture, and thriving economy, to the boisterous urban lifestyle, California is a mix of many things. Above all, it is one of the best places to live and enjoy a good life in America.

California is home away from home for visitors. The Golden State has something for everyone, especially retirees. That is why in our update today, we shall highlight the Best Places to Retire in California in 2022.

The beautiful state of California is home to thriving cities that are perfect for those who are looking to maximize their newfound freedom in retirement and don’t want to slow down.

We have identified the top 10 California cities for retirees on our platform who are dreaming about their retirement in California.

Now, you can finally lead the life you have always dreamed of thanks to all those years you worked indoors.

Where do most Californians Retire?

When searching for the best places to retire in California, we equally receive search queries of people asking where do most Californians retire?

In data got from population data analysts, Sacramento remains a popular hub for retirees. This is mainly because of the expanding economy and charming nature of the city.

While the cost of living might be moderately high, the city presents a thriving environment for retirees to experience a multi-cultural environment. It equally boasts of the medical care service in the country.

Thinking of retiring in Pennsylvania? Check out the 10 Best Places to Retire in Pennsylvania in 2022

15 Best Places to Retire in California in 2022

The best part of retiring in California is that you can choose from a variety of travel adventures no matter where you live.

In terms of glamorized retirement states, many people think of Florida, but when you stop and think about it, California has it all. It has mountains and trails, beaches and surfing, and even cities with seals. It is among America’s most idealized states.

California does not tax Social Security income, but other forms of retirement income are subject to tax, so it doesn’t rank highly in tax friendliness. But despite the high cost of living in California, people can retire comfortably.

From our list, you can easily cull out the best place to retire in California for yourself.

You Can Also Check Out; 10 Best Islands in the World to Retire on in 2022

1. San Diego

With its warm year-round climate and access to all the amenities you could need, San Diego is one of the top places to retire. You can choose from 55-plus communities, swanky condos, or a house that fits your lifestyle.

  • Cost of Living for Retirees: 44% Above national average
  • Population Per Capita Income: $41,112
  • Tax Rating for Retirees: Unfriendly Tax system
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2. Redondo Beach  

Generally, beach living is more expensive, and Redondo Beach is no exception. But you’ll find shopping, dining, and plenty of cultures here. What makes Redondo Beach one of the Best Places to Retire in California, however, is its private slip harbor, which makes it an excellent choice for boaters.

  • Cost of Living for Retirees: 75% above national average
  • Population Per Capita Income: $62,528
  • Tax Rating for Retirees: Not tax friendly.

3. Los Gatos

The city of Los Gatos is in a region known as the “South Bay” of California and offers many retirement-friendly amenities. The city is easily accessible to healthcare and has a mild climate, as well as many recreational options.

  • Cost of Living for Retirees: 138% above the national average.
  • Population Per Capita Income: $87,111
  • Tax Rating for Retirees: Not tax friendly. 

4. Sacramento

Sacramento is one of the most affordable cities in California for boomers. It boasts a rich history, as well as cobblestone streets and historic buildings. You’ll also get all the conveniences of suburban life, such as dining, shopping, and transportation.

  • Cost of Living for Retirees: 17% above national average
  • Population Per Capita Income: $31,956 
  • Tax Rating for Retirees: Not tax friendly

5. Santa Clarita

Santa Clarita, as well as other west coast retirement cities, is known for its history and culture. It’s located just a short drive from Los Angeles but you can find everything you need in town. We can’t have a complete list of Best Places to Retire in California if we fail to mention Santa Clarita.

  • Cost of Living for Retirees: 44% above national average
  • Population Per Capita Income: $39,956 
  • Tax Rating for Retirees: Not tax friendly 

6. Los Angeles

Various articles have been written about the “City of Dreams,” mostly because of its entertainment industry. But if you’re looking for a place to retire, California’s most popular city is worth considering. If you have relatives elsewhere, they’d only be a short flight away. Additionally, Los Angeles does not have to be an urban jungle. There are many lovely, quaint neighborhoods that offer a more relaxing atmosphere.

  • Cost of Living for Retirees: 43% above the national average
  • Population Per Capita Income: $34,156 
  • Tax Rating for Retirees: Not tax friendly 

7. Newport Beach

If you prefer beachfront living, then Newport Beach will probably be one of the most affordable options. Newport Beach is often mentioned as one of the top places to retire in California based on its access to healthcare and activities.

  • Cost of Living for Retirees: 35% above national average
  • Population Per Capita Income: $95,404
  • Tax Rating for Retirees: Not tax friendly 

8. Santa Barbara

There are many retirement communities in California that are located along the coasts, such as Santa Barbara, which has plenty of history and culture as well as beautiful beaches. Many of the city’s buildings have Spanish influences.

