Here is our high-level overview of where to retire in San Diego County. This is where you’ll find some of the best places for retirement and most desirable real estate not to mention the best climate, friendly people, and wonderful lifestyle.
There are four main areas of where to retire in the San Diego region:
- Retire in North County San Diego
- Retire in East County San Diego
- Retire in Metro San Diego
- Retire in South County San Diego
In the first part of this article, we will focus on retiring in North County San Diego.
We will provide you links below on where to retire in North San Diego given various housing budgets and preferences.
For those who think that retirement in San Diego is out of reach, we think that if you adjust your expectations on what you can buy here on a budget, you possibly can retire here.
But first, let us give those of you who are not familiar with North County an overview.
North County San Diego is divided into 1) Coastal North County and 2) Inland North County regions.
1. Retire in North San Diego County
The best places to retire in coastal cities in North County San Diego include:
To generalize the coastal North San Diego housing market, Oceanside is the cheapest place to retire with Del Mar being the most expensive.
Please click here to take a look at this report to research the current housing trends in San Diego County.
The best places to retire in inland cities in North County San Diego include:
- Lake San Marcos
- Pauma Valley
- Rancho Bernardo
- Rancho Penasquitos
- Rancho Santa Fe
- San Marcos
- Valley Center
In our next segments, we will explore the locations of major cities and towns of North County San Diego that many retirees call their home.
Oceanside is one of the most affordable beach towns for retirement in San Diego
With its relaxed vibe, beautiful beaches and weather and large and diverse mix of residents, Oceanside is a classic California beach town. Being the 3rd largest city in San Diego County, there are huge array of activities, events and attractions, along with a lower cost of living vs. other coastal communities in North County. You can also find many wonderful ocean, mountain, canyon and golf course views.
The Scripps Memorial General Hospital is located here and with several other facilities within short distance (and 25 hospitals total within 25 miles).
The Tri-City Medical Center is based here and 9 other hospitals are within 26 miles.
Where to retire or where to live in coastal North County San Diego? Check out Oceanside, California
As for living options, Oceanside has no shortage of affordable retirement and non-age restricted housing.
Search San Diego Retirement Homes For Sale
Oceanside California also has the largest number of age-restricted retirement communities in the entire San Diego County for 55 and older adults. A few examples of these 55+ communities include Ocean Hills Country Club, Oceana, Pilgrim Creek Estates, and much more.
Popular retirement housing options include attached and detached single story homes, manufactured homes with land ownership, and mobile homes and land lease (monthly space rent).
Featured Listings of where to retire in Oceanside California with single story living
Featured Listings of where to retire in Oceanside California Active Adult Communities
A very popular seaside city in North County San Diego, Carlsbad is well known for its beautiful beaches, great climate and as a great place for retirees and families. With many attractions and major employers based here too, there’s lot going in Carlsbad. There are 3 hospitals in the immediate area and 18 hospitals within 30 miles of Carlsbad.
Those who are preparing to retire in San Diego start renovating their homes for safety and convenience. Some prefer to sell their homes and buy a new home (preferably single story houses or low maintenance condos in all ages neighborhoods or age restricted neighborhoods such as 55 plus communities.
With this in mind, we will feature links to best homes for retirement in each North County San Diego area that are single story or with bedroom on the main floor.
Where to live or where to retire in seaside North County San Diego? Check out Carlsbad, California
Check out the latest listings of Carlsbad houses below with single story living or with master bedroom on the main floor below.
Featured Listings of where to retire in Carlsbad California with single story living
Condo living may be an ideal way to live or retire if you are looking for a low maintenance lifestyle. Perfect for retirees in San Diego who love to travel. Just lock and go!
Learn more about featured San Diego ocean view real estate in Carlsbad here.
Featured Listings of where to retire in Carlsbad California Active Adult Communities
A smaller beach community with a very tranquil look and feel, Encinitas residents are easy going people who appreciate the ideal location and high quality of life. A beautiful downtown and surrounding area, great beaches, restaurants, many lively activities and convenient highway access make it a highly desirable place to live.
Where to live or retire in North San Diego Coastal area? Check out Encinitas, California
It really depends on your preferences and what you can afford, but check out some of the latest homes for sale that offer single story living in Encinitas, California here.
Cardiff by the Sea, California
Solana Beach, California
Del Mar, California
If you are looking to retire and live in luxury coastal San Diego properties, Del Mar, California is just might be what you are looking for.
Centrally located, Escondido is about 18 miles to the beaches. The terrain is more mountainous and desert-like compared to the coastal cities, however it is a fertile area where fruits and vegetables thrive.
Temperatures are also warmer and dryer, especially in summer, however the winters are comfortable and pleasant. Located in a valley, the city has a larger population of roughly 150,000, and you’ll find plenty to do and see. The charming downtown has a historic feel and the city’s numerous attractions and entertainment choices make this a very vibrant place to live.
The Palomar Medical Center is located here and an additional 18 hospitals are within 25 miles of Escondido.
Where to live or retire in North County? Check out Escondido, California
Escondido has plenty of affordable houses and condos including detached single family homes and manufactured homes in age-restricted communities, check out some of the latest homes for sale that offer single story living in Escondido, California here.
Please be sure to sign up for property email alerts here customized to your preferences and budget.
As an inland-community, Fallbrook lies in an elevated, rural location about 30 minutes from the coast and 45 minutes to downtown San Diego. Unlike the coastal cities, there are plenty of wide-open spaces, lush green hills and valleys, and particularly great conditions for growing fruits and vegetables.
Fallbrook is a pleasant place to live, where you’ll find the tight-knit community of 30,000 residents very friendly and laid back. There is also a very strong focus on outdoor activities and the arts, with many diverse performances and events all year round.
The Fallbrook Hospital is a general surgical and medical center located right in town and 2 other major medical facilities are nearby (and 7 hospitals within 20 miles).
Where to live or retire in North San Diego County? Check out Fallbrook, California
Fallbrook offers many detached single family homes with larger lots on a rural setting including custom homes and manufactured homes in age-restricted communities, check out some of the latest homes for sale that offer single story living in Fallbrook, California here.
Lake San Marcos
Lake San Marcos is located 7 to 9 miles from the beach in beautiful North County San Diego, California. It is a resort-based community surrounding a lake with wonderful year round temperate climate (see Lake San Marcos average temperature here).
With social activities and tons of amenities and activities (i.e. boating, golf) and a fantastic location, Lake San Marcos is a popular retirement spot among active seniors and a great place to live for families in the San Diego area.
Where to live or retire in North San Diego County? Check out Lake San Marcos, an unincorporated area of San Diego County California
Lake San Marcos real estate options for all ages abound such as detached homes, twin homes that are predominantly single story homes, senior condos (Chateau Lake San Marcos), all-ages condos, and homes in 55 and over communities (Hunter Valley – Lake San Marcos, Sun Park Lake San Marcos).
Find all other San Diego 55+ Communities – click here. If you prefer condos, there are also non-age restricted Lake San Marcos condominiums for sale with panoramic views of the lake at Panorama.
Featured Listings of where to retire in Lake San Marcos California