Why San Diego ranked among the worst U.S. cities to retire
San Diego's sunny weather might be appealing to retirees looking to maintain an active lifestyle, but it's ranked among the least desirable U.S. cities to retire.
Driving the news: U.S. News & World Report named San Diego the 115th best place to retire for 2024 of 150 major U.S. cities.
- That's up from 124th last year.
- The median home price is $915,000 as of October, about 2.2 times higher than the national average, per Redfin. That's before additional fees, like homeowners association dues.
- "San Diegans are willing to pay these elevated prices, though, often referring to the cost-of-living differences as the 'sunshine tax,' or the price of enjoying a year-round temperate climate," according to U.S. News.
Context: The U.S. News rankings were based on six factors, including: affordability, happiness, desirability, retiree taxes, job market and health care quality. How much weight each of those categories held was determined by a September survey of people approaching or at retirement age nationwide.
- Respondents indicated affordability, essentially the cost of housing, was the most important attribute of a retirement destination.
By the numbers: San Diego earned a 6.3 out of 10 overall in the rankings. It got:
- 3.5 for housing affordability
- 5.9 for health care
The big picture: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania ranks as the No. 1 place to retire. The state dominated the ranking, capturing seven spots in the top 10.
- Three Florida cities — Daytona Beach, Tampa and Sarasota — cracked the top 20, compared to eight last year.
What they're saying: Expensive housing and the increase of extreme weather risks make Florida and the West Coast less appealing for retirees, U.S. News & World Report finance expert Beverly Harzog tells Axios.
- "The areas that rank high on Best Places to Retire also tend to be more tax-friendly for seniors," Harzog says.
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