10 Best Places to Retire and Live Comfortably in California


People have traditionally traveled to California to start new lives. Even the most worn-out and jaded retiree will be captivated by the natural delights, which include breathtaking coastal views, formidable mountains, and ancient woods. If you can afford the often-exorbitant housing costs, you can enjoy the outdoors all year round, thanks to the constantly good climate and sunny skies. According to a recent U.S. News survey of the 150 largest U.S. metropolitan areas as potential retirement sites, California is a popular place to retire due to the high quality of life, abundance of work opportunities, and top-rated health care options. The survey includes information on the work market, accessibility to high-quality healthcare, happiness, desire, retiree taxation, and home affordability. Think about retiring in one of these California cities.

1. Visalia

The best place to start your exploration of California’s stunning natural beauty is Visalia. In the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, you can behold the giant trees on Earth. At the same time, Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States, is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains close by. Compared to other areas, this city in central California is significantly cheaper. Visalia has much more affordable housing than the bigger coastal cities in California and is one of the best places to retire in California. California’s agricultural San Joaquin Valley is home to the city of Visalia. As of the 2020 census, 141,384 people were living there. In terms of population, Visalia ranks 192nd overall in the United States. Visalia, the county capital of Tulare County, serves as the administrative and economic hub of one of the most prosperous and significant agricultural counties in the nation.

2. San Jose

According to a U.S. News review of Census Bureau statistics, the San Jose metro region has the highest housing expense in the nation. The majority of retirees cannot afford the average property price. Most likely, newcomers will need to rent an apartment. The region offers a multitude of employment prospects and is one of the wealthiest cities in the world. It is home to many major international tech businesses, including PayPal, Cisco, and Adobe. San Jose State University, the oldest public university on the West Coast, is located in this college town.

3. Fresno

The best place to start outdoor retirement excursions is Fresno. Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, the Sierra National Forest, and several lakes are all easily accessible from the city. Along the 62-mile Fresno County Blossom Trail, fruit and nut trees bloom spectacularly every spring. The area also offers an abundance of fresh fruit every summer and fall. Compared to other areas of the state, this city in central California is far cheaper. A significant Californian San Joaquin Valley city is called Fresno, Spanish for “ash tree.” It is the largest city in the broader Central Valley region and the county headquarters of Fresno County.

4. Modesto

Compared to California’s central coastal metro regions, this city in the state’s interior is significantly less expensive. Modesto, situated in the Central Valley, is surrounded by fertile farmland used to raise cattle, almonds, milk, and a variety of other products. The Modesto Nuts minor league baseball team is named after the area’s agricultural products. The movie American Graffiti, written by the man behind Star Wars on his upbringing in Modesto, is celebrated with an annual event.

5. Sacramento

The political heart of the nation’s most populous state, California’s capital city, serves as a center for think tanks, lobbying, and government employment. Several universities, notably Sacramento State University and the University of California—Davis, are located in the region. Sutter Health and the UC Davis Medical Center are two prominent healthcare organizations. Although housing in the Sacramento metro region is less expensive than in coastal areas, it is still pricey compared to much of the rest of the country.

6. Vallejo and Fairfield