Between its warm climate and gorgeous beaches, it’s no wonder Florida is such an attractive state for retirees. It doesn’t hurt that the state has no tax on income (see Finding A Retirement Friendly State and Overall Tax Burden By State and has a relatively low cost of living.
No doubt, part of what makes Florida a big draw for older adults is the number of cities with different styles of living. Based on factors such as location, recreation opportunities, home prices and crime rates, the following are ten of the best destinations for those looking to relocate to the Sunshine State.
2017 population: 183,365
Cape Coral has a lot to offer for those in their retirement years, including some stunning Gulf Coast beaches. It also has enough golf courses, parks and nature preserves to help residents maintain a fun, active lifestyle.
2016 population: 68,055
Daytona Beach itself has a modest population, but the fact that it belongs to the larger Daytona/Deltona/Ormond Beach region means retirees always have plenty to do. One of the favorite haunts for locals is Jackie Robinson Park, where the minor league Daytona Cubs play. With the housing crash dramatically lowering real estate prices, the median price for homes sold in Daytona is now approximately $142,000 making it one of the most affordable retirement spots in Florida
2017 population: 180,072
Fort Lauderdale boasts – among other things – a pleasant, semi-tropical climate and a bustling arts scene. Residents can take a leisurely stroll down the charming Riverwalk and take in attractions like the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Museum of Art and Museum of Discovery and Science. A short drive from Miami and Palm Beach, the city is conveniently situated on the state’s southeast coast.
2017 population: 239,673
The sixth-largest city in the state, Hialeah is approximately 11 miles northwest of Miami. One of the city’s highlights is the historic Hialeah Park, a venue for quarter horse racing that is undergoing a major revitalization. The culturally diverse municipality has long been a refuge for immigrants from Latin America, and even today many of its residents come from Puerto Rico, Mexico and other Spanish-speaking places.
2017 population: 280,257
The home of Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort, Orlando isn’t just a popular spot for tourists – it’s also a favored location for retirees. Years of overbuilding before the housing market crash have only made the area more affordable. According to Zillow, the median listing price of homes listed in the city is just $234,200.
2017 population: 170,712
Location is one of prime benefits of living in Pembroke Pines. You’re just a half-hour car ride from both Miami and Fort Lauderdale – and Everglades National Park is only an hour to the west. If you’re a shopping enthusiast, you’ll find plenty to do right in town – it has 8.5 million square feet of retail property. One negative is the town's comparatively steep real estate; the median listing price of homes is $306,500, according to Zillow.
Port St. Lucie
2017 population: 189,344
Port St. Lucie is located on the state’s Atlantic coast. With an average home price around $137 per square feet, it’s easy to find diverse, affordable housing in this fast-growing city. Sports fans, in particular, will find a lot to love here. In addition to being the spring training home of the New York Mets, it’s also the site of three public PGA golf courses.
2017 population: 263,255
Sure it has the Dalí Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and Tropicana Field, the home of baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays. But it might be St. Petersburg’s year-round warm weather that’s its biggest draw. The average age of residents is 42.4, proving it’s home to more than just the silver-haired set.
2017 population: 385,430
Looking to keep busy in retirement? If so, Tampa is probably worth some serious consideration.With attractions like Busch Gardens and the Museum of Science and Industry, this city is ideal for adults looking for adventure. And if you like the idea of having some younger people around, Tampa’s reputation as a hub for 20-somethings is a plus.
2017 population: 23,020
Compared to other destinations on the list, Venice is fairly diminutive. But with its favorable location on the Florida’s Gulf Coast and low crime rates, the city is in the midst of considerable growth. Known as the "Shark Tooth Capital of the World,” Venice hosts an annual festival to celebrate the millions of shark teeth that wash up on its beaches.
The Bottom Line
The Sunshine State offers plenty of options for older adults seeking warm weather and a favorable cost of living.