Best Places to Retire in Florida

So, you’re thinking about the perfect place to retire. Or maybe you just want to move to a warm climate. Either way, you’re reading this article about Florida as a great retirement destination for a reason, so let’s talk about it a bit.

Why would you want to move to Florida? I mean, besides the theme parks, white sand beaches, outdoor activities, golf courses, water sports, and great weather, you also have many major cities and other things that make the sunshine state one of the best places to spend your golden years (or your not yet golden years).

As someone who grew up in central Florida, I once overlooked the benefits of living here. I have lived next to the Gulf of Mexico for most of my life, but I didn’t realize how incredible Florida’s gulf coast is or how it is an ideal place to raise a family or enjoy as active adults. If you prefer the Atlantic Ocean, there are some great options on the East Coast of Florida as well.

So, let’s take a look at some of the best places to retire in Florida.

These are only my personal thoughts about where to retire or live in Florida. I haven’t lived in all these places, but I do believe they would make great places to live due to the warm weather, beautiful beaches, and close proximity to a number of attractions. It’s also worth noting that these are not in any specific order, but I hope they help you think through where to retire in Florida.

Tampa Bay – The Tampa area is one of the fastest-growing areas on the list. It’s a great place to live on Florida’s gulf coast, with some of the best beaches in the United States (and some are voted best in the world). The Tampa Bay area, including St. Petersburg and the city of Tampa and the surrounding areas, are becoming hot spots to live, with so many benefits, we’ll probably have to write an entire post about it. (Obviously, I’m partial to Tampa Bay since it’s my hometown). My favorite things about Tampa Bay are its: beach options, great sports teams, and laid-back atmosphere.

Daytona Beach – If you prefer the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, Daytona Beach might be better for you. It is close to St. Augustine and other cities on the Space Coast as well as near all of the attractions of Central Florida. Daytona is very close to Kennedy Space Center as well as Jacksonville, Orlando, and St. Augustine. No wonder so many people are moving to Daytona Beach! Maybe you should join them. 

West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale – There’s a reason Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach are known to be the place where the rich and famous go to live their luxurious lifestyles. It’s probably because of the incredible culture these two cities have. I mean, you can ride gondolas on the river in Ft. Lauderdale, the “Venice of the Americas.” These two cities are also very close to Miami, the Everglades, and even Key West if you want to take a weekend trip. There will always be plenty to do if you retire in West Palm Beach or Fort Lauderdale.

Vero Beach – If you want to live in a place that has a lot of historical places to visit, Vero Beach might be the best place for you to retire in Florida. The train station, Vero theater, and Driftwood Inn are just a few historical places you can explore. You can also spend plenty of time at the beautiful McKee Botanical Gardens. Also, there are miles of beaches in Vero Beach, which will keep you busy as you explore each one of them. If Golf Courses are your thing, you can find plenty in Vero Beach as well. Overall, it’s one of the top destinations to retire in Florida.

Delray Beach – Another great destination to retire is Delray beach. The nightlife, golf, and beaches rival every other place on the list, without a lot of the downfalls of the larger cities. Located in Palm Beach County, Delray Beach is known for its art communities. If you’re into art or enjoy it, you might want to consider retiring in Delray Beach.

Obviously, there are many great places to retire in Florida. Maybe in a future article, I will explore the cities of Boca Raton, Port St. Lucie, and Fort Myers. For now, the five on our list will have to do. Now, let’s turn look at some general reasons to retire in Florida.

Reasons to Retire in Florida

Miles of beaches – Florida boasts 825 miles of sandy beaches. White sand, beautiful skies, and refreshing water await you in Florida. There’s something about being near a beach that gives a relaxed feeling as well. So, even if you don’t like the sand or beach, you can enjoy your retirement with some relaxation.

Disney World and other Disney parks (easy access) – It won’t be hard to get the grandkids to visit you if you live close to the Disney Parks. In fact, the easy access to Disney World and other Disney parks makes living in Florida fun for all. Even if you’re not a huge fan of Disney parks, their proximity makes it easy to enjoy them without the fuss of travel and hotels.

Universal Studios – Maybe you don’t like Disney. Another incredible offering in Central Florida is Universal Studios. Many movie moments have been filmed on sets at the Universal Studios located in Florida, and you can be near the movies at Universal Studios.

Cultural Attractions – Florida has a ton of cultural attractions, from national parks such as Everglades National Park to historical forts like the oldest stone fort in the continental United States, the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine. There are plenty of historical and modern cultural attractions for you to enjoy when you retire to Florida.

State parks – Florida also has 175 State Parks with rivers, wildlife, springs, and so many other things to explore), and the weather in Florida gives a great quality of life for those who are trying to enjoy the parks.

Small towns to explore – You can find plenty of small towns to explore in Florida as well. While most people think of Miami, Orlando, and Daytona Beach when they think of Florida, there is a lot of history and smaller towns with charm and beauty as well. Most of those small towns are a short distance from the big cities, so you’ll always have somewhere to explore.

Benefits of Retiring in Florida

If you’re still reading (or skimming) this article, you probably need to know a few benefits of retiring in Florida. Well here are a few that I believe will be helpful to you as you make your decision.

Active adult communities – Florida has many active adult retirement communities. You can probably find the perfect 55+ neighborhood that caters to your needs. Some of them are on golf courses, many offer neighborhood gatherings and a lifestyle that will be great for you as you retire. You might even find friends for life who just happen to be your neighbors in your community.

Health care facilities – Some of the best medical centers are located in Florida. If you have specialized medical needs, you will be able to find the necessary medical care close to where you live.

Tax Rates – Kiplinger rated Florida as one of the top 10 most tax-friendly States for retirees. There’s no state income tax. As Kiplinger describes it, “That means no state taxes on Social Security benefits, pensions, IRAs, 401(k)s and other retirement income. It also has no inheritance tax or estate tax.” This means great things for your finances.

No snow!!! – Although it’s not all sunshine (there’s a lot of rain), no snow is a great thing because that means: no shoveling…no driving in dangerous situations…and no freezing temperatures! If you ask me, it’s pretty nice to retire to a place where you don’t have to worry about snow.

Ready to Retire in Florida?

This is a lot of information to digest, but I know if you’re thinking about retiring and moving to Florida, this article is helpful to you. If you do end up relocating to Florida, I’d love to help you out. Feel free to reach out to me for any information on relocating.

I would be happy to help you retire in Florida!