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Find your perfect retirement home in San Diego County, California

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:

  1. Retire in North County San Diego
  2. Retire in East County San Diego
  3. Retire in Metro San Diego
  4. Retire in South County San Diego

In the first part of this article, we will focus on retiring in North County San Diego.

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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:

  1. Oceanside
  2. Carlsbad
  3. Encinitas
  4. Cardiff by the Sea
  5. Solana Beach
  6. Del Mar

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:

  1. Bonsall
  2. Escondido
  3. Fallbrook
  4. Lake San Marcos
  5. Pala
  6. Pauma Valley
  7. Poway
  8. Ramona
  9. Rancho Bernardo
  10. Rancho Penasquitos
  11. Rancho Santa Fe
  12. San Marcos
  13. Valley Center
  14. Vista

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, California

Oceanside is one of the most affordable beach towns for retirement in San Diego

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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 55+ 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

Oceanside Latest Real Estate Listings – Where to retire in Oceanside, California

Also check out Oceanside homes for sale in senior communities or Oceanside retirement communities below

Carlsbad, California

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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.

Carlsbad Latest Real Estate Listings – Where to retire in Carlsbad, CA

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!

Also check out Carlsbad homes for sale in senior communities below

Encinitas, California

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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.

Encinitas Latest Real Estate Listings – Where to Retire in Encinitas, California

Also check out Encinitas homes for sale in senior communities below

Cardiff by the Sea, California

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Where to retire in Cardiff by the Sea, San Diego County, California

Cardiff by the Sea Latest Real Estate Listings – Where to retire in Cardiff by the Sea, Southern California

Solana Beach, California

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Where to retire in Solana Beach, San Diego County, California

Solana Beach Homes For Sale

Del Mar, California

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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.

Where to retire in Del Mar, San Diego County, California

Del Mar Latest Real Estate Listings – Where to retire in Del Mar, California

Escondido

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.

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Where to retire in Escondido, North County San Diego, California

Escondido Latest Real Estate Listings – Where to retire in Escondido, California

Fallbrook

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.

Where to retire in Fallbrook, North County San Diego, California

Fallbrook Latest Real Estate Listings – Where to retire in Fallbrook, California

Also check out Fallbrook homes for sale in senior communities below

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

Rancho Bernardo

Another inland community of rolling hills and canyons, the scenic views and rural feel make this a peaceful place to live. Rancho Bernardo is officially part of the city of San Diego and located about 20 miles northeast of downtown and a 30-minute drive to the beaches. Typical of most inland locations, the temperatures here are warmer in both the summer and winter vs. the coastal cities.

Easy freeway access makes it a quick drive to any destination in San Diego county. Pomerado Hospital is less than 3 miles away and every other major medical facility in San Diego is within 22 miles. Many major employers are based here too, and you’ll find many shopping centers, restaurants, local events and outdoor activities.

Rancho Bernardo was designed as a master planned community with 7 distinct communities, parks and private community centers spread across 6,500 acres of land.

Where to live or retire in North County San Diego? Check out Rancho Bernardo

There are a wide range of housing styles in both retirement communities for 55+ adults and non-age restricted communities in Rancho Bernardo (RB).

Please check out some of the latest homes for sale that offer single story living in RB here.

Where to retire in Rancho Bernardo, California

Rancho Bernardo Latest Real Estate Listings – Where to retire in Rancho Bernardo – San Diego, California

Also check out Rancho Bernardo homes for sale in senior communities below

San Marcos, California

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San Marcos is a suburban community of roughly 80,000 residents. Located inland but not far from the coast, the weather is a comfortable balance of warm temperatures and nice, cool breezes.

San Marcos is a desirable community, known for its lake resort area, 3 universities, many dining options, wide-open spaces, parks, scenic landscape and nice views. The area is highly active and there are many community events with cultural and outdoor activities. There is quick highway access making any destination in San Diego easily accessible. The Palomar Medical Center in Escondido is 4 miles away and 16 hospitals are within 25 miles.

Where to live or retire in North County San Diego? Check out San Marcos, California

There are a wide range of homes suited for retirement in San Marcos including newer tract homes in master planned communities, homes and condos near the colleges, including homes in age-restricted communites. To give you an overview of the type of housing available, please check out some of the latest homes for sale that offer single story living in San Marcos here.

Where to retire in San Marcos, North San Diego County, California

San Marcos CA Latest Real Estate Listings – Where to retire in San Marcos, California

Also check out San Marcos CA homes for sale in senior communities below

Vista, California

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Vista is a hillside city of roughly 100,000 residents only 7 miles from the coast. Its Mediterranean climate is only slightly warmer than the coastal cities. It’s a very lively community and a very affordable place to live.

The downtown’s entertainment district is home to many festivals, events as well as restaurants, nightlife and music. Many arts and cultural events take place here and there are plenty of museums, parks and recreation activities.

There is a convenient public transit options with bus and light rail lines serving Vista and the surrounding cities. The Tri-City Medical center is 3 miles away and there are 10 hospitals within 24 miles.

Where to retire in North County San Diego? Check out Vista, California

There are a wide range of homes suited for retirement in Vista including large custom homes in beautiful pockets of neighborhoods or in gated communities, plus condos and homes in age-restricted communites. Please check out some of the latest homes for sale that offer single story living in Vista here.

Del Sur in San Diego California

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Del Sur is located in the hills overlooking Rancho Santa Fe in North County San Diego with convenient access to I-15, Hwy 56, and I-5. Average high temperatures range from 68 F in December to 89 F in August, while the average lows range from 41 F in December to 63 F in August. On average there are about 263 sunny days per year and only 13 inches of annual rainfall.

This San Diego suburbia community is largely built on environmentally friendly design concepts. Del Sur real estate span over 1,000 acres, including 13 parks and 5 solar-heated pools, and over 18 miles of hiking/biking trails. Del Sur is one the best San Diego suburbs to raise a family or be close to family.

Del Sur also has San Diego’s newest age-restricted community perfect for retirement or active adult living for 55+ adults called Auberge Del Sur where you can buy 2016-2017 built detached homes and condominiums in a gated community recreation club amenities and activities. Avante Del Sur by Lennar is coming soon and currently the newest San Diego retirement community with attached homes/ San Diego condos for seniors in a gated upscale community.

Del Sur Latest Real Estate Listings – Where to retire in Del Sur, San Diego, California