Ever since being acquired by the United Sates in 1850 as a spoil of the Mexican-American War, San Diego has been a favorite among people looking for a beautiful location with great weather. In fact, San Diego has one of the best climates in the US (regularly making top 10 lists). Although it can have heavy rainfall from time to time, rain is usually infrequent. The city was built on a matrix of mesas and canyons, giving it a scenic, multi-leveled layout. San Diego is a coastal city, about a two-hour drive south of L.A. and shares a border with Mexico.
A long list of amenities awaits anyone who chooses San Diego as their place of retirement. Obviously there is the coast, making any day a possible day-at-the-beach. It also opens San Diego up to a rich and lively harbor culture, of boating and fishing. There are cruise lines that depart from San Diego's ports, but there are also scores of touring ships offering day-adventures for whale viewing and deep-sea fishing. The San Diego Zoo is world famous, and there is even a local Sea World. Padres baseball is played at Petco Park, and Southern California is one of the craft beer capitals of the world. Remember to bring your passport for any voyages into Mexico, because a state driver's license no longer gets you in.
San Diego is the 8th most populated city in America. Its citizens tend to vote slightly to the left, on everything from local issues to national elections. Crime is low, highlighting San Diego as a model for large cities all everywhere. About a third of San Diegans are Chicano/Latino, so knowing a little Spanish is a definite plus for anyone thinking about residency.
Sadly, the beautiful housing and retirement communities are pricey. San Diego real estate is always at a premium, and a hefty pension is necessary for spending your Golden Years in such a place. Thankfully, more affordable land is available just outside the city. Another concern is the traffic. San Diego is a driving city, so be prepared to spend a good amount of time en route (giving you the perfect excuse to finally buy that convertible).
Home health care providers and other services are available throughout the area, to keep you living independently. Or, as health becomes more of a concern, San Diego offers 10 major hospitals and a multitude of assisted living communities and rehabilitation clinic to keep you feeling your best. Two major airports provide the city with infinite vacation possibilities, and give grandkids and other loved ones no excuse not to visit!