What Are the Best Places to Retire in Florida?

Florida has long been one of the most popular retirement states for a variety of reasons. The warm climate, beautiful beaches and opportunities for many outdoor activities are just some of this southern state’s endearing charms.

Today, there are countless cities and towns in Florida that offer retirees low taxes, great healthcare options and many phenomenal retirement communities to call home.

Read on for our best 10 places to retire in Florida in 2022 and beyond.

1. Sarasota

The gorgeous city of Sarasota is located along the Gulf of Mexico with all its perks such as splendid, sandy beaches, adventures on the water, upscale dining and shopping venues and lots of green spaces and hiking trails that attract retirees from all over the globe.

This Florida city is ranked third for healthcare services, and it is listed in some surveys as having some of the best activities nearby that helps keep retirees in good physical shape. Many surveys also list Sarasota as being one of the top five Florida locales with the highest quality of life in this region.

Highlights

  • Plenty of outdoor activities including water sports
  • Beautiful, warm beaches off Gulf of Mexico
  • Third ranked best healthcare services in state
  • Lots of great retirement communities
  • Tax-friendly to retirees
  • Sand sculpting competitions
  • Music and arts festivals and other community events
  • Lots of volunteer opportunities
  • Topnotch dining and shopping

2. Ocala

Ocala is in the center of the best Florida attractions. Beaches are just a one-to-two-hour drive away, and this locale has easy access to the state’s top tourist attractions, shopping, cultural amenities and theme parks.

Ocala has the benefit of a warm, tropical climate that does not normally see the intensive coastal storms that people living directly on the beach must deal with on a regular basis.

Cost of living for retirees is approximately 8% below average, and the city, known for its fantastic horse farms, is tax-friendly for seniors.

Highlights

  • Quaint downtown with unique specialty shops and dining
  • Nearby to many Florida tourist attractions like beaches, boating, museums and more
  • Tax-friendly and lower cost of living for seniors
  • Quiet retirement communities

3. The Villages

The Villages is just about an hour’s drive north of Orland, Florida, and all its many attractions. The large area that makes up this town offers prime golf courses, charming town squires, delightful dining and shopping venues, recreational centers and lots of different club opportunities for seniors.

This region is around 1.4% lower than average cost of living expenses and is tax-friendly to retirees. This area is world-renowned for its top retirement communities and regional interests.

Highlights

  • Low taxes and lower cost of living for seniors
  • World-renowned retirement communities
  • Plenty of social groups, recreational pursuits and clubs
  • Lively nightlife entertainment and lots of quaint shops and dining venues
  • Only an hour from Orlando

4. Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach is a Florida destination for many young people enjoying their spring break and avid race fans. However, this vibrant and gorgeous beach town offers plenty for senior citizens all year round.

This town has a popular retirement community named Latitude Margaritaville inspired by the musician Jimmy Buffet. This community provides many health-related perks like access to top healthcare providers, a resident gym and spin center, live music, access to The Last Mango Theater, fun Latitude Bar & Chill Restaurant and more.

Highlights

  • Home of Daytona Racetrack
  • Lots of Jimmy Buffet inspired retirement community amenities
  • Beach access and boating, fishing, swimming and more

5. Port St. Lucie

Many residents of Port St. Lucie claim that this small and friendly beach town is the “real Florida.” Retires that love golf, warm temperatures, and quiet living will adore this quaint and peaceful town that offers pristine golf courses and much more.

Port St. Lucie has several fantastic 55 and over retirement communities that boast many luxury amenities and lots of see and do every single day of the year. There is a stunning 5-acre Riverdale Arts and Culture Center, and there will be more attractions residents can use soon.

Although the cost of living is approximate 2% above national averages, residents here believe that it is worth it for the awesome miles of sandy beaches, water activities galore and lovely downtown shops and dining establishments.

Highlights

  • Outstanding luxury-laden retirement communities offering many upscale amenities
  • Lush green golf courses
  • Friendly small-town living
  • Downtown shops and dining venues
  • Pristine beaches
  • Scenic nature parks and outdoor areas

6. Fort Meyers

This scenic town is considered the best of Florida’s opportunities for rest and recreation combined in one warm-weather locale. Miles of white sand beaches entices residents to engage in water activities like deep-sea fishing, boating and swimming.

There are quiet places to relax amidst the splendors of the natural environment that surrounds this entire region.

Fort Meyers offers many great restaurants, lots of shopping areas, some of the prettiest golf courses and is home to many terrific retirement communities that come with many resident perks.

Surveys rank this town high for excellent healthcare choices, and the area also gets high marks for the many available recreational pursuits here.

