10 Best Places To Retire In Florida For 2019


We analyzed over 143 places in Florida to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the best places to retire in Florida.

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Whether you are just starting our your career or at the end of it, there is one magical time that we can’t help but think about: retirement.

It may seem like you are working for this mythical period of your life that involves fun and relaxation, but really, it can happen–just fast forward a few decades.

So now you are over 65 and a good chunk of your paychecks have been saving for this moment and now you will have to come to the next big decision of your life: what will you do with your retirement and most importantly, where will you live?

The state that comes first to mind is probably Florida. It is known as the retirement state. A place where you can soak up the sun and live in massive upscale retirement communities.

It is no surprise that Florida is a favorite retirement destination. The weather is beautiful, the beaches practically surround the state, and the state is very affordable.

From Disney to the Everglades and everything in between, Florida is a great vacation spot, so why not retire here? Who wouldn’t want to swim with dolphins, snorkel with manatees, or drink bottomless pina coladas?

If Florida is a top retirement state, then where are the best places to retire in Florida? After all, the state is pretty big. Not every city can be a retirement paradise.

Luckily for you, HomeSnacks has figured that out for you.

We analyzed 143 cities in Florida and came up with the best of the best: Sarasota. This ranking was based on several retirement criteria, like low cost of living, low crime, good weather, and the average age of residents.

If you are a huge circus fan, then Sarasota is your place. It is actually the hometown of the Ringling Brothers Circus. You can tan on the beach by day and visit the circus at night in Sarasota.

Perhaps elephants and circus folk aren’t your forte– that’s fine. You’ve got a lot of other top retirement choices like North Palm Beach and Naples. The beach could just become your backyard in these cities.

Interested to see how your favorite Florida city stacked up in terms of retirement glory? Read on to find out and to see how we crunched the numbers to find the best of the best retirement cities in Florida for {year}.

For Florida state reading:

Sarasota, FL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 54,425
Rank Last Year: 93 (Up 92)
Median Rent: $951
Distance to Closest Airport: 4 miles
More on Sarasota: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Sarasota is a city in Sarasota County on the southwestern coast of the U.S. state of Florida. The area is renowned for its cultural and environmental amenities, beaches, resorts, and the Sarasota School of Architecture. The city is at the southern end of the Tampa Bay Area, north of Fort Myers and Punta Gorda. Its official limits include Sarasota Bay and several barrier islands between the bay and the Gulf of Mexico. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2013 Sarasota had a population of 53,326. In 1986 it became designated as a certified local government. Sarasota is a principal city of the Sarasota metropolitan area, and is the seat of Sarasota County.

Tavares, FL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 14,965
Rank Last Year: 99 (Up 97)
Median Rent: $907
Distance to Closest Airport: 28 miles
More on Tavares: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Tavares is a city located in the central portion of the U.S. state of Florida. It is the county seat of Lake County. The population in 2015 was 14,583, with a total of 5,000 households and an average household income of $40,000. It is part of the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford Metropolitan Statistical Area. The name is a popular Portuguese surname and toponym.

Vero Beach, FL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 16,070
Rank Last Year: 105 (Up 102)
Median Rent: $829
Distance to Closest Airport: 35 miles
More on Vero Beach: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Vero Beach is a city in and the seat of Indian River County, Florida, United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 data, the city had a population of 15,220.

North Palm Beach, FL

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 12,581
Rank Last Year: 201 (Up 197)
Median Rent: $1,228
Distance to Closest Airport: 9 miles
More on North Palm Beach: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bradenton, FL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 52,985
Rank Last Year: 69 (Up 64)
Median Rent: $963
Distance to Closest Airport: 6 miles
More on Bradenton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bradenton BRAY-den-ton is a city in Manatee County, Florida, United States. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city’s 2016 population to be 54,437. Bradenton is a principal city of the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a 2007 estimated population of 682,833. It is the county seat.

