Best Places to Retire in California After a Move From Florida

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With its perennial sunshine, sandy beaches, and laid-back lifestyle, Florida has remained unrivaled in popularity as a retiree’s location of choice in the United States over the years. However, the extreme humidity, danger of hurricanes, and lack of seasons convince some retirees to reconsider choosing Florida and search for a new place to stay. One such place is the Golden State. California appears like a great destination to many, as it is endowed with pleasant weather and many facilities targeted at seniors. This article explores the top places to retire in California for Florida retirees seeking a new home out west. With the help of the national moving companies, moving to California becomes a breeze.

The Places to Retire in California are Many

Florida is famous for being a retirement haven because of its beautiful weather, sea beaches, golf courses, and income tax exemptions. On the other hand, California also has perfect weather and beaches, as well as various artificial and natural destinations, which help the state compete against Florida. Florida grapples with high-end hurricanes and climbs up humidity, while earthquakes and wildfires sometimes threaten California in some localities. Thus, both states deal with the condition of having options for the inventory in different value ranges in terms of both real estate and taxes.

one of the Places to Retire in California
There are many places to retire in California.

Why California?

  • Year-round sunny weather, especially in Southern California
  • Beaches rivaling Florida’s best, from La Jolla to Malibu
  • Natural wonders like Yosemite, Redwood forests, Napa Valley wine country
  • Vibrant cities like San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco
  • Retirement communities catering to active seniors, with golf, tennis, classes, events
  • Lower-cost areas in Northern California and the Central Valley

With ideal weather that avoids extremes, abundant natural beauty ready to explore, and both affordable and luxury options depending on your budget, California represents an appealing change of pace from Florida for retirees who still want to enjoy an active lifestyle. When it comes to moving from Florida to California, the hardest thing can be narrowing down the many great places to retire across the Golden State.

Criteria for Selecting a Retirement Destination Among the Places to Retire in California

When considering the best places to retire in California after a move from Florida, there are several key factors to take into account:

  • Cost of Living: California occupies a unique position, being known as a quite expensive place to live, especially with the housing market, so affordability is one of the key factors.
  • Healthcare Facilities: Providing people with access to the best healthcare services, hospitals, and specialists should be the highest concern and, therefore, should be given top priority at the planning level.
  • Climate and Geography: The state of California provides a wide range of natural and cultural resources, such as beautiful beaches, majestic mountains, and deserts, under the influence of moderated sunny weather.
  • Community and Activities: A great locale for retirees where they will have access to what they need to do, like indoor and outdoor amenities, social events, and volunteer opportunities, just to name a few, is a great solution for them to avoid boredom.

With these criteria in mind, California has several attractive locations that compare favorably to popular Florida retirement spots. Though the higher taxes and costs require planning, many find the lifestyle and activities worthwhile.

woman talking about the Places to Retire in California with a grandma
When looking for Places to Retire in California, you must account for several important factors.

Top Places to Retire in California

Whether you prefer the surplus of sun from San Diego or explorations in the landscapes of Palm Springs, each area is represented as providing varied benefits to retirees. Let’s move on to the major destinations in the Golden State and start with something for everyone, regardless of tastes and profile.

San Diego

After the sun sets and the people of San Diego disappear under the sheets, the city becomes lonelier than it seems. Retirees who are into busy lifestyles with a lot of outdoor activities may check out this city as a great choice since it can offer surfing, hiking, and golfing as its public amenities.

Palm Springs

Palm Springs represents a heaven on earth for people who love the arts, architecture, and some luxury in mind since it is plentiful with galleries, museums, and mid-century buildings. The friendly climate and quiet atmosphere will be a real paradise for retired people who want to be absolutely relaxed and to be surrounded by all these lovely sceneries.

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, the “American Riviera,” is the name of the city that sounds like the Mediterranean Sea and is characterized by a mild climate combined with a panorama of the coast. This town is known to have intriguing architecture, well-regarding wineries, and beautiful restaurants. Santa Barbara’s beautiful, peaceful, and culturally diverse, much more than a small town, creates a calm environment with a lot of stimulation, which is why it is popular among those looking for a peaceful and enriching retirement.


Sacramento, with its affordability, is a star candidate for the retirees’ wish list, being not as pricy as other Californian cities. It is, thereby, a very attractive option for those who are trying to stretch their savings. However, it is not only a fact that Sacramento is booming economically; it also gives you the opportunity to enjoy a creative cultural scene and numerous parks.

L.A. as one of the top Places to Retire in California
There are lots of affordable and cozy places in California for seniors to move to.

Preparing for the Move

Moving across the country takes extensive preparation. From downsizing belongings to arranging professional Delray Beach movers, retirees looking to relocate from Florida to California retirement destinations should develop a detailed checklist and timeline for their move.

