When most people think of calling it quits on a career, they immediately think of a move to Florida.
But not not everyone wants to spend their golden years in Florida; some of us want to stay close to friends and family and within the great state of Florida.
Where exactly in Florida is the best place to retire? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data — which returns Sarasota as the best place to hang up your cleats.
To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Florida that are safe, affordable, and have plenty of things to keep you busy well into retirement.
What did we find after pouring through all the data? Let’s just say we hope folks in Sarasota don’t mind us spreading the word.
Here are our top ten places in the Sunshine State to retire for 2019:
Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details or check out the best places to retire in America.
For Florida state reading:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Florida
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Florida
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Florida
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.
- 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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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 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 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 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.
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:
For more Florida reading, check out:
- 30 Things To Know About Moving To Florida
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Florida
- 10 Safest Places In Florida
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Retire In Florida
|4||North Palm Beach||12,581|
|16||New Port Richey||15,503|
|52||New Smyrna Beach||24,574|
|55||Sunny Isles Beach||21,937|
|56||West Palm Beach||104,978|
|73||Fort Walton Beach||21,238|
|84||North Miami Beach||43,722|
|94||Palm Beach Gardens||51,865|