Clearwater, FL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 111,747
Rank Last Year: 111 (Up 105)
Median Rent: $970
Distance to Closest Airport: 6 miles
More on Clearwater: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Clearwater is a city located in Pinellas County, Florida, United States, northwest of Tampa and St. Petersburg. To the west of Clearwater lies the Gulf of Mexico and to the southeast lies Tampa Bay. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 107,685. Clearwater is the county seat of Pinellas County and is the smallest of the three principal cities in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area, most commonly referred to as the Tampa Bay Area.

Review Of Clearwater by HomeSnacks User

The crime wasn’t bad when we visited there and I loved the beach.

I loved the alligator crossing and fish reservoir. The beaches were very clean.

Melbourne, FL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 78,911
Rank Last Year: 73 (Up 66)
Median Rent: $863
Distance to Closest Airport: 1 miles
More on Melbourne: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Melbourne is a city in Brevard County, Florida, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 76,068. The municipality is the second-largest in the county by both size and population. Melbourne is a principal city of the Palm Bay – Melbourne – Titusville, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 1969 the city was expanded by merging with nearby Eau Gallie.

Daytona Beach, FL

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 64,105
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 6)
Median Rent: $791
Distance to Closest Airport: 2 miles
More on Daytona Beach: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Daytona Beach is a city in Volusia County, Florida, United States. It lies about 51 miles northeast of Orlando, 86 miles southeast of Jacksonville, and 242 miles northwest of Miami. In the 2010 U.S. Census, it had a population of 61,005. It is a principal city of the Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL metropolitan statistical area, which was home to 590,289 people in 2010. Daytona Beach is also a principal city of the Fun Coast region of Florida.

Fort Myers, FL

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 71,051
Rank Last Year: 37 (Up 28)
Median Rent: $851
Distance to Closest Airport: 7 miles
More on Fort Myers: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Fort Myers or Ft. Myers, is the county seat and commercial center of Lee County, Florida, United States. It has grown rapidly in recent years. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 62,298 and in 2016 was estimated at 77,146.

Naples, FL

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 20,980
Rank Last Year: 197 (Up 187)
Median Rent: $1,189
Distance to Closest Airport: 26 miles
More on Naples: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Naples is a city in Collier County, Florida, United States. As of 2015, the city’s population was about 20,600. Naples is a principal city of the Naples-Marco Island, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a population of about 322,000 as of 2015. Naples is one of the wealthiest cities in the United States, with the sixth highest per capita income in the country, and the second highest proportion of millionaires per capita in the US. Real estate is among the most expensive in the country, with houses for sale in excess of $40 million.

Review Of Naples by HomeSnacks User

I have lived in Naples FL for a long time and have seen our community grow from a fishing village to the wonderful city it now is. I have enjoyed the diversity that has become part of our every day life. As a teacher of religion I have come to respect the diversity of beliefs that have come to Naples. Most encouraging has been the acceptance non-Judeo-Christian belief systems.

I have lived in Naples FL for a long time and have seen our community grow from a fishing village to the wonderful city it now is. I have enjoyed the diversity that has become part of our every day life. As a teacher of religion I have come to respect the diversity of beliefs that have come to Naples. Most encouraging has been the acceptance non-Judeo-Christian belief systems.

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Sunshine State for 2019

To create our list of the best places in Florida to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Sunshine State — 915 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 10,000 people that weren’t townships. This left us with 143 places from across the state.

For these 143, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • Low cost of living as measured by rent
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport
  • Other retirees (High median age)

We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 143, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Sarasota, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire In Florida Yet…

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Florida goes to Sarasota.

If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:

  1. Homestead
  2. Crestview
  3. Ocoee

For more Florida reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Florida?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Sarasota 54,425 $951
2 Tavares 14,965 $907
3 Vero Beach 16,070 $829
4 North Palm Beach 12,581 $1,228
5 Bradenton 52,985 $963
6 Clearwater 111,747 $970
7 Melbourne 78,911 $863
8 Daytona Beach 64,105 $791
9 Fort Myers 71,051 $851
10 Naples 20,980 $1,189

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.