Highlights

  • Stunning beaches with deep-sea fishing, boating, swimming and more
  • Highly rated healthcare choices
  • Lots of fun recreational pursuits all year long
  • Tax-friendly for seniors
  • Cost of living expenses rated 4% lower than average
  • Nearby cultural attractions, shopping and excellent dining options
  • Exquisite retirement communities with many resident perks
  • Famous baseball teams hold summer training here

7. Clearwater

This charming Gulf of Mexico coastal town boasts several enticing retirement communities that each have stunning and impressive amenities. The town also features an outstanding marine aquarium popular with tourists and lots of quaint shops, local fresh seafood dining venues and miles of unspoiled beaches.

Cost of living expenses for retirees here are 7% below the average, and the town offers tax incentives to retirees as well.

Clearwater is home to the gorgeous Moccasin Lake Nature Park with its beautiful gardens and aviary. There are numerous picturesque spots and nature trails along with live music and spectacular sunset views in this tranquil small-town paradise.

Highlights

  • Close to Clearwater Marine Aquarium
  • Miles of unspoiled beaches and terrific sunset views
  • Quiet and peaceful living with several fantastic retirement communities
  • Moccasin Lake Nature Park and other scenic trails
  • Good shopping and delicious food venues
  • Live music and other nighttime entertainment and year-round events

8. West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach is an upbeat area that offers many finer attractions and cultural events along with tons of oceanic adventures to pursue. Residents can easily go fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming, boating, jet skiing, parasailing and kayaking. The region also hosts popular boat shows and prime entertainment come sundown.

This area also boasts phenomenal hiking and biking trails through scenic paths and has some outstanding retirement communities that have their own added entertainment and recreational features to enjoy.

Highlights

  • Upbeat city with many retirement communities and outdoor activities
  • Near to many cultural attractions and pursuits outdoors and indoors
  • Lots of charming shops and dining establishments for every personality and taste
  • Access to good healthcare nearby
  • Boat shows and other unique town events throughout the year
  • Lively entertainment and music concerts
  • Thriving arts community
  • Plenty of oceanic adventures to enjoy

9. Naples

Naples has become a retirement mecca in recent years. The outstanding beaches and upscale shopping draws many to this quiet beach town. Although the cost-of-living rates are higher than average, this town offers many communities geared towards retirees.

This city is close to many other attractions in nearby locales and boasts topnotch healthcare services and lots of cultural activities and community events.

Highlights

  • Stunning beaches with lots of water related activities
  • Warm, tropical climate year-round
  • Upscale shopping and finer restaurants
  • Luxury retirement communities
  • Cultural events and community functions year-round
  • Boasts 80 golf courses

10. St. Augustine

The charming town of St. Augustine is located in the northeast portion of Florida along the Atlantic coast. St. Augustine is the oldest city in the U.S. The town boasts many outdoor and indoor activities that are able to be enjoyed all year long.

There are lots of quaint pubs, specialty shops, dining options and live entertainment that includes many live musical concerts inside cafes, pubs and outdoors too.

Beautiful neighborhoods boast lush, green lawns and tranquil streets with low crime and friendly neighbors. There are old-world styled cobblestone streets with lovely small cottages, and the town is known for its historical history and treasures that include unique architecture.

Highlights

  • Located in northeastern Florida along Atlantic coastline
  • Lots of recreational pursuits from golf, biking, hiking water-related activities and more
  • Tranquil lifestyle with lots of cultural draws
  • Near to many tourist and historic attractions
  • Oldest city in America
  • Many historic attractions, cobblestone streets and quaint cottages
  • Near to many popular beaches

FAQs

1. Why is Florida considered a terrific place to retire?

A: Florida has a wealth of outdoor activities that can be enjoyed year-round due to the mild weather conditions. Costs of living are often lower than average, and the state has evolved into a prime retirement community for decades.

Expect to find lots of cultural attractions, community-based events and festivals and scores of lush golf greens and splendid, sandy beaches.

2. What towns do most retirees live in Florida?

A: There are growing numbers of towns in the state that are catering to the retirement group. Some of these towns include Sarasota, The Villages, Ocala, West Palm Beach and Naples to name just a few.

3. Is there a Florida town that is situated in the central portion of the state but still close to many popular attractions?

A: Yes, the town of Ocala is a centrally located town that is just a short drive away to some of the top tourist and other attractions that this state has to offer.

The weather is typically warm and peaceful unlike the coastal cities that tend to experience more property damaging strong storms that churn off the ocean and gulf.

4. Where can retirees purchase affordable beachfront property in Florida today?

A: Most retirees will be able to find affordable beachfront property in the Daytona Beach area. There are retirement community options too.

5. How much money do retirees need for cost-of-living expenses in Florida?

A: The rates range from $400 to $4,500+ that includes monthly rent and utility costs. This amount will vary depending on each retirement community and which town the retiree resides.

If you are looking for a more affordable state to retire, read our guide on the best places to retire in Ohio.