3 Communities in CarlsbadView All
Carlsbad is a city situated along the Pacific Coast in the San Diego metropolitan area. This coastal city keeps residents as busy as they choose with outdoor activities such as strawberry picking and bird watching. With the beach as a backyard it’s no wonder retirees are making their way to Carlsbad.
Climate & Geography
The climate in Carlsbad is semi-arid Mediterranean, meaning the area experiences year-round mild temperatures with dry summers and periodic rain in the winters. Occasionally during the fall months, the Santa Ana winds will bring hot, dry air that causes a spike in the temperature. Residents can expect no snowfall, less rain than the national average, and approximately 263 sunny days throughout each year.
The surrounding terrain consists mostly of mountains and valleys, with ocean-side cliffs and sandy beaches to the west along the Pacific Coastline. There are three lagoons and one lake within the city limits.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
Residents can take advantage of the beautiful Southern California weather by visiting South Carlsbad State Beach to take a stroll on the sand and take a dip. The Batiquitos Lagoon has well-kept trails where visitors can hike, bird watch, and enjoy spectacular views of the ocean. Coordinated displays of natural color and beauty can be found at The Flower fields at Carlsbad Ranch. Some more popular Carlsbad landmarks include Oceanside Pier, LEGOLAND, and U-Pick Carlsbad Strawberry Company, among several museums, parks and other attractions.
Carlsbad Village, the city's downtown area, is full of plenty of options for shopping including antique stores, specialty shops, and luxury boutiques. There are also dozens of local restaurants, bars, and cafes to choose from.
For access to even more shopping, dining, and entertainment options San Diego is just 35 minutes away and Los Angeles can be reached in about an hour and a half, providing the perfect opportunities for day trips or weekend getaways.
Cost of Living & Taxes
The overall cost of living in Carlsbad is nearly double the national average. This is primarily due to the extremely high cost of homes and housing, although grocery and transportation costs are above average as well. However, the cost of utilities and healthcare are below average.
California is typically not considered tax friendly for retirees. Though the state does not tax Social Security benefits, all other forms of retirement income are taxed at ordinary rates with a special exemption available for residents who are 65+ that allows them to double that standard exemption to a maximum of $516 depending on filing status. Property tax rates are relatively low in the state, but due to the high cost of homes this can be a very significant expense. This is offset slightly by a homeowners' exemption that reduces the taxable value of a home for qualifying residents.
The San Diego-Carlsbad area ranks extremely high on Gallup’s Well-Being Index, coming in as one of the top 15 cities listed. Overall, the state of California ranks highly compared to other states as well.
There are two medical centers and hospitals in the surrounding cities of Carlsbad. Tri-City Medical Center is located in Oceanside, less than five miles from Carlsbad. Scripps Memorial Hospitals is located in Encinitas, less than seven miles from Carlsbad, and is rated high performing according to U.S. News.