The Best Places to Retire in Southern California and Beyond

You have worked hard your entire life, saved up a bit of a nest egg, and now you are ready to enjoy it. That means retirement is coming, and along with that comes the important decision about where you would like to live out your golden years. There are so many options whether you’re relocating a few cities away or across the country.

What’s important is to start getting an idea of what your ideal retirement community should include. Here’s a quick list of popular retirement spots within Southern California and across the country to give you a start. Even if you’re looking to sell your current home and purchase across the country, First Team can help thanks to our robust Relocation Department.

Southern California

Southern California real estate is expensive, but you can find great communities hidden within for a much smaller price tag. According to Trendgraphix, the average sold price for real estate in Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties is $615,000.

First of all, these retirement communities clock in way below the average sale price for SoCal. Second of all, these communities specifically offer great senior living facilities, city amenities, and laid-back lifestyles ideal for retirement. Average sold listing prices for the following cities were found using First Team Market Trends data for February 2017.

Palm Springs

Palm Springs real estate is ideal for seniors because of the warm temperature and wide array of amenities. In fact, there are tons of desert communities within Riverside County that are ideal for second homes and retirees. The average sold price is for Palm Springs real estate is $393,264.

Palm Springs has a bustling downtown nestled against the impressive Mt. San Jacinto, and is surrounded by well-established neighborhoods with a mix of eclectic architectural styles. The area is also home to a host of golf course communities, Indian Casinos and more.

Laguna Woods

Laguna Woods real estate features a wide variety of 55+ senior living communities ideal of retirement with an average sold listing price for the city falling at $285,644. In fact, 90% of the City’s 4 square miles is contained within the senior citizen gated community of Leisure World. The rest of the city contains three additional senior residential communities and several thriving commercial centers.


If you’d like to retire by the water, Oceanside is a prime pick. Oceanside real estate is pricier because it’s a beach community, but very affordable when compared to other Southern California coastal communities. The average sold price for Oceanside real estate is $430,443. Oceanside has several 55+ active adult and assisted living communities, and boasts a new, state-of-the-art Senior Center.

Seal Beach

Seal Beach is a popular retirement local because it’s home to the nationally recognized active senior community Leisure World. Plus every sunny day in Seal Beach is cooled by ocean breezes.  Spread over 542 park-like acres, the community offers co-ops and condos for resort-style living for those 55 and over. The average sold price for Seal Beach real estate is $394,429.

Outside of California

If you’re looking to relocate, there are tons of great options across the U.S. Moving your life can be a daunting task, but it’s worth it to find the perfect fit for you and your chosen lifestyle. Plus our Relocation team makes the whole process effortless.

Apache Junction, Arizona

With its great weather all year round, easy access to the greater Phoenix area, and array of recreational actives, Apache Junction has turned into a great location for retirees. Add to this the low cost of living, where the median home price is only $129,000, and a low violent crime rate, and it is easy to see why this is easily one of the communities you will want to scope out as you consider where you would like to live after you retire. Golfing, hiking, and tennis are just a few of the many activities that you can participate year-round here.

Bluffton, South Carolina

This community is particularly appealing if you have endured the cold winters of the Midwest or northeast for far too long. Bluffton is a coastal town with only 14,000 residents. It is just west of Hilton Head and within easy driving distance to Savannah. You get the best of both worlds here, as modernity coexists peacefully with the historical nature of the Deep South. The tax climate in South Carolina is particularly appealing to retirees, and the warm climate is good for the bones.

Cape Coral, Florida

While there are numerous communities in the state of Florida worthy of retiring to, Cape Coral stands out from the rest. It is medium-sized city of just over 160,000 residents and is nestled along the Gulf of Mexico. Its proximity to Fort Myers brings with it a robust economy where residents can enjoy a cost of living that is four percent below the national average. This is a place where you can really stretch those retirement dollars. Mirabella in particular is a great example of how nice Florida can be for retirees.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

This is a community that has all four seasons in equal measure. It is known as an outdoor playground where a variety of activities can be enjoyed year-round. The brisk weather makes for excellent air quality, and that is good for the retired population.

Need help selling your home for retirement? A First Team agent can help. Reach out and we’ll match you with an agent in your area to help you review your options and start building a real estate strategy.


This guest post is written by Rachelle Wilber, a freelance writer living in the San Diego area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her BA in Journalism and Media Studies. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on twitter @RachelleWilber.

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