Retirement in Florida?
Florida’s sunny beaches and pleasant winters have long drawn retirees who spent their working years in colder climes. The low housing prices in many Florida cities make the Sunshine State an affordable place to relocate. There’s also no state income tax in Florida, which can benefit retirees with taxable income. Some snowbird retirees spend winters here and then escape the humid summers by heading north during the hottest months. The reasonable cost of living and proximity to the beach makes Florida a desirable place to retire, according to a U.S. News analysis of the 125 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. The study includes data about housing affordability, happiness, desirability, retiree taxes, the job market and access to quality health care.
- Fort Myers residents report a sense of well-being that is among the highest in the U.S., according to a Gallup survey, with locals reporting they have supportive relationships and a manageable economic life. The median home price of $200,200 allows many retirees to comfortably afford a home, which frees up retirement income for other essential expenses. Fort Myers is located along Florida’s Gulf Coast and the Caloosahatchee River. Seniors in Fort Myers can create a relaxing beach retirement lifestyle, even on a modest budget.
- Retirees are often drawn to Sarasota‘s white sand beaches, including Lido Key and Siesta Key. But it’s the high quality of life that keeps people in the area. Sarasota residents report liking where they live and feeling safe in their community, according to a Gallup survey. The reasonable housing costs allow retirees on a budget to live near the water. The median home value among people age 60 and older is $204,000.
- Nearly a third of the population is age 60 or older in this popular retirement spot. Port St. Lucie is located along the Atlantic Ocean in southern Florida. The median home price of $167,200 makes Port St. Lucie an affordable place to retire near the water. If you ever tire of the beach, you can check out the wetlands at Savannas Preserve State Park or the native plants at the St. Lucie Botanical Gardens. Sports fans will enjoy the New York Mets spring training at First Data Field.
- Florida’s most populous city is one of the fastest-growing places in the U.S. The city added 12,153 people between July 2017 and July 2018, according to Census Bureau data. Jacksonville has miles of white sand beaches along the Atlantic coast, and the St. Johns River and Jacksonville Beach Pier provide opportunities for fishing. The area is also a popular retirement destination for golfers, and some of the most scenic courses overlook the ocean and river. Jacksonville has several high-performing hospitals, according to the U.S. News Best Hospitals rankings, including Mayo Clinic-Jacksonville. The median home price of $172,500 makes it affordable to relocate to this northern Florida city.
- Miami is a tropical beach retirement spot that has all the amenities of a major metro area. The city attracted 8,884 new residents between July 2017 and July 2018, according to Census Bureau data. Retirees have access to multiple health care options, including Cleveland Clinic Florida. Miami-Dade residents who are age 65 and older can ride public transit for free, which allows retirees to get around without a car. However, housing prices are higher in Miami than in other parts of Florida and cost retirees a median of $220,700.
- This city is aptly named for the area’s 38 scenic lakes, some of which are inhabited by swans. The humid summers are tempered by mild and sunny winters. Located between Tampa and Orlando, Lakeland is a quieter and more affordable alternative to Florida’s larger cities. The median home price among people age 60 and older is $108,700. Lakeland is also a college town and home to Florida Polytechnic University and Florida Southern College, the latter of which has the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world.
- Located on the Tampa Bay near the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa is a city of skyscrapers and high rises. Tampa has a variety of entertainment options including a zoo, an aquarium, theme parks, several professional sports teams and a popular port for cruise ships. There are several health care providers, including Tampa General Hospital. The median home price of $145,300 makes Tampa affordable to seniors who want to retire near the beach on a budget while still enjoying the amenities of a metro area
- This part of Florida is often referred to as the Space Coast due to the nearby Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Locals can watch rockets as they launch into space. Many streets, schools and other places are named after the space program. Melbourne has an affordable cost of living, and the median home price is just $157,900. When you’re done pondering the cosmos, earthly pleasures include relaxing on an Atlantic Ocean beach or spotting dolphins and sea turtles at the Indian River Lagoon.
- Orlando is a popular vacation destination, due to the area’s theme parks, convention centers and resorts. The city is also a college town, and the massive University of Central Florida has more than 68,000 students. The mild winter temperatures, prolific entertainment options and low cost of living are attractive to retirees. The median home price is $166,400 among people age 60 and older. Your grandchildren will beg to visit you if you live near Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Florida.
- Located at the northwestern tip of Florida, Pensacola is an ideal location for an affordable beach retirement. Pensacola is located along the Pensacola Bay and near the Gulf of Mexico. Popular beaches include Pensacola Beach, Perdido Key and the Gulf Islands National Seashore. The median home price is $142,700 among people age 60 and older. Florida doesn’t have a state income tax, which means those who plan to work in retirement get to keep more of their earnings.
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