The Top 20 Retirement Cities in California

People who are nearing retirement age are looking forward to leaving the work aspect of their lives behind. Some may be independently wealthy with the ability to live anywhere that they desire. Others are living on a fixed retirement income which varies from one person to another. When you think of places to retire in the United States, each state has something unique to offer.  But when it comes to diversity and a large amount of selections, California’s sheer size makes it an attractive locale to research.  We’ve taken a look at the best retirement cities in California and have chosen them according to their suitability for retirees from a variety of backgrounds and circumstances. Here are the top 20 with a rundown of the features that make them so appealing to people who are looking forward to spending their golden years in the most suitable locale.

20. Modesto, California

Modesto is the 20th top city in the state for retirees. The majority of the population of 207,482 people are adults with just 21% of these being children. There are far more adults living in the city which suggests that people are already aware that it offers an excellent location for retirees. The median home value is $184,600 with options falling below and above this figure. The median rent is $1,002 per month which is a little higher than the national average of $178,000. The area has a suburban feeling based on the population density of the city. It gets an A+ for ethnic and economic diversity with a median household income of $48,577. Fifty three percent of the population own their homes versus forty-seven percent who are renting. It is among the most diverse cities in the state. Although the crime rate is slightly above average, giving Modesto a C- rating, 45 percent of the residents surveyed report that although there is crime, they have not personally been impacted and they feel “pretty safe,” while 42 percent feel “somewhat safe. Benefits of living in Modesto include good healthcare options, outdoor activities, good shopping and lots of night life and entertainment opportunities.

19. Temecula, California

Temecula is a city that has a suburban feel and of the 107,153 residents, only 23 percent are children. The majority of the population is adult, and many of retirement status. Temecula is a wonderful retirement city for retirees who have higher incomes, with the median household income being $79,925 annually. The median home value is $335,200 with average rent costs at $1,557 per month. Just 36% of residents rent their homes with 64% being home-owners. Temecula gets an A for economic and ethnic diversity. It gets a B- for crime and safety, taking it above Modesto for safety to a level that is just above average. It offers wonderful shopping, good healthcare options and opportunities for both indoor and outdoor activities and entertainment.

18. Fairfield, California

Fairfield has a population of 109,468 and is currently growing in size. Of this number, just 21% of the population are children. It has quality healthcare options available for people of all ages, including retirement and assisted living centers. The median annual income is $67,364, with a median home value of $279,000. Monthly rent is around $1,312 with 44% of the population renting and 56% owning their homes. The city has a suburban feel versus big city. It gets an A+ rating for economic and ethnic diversity. This means that there are options for people of all income levels. It has an average crime rate which makes it a fairly safe place to live when compared with other cities in the state. The opportunities for nightlife and outdoor activities are highly rated with residents reporting a high satisfaction level.

17. Orange, California

Orange is a larger city of 139,761 people with just 18% of them children. Although the population is a bit higher than some of the others, there is still a suburban feel to the area because of the population density. The median home value is $534,300 with the median rent of $1,547 per month. 58% own their homes while 42% are renters. It has a high rating for healthcare options. In addition, it offers excellent indoor entertainment options along with plenty of outdoor activities. Orange gets a B- rating for crime and safety with the majority of residents feeling safe. The median household income is $78,513 per year with an A+ for economic and ethnic diversity.

16. Berkely, California

Berkely gets an overall rating of A for being one of the best retirement cities in the state of California. It is highly ranked for economic and ethnic diversity and has many exellent opportunities for nightlife and outdoor activities. Just 10% of the 117,384 population are children. The median household income is $66,237 annually. The median home alue is $741,900 with median rent at $1,362 per month. 43% rent their homes while 57% are home-owners. Healthcare options are plenteous and there are homes in all price ranges, which make this an attractive retirement cities for people with all income levels in the state. The top neighborhoods in the city of Berkely include, Southside, Oceanview, North of Gilman, North Calremont in the Uplands and Westbrae. The crime ranking is at a C+ making is a fairly safe place to live.

15. Fresno, California

Fresno is the fifteenth best retirement city in California. The population of 510,451 makes it a larger city with children making up 25% of the population. The median home value is $177,500 and the average monthly rent is $893. It has an A+ rating for economic and ethnic diversity which means that housing is available for all income levels. There is a higher percentage of renters at 53% vs people who own their homes at 47%. It is one of the healthier sities in the state with multiple healthcare options, a vibrant assortment of nightlife, entertainment and outdoor activity venues. The median household income is at $41,531 with an average crime rate that makes it a fairly safe place to live.

