San Diego : California


What It Is Like to Retire in San Diego

San Diego, California (population over 1.3 million) has been a popular retirement community since the end of World War II. Its scenery, climate, and lifestyle are second to none and appeal to active adults 55+. Its bustling downtown area has a busy convention area and city parks set alongside hundreds of anchored pleasure boats. San Diego is California’s second largest city.

There are many communities within San Diego, including exclusive La Jolla. The climate is close to perfect - the sun shines almost every day, it is rarely too hot, and almost never too cool. The University of California, San Diego is a vital force in the community, along with the famed San Diego Zoo. The U.S. has a major base on the city’s waterfront.

Watch this short Youtube video prepared by California Travel Tips:

Here is more information on taxes and what it is like to retire in California.


Where to Retire in San Diego and Home Prices

San Diego features homes and apartments set atop hills in many different neighborhoods. There are many active adult developments to choose from in the area (see link at top left).
The main drawback to living in San Diego is the expensive housing. Starter homes tend to be in the hundreds of thousands. Fortunately there are apartments that can be had for less, either as condos or as rentals. Surrounding areas tend to be slightly less expensive, the more so as one goes away from the water. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median price of a home in the San Diego/Carlsbad area was $905,000 in the 1st quarter of 2022.


What Is Special about San Diego

• Best climate in the U.S. – only 10 inches of rain per year • Large city with a small town feel • Gas Lamp District • Urban renewal has been very successful • Mount Soledad • San Diego Zoo • Balboa Park and its museums • Torrey Pines (Public) Golf Course • UC San Diego

What Is Not Special about San Diego

 It tends to be very expensive; California traffic


Who Will Like Retirement in San Diego

A diverse group of people live here, thanks to the Navy, local universities, and people from around the country that have come for the climate. They enjoy an active, outdoor life style

Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism, high tech, defense, real estate, retail. The San Diego Convention Center along the harbor is a major contributor to the economy.

Climate and Physical Environment

San Diego is one of the world’s great harbors. The city lies on deep canyons and hills separating it from many mesas, many of which are parks. The coastal plain which quickly rises to hills to the east. Sandy beaches dot the ocean.  San Diego gets about 10" of rain per year, most of which comes January thru early spring.  The May/June "gloom" period often brings fog or a marine layer/gray days.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

San Diego has much to offer for those looking for serious cultural opportunities, particularly those at UC San Diego and the many other universities in the area. The San Diego Zoo is world famous.  Don't miss the San Diego Museum of Art and the San Diego Museum of Natural History. There is opera, symphonies, and a growing art scene - everything you would expect in a prosperous city in southern California.


Crime in San Diego has steadily dropped to just below the national average.

Medical Facilities

San Diego has at least 10 hospitals.


San Diego International Airport is close to city center. Coaster has rail stations in San Diego connecting to Los Angeles and Amtrak

Valuable Links

San Diego, CA

San Diego on Wikipedia


What people are saying about San Diego

San Diego Downtown Happenings
I live and work in downtown San Diego and it is a retiree's paradise. You can age in place with all of the services at your fingertips. The cost of the condos is higher per square foot but who needs room when you spend most of your time enjoying the weather outside. We don't need air conditioning or heat so that saves and the HOA takes care of almost everything else. Our kids visit us more now because they enjoy the vacation. Visit my blog at: about Downtown San Diego happenings. Marsha Shepard Editor's Note: Thanks for the info Marsha. For the record it appears that Marsha is a real estate agent.
Posted by on July 16, 2014

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