These California Cities Rank Last on 2024 List of Best Places to Retire

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These California Cities Rank Last on 2024 List of Best Places to Retire

Silicon Valley's capital city San Jose, Calif., on Oct. 2, 2007. (Helene Labriet-Gross/AFP via Getty Images)

Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

11/30/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

Major California cities made up six of the 10 worst places to retire in the United States in US News and World Report’s 2024 rankings published Nov. 7.
Out of the 150 metropolitan areas analyzed by the national news website, the state’s tech capital San Jose was ranked as the worst city to retire, mostly because of its high cost of living and housing. Much of the San Jose area is out of reach for anyone “without high-tech salaries,” according to the news outlet.
“Housing prices here are much higher than they are in most other parts of the country, and residents often find themselves paying more for everyday necessities, such as groceries, utilities and gas, than the average American,” author Jennifer Lin said in the survey.
For the ranking, U.S. News and World Report surveyed people 45 years old and older to determine what mattered most to them in retirement. The report focused on the 150 biggest metropolitan areas in the U.S. and scored them based on affordability, happiness, desirability, retiree taxes, job market, and health care quality.
Affordability was 25 percent of the total score, followed by happiness (22 percent), health care quality (16 percent), retiree taxes (16 percent), desirability (13 percent), and job market (8 percent).
The median monthly rent in San Jose is $2,511, and the median home price is more than $1.5 million, meaning half of houses sold in the city sell for a greater amount and half sell for less.
The national average for housing costs is $383,883, according to the report.
The central valley city of Stockton came in second to last, ranking 149th. The diverse community of more than 320,000 people has much lower housing costs compared to some other California cities, but the cost of living is still significantly higher than the national average. The median home price is $589,200 in Stockton and the median monthly rent is $1,387.
Other California cities to make the bottom 10 on the list were Vallejo and Fairfield, together ranked 145th; Santa Rosa at 143rd; Salinas at 142nd; Bakersfield at 141st; and San Francisco at 140th.
The highest-ranked city in California on the list was San Diego at 115th, followed by Los Angeles at 127th.
The best place to retire in the country, according to the news outlet, is Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Beachgoers are seen along the shore in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego on July 4, 2020. (Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images)

Beachgoers are seen along the shore in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego on July 4, 2020. (Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images)

Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

Author

Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.

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