By Lee Ratta Senior Vice President, Organizational Advancement Group Front Porch

San Diego boasts the best retirement communities in the country, if not the world! Front Porch retire-ment communities are no exception. In the 1950s and 1960s these retirement communities were established by not-for-profit organizations in exceptional locations around the county. You will find full service retirement communities on the Coast Walk in La Jolla, on the bluff next to Carlsbad Village, on the hilltop of Mt. Soledad and on acreage in Chula Vista with neat little retirement cottages on well-maintained private streets and gardens.

Some of these communities have histories as historic hotels such as Casa de Mañana in La Jolla, which still retains its Spanish mission-style façade and graceful arched windows to the sea even though most of the villas have been recently rebuilt. Carlsbad By The Sea Retirement Community in Carlsbad Village was the first health resort in San Diego featuring hot mineral spas and rooms overlooking the ocean. The resort greeted guests from Hollywood in the 1930s like Bing Crosby and Pat O’Brien on their way to the Del Mar races and John Wayne who stayed at the resort in the 1950s during the filming of ‘Flying Tigers.’ The Carlsbad By The Sea Retirement Community was completely rebuilt in 2000 as a retirement resort with meticulous attention to recreating the historic mission-style façade and invigorating the contemporary California spa concept. At Wesley Palms on Mt. Soledad, cottages dot the park-like acreage with mature trees and plants overlooking Mission Bay and the Pacific.

Over the years, new urban and inland communities have been built that add to the variety of retirement choices in the county, but the opportunity to retire in style by the ocean in San Diego is a great and rare resource to the many residents who are looking for full service retirement living.

What is Full Service

Retirement Living and Who Lives There?

People who choose to move to a retirement community are “planners” – they planned for their education, careers, family and now they are planning for the third stage of life. They want to live in a place that respects and supports their independence while offering an opportunity to be part of a community.

Front Porch, which owns and operates four communities in San Diego, says that each Front Porch community is as unique as the people who live there. We tell our residents, “We take care of the mundane, so you can explore the extraordinary.” Living at a retirement community offers residents a host of services including excellent dining, housekeeping, maintenance, scheduled or arranged transportation, wellbeing programs including pools, gyms, massage and social and recreational amenities including lifelong learning programs.

Today’s retirement community residents are looking for an opportunity to continue to live life their way but with the service, support and camaraderie offered at the community. They are people from all walks of life who want to travel, pursue lifelong passions, volunteer in the community, take or teach classes and explore living their best lives in retirement.

What’s New in Retirement Living?

Many of today’s retirement communities are instituting “smart” technology features to help residents monitor their security, health and wellbeing. There is a focus on vitality and whole person wellness.

What does it Cost?

There are many different styles and options in retirement living from independent and assisted living communities that offer month to month rental programs to full Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) that provide independent living, assisted living (including memory care) and skilled nursing care in one setting. CCRCs are the most secure option and offer a contract for an added sense of security.

Pricing varies on the location, services and accommodation selected but the value is exceptional for the service and amenities provided and pricing is competitive. Most offer all inclusive monthly rates or a combination of entrance fee (for a continuing care contract) and monthly fee for services.