California is home to one out of eight Americans ( 38 million people) and
is the third largest state by area after
Alaska and Texas. As you would expect,
it boasts more retirement communities than any other state.
Choose your setting—mountains,
valleys, or beachfront—and it’s likely
“The Golden State” has an ideal community for you. California’s diverse
geography ranges from the Pacific
Coast in the west, to the Sierra Nevada
in the east, the Redwood forests of the
northwest, to the Mojave Desert in the
A Mediterranean climate—cool,
rainy winters and dry summers—is
a bonus for residents. The fog-bound
cables of the Golden Gate Bridge and
surfer culture of Venice Beach are
recognizable icons. Inland cities like
Palm Springs experience colder winters, hotter summers. High mountains, such as the Sierra Nevada, have
an alpine climate with snow in winter
and milder heat in summer.
California’s multi-racial culture
is heavily influenced by immigration
from Asia and Latin America. Over
200 languages are spoken and read
here, Spanish being the state’s official
second language. While California
has a poverty rate of 23. 5 percent, the
highest of any US state, it also claims
the highest number of millionaires.
Many of its wealthiest residents live
in northern Santa Clara and San Ma-
teo counties and work in information
technology. After World War II, sci-
entists at Stanford developed a high-
tech region in Palo Alto, an area now
known as Silicon Valley. As a result,
California is regarded as a world center
of technology as well as entertainment
and music, agriculture and aerospace.
California has some of the most
aggressive “green” energy goals in the
U.S.; it aims to obtain a third of its
electricity from renewables by 2020.
Several solar power plants, such as the
Solar Energy Generating Systems facility, are located in the Mojave Desert;
wind farms include Altamont Pass, San
Gorgonio Pass and Tehachapi Pass.