I haven't read this thread in it's entirety, and perhaps I will go back and do that at a later time.
However, if my only two choices for retiring were California, and Florida, I myself would choose California. The weather is nicer and Disneyland is there.
Reality for me is that I will most likely spend the rest of my life right here in Chicago where I reside, and hopefully get to take a vacation each year to Disneyland in California. I have lost the desire to vacation in Florida. It has become a bit too complicated, and costly, for me personally.