14. San Francisco, California

San Francisco has a population of 840,763, of which only 11% are children. The median home value is $799,600 with median rent at $1,558 per month. Only 36% of the residents own their homes with the majority of them being renters. San Francisco is a large city and it has an urban feel because of the high density of the population. There are multiple venues for nightlife and outdoor opportunities. It is highly ranked as one of the healthiest cities in America, let alone the state. It offers multiple healthcare options for residents. Some of the best neighborhoods in the city include Rincon Hill, Monterey Heights, Presidio National Park, Central Waterfront and St. Francis Wood. It gets a C rating for crime and safety with an average safety rating. Although the crime rate is moderate, people feel fairly safe. The city gets an A+ ranking for economic and ethnic diversity with a median household income of $81,294 annually.

13. Sunnyvale, California

Sunnyvale has a population of 148,178 persons with 20 percent of them children The median home value is $790,300, but because of its A+ rating for economic and ethnic diversity, there are homes available in all price ranges. It is a place where people or all ethnicities and income levels can feel comfortable living. The median rent is $1,797 per month with 53 percent of them choosing as renters and 53 percent owning their homes. It has an urban feeling although it has a lower population than many of the larger cities. This is due to the population density. It is ranked as the fifth healthiest place in America to live, which gives it a high ranking for the state in healthcare options of high quality. The crime rate has a B- rating which makes it above average for safety. This is an important feature for retirees. The median household income for Sunnyvale is $105,401 annually, which is nearly double the national average.

12. Ventura, California

The population of Ventura is 108,899 with 18% of the population being children. The median home value is $434,900 with rent at $1,403 per month. 46 percent rent while 54 percent are home owners. The area feels suburban because of the population density. It gets high marks for the quality available healthcare options in the city as well as more options in surrounding cities. it gets an A rating for income and ethnic diversity with a median household income of $66,995 annually. There are ample shopping, nightlife and other entertainment and outdoor activity options available.

11. Santa Rosa, California

Santa Rosa has a population of 172,066 with 19 percent of them children. The median home value is $386,100 with average rent at $1,315 per month. 47 percent of the residents own their homes but the majority rent at 53 percent. The area has a suburban atmosphere because of the population density. Santa Rosa gets an A rating for diversity, making it affordable for retirees of all income levels. the median household income is $61,050 per year. It is ranked as the fifteenth healthiest city in America with excellent healthcare options with highly ranked health care providers. It is also ranked as the sixth best city in the nation for outdoor activities. There are also plenty of shopping and entertainment venues. Santa Rosa offers everything that a retiree could want or need.

10. Irvine, California

Irvine is a city of 238,474 residents with a child population of just 18 percent. It is rated with an A+ for economic and ethnic diversity which makes it a city that people of all financial classes and ethnicities could feel comfortable in. The crime and safety rate achieves a B rating which means that it has one of the better safety ratings in the state. Irvine is ranked as the second safest city out of 222 assessed in the nation. The median home value is $688,200 and median rent is $1,903 per month. This city has a suburban feeling because of the population density. 52 percent of the residents rent their homes while just 48 percent are owners. It offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, entertainment and nightlife. The healthcare options are also rated highly with multiple healthcare providers with excellent reviews available. The best neighborhoods to live in Irvine are: East Irvine, Irvine Spectrum 3, Irvine Spectrum 1, Irvine Spectrum 4 and Northwood Point. The median household income is $92,278 annually. While this reflects the median income, there are dispersements of people from all financial classes living within the city of Irvine.

9. Sacramento, California

The city of Sacramento has a population of 480,566 with 20 percent of the residents being children. The median home value is $238,500 with average monthly rent at $1,022. 53 percent of residents rent while 47 percent are home owners. The city gets an A+ for economic and ethnic diversity. The median household income is $50,739 annually. The crime and safety rate has been given a C grade which means that it is a fairly safe place to live when compared with other cities of its size in the state. There is a fair amount of crime, but residents do feel somewhat safe. People from all walks of life live in Sacramento. Many parts of Sacramento feature a suburban feeling atmosphere because of the population density. It gets an average rating for healthcare with multiple options available for healthcare providers in the city and in adjacent communities. The top neighborhoods for retirees to live in Sacramento are: Westlake, River Park, East Sacramento, Land Park and Natomas Park. Sacramento offers multiple shopping venues along with numerous outdoor activities and entertainment and night life options.

8. Pasadena, California

The city of Pasadena has a population of 139,899 of which, only fifteen percent are children. With an 85 percent adult population, it’s easy to discern that this is a highly popular city in California for retirees to settle. This retirement city has an urban feeling and is the best suited for retirees who enjoy living in the city with all its amenities. The median household income is $72,402 per year. The median home value is very high at $628,000 with rent at $1,372 per month. 56 percent of residents rent while just 44 percent are home owners. Pasadena is rated with an A+ for economic and ethnic diversity. Although the median household incomes and home values are high, this is a community that embraces people of all income levels and walks of life. It gets high marks for healthcare options so retirees should have no problem finding quality medical care. The city gets a safety and crime ranking of C which is average. It is a fairly safe place to live with average crime rates when compared to other California cities.

