6 Best Places to Retire in Florida
The idea of lying on the sand at a stunning beach only to doze off to the sound of waves is just one among thousands of reasons why people choose to retire in Florida. If you’ve been researching and scouting your options for a retirement destination in the United States, we bet that the Sunshine State has come up a couple of times during your search. Now, trust us, this is no coincidence. As a matter of fact, the state has a high concentration of retirement homes and gated communities.
But you’re probably wondering, what really makes Florida so attractive for retirement? Well, if we had to name a few, it is tax-friendly, has 663 miles of beaches, 175 community parks for recreational activities, an eternal amount of sunshine all year round, golf courses and magnificent freshwater lakes. In addition to that, you would also enjoy senior citizens discounts, great healthcare facilities and affordable flights that make visiting relatives easier. This naturally makes it a retirement wonderland.
Thousands of people move to Florida everyday, but before you start to pack your bags, you’ll need to pin down the region to settle in. We’ll help you out with the options by sharing some of the best places to retire in Florida.
List of Top Places To Retire In The Sunshine State:
Sincerely speaking, the state is so vast that the vibe, communities and living conditions differ depending on the area you end up selecting. In this blog, we’ll highlight the top 6 regions in Florida that offer attractive advantages for retirees.
Now, Ocala is a town centrally located from the state’s major attractions. It’s located exactly in the middle of the state map. People love Ocala because a one or two hour drive would instantly connect them to some of the best beaches, boating spots and theme parks that Florida has to offer. You must have heard that although Florida has its sunny days, the coastline is very much prone to the occasional hurricanes. However, the city Ocala is at a good distance from the coastline which means you can enjoy the warm weather without having to bear coastal risks. This city in particular is rarely hit by a hurricane. That’s why the people who move here enjoy the benefits of the nearby ocean without getting disappointed by the tropical storms that usually occur anytime between August and October all around Florida.
Do note that from the city of Ocala, it would take you roughly 1 hour to drive to famous coastal beaches like Daytona. Overall, it’s easy to fall in love with the active lifestyle offered by this city.
Nearby attractions – The city of Orlando that’s home to Disney World and Universal, Daytona Beach, Crystal River, Gainesville, Silver State Springs Park are all within reach from the town.
Average value of homes in Ocala – $161,044.
Naples has been ranked No. 1 on a list of ‘Best Cities For Early Retirement’ in the United States, and so it just had to make it on our list. It’s probably why this city has a very high percentage of retired folks too. If you hate staying cooped up indoors when you retire, Naples is the place for you. The place encourages both visitors and residents to embrace the infinite options for outdoor fun. People enjoy playing Golf in Naples as it’s also considered a way of life here. So if you’ve always been a fan of the sport, you’ll find 80 championship golf courses where you can pass your time getting extremely good at it. It’s pretty easy to walk around downtown Naples to enjoy the restaurants and art galleries with clear skies and sunshine accompanying you. This is all it takes to fall for this city.
Nearby Attractions – Village shops on Venetian Bay, Club Pelican Bay, Cape Romano, Everglades National Park and Gulf of Mexico beach.
Average value of homes in Naples – $342,652. This makes Naples a comparatively high-end option for retirement.
3. West Palm Beach
West Palm Beach is a bustling city with cultural events, boat shows and has some of the best spots to go to when the sun comes down. If the ocean is what you love, then West Palm Beach is just the place for you! Jet Skiing, snorkeling, kayaking, parasailing are some of the fun water adventures enjoyed at West Palm Beach by residents and visitors. The place also has some of the finest cycling routes and biking around is the ideal way to get acquainted with the streets. There’s some beautiful murals and art installations on the streets which make the city even more aesthetic than it already is. People truly value the city for its lake trails and other recreational options that make retirement lively. It’s easy to find something new to do everyday at West Palm Beach.
Nearby attractions – Flagler Avenue, West Palm Beach Fishing Club, Clematis Street, Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society.
Average value of homes in West Palm Beach – $254,564.
If you choose to live in Clearwater, you’ll get some of the most scenic photos to send across to relatives and friends in postcards. The city is naturally picturesque which makes it perfect for hiking and nature trails. Clearwater can seem like an overly populated town, since it’s next to the hot tourist spots like Tampa and St.Petersburg. However, it’s not too bad because the town has its own quiet spots like the Moccasin Lake Nature Park where you can take a stroll to enjoy the aviary and gardens. This park is just 13 minutes away from the main town.
We’d like to mention that this city does have a strong vacation vibe and in it’s own ways, the city manages to make you feel like you’re on an endless vacation. The lifestyle here is pretty laid back with everyone joining in to celebrate a beautiful sunset (literally). It’s common for musicians and performers to take over Pier 60 at Clearwater to entertain the people every night from 6pm to 9pm. It’s truly tough to have a dull moment here when people all across the state come with the single goal of vacationing.
Nearby attractions – Pier 60, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Sunset Party, The Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail and Clearwater Dolphin Trail.
Average value of homes in Clearwater – $221,179.
Warm weather, a slow pace of life, great ocean air, historical landmarks, art galleries and the opera has made the city of Sarasota a hub for retirees from all over the world. Which is why some of the best retirement communities are situated in this region. The town is buzzing with activities all year round and the farmer’s market is surely the peak event in Sarasota. There’s also sand sculpting competitions, live music events and craft shows that keep communities of the city busy.
Other than conjuring up events all year round, there are a great number of volunteering activities in Sarasota which is something retirees enjoy most here. The city faces the gulf of Mexico, so you can always enjoy the ocean air whilst never getting bored of the views.
Nearby attractions – The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Saint Armands Key, Marina Jack, and Sarasota Opera House.
Average value of homes in Sarasota – $287,207.
6. Saint Augustine
The beautiful quaint little town of St. Augustine is located on the Atlantic coast of Northeastern Florida. The town is appreciated for its rich history, the architecture, the cobblestone paths and cottages that make every walk around the streets pleasant. Saint Augustine also boasts of its live music that you’ll find being played at local cafes to large open amphitheatres. Overall, it’s a neat looking town where houses have enough backyard space and lawns to maintain gardens. The town does your body good because it has cycle paths, parks to walk in and plenty of options for outdoor sports. St. Augustine also has some cozy cafes, pubs and restaurants where it’s fun to just engage in people watching. Beach clothes is all you need to live in, even when you head out of the town. Do note, it’s quite easy to visit the growing town of Jacksonville from Saint Augustine because it is just a 45 minutes drive north.
Nearby attractions – Fort Mose Historic State Park, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, St Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, Lightner Museum and Saint George Street.
Average value of homes in Saint Augustine – $296,220.
See also: Moving to Florida [Relocation Guide]
Things To Take Care of When You Retire To Florida
- Avoid moving during the summers as the roads can be quite busy.
- Find a reliable moving service and reserve the mover in advance.
- After you arrive, take care of the paperwork. Transfering your social security number, registering your vehicle, opening a local bank account and applying for a Florida Homestead exemption are few of the administrative tasks to be managed if you wish to retire in Florida.
- Create a moving budget so you can invest your funds efficiently in activities.
- Once in Florida, there’s a high chance that you will need a car to get around because city transportation isn’t the best. So be sure to invest in one or bring your car along with you.
See also: Best Senior Moving Services
You can certainly use our guide as your homework on some of the best places to retire in Florida. The state surely calls for a luxurious retirement as it helps appreciate the intangible joys of life such as warm sun, laughter and good sleep. These are few of the things waiting for you in Florida and we hope you have a successful move there!
See also: List of 3 Best States to Retire