Best Places to Retire in Florida in 2019

by Corey Mann
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Florida is no stranger to retirees. In fact, the Sunshine State is at the top of nearly every list when it comes to retirement. With no state income taxes and various exemptions, it’s one of the most tax-friendly states in the country. Read on for more information about the best places to retire in Florida in 2019.

Qualities of the Best Places to Retire in Florida

Florida is a hotbed for retirement. You can find retirees throughout the state. But what are the qualities you should look for in the best places to retire in Florida?

Housing will be your biggest expense, so it’s important to have your financial planning in place before you begin your search. The following is a great place to start:

  • Housing costs in the area
  • Healthcare and medical centers
  • Recreational activities and entertainment
  • Population, economy and general information
  • Crime rates
  • Proximity to major cities.

The list above is the basis for our list of the best places to retire in Florida. From palm trees and sunny skies to clear oceans, you can find the perfect place to settle at the end of your career.

10. Pensacola, Florida

Pensacola is one of the most popular destinations on the western side of Florida. The sea port town is separated from the Gulf of Mexico by the barrier island of Santa Rosa, with access to the Pensacola Bay and the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Its population is just over 50,000.

This great fishing and boating town is home to Naval Air Station Pensacola and many military personnel. It also has great access to medical facilities and healthcare. In terms of culture, Pensacola features many events and festivals each year, including the Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival.

9. St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine may be the oldest city in the country, but it’s full of life for retirees. If you have an appreciation for history, there’s no better choice. The “Ancient City” is only 45 minutes south of Jacksonville and just over an hour north of Daytona Beach.

St. Augustine has a population of nearly 14,000 and a beautiful stretch of coastline, including Crescent Beach and Anastasia State Park. St. Augustine covers 42 miles of beaches, with various locations for fishing, surfing, sailing, family outings, picnics and other events.

8. Fort Myers, Florida

Fort Myers is showing signs of growth in the past few years. As of 2017, its population estimates are up to 80,000. It’s within two hours of both Tampa and Miami for easy access to the entertainment of the big cities.

Fort Myers is one of the best places to retire in Florida due to its family-friendly attractions, amazing beaches and world-renowned restaurants. Moreover, it’s home to a lot of history, including the winter estates of both Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. The estates of these famous inventors are now museums open to the public.

7. Daytona Beach, Florida

Home to the iconic Daytona 500 NASCAR race, Daytona Beach is driving growth for retirees in Florida. Resting on the Atlantic Coast, this Volusia County city is 51 miles northeast of Orlando and 86 miles southeast of Jacksonville.

Daytona Beach has as much entertainment value as any city on this list. It’s also considered by many to be the spring break capital of the world. With famous beaches, various events and recreational activities, it’s difficult to find the best places to retire in Florida without considering Daytona Beach.

6. Vero Beach, Florida

Vero Beach is the perfect spot for anyone looking for recreational value. This city in Indian River County has a wide range of recreational centers and popular beaches. Furthermore, it ranks high for retirement communities, with nearly 30% of its population being seniors.

The community experience is a priority in Vero Beach. As a result, you will feel right at home, with easy access to a full calendar of community events, leisure activities and more.

5. Venice, Florida

You may know of Venice through its offshore coral reef and the Caspersen Beach, but it’s also home to many retirees. Over half of its population is seniors at nearly 60%.

If you are looking for arts and culture, Venice is the perfect destination. There’s boutique shopping, superb dining options, and stunning white sand beaches that host regular events.

4. Clearwater, Florida

Are you looking to retire in the Florida Gulf Coast? If so, look no further than Clearwater. As the No. 1 beach in America according to TripAdvisor's Travelers’ Choice and a top 10 beach in the world, Clearwater has become a staple city for retirees. It’s one of the best places to retire in Florida with its stunning harbor, dining and live entertainment.

Outside of Clearwater Beach, there’s plenty of fun to be had away from the water. Downtown Clearwater is growing, while the city is also home to various festivals and events.

3. Naples, Florida

Naples, or the Paradise Coast, is a laid-back beach town that brings you the utmost comfort. According to the city’s official travel website, it’s a “natural and cultural gem tucked away in Southwest Florida.”

Overall, Naples has a great combination of shopping, recreational activities, entertainment and beach life. Its historic downtown area has various boutiques and high-end retail stores. Naples is also a top tier golf destination in a state that is known for its high-quality courses.

2. North Palm Beach, Florida

North Palm Beach is a quaint “incorporated village” with a little over 12,000 residents. The city’s motto is “The Best Place to Live Under the Sun,” and it’s hard to disagree.

Its low crime rates and high safety ratings are in the top tier for this list. In addition, the amenities, recreation and entertainment have grown drastically over the years. The North Palm Beach Country Club includes a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course.

1. Sarasota, Florida

When it comes to metrics, Sarasota is king. It ranks near or at the top of almost every category, including medical centers, recreational activities, cost of living and crime rates. In terms of culture and art, it’s the cream of the crop.

Just south of Tampa, Sarasota has a historic feel and a vibrant atmosphere. It’s also home to the world-famous Siesta Key. You can own waterfront property in a lavish community, visit the opera or art galleries, and sink your feet in the sand at Crescent Beach.

The Best Places to Retire in Florida for You

It’s well-known that the Sunshine State is the mecca for retirement. The beautiful beaches and weather combined with the tax benefits and housing costs place Florida at the top of most retirees’ lists.

Utilize our research above to find the best places to retire in Florida that meet your unique needs. However, if you’re looking into other areas throughout the country that are tax-friendly, venture over to our lists for the best places to retire in Texas and California.