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For perhaps the first time in your life, you can ask: Where do I want to live? The Hartford makes it easy with our list of the 50 best cities to retire in. Choose to spend your retirement years in a location that has what matters most to you—whatever that may be, wherever it may be. Here are some of the best retirement cities, that might help give you some inspiration for finding a unique place to live.
Every day Florida's population swells by more than 1, people, many of them retirees relocating for the second halves of their lives. There's little mystery why: Even in the coldest months of the year, the average daily high is at least 70 degrees, and the temperature rarely dips below 50 in the Sunshine State. Florida is also one of the most tax-friendly states in the country for retirees. Seniors may qualify for an additional exemption. But Florida is a big, diverse state, too, with plenty of pleasant cities and towns on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, or inland central Florida has lots of lakes, and parts are even hilly.
Worried about hurricanes?
7 great places to retire in florida
Hurricane risk on Florida's west coast is less than on the east coast. Here are seven great Florida retirement destinations, based on locale, amenities, affordability, and access to top-notch health care. Take a look. Life unfolds a bit more slowly here than in Tampa-St. Petersburg, a minute drive to the north.
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But Sarasota--which like Tampa has a colonial Spanish history--offers plenty of amenities. Those in search of the Good Life will find nearly upscale stores and restaurants in the island shopping center of St. Armands Circle. Residents have the Sarasota Memorial Health Care systemwhich is one of the largest public medical centers in Florida. Sarasota has miles of white-sand beaches on keys along the Gulf of Mexico. Nature lovers will find lush landscapes and subtropical wildlife at the local parks, as well as at Celery Fields an erstwhile celery farm now known for its birds and wetlands and the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.
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Sarasota also has a lively and diverse arts scene, which includes a ballet company, art museums and an member orchestra. Gainesville is smack in the middle of the state, 75 miles from the coasts. But in Florida during hurricane season, that's not a bad place to live.
This is the home of the University of Florida, offering many benefits for retirees looking to escape the cold winds and higher cost of living up north.
Residents age 60 and older can enroll in courses at the University of Florida at no cost on a space-available basis. In addition, the Institute for Learning in Retirement at Oak Hammock, a retirement community affiliated with the University of Florida, offers an extensive roster of courses, many of them taught by university professors. Seniors don't have to live in the community to participate.
There's Florida Gators football and basketball, too. But the city also offers 13 museums and galleries with a thriving downtown. Gainesville was founded as a health care resort. The rapid growth in Naples, which gets a top grade from the American Lung Association for air quality, has been fueled by a torrent of retirees attracted by miles of beaches, gracious homes and giant banyan trees.
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You don't have to be retired to like living here--which is raising home prices and cost of living. But the Naples—Marco Island area was ranked one in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being index, which measures residents' views about health, financial security, community and sense of purpose.
NCH Healthcare Systemwhich operates a hospital downtown and one in north Naples, offers a range of specialties, including rehabilitation and cardiac, cancer and geriatric care. Residents pay a premium to live the good life, particularly in Old Naples. But the sky's the limit if you can afford it. Vintage neighborhoods on the northeast side of St. Petersburg, away from the water, offer a mix of bungalows, Craftsman-style cottages, large ranchers and enough Spanish-influenced de to suggest you're in Pasadena or Santa Monica.
You can easily bike or walk to neighborhood bars and restaurants and to St. Pete's artsy downtown. With the larger city of Tampa just a half hour north on I, St. Pete offers more than beautiful harbor views and the Salvadore Dali museum. Residents are an easy drive away from an array of theaters, concert halls, stadiums, colleges and hospitals, without the density and congestion of Miami or the inflated real estate costs of Palm Beach and Boca Raton.
Pete extends 10 miles west from Tampa Bay to the Gulf of Mexico, where you can follow a mile beachfront road north to Clearwater, home of the giant Morton Plant Hospital complex and the area's best-known beaches, most of which are free or have low access or parking fees. You can also explore the area via the Pinellas Trail.
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Widely regarded as a standout, the trail starts in downtown St. Punta Gorda knows how to appeal to retired folks--a majority of its population is 65 or older. Life here revolves around 55 miles of canal-front homes as well as numerous retirement communities, restricted to people age 55 and older. Plenty of golfing, plus a Fishermen's Village waterfront complex with 30 shops and restaurants.
Also in town, the Harborwalk along Charlotte Harbor is just a portion of the 18 miles of bike trails and pedestrian pathways you can enjoy. Augustine and the surrounding St. But retirees looking for fun in the sun will find it here in spades, along with plenty of cultural and historical activities, affordable luxury living, and access to first-class health care.
The 42 miles of sand on St. If a peaceful hammock is more your vibe, chill with the local wildlife on the secluded beaches at the 1,acre Anastasia Island State Park. Augustine without a reminder that this is the oldest European-established city in the U.
The city is still very much alive, however. The pedestrian-only St. George Street, lined with bistros, boutiques and bars, bustles all day and well into the night, with live music coming from practically every other open door.
Locals enjoy access to excellent health care facilities. As you head west, the wide, palm-tree-lined sidewalks give way to white-sand beaches and expansive water views. Venice has a slow pace but offers plenty of amenities. Locals can stroll the historic district and stop in the numerous shops and restaurants.
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Venice has more than 30 parks, including the 37,acre Myakka River State Park. You can kayak or paddleboard along the Intercoastal Waterway, which runs through the city.
Cyclists can cruise around town or hop on the plus-mile Legacy trail that extends north to Sarasota. With all the snowbirds, rentals tend to book a year in advance. Prices on the mainland are a little lower. Home retirement. Getty Images. Cities for Early Retirement. Petersburg Getty Images.
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