12 Worst Places to Retire in Florida

Florida was once considered a retirement paradise and the dream of many. In the sunshine state, individuals saved their lives to flock and settle in the best places Florida could offer them.

However, the cheerful state is not all about sun, beaches, and paradise anymore; rising living costs and un-nerving hurricanes are taking a toll on businesses and individuals, with seniors taking the hardest blow.

The North West is on top among worst places to retire in Florida, owing largely to the warm, shallow waters of the Mexico Gulf. It is also a prime location with the latest hurricane, Ian, hitting the cost. 

In Southeast Florida, almost 137 people have died due to the latest Hurricane Ian, out of which two-thirds were seniors. After the hurricane, seniors have been having trouble, and many find evacuations too expensive to consider at all. 

Even businesses, including Lowe’s Companies Inc. and The Home Depot, Inc., committed millions of dollars to hurricane impact, but still not enough. 

According to Fitch Ratings, back in 2005, hurricane Katrina brought about $65 billion in insured losses. After that, the latest Hurricane Ian insured losses amounting to $50 to 65 billion.

When it comes to hurricanes, the worst place to live in Florida is Miami, with a 16% chance of getting hit by a hurricane each year. That’s why retirees with small nest eggs should consider hurricane-free retirement places.

Worst Places to Retire in Florida

Worst places to retire in Florida 2023 - FLTrendz

Also Read: Best Places To Retire in Florida

Bal Harbor 

It is a great place for vacation but certainly not an ideal place to retire, with a high cost of living index of 131.4 means, which means retirees need more than their social security check to afford living here. 

Bal Harbor is also highly prone to hurricanes and floods. Since 1930, more than 78 hurricanes have been recorded. 

In 2018, the crime rate recorded in Bal Harbor was 96.28 per 100,000 population. 

According to the realtor, the median rental price in Bal Harbor is $9,500. Moreover, the poverty rate is higher than the Florida average.

Juno Beach

Juno Beach is one of the worst places to retire in Florida due to its high cost of living and hurricane risk. The cost of living index for Juno Beach is 145.1, which means living here is 45% more expensive than the U.S. average. 

The total expenses for single adults here, such as housing, food, healthcare, and other necessities, is $38,025 annually, according to 24/7 Wall Street.

Highland Beach

Retirees surviving on social security checks should know this area is prone to hurricanes, and groceries and healthcare are expensive, exceeding the national average. 

The cost of living index in Highland Beach is 148.8, revealing that living here is 48% more expensive than living U.S. average, and monthly rents can be as much as $6,557. Since 1930, Highland Beach has recorded a total of 87 hurricanes.   

Siesta Keys

Those on social security checks cannot even think about living here because the average rents are exceptionally high.

The cost of living index is 150.2, implying that the cost of living here is 50% more than the U.S. average. The median rent for bedrooms and properties is $6,000. Since 1930, 72 hurricanes being recorded.

Key West

Key West may have been a famous retirement destination, but its high cost makes it difficult for retirees. 

In this area, the cost of living index is 151,2%, which is 51% higher than the U.S. average. One-bedroom apartments cost $4,708 on average, with increasing prices per year. 

In Key West, healthcare is much more expensive, as it is 62.4% above the national average. Further notice that there is no activity beyond beaching, drinking, and boating.


Miami is a remarkable site for travelers who love picturesque beaches, incredible food, and non-stop cultural events. However, its location makes Miami the most hurricane-prone City in Florida. 

The majority of Miami residents live fewer than 20 miles from the coast, which adds a 16% alarming probability of being hit by a hurricane.

Fort Lauderdale 

Like other Southeastern Florida cities, Fort Lauderdale is a must-see site for relaxing on the beach, enjoying luxury beachside shopping, and treating yourself to cutting-edge restaurants. 

However, the cost of living here is 21% above that of Florida, which makes it too pricey for many retirees.


Lakeland has a lot going for it, including its proximity to Orlando and Tampa. But unfortunately, it also has the third-worst commute of any city in the United States. 

To reach winter heaven, just know that you have to drive an average of more than 30 minutes traveling at 27 miles per hour.    

Panama City

According to one poll, Panama City is the ugliest place to live in Florida. Don’t be confused with Panama Beach City; per the City’s Reddit user, this city is a poorly designed locale with a horrifying amount of bland and overpriced McMansions. 

Unless you’re interested in living in a boring town, leave Panama City off your list of potential retirement cities.

Palm Beach

In Southern Florida, Palm Beach is a beautiful beachside city with gorgeous beaches and luxury resorts. Although Palm Beach can be a wonderful place to vacation, the same things that make it so attractive also make it less than ideal for those living on a fixed income. 

Over the last few years, property values in the area soared by nearly 14%. Even after the recent 4.6% reduction in property taxes, this won’t be enough to make local properties affordable for retirees.


Perhaps unsurprisingly, Jacksonville, Florida’s biggest city, consistently ranks as the most dangerous. In 2019, this city experienced over 5,880 violent crimes, or 647 per 100,000 individuals. 

For the past two decades, property crime has fallen year over year, while violent crime rates are much lower now than 30 years ago.


Sarasota is the perfect beach for retirees in many ways, but before you go all in on the city, you should be aware that it had the highest number of nuisance alligator removals in the state in 2018.

In Florida, more than 1 million alligators call home, deadly alligator attacks on humans are rare. However, some cities of Florida experience more alligator nuisance removal calls than others, and Sarasota makes it into the top five.


After retirement, if you don’t want to waste your hard-earned retirement savings on an expensive move to a city and learn too late, you don’t like it. You should read the information mentioned above carefully. Although these Florida cities might not be ideal relocation sites for many retirees, there are some senior-friendly areas in the state.

If you dream of living in Florida, thoroughly research your destination city before deciding to move.


In addition to inflation, increasing costs of living, and house prices, retirees are leaving Florida. 

The following are the cons of retiring in Florida:

  • Natural Disasters
  • Lots of Tourists.
  • Limited public transportation in certain areas.

Sarasota is the best country in Florida, with prior retirees, providing cal and recreational facilities, and a rement community.

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