10 Best Places to Retire in Florida

Right now you must be tired of working hard throughout your life – earning, savings for the future, thinking about your children, and affording a great standard of living. Your busy life never allowed you to pause and relax on the beach, go fishing or enjoy the simplest things in life. But, to enjoy your retirement life, Florida should be your primary choice to settle down. 

Florida is a retirement paradise where retirees can look forward to living their best time. The best places to retire in Florida offer varied choices for indoor and outdoor activities, and volunteer opportunities. The welcoming climate, golf clubs, beach chairs, flip-flops, and easy-breezy t-shirts – no doubt Florida is the best retirement spot. 

Best Places to Retire in Florida

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Where should I retire in Florida? It’s not a difficult question if you read my guide and follow my recommendations. Recently, my grandparents shifted to Florida, Sarasota and hence I can give you the real information about the place. These are the things you should know before moving to Florida.

These best places to retire in Florida are completely unbiased and focused on actual data and genuine information, experience, and reviews. Let’s know the best places to live in Florida for retirees.

Why is Florida a Popular Retirement Destination in the US? 

Even in the coldest month, the average daily high is 70 degrees, and you can retire all your snow boots and enjoy life barefoot. It has beautiful beachfront properties, waterfront condos, luxury homes, and also affordable adult communities. 

Without further ado, here are 5 reasons why retiring in Florida is synonymous with a happy contented life. 

1. So Many Places to Explore in Florida

Every man is a child at heart – therefore you can explore a theme park in Orlando, the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Seminole Indian Museum in Everglades, Cape Canaveral, the McLarty Treasure Museum, the Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum, or just relax on white-sand beaches. You can also go for a drive in freshwater springs or a day trip to Keys, Dry Tortugas National Park, and Kennedy Space Center, or explore the reef islands. 

2. Less Tax on Fixed Income Groups

Staying in Florida is a blessing for the retiree as it has no income tax and no taxes on social security benefits, pensions, IRAs, 401(k) s, and estate tax. Therefore, you have to spend very little on paying taxes to the government. 

3. Best Senior Citizen Communities in Florida

Senior communities mean it is a group of people who have similar interests and it is a way for senior people to socialize through fitness, leisure activities, and clubs. Valencia Sound in Boynton Beach is one the best 55 and over places to live in Florida.

4. The Weather of Florida is Beautiful, Year-Round

The Sunshine State has warm days and breezy evenings; it falls within two climate zones – tropical and subtropical – with highs averaging from 77˚F in the northwest and 82˚F in Miami.

5. The Sunshine State Promotes an Active Lifestyle 

With oceans, rivers, swamps, and inland lakes, Florida offers countless options for leisure activities like fishing, boating, badminton, and a lot more. There are 1,300 golf courses in Florida and you can easily spend early mornings enriching true golf experiences. 

10 Best Places to Live in Florida for Retirees

1. Sarasota

  • Population: 59,363 
  • Cost of living (US average of 100): 102.7 
  • Median Listing Home Price: $449.9K
  • Crime Rate (per 1,000 residents): 36.47

If you are searching for the best beach town to retire in Florida, then you should consider Sarasota. Along the Gulf Coast just 60 miles south of Tampa and 77 miles north of Fort Myers, lays one of the most vibrant and perfect places for retirees. 

Sarasota is a synonym of the good life and this place has a rich colonial history. You’ll find nearly 100 upscale stores, gated communities, waterfront homes, workable downtown, boutiques, and restaurants. 

Glen Oaks is a beautiful community that has a lot of walking trails to relax and cherish the peaceful atmosphere. Bobby Jones Golf Club is a great place for the aged to spend time playing and enjoying themselves. St. Armands Circle features a lot of delicious eateries and shopping options with park benches and a beautiful night-out atmosphere. 

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Hospitals like Sarasota Memorial Hospital and Doctors Hospital of Sarasota are always up for great service to their residents. Harbor Acres, AltaVista, Lakewood Ranch are the best places to retire in Florida. 

Places to visit: Celery Fields, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Ringling Museum, Ballet, opera, Broadway shows, events at the Van Wezel. 

Sarasota | Best Places to Retire in Florida
Sarasota

2. Fort Myers 

  • Population: 96,851 
  • Cost of living (US average of 100): 96.2 
  • Median Home Price: $325K
  • Crime Rate (per 1,000 residents): 25.59

Fort Myers is the perfect combination of recreation and relaxation and a great place to retire in Florida on a budget.  It is located on the Southwest Gulf Coast and the Caloosahatchee River; it is 10 miles from Southwest Florida International Airport. 

