Why is Southwest Florida so popular for Retirees across America?
With an endless supply of sunshine and blue skies, it’s no wonder so many retirees flock to Southwest Florida. While all Florida residents benefit from the lack of a state income tax, Southwest Florida also has the advantage of waterfront properties and an endless supply of outdoor recreation.
From local golf courses to boating, active lifestyle communities to maintenance-free homes and condos, there are countless reasons why retirees, in particular, are drawn to this part of Florida. This is on top of the other great cultural options in the region, like the many local museums, galleries and even historical properties found in Southwest Florida.
While the area is certainly desirable in itself, some of its individual cities easily rise to the top of the list when it comes to drawing in retirees.
Not only does Cape Coral offer a fantastic location with hundreds of miles of canals and countless waterfront properties, but it’s affordable, too. That helps make Cape Coral an extremely popular place for retirees, and the research seems to back it up.
The city offers some of the largest waterfront, Gulf-access communities in Florida. This growing city is actually one of the fastest growing cities in the entire nation. While the city wasn’t even founded until the late 1950s, what began as a planned community has certainly taken off.
The city now maintains it’s the third largest city in the state by land mass alone. At the same time, it’s less than 50-percent developed. That means there’s still plenty of room for new development in Cape Coral, which means more new homes and condos for retirees to choose from.
The city’s made countless lists in terms of its appeal for retirees, including those compiled from U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger.com, WalletHub.com and Niche.com, which gives Cape Coral an “A” for retirees.
U.S. News considers Sarasota the best place in the nation to retire. It’s no wonder, as Sarasota is known for its fabulous beaches and its high quality of life. Only about an hour from Tampa, Sarasota also offers some great options for shopping and dining.
It’s certainly not alone. Forbes.com puts Sarasota on its list of