Downsizing and Decluttering

An essential first step is downsizing and decluttering current belongings. Go through each room and storage area methodically, sorting items into categories: keep, donate/sell, and trash. Useful questions to ask: Have I used this in the past year? Would replacing it be easy if I ended up needing it later? Once sorted, schedule donation pick-ups, garage sales, trash removal, etc.

a mover
Leaving behind as many unneeded possessions as possible will make packing, moving, and settling in simpler.

Hiring Professional Movers

Given the long distance, hiring interstate movers Florida is highly advised over moving by yourself. Research companies and get quotes a few months in advance, as the best firms book up quickly. Ask about:

  • Packing/unpacking services: Many movers will pack and unpack belongings for an additional fee. This can be invaluable for those with physical limitations or who wish to avoid this demanding task.
  • Insurance coverage: It’s critical to protect belongings from loss or damage. Ask what level of insurance is included, the potential for additional coverage, and the claims process.
  • Quality checks: Reputable movers will be happy to provide references from past cross-country moves. Follow up to check reviews and confirm they have a proven record of safely transporting household goods long distances.

The extra expense of professional movers is often worth the peace of mind and physical effort saved for retirement relocation. Plan ahead and get quotes early once a moving timeframe is set.

Making Your New Place Feel Like Home

Moving across the country can be challenging, but you can make your new California home feel comfortable and welcoming with some effort. After the movers finish unloading all your belongings, take some time to organize and decorate. Hang up photos and artwork in familiar arrangements to help create a sense of normalcy.

a woman looking into the distance
Once the movers have brought in all the furniture, recreate the layout you had in your Florida home to make this new space feel familiar.

As you settle in, explore the local stores and markets to find new decorative items and plants that fit the California lifestyle. Incorporate warm textures, cozy elements, and plenty of light to make the most of your space. Don’t feel like you need to do it all at once. Let your new home evolve gradually so that each change feels like a positive step, not an overwhelming project. The movers mark the first step in this transition, but making it feel like home is an ongoing process.

Integrating Into the Community

Though you must make some changes in your living location to feel comfortable, connecting to the community you are residing in as soon as the senior movers Delray Beach finish moving all your things is equally important. Try to attend farmer’s markets and neighborhood group meetings, as you will get a chance to meet new neighbors there.

After unpacking with the movers, don’t shy away from asking your new neighbors and friends to suggest places worth spending time on. Whether it is the most delicious restaurants, the most breathtaking hiking trails, or a trustworthy TV technician, locals know their stuff and love to share their favorite spots and services. For this, California alone has other welcoming Californians who can glide along with you as you make your way into your new home area. This is a huge step in feeling at home.

Exploring Other Options Before Retiring in California

While you deliberate on your retirement and if you are opting to move from the Sunshine State to the Golden State, identifying the possible options for the best choice is crucial. There are many different geographies and lifestyles to consider before making the decision to move to California completely.

an old man running
If you want to spend your retirement in different places, consider other senior-friendly states such as NJ, Texas and New York.


Whether or not a major reshuffling of your surroundings and habits is the reason behind your decision, moving from Florida to Texas will certainly provide a meaningful alternative. Texas, which is famous for its beautiful landscapes, the diversity of its cities, and its lack of any income tax, benefits individuals searching for a town and rural living.

New Jersey

As far as those captivated by the strand and interludes, then moving from FL to NJ may offer an irresistible move stop before your final adventure. People come to New Jersey not only for the delight of the Jersey Shore beaches but also because of the cultural stimulation provided by cities like Newark and Jersey City. Such accessibility to two major cities, New York and Philadelphia, guarantees that retirees may take pleasure in the hundreds of activities, such as the Broadway shows and museum exhibitions, as well as historic sites and fine dining.

New York

New York is not only skyscrapers and busy streets; it has lots of beautiful places, delightful little towns, and wonderful people everywhere. A senior can experience a variety of lifestyles against the backdrop of parks and towns in New York. Before finally settling in California, consider making NY your next stop. Consider the Florida to New York movers for relocation assistance when it comes to moving to NY.

Top Places to Retire in California After a Move From Florida

As you can see, these are some of the best places to retire in California, and on top of that, they offer many excellent retirement places for those moving from Florida. The State of California provides a wide range of terrains, cultures, and activities. Whether you prefer a sizzling life in San Diego or Los Angeles or smaller ones like Santa Barbara and a peaceful one along Northern California’s coast, the right spot will surely be yours. While the temperatures are still cold and light, the mild winters and sunny weather throughout the year also help to soothe the state. The warm generosity of its people and mellow way of life will be of great help here if you lose your heart to California.

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