Fort Myers is all about a relaxed atmosphere and slow pace of life, enjoying the outdoors, exploring the gorgeous beaches, and a wide variety of quaint shops and restaurants. The cost of living tends to be fairly affordable in Fort Myers compared to Fort Lauderdale

To reside in the tranquil part of the city, choose a property from Captiva Island, Fort Myer Beach, and Fort Myer District. Valencia Bonita retirement community guarantees tailor-made designed spacious villa homes with an opulent 45,000 sq. ft. clubhouse for a sophisticated lifestyle. 

Lee County and Lakes Pak are places for old people to relax and socialize. You can also take your grandchildren to Wa-Ke-Hatchee Community Park. For shopping, you can go to downtown Farmers Market, and Southern Fresh Farm to buy groceries at an affordable price.  

Places to visit: Boston Red So, Manatee Park, 3500 acres of wetlands, and Minnesota Twins spring training camps.

Manatee Park
Manatee Park

3. Tampa 

  • Population: 404,636
  • Cost of living (US average of 100): 100.1 
  • Median home price: $355K 
  • Crime Rate (per 1,000 residents): 21.92

If you want to enjoy your golden years then there is no other best place to retire in Central Florida, Tampa. It is located along Florida’s Gulf Coast and is the third-largest city in Florida. 

It is one of the most happening parts of Florida, with a lot of entertainment options including a zoo, an aquarium, theme parks, and several professional sports teams. The fantastic weather and close proximity to multiple natural springs and beaches make Tampa an ideal place for long walks and one of the best places to retire on the Florida gulf coast. 

If Tampa is too crowded then you can find property at Mulberry, Seminole, New Port Richey, and Zephyrhills which are on the outskirts of Tampa. StrawBerry Ridge is an age-restricted retirement community in Tampa for retirees 55 and over. Valencia del Sol is also a great place for adults to socialize and stay physically active.

It’s lovely to cheer on the Tampa Bay Rays, Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There are a lot of libraries to indulge yourself in. The Tampa General Hospital provides the best healthcare for retirees. 

Places to visit: The Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay History Center, Henry B. Plant Museum, Florida Museum of Photographic Arts 

Recommended Read: 10 Amazing Places to Live on The Gulf Coast of Florida

Tampa
Tampa

4. Naples 

  • Population: 22,206 
  • Cost of living (US average of 100): 111.9
  • Median Home Price: $566.1 K
  • Crime Rate (per 1,000 residents): 15.54

Naples claims to be ‘the golf capital of the world’ and one of the best cities to retire in Florida. Naples, Florida is next to the Gulf of Mexico in southwest Florida and an hour south of Fort Myers. 

Naples offers gorgeous sunsets, pristine beaches, shopping centers, high-end shops along the streets, championship-level golf courses, and one of the desirable retirement locations. Historic downtown Naples is famous for Naples Pie with pleasant winter weather. 

According to Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index, Immokalee and Marco Island are the best places to stay with a high sense of well-being. The Naples–Marco Island area was ranked number 1 in 2017-18, Gallup-Healthways Well-Being index in terms of health, financial security, community, and sense of purpose. 

Aston Gardens at Pelican Marsh is a great place in Naples for retirees. NCH Healthcare System, Mayo Clinic, and other small hospitals are functional and take good care of the people and help them to recover from any type of disease.

Places to visit: Naples Botanical Garden, Naples Train Museum, Cambier Park, Naples Depot Museum, and many more. 

Naples 
Naples 

5. Gainesville

  • Population: 134,661 
  • Cost of living (US average of 100): 89.9 
  • Median Home Price: $274.8K
  • Crime Rate (per 1,000 residents): 39.64

If you’re searching for the safest places to retire in Florida then Gainesville is the perfect place. It is not a beach town, hence safe during a hurricane, 75 miles away from the east coasts in the north-central area. 

Gainesville is a fairly small northern central town where the adult population enjoys the hassle-free timetable and enjoys the beautiful atmosphere. It has many parks and recreation areas and pedestrian-friendly trails for old people. 

The University of Florida offers many courses for the older population and also offers many benefits for retirees. The Institute for Learning in Retirement at Oak Hammock, allows retirees to teach students as a professor. 

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There are two big hospitals in Gainesville which offer exclusive care to people. It also has great timely public transportation, plenty of fine dining restaurants, and shopping centers.

Places to visit: Florida Museum of Natural History, the Museum for Creativity and Invention, A.Quinn Jones Museum & Cultural Center, the Harn Museum of Art, Ichetucknee Spring State Park, and many more. You can also go for a day trip to the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean.