  • Cost of Living for Retirees: 47% above national average
  • Population Per Capita Income: $45,404
  • Tax Rating for Retirees: Not tax friendly 
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9. San Luis Obispo

Another city rich with Spanish architecture is San Luis Obispo. But its year-round mild weather, coastal location, and stunning views make it a top retirement destination in California.

  • Cost of Living for Retirees: 59% above national average
  • Population Per Capita Income: $37,233
  • Tax Rating for Retirees: Not tax friendly 

10. Salinas

It’s pretty much impossible to get bored in Salinas thanks to its massive farming industry, which means miles of greenery. You can also find horse farms and vineyards to add to the overall aesthetic. The mild climate means there are plenty of outdoor events throughout the year, so you’re never alone.

  • Cost of Living for Retirees: 17% above national average
  • Population Per Capita Income: $21,233
  • Tax Rating for Retirees: Relatively tax friendly 

11. Visalia

It has a low cost of living than some other California cities, so it’s a perfect city for those looking for a suburban vibe. There are parks, shops, and restaurants all around, so you’ll have all the amenities you need.

  • Cost of Living for Retirees: 12% above national average
  • Population Per Capita Income: $27,233
  • Tax Rating for Retirees:Moderately tax friendly 

12. Palm Springs

Palm Springs is a popular retirement destination because it can be more affordable than Los Angeles. For that reason, it has a population of older adults that is higher than average, which makes it an excellent retirement town in Southern California. There are plenty of outdoor activities and cultural events in Palm Springs for retirees, who can enjoy a relaxed lifestyle with a median home price of $420,000 (well below California’s median home price of $499,000).

  • Cost of Living for Retirees: 22% above national average
  • Population Per Capita Income: $45,233
  • Tax Rating for Retirees:Moderately tax friendly 

13. Costa Mesa

Costa Mesa has a warm climate throughout the year, and close proximity to beaches make it one of the most popular retirement communities in California. Although living costs are high, there are some affordable housing options available, including several 55-plus communities. 

  • Cost of Living for Retirees: 22% above national average
  • Population Per Capita Income: $35,233
  • Tax Rating for Retirees: Moderately tax friendly 

14. San Jose

Costa Mesa has a warm climate throughout the year, and close proximity to beaches makes it one of the most popular retirement communities in California. Although living costs are high, there are some affordable housing options available, including several 55-plus communities.

  • Cost of Living for Retirees: 45% above national average
  • Population Per Capita Income: $38,955
  • Tax Rating for Retirees: Moderately tax friendly

15. Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz lies at the northern end of the gorgeous Monterey Bay, and it’s a great city with some great historical Mission-style buildings with a Spanish flair. The area is very enchanting, especially because of its wonderful coastlines and its spectacular natural features. Those who enjoy spending time outdoors and would prefer to avoid urban living should consider retiring here.

  • Cost of Living for Retirees: 45% above national average
  • Population Per Capita Income: $35,955
  • Tax Rating for Retirees: Relatively tax friendly 
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Affordable Places to Retire in California

In addition to the list above, we have narrowed down our search to affordable places to retire in Carlifornia. In Northern California, Sacramento Is One of the Cheapest Places to Live.

Redding Is One of the Best Places to Live. Eureka Has Some of the Most Affordable Homes in California. Rio Vista Has a Low Cost of Living and a California Small Town Feel.

Conclusion

This list lists only some of the best places where you could consider retiring if you plan to move to California. California isn’t the cheapest state to live in, either when it comes to mortgages or rentals. Despite its disadvantages, it makes up for that by offering an outstanding quality of life. It offers a variety of breathtaking destinations and impressive landmarks to enjoy – from historical landmarks and culturally diverse cities to some of the world’s most stunning natural sights and coastlines.

California could be the perfect retirement and rejuvenation spot for anyone who enjoys great weather, relaxation, history, and natural beauty.

Benefits of Retiring in California

  • The cost of living in California is generally higher than the rest of the country, which means the income is as well. For seniors wishing to remain employed in retirement, this is the place to be. 
  • Although California residents face a heavy tax burden, all Social Security benefit payments to retired people are tax-exempt. Furthermore, most military disability payments are also tax-exempt.
  • If you’re in the mood for traditional Bollywood entertainment, Japanese sashimi for dinner, or French pastries for breakfast, you can find it in California. Culture abounds in the state, attracting visitors from all over the world.
  • California has an acclaimed agriculture industry, fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat can be found in abundance there. Farmers markets are readily available, so seniors can purchase the freshest foods.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Where is the most affordable place to retire in California?

Sacramento presents a rather cheap affordable lifestyle for retirees in California. In addition to Sacramento, Eureka equally has very affordable homes.

Is there a good place to retire in California?

San Diego is an ideal place to enjoy sunsets over the Pacific Ocean as you stroll along the California coastline. For people who prefer a more active beach retirement, there is the opportunity to snorkel and scuba dive at La Jolla Cove or to surf at Swami’s Beach.

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