7. Carlsbad, California

Carlsbad has a population of 110,830 with twenty percent of them children. It has a decent crime and safety rating of B- which is above average. This means that the crime rates are lower in Carlsbad than in some other nearby cities in the state. People who live in this area feel moderately safe. It is an economically and ethnically diverse city which gets a rating of A-. The median household income is high at $90,597 annually. Although this is the median, there are people of all financial classes and walks of life living a happy retirement life in Carlsbad. The median home value is $645,100 with average monthly rent at $1,762. Only thirty-seven percent of residents rent their homes while a majority of sixty-three percent are homeowners. the area has a suburban atmosphere and is ideal for retirees who want to escape urban life in exchange for a slower and more laid back pace. Healthcare options are adequate for this city with even more healthcare providers in neighboring cities. Carlsbad is a popular city for people to move into upon retirement because it features multiple entertainment as well as indoor and outdoor activity options.

6. Visalia, California

Visalia has a population of 127,842, of which, 25 percent are children. The median home value in the city is $174,400 which is an affordable price for most retirees. The median rent is $950 per month. The city has a suburban atmosphere for those who would rather escape the hustle and bustle of the city in exchange for a slower pace. 41 percent of the residents rent their homes while the majority of 59 percent are home owners. If offers adequate health care opportunities, but doesn’t rank as high as some on our list. It gets a rating of C, which is average for crime and safety, making it a fairly safe place to live. It rates an A for economic and ethnic diversity as a city that is suitable for retirees from all walks of life. The median household income is among the lower annual rates at $52,157.

5. Burbank, California

The city of Burbank has a population of 104,725. Seventeen percent of the residents are children. This high adult population suggests that many retirees have already discovered that it is an ideal location for spending your golden years. The median home value is $586,200 with a median rent of $1,409 per month. The city of Burbank gets an A rating for economic and ethnic diversity with a median annual income of $66,066. Housing is available for all income levels. This is a city that is the best suited for retirees who enjoy the feel of living in the city with all its amenities. 59 percent of the residents rent their homes with a minority of 41 percent who are home owners. It offers a good selection of quality healthcare providers. the crime and safety rating is a B-, which is above average making it one of the safer places to live in the state.

4. Glendale, California

Glendale is the fourth best city in the state of California for retirees. It has a population of 196,984, and has an urban atmosphere for those who like the feeling of living in a big city. The population of Glendale is a mere fifteen percent children. This is among the lowest percentages of children in a city and it is a strong indication that Glendale is big on retirees. It is rated with an A for economic and ethnic diversity. The median household income is $52,574. the median home value is $619,200. Although this may seem high, there are many homes available for far less, and some for far more. The median rent cost is $1,206 per month. Sixty-five percent of the population of Glendale rent their homes while just thirty-five percent are home owners. Glendale is one of the safer towns in the region with a crime and safety rating of a B-. It is among the healthiest cities to live in America because of the good selection of quality healthcare providers and services. It also features multiple entertainment as well as indoor and outdoor activity venues.

3. Torrence, California

The city of Torrence has a population of 147,589, of which, seventeen percent are children. The median household income is $79,549 annually. It is rated A+ for economic and ethnic diversity. The median home value is high at $638,700, but there are less expensive options for quality housing available. The median rent is $1,473 per month. 45 percent of residents rent their homes with the majority of 55 percent who are home owners. Torrence has good options for healthcare providers and services along with multiple venues for entertainment, indoor and outdoor activities. the top neighborhoods in Torrance are: country Hills, West Torrance, Pacific South Bay, Riviera and Southwood Sunray.

2. Roseville, California

Roseville has a population of 126,327 with a twenty percent population of children. The median household income is $75,867. It has an A grade for economic and ethnic diversity. The crime and safety rating is a decent B-, which means that although there are violent and property crimes committed, people feel fairly safe. The median home value for Roseville is $332,600 with the median rent at $1,310 per month. This city has a suburban feeling for those who prefer a slower pace. Thirty-six percent of residents rent their homes while a majority of sixty-four percent are home owners. Roseville is ranked as the 24th best place to retire in the United States and the second best place in the state of California. Good healthcare services and providers are available in Roseville and surrounding regions and it offers ample entertainment and activity venues. The top neighbor hoods are: Olympus Pointe, Cirby Ranch, Industrial Area West, Junction West and Maidu.

1. Thousand Oaks, California

Thousand Oaks is the number one retirement city in the state of California. It has a population of 128,565, with 18 percent of them children. The median household income is $100,946. The city has an A rating for economic and ethnic diversity. It has the highest safety and crime ranking of B, on our list. This means that there is a lower crime rate and that residents feel safer in this city. The median home value is $614,800 and the median monthly rent amount is $1,814. Just 29 percent of residents are renters and 71 percent own their homes. The area has a suburban atmosphere for retirees who want to enjoy a more peaceful and quiet existence. Ample healthcare providers and services are available in Thousand Oaks and surrounding areas. There are multiple options for entertainment and activities as well.


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