6. St. Petersburg 

  • Population: 267,121 
  • Cost of Living(US average of 100): 98.6 
  • Median Home Price: $659K
  • Crime Rate (per 1,000 residents): 33.46

St. Petersburg sits across the bay from 25 miles Tampa, south of Clearwater, and along the Tampa Bay. This Sunshine City is the perfect retirement destination that offers a simple lifestyle with big-city amenities. 

The temperature is around 74 degrees all-round the year and offers picture-perfect white sand and clear water. Due to its prime location – among the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa Bay, Boca Ciega Bay, and Intracoastal waterways – it is a paradise for boating enthusiasts and other water activities. 

It offers Spanish-influenced bungalows, cottages, and also 55+ communities. Valencia Del Sol is one of them and a great place to socialize and stay physically active. Sundial St. Pete, Tyrone Square Mall is a great shopping destination in St. Petersburg.

Morton Plant Hospital complex in Clearwater is one of the best healthcare complexes that take great care of the people. The downtown area is highly walkable and has a wide range of dining options where you can grab delicious Cuban, Italian, and tasty foods. 

Places to visit: Honeymoon Island, Sawgrass Lake Park, Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, The Florida Holocaust Museum, The Dali Museum, and a lot more. 

Related Post: 10 Top Growing Cities in Florida

 St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg

7. Melbourne

  • Population: 83,881 
  • Cost of living (US average of 100): 90.9
  • Median Home Price: $350K
  • Crime Rate (per 1,000 residents): 38.92

Melbourne is a small town called the ‘Space Coast’ and home to high-tech companies like Rockwell Collins, Liberty Aerospace and Northrop Grumman, and many more. It is an hour from Orlando, located midway down the east coast – the best place to retire in Florida, Melbourne

Its closeness to the sea and the 155-mile long estuary, Indian River Lagoon makes it one of the regular pastimes spots for old people. This estuary separates the Space Coast from the Atlantic Ocean and here you can see a lot of manatees.

There are a lot of outdoor activities to enjoy like hiking at Viera Wetlands and the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. If you love golfing then complete golf courses from Baytree National Golf Links and the Mallards Landing Golf Course (government) and Suntree Country Club (private). 

Public transportation is available by the Space Coast Area Transit and there are functional and great healthcare services available. This place guarantees a good and happy retired life. 

Places to visit: Paradise Beach, Sea Turtle Preservation Society Melbourne Beach, Brevard County Erna Nixon Park, and lots more. 

8. Orlando 

  • Population: 290,520 
  • Cost of Living (US average of 100): 104.1 
  • Median Home Price:  $335K
  • Crime Rate (per 1,000 residents): 45.08

If you are searching for the best places to live in Florida for retirees with grandchildren, there is no better place than Orlando. It’s popular among children for having theme parks, Universal Orlando, and the many Disney World parks and resorts. 

AdventHealth Orlando is a great health care facility, which is a great advantage for old people residing here. The University of Central Florida attracts thousands of students every year making it one of the educational hubs in Florida. 

If Orlando seems to be too crowded, then choose the suburbs areas like Belle Isle, and Heathrow to reside. 

Places to visit: Kelly Park, Blue Spring State Park, Wekiwa Springs State Park, and many more. 

Orlando 
Orlando 

Read Also: 10 Best Free Things That You Shouldn’t Miss in Orlando

9. Venice 

  • Population: 25,167 
  • Cost of living (US average of 100): 101.3 
  • Median Home Price: $ 405K
  • Crime Rate (per 1,000 residents): 14.41

If you’re a retiree then beaches and parks are your day-to-day place to visit, then no place is better than Venice. After every few blocks, you will find parks where you can sit quietly and enjoy the beauty of palm trees and birds chirping.

Venice, South Venice, Nokomis, Laurel, and Osprey are the 5 communities with different lifestyles. The historic downtown area, beaches, local strolls, and 700-foot long fishing pier provide eye-soothing views of the Venice coastline

Read Also: 9 Best Fishing Piers to Visit in Florida

Residents of Venice enjoy a high quality of life with affordable healthcare and medical facilities and access to the entertainment world. You can go kayaking or paddleboarding along the Intercoastal Waterway, which runs through the city. 

Places to visit: Myakka River State Park. 

10. Key West

  • Population: 23,342 
  • Cost of Living (US average of 100): 154.8 
  • Median Home Price: $ 912.5K 
  • Crime Rate (per 1,000 residents): 21.03

Home to Harry Truman, Tennessee Williams, and Ernest Hemingway, Key West is one of the best places to retire in South Florida. It sits at the end of the Florida Keys and is a prime destination to spend time on the beaches. 

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The Florida Keys are a chain of small coral islands which is another major tourist attraction. It offers a beach view, shops and fine dining restaurants, banks, grocery stores, and top-rated medical facilities. Lower Keys Medical Center is a great hospital that is accessible 24 hours. 

There are fine dining options, shops, bars, and cafes lined in Duval Street making it one of the liveliest streets. You can witness the best sunset in the Old Town and make new friends. There are a lot of living options ranging from private homes, condos, apartments, gated communities, and RV parks. 

Places to visit: Truman’s Little White House, Shipwreck Museum & Lookout Tower, and a lot more. 

Key West | best retirement communities in Florida
Key West

What Are Some Retirement Communities in Florida?

Retirement communities in Florida are famous because they include several types of housing options. Some retirees may want to live in age-targeted communities, some may not. To make your life even easier, I’m listing down a few retirement communities for the best experiences. 

1. Beer Creek in Daytona Beach

Beer Creek retirement community offers the best resort lifestyle with an average home price of $ 197,168. It has three different clubhouses with many facilities.

Bear Creek is limited to adults 55 and older and it has social clubs, group activities, fun nights, craft sessions, and many more. It also has a library and wooded walking trails for peaceful evening walks. 

2. The Palace Group in Miami

65 years old and over residents of Miami enjoy the special offer to ride public transit for free. The average home price ranges between $407,242. The Miami Palace Group, designed gorgeously, caters to residents looking to socialize and stay physically active.

This amazing new community features a stunning selection of a fitness center, a heated pool, a library, restaurant-style dining facilities, and clubs. 

3. Valencia Cay at Riverland in Port St. Lucie 

U.S. News & World Report ranked Port St. Lucie as the third best place to retire in 2021. Valencia Cay features an opulent 4,000-acre pedestrian-friendly neighborhood. The average home starts from $288,450. 

Active adults will enjoy the 34,000square foot Clubhouse or the Grand Social Hall offering an array of resort-style amenities including a café, community garden, functional gym, and other facilities. 

The options are endless and you will find several affordable retirement communities in Florida of your choice! Pelican Preserve in Fort Myers, Lakewood Ranch in Sarasota, Cypress Village in Jacksonville, and many more. 

Retirement Community in Tampa Florida
Retirement Community in Tampa

What are The Pros and Cons of Retiring in Florida?

To make your life even easier, here are the 3 advantages and disadvantages of living in Florida

Pros:

  • 20.9 % of the Florida population is 65 years old and even more. Therefore, a large senior population and a great chance to make new friends. 
  • Fixed income groups can easily find affordable homes ranging from $170,000 – $210,000. 
  •  300 days of warm weather and beautiful climate to enjoy during your retirement years.

Life without cons is incomplete. So, let’s know the cons of retiring in Florida. 

Cons:

  • The healthcare system in the state is below average.
  • There is too much traffic in the state which is challenging to navigate all time.
  • Florida is home to snakes, alligators, and other dangerous critters. 

To know more about the pros and cons of living in Florida, you can click here.

Final Words

What are you waiting for? You have now reached a stage where enjoying life and balancing time between relaxing on the beach and spending quality time with family matters. Florida is home to pleasant cities, and towns on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, and inland. Pack your bags and let’s settle here! 

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FAQ – Best Places to Retire in Florida

1. Where Do Most Retirees Live in Florida?

A: Florida is the best retirement home and retirees love to settle in Boynton Beach, Indian Spring which is an active adult community.  Terrace Park of Five Towns and Paradise Shores is also another great community in St. Petersburg. 

2. What are the Worst Places to Retire in Florida?

A: Florida is a most desired destination for retirees but there are some worst places to reside in terms of affordability and quality of life. Places like Land O’ Lakes, Deltona, and Town ‘n’ Country should be avoided for retirees. 

3. How Much Does It Cost to Live in a Retirement Community in Florida? 

A: It highly depends on the location you have chosen to live in Florida. But it will nearly come from $1,500 to $4,000 a month. A senior residing may range from $3,500 to $10,500 a month.

4. Does Florida Tax Social Security and Pensions?

A: Florida has no state income tax, so you don’t have to pay state taxes on Social Security benefits, pensions, IRAs, 401(k)s, and other retirement income. 

5. What are the Negatives of Retiring in Florida?

A: Florida has no state income tax, but the local taxes in Florida are so high that they might take away a major portion of your savings. The sun and the climate are too harsh for old people. 

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