If you are a newly retired individual looking to move out of your urban lifestyle and enjoy the rest of your job-free life in conditions of peace and comfort, or you are an already long-retired person or self-employed individual who desires to enjoy his life in a tranquil and hospitable condition, while also getting the best exhilaration for your buck. In that case, Florida is the perfect retirement destination for you, and it has the second-highest retiree population in the country.
For good reasons, first and foremost, it is tax-friendly for retirees, which means no state taxes on retirement income, pensions, and social security benefits. At the same time, the magnificent coastlines, beaches, palm trees, and recreational activities are also appealing due to its high aging population. It has also attracted some of the best senior professionals, giving its residents high-quality and affordable medical care. But the question is, what are the best places to retire in Florida? This absolute guide is the answer.
12 Best Places to Retire in Florida
So, without further ado, here are the 12 best places to retire in Florida.
The cost of living in Jacksonville is 5% lower than the average national cost, and that’s the thing that makes Jacksonville a sweet spot for retirees to consider.
Jacksonville offers affordability due to its prime location on the Atlantic Ocean and the St. Johns River.
Its population of around 900,000 makes it one of Florida’s larger cities, and a range of housing options available, with the median home listing price of 280 thousand dollars.
In comparison, the average monthly rent is estimated at around 14 hundred dollars. Still, the cost will vary depending on your preferred neighborhood and type of residence.
Plus, it is home to miles of beaches, water sports, cultural attractions, and world-class golf courses.
Some of Jacksonville’s most popular cultural attractions include the Museum of Contemporary Art, Beaches Clara white mission kingsley plantation, and the Museum of Southern History, not to mention the incredible parks, the amazing libraries and entertainment options, and the number of great fitness centers public transit is top notch as well. So getting around to see all these things is as easy as possible.
For people who want to enjoy Florida’s best weather and beautiful Gulf Coast Coast beaches after retirement, Pensacola, located at the far end of Panhandle City, is the perfect place for them.
Pensacola has the most popular beaches, including the Gulf Islands National Seashore and Pensacola Beach, where life becomes a paradise.
According to a U.S. News survey on potential retirement spots, Pensacola scores high for desirability. The average monthly cost of living in Pensacola per person comes out to 18 hundred dollars, and if you are looking to invest in a retirement home or villa, the typical home value in Pensacola is two hundred and forty thousand dollars. This value is seasonally adjusted and only includes the middle price tier of homes.
This town is known as the oldest in the country, but its attractions are far from old news. From lounging on Atlantic beaches to marveling at the town’s architecture and exploring Anastasia State Park, St. Augustine offers many fun activities.
Located along the East Coast of Florida, the city is about an hour north of Daytona Beach and 45 minutes south of Jacksonville.
In addition to being a great location for history buffs, it is also filled with tons of culture, great shopping, unique places to eat, and a couple of retirement communities.
The average monthly cost of living here is relatively cheap apart from the rental prices, as its housing expenses are 17 percent higher than the national average.
In comparison, the utility prices are 3 percent lower than the national average. The median monthly rent in the city is around 16 hundred dollars for an apartment, while the typical home value in St.Augustine is four hundred and seventy thousand dollars.
That being said, prices of properties further inland are still very affordable.
This equestrian town is best known as the horse capital of the world. Retirees can look towards attending horse shows and other events with regular horseback rides on the local nature trails.
It’s a place for those who like tranquility and being laid back but with plenty of options to fill your days with fun as its downtown area is filled with a number of restaurants, shopping centers, and malls.
The average monthly cost of living in Ocala is below sixteen hundred dollars. If you want to buy a retirement home here, the typical home value is estimated at two hundred and sixty thousand dollars.
Port St. Lucie
With a third of the population being 60 or older, Port St.Lucie is quite a popular retirement spot among many people. It’s located along the Atlantic Ocean in Southern Florida between Miami and Orlando.
Most of the retirees who move here praise the affordability of Port St.Lucie, a community with access to the Atlantic Ocean and lots of natural wonders.
For active retirees enjoying the beautiful weather, safety, and laid-back atmosphere, there are miles of beaches with waterfront restaurants. Additionally, there are various recreational options available, including fishing, diving, kayaking, cruise tours, and horseback riding.
St.Lucie boasts some of the most affordable retirement homes in all of Florida, starting from three hundred thousand dollars overall; the great housing values combined with an amazing lifestyle safety and a short driving distance to the famous cities have resulted in the popularity of Port St.Lucie.
Daytona Beach, located in the northern portion of Florida’s east coast, stands out for its unique setting. It features a barrier island with hard sand beaches connected to the mainland, offering a distinctive beach experience that differs from the traditional notion of a picturesque beach retreat.
This bustling city is a haven for motorsports and the headquarters for NASCAR fans who flock to the city for the Daytona 500 speed weeks and many other large automobile and motorcycle events each year. For this reason, this area is often overlooked by elderly individuals and retirees, but these activities barely even scratch the surface of what is available in Daytona Beach.
The monthly cost of living is 8% lower than the state average and 7% lower than the national average. Building or buying a retirement home for yourself in Daytona Beach is relatively cheap compared to the other areas in Florida, with the average price being 260 thousand dollars.
Furthermore, there are many small suburbs and retirement communities inland where one can enjoy peace and tranquility.
This not only makes Orlando a great city to retire to, but it’s one of the most visited destinations in the state.
The population of Orlando is approximately 280,000, but it attracts over 75 million visitors every year. This is largely due to the fact that world-famous theme parks such as Universal Studios Orlando and Disney World are located here.
Although many people visit Orlando due to the theme parks, there are plenty of activities that do not include waiting in line for a ride. One can also enjoy Quaint state parks such as Wekiwa Springs State Park, Kelly Park, Blue Springs State Park, and more.
The estimated monthly cost of living in Orlando is a bit high at two thousand dollars, but then again, the quality of life is high as well.
For those looking to buy a house for retirement in Orlando, the typical home value in Orlando is 380 thousand dollars. This value decreases even further if you buy property on the outskirts of the main city.
This city is located on the southeast coast of Florida, 23 miles north of Miami and 42 miles south of Palm Beach. Although the population of this area is 180,000, it increases significantly during the winter months.
There are many recreational activities for senior citizens and retirees to involve themselves in. Hugh Taylor Birch State Park offers wilderness amidst the urban setting with access to the beach, Intracoastal waterway, and shady trees.
Additionally, it’s home to more than 4000 restaurants and 120 nightclubs, many located in the heart of its main downtown. On the flip side, it’s ranked the seventh most expensive place in Florida.
For those looking to buy a house in the area, the typical home value starts at almost 550 thousand dollars, which is a little high compared to other areas.
Still, then again, its proximity to Miami and Palm Beach makes it ideal for those wanting to take a day trip.
If Fort Lauderdale is too expensive for your taste, you can always retire in Fort Myers instead, which is located on the other side of the coast.
Fort Myers is a popular southwest Florida town. Those looking at coastal cities in Florida to retire would find that the cost of living in Fort Myers is 35% cheaper than what you would expect in Fort Lauderdale.
Fort Myers scored well on the desirability and happiness metrics according to surveys by Share Care and U.S. News.
Many retirees are able to comfortably afford a home, which frees up retirement income for other essential expenses, but keep in mind that the average cost of living is still four percent higher than the national average.
However, the cost of living in any area can vary based on factors such as location, lifestyle, and the real estate market of that area.
If you’re looking to buy a home in Fort Myers, the typical home price in this area is 380 thousand dollars.
It is located along the Gulf of Mexico; the white sand beaches, golf courses, and pleasant winter weather draw many retirees to this area; it provides residents with one of the best resort lifestyles that suit those on retirement.
The city is home to several gated communities with country clubs, shopping centers, dining establishments, and massive Golf courses. All these features enable some residents to spend their retired days relaxing or taking part in different recreational activities, but bear in mind all of this comes with hefty costs as the city is known for being a notoriously wealthy area.
On the contrary, the cost of living is still 40% cheaper than the likes of Miami; however, if you are looking to sell a house in Naples, the average cost starts from six hundred thousand dollars, which is very expensive for someone on a budget.
Time and time again, Sarasota is ranked among the best places to retire in Florida; it is located on the Gulf of Mexico, boasting miles of beaches ranging from popular to isolated, but it’s not just the seaside breezes and waving Palms that make Sarasota an appealing retirement destination.
The region is also known for its lush golf courses, art, and cultural treasures. It hosts many major events, including the Sarasota Film Festival, so for anyone who wants to retire in glamour, this might be the perfect place.
At the same time, it is not the lowest-cost place to retire in Florida. The reasonable housing costs allow retirees on a budget to retire near the beach. Renters pay a median of twelve hundred dollars per month, and for those looking to buy property, it features reality for all budgets and tastes.
Set on Florida’s Gulf Coast, the Tampa Bay area comprises cities like St.Petersburg Clearwater and the city of Tampa for retirees who want to be near the beach with activities like water sports, boating, and the attractions of city life. It’s a solid choice.
The reasonable home prices in this area are also a major draw for retirees who want to retire near the beach on a budget while still enjoying the amenities of a metro area.
Currently, the estimated median home value price is 360 thousand dollars; if you move further inland, this price tag can come down under 200,000 for a modest three-bedroom house, which is surprisingly cheap.
Considering the quality of life amenities and overall living conditions and activities, all in all, the Tampa Bay area offers a laid-back beach lifestyle while still offering the amenities that can be found within the diverse metropolitan area.
With amazing golf courses, beautiful beaches, low taxes in the state, and good healthcare, Florida is the perfect place to retire. Florida’s population is increasing continuously, and the towns are growing fast for these reasons. Whether you desire a luxury or budget-friendly option to live after retirement, Florida has all the perks for everyone to enjoy their retirement.