7 of the Best Places to Retire in California

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It’s never too early to start thinking about your retirement. Although it’s a while away, there’s plenty to do right now: visit places that look promising, assess real estate prices, and see if your favorite cities are affordable.

California has become prohibitively expensive for many people, and yet there are still plenty of reasons to dream of California. The pleasant climate, sophisticated cities, stunning landscapes and laid-back lifestyle still make the state a great place to retire – if you can afford it.

Here’s a rundown, in no particular order, of some of the best cities in the Golden State for retirees.

San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, California
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San Luis Obispo, on California’s beautiful central coast, is a city of about 47,000 people, according to the United States Census Bureau.

Lifelong learners will appreciate the presence of the famous California Polytechnic State University and its open courseswhich can be enjoyed by community members.

California.comwhich covers state attractions, counts the city as a favorite retirement town: “SLO is a heavenly getaway with plenty of places to shop, lots of outdoor recreation, and restaurants and bars high quality wine.”

None of this is cheap. The price of a typical SLO home is around $950,000, according to Zillow.


Redding, California
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If San Luis Obispo is too wealthy for your liking, consider Redding where, Zillow says, the typical home value is around $400,000. Compared to the state’s median home value of around $750,000, that’s relatively affordable.

Its Northern California location makes Redding a good spot for outdoor-loving retirees whose idea of ​​paradise understand golf, fishing and hiking.

Continued: Find out the most affordable places to retire in “10 Places Where Social Security Offers the Best Standard of Living.”

Palm Springs

Palm Springs, California
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Palm Springs— or about a third of the population is 65 or older — and other nearby Sonoran Desert towns are magnets for snowbirds, which swell local populations in the winter.

Many retirees make Palm Springs their year-round home despite the summer heat that hit well above 100 degrees. In January, average temperatures are a comfortable 59 degrees Fahrenheit.

Continued: Find other nice places to warm your bones, check out “10 Great Hot and Sunny Places to Retire in the USA”


The Napa Valley Wine Train in California
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With wine, great weather, and easy access to the bright lights of San Francisco, Napa might just be the perfect retirement town.

Napa Valley is home to about 400 wineries and 150 restaurants, according to Visit NapaValley.com. AARP, which includes Napa as one of 10 Attractive Small Towns for Retirees, said there are 24 wine tasting rooms in downtown Napa alone.

Napa itself is home to about 80,000 people, according to the United States Census Bureau.

As you’d expect, real estate is expensive: the value of a typical Napa home was close to $900,000 when we recently checked.

Continued: For cheaper options, check out “The 10 Most Affordable US Cities for Retirees” or the next California city on this list.


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By now, you should be able to appreciate that the typical Sacramento home value – around $500,000 – is affordable by California standards. Sacramento, the state capital, is home to more than 500,000 people, according to the Census Bureau.

It is a gateway to wonderful outdoor recreation, including skiing and summer recreation at Lake Tahoe and surrounding National Forests, and California’s historic gold country.


Riverside, California
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Riverside, east of Los Angeles and located along the Santa Ana River, is “among the most beautiful historic towns in California”, according to California.com, which lists it as one of California’s top 10 places to retire. .

Riverside has a population of more than 300,000, according to the Census Bureau. Zillow finds the typical home value to be around $600,000.

Riverside has a pleasant climate – summer highs are in the 90s and winter lows stay above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, according to BestPlaces.net. It also has a rich and varied community spirit, as “one of the most culturally diverse places in the Inland Empire”. [metropolitan area]especially when it comes to arts and culture,” according to California.com.


Mulholland Ridge in Moraga, California
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Moraga is a city of less than 20,000 people in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to the Census Bureau. About a fifth of them are 65 or older.

Moraga’s mild climate, tight-knit community, great schools, and miles of parks and trails attract retirees as well as families, according to California.com.

What is the downside of this little paradise? House price. The price of a typical home is around $1.8 million, according to Zillow. This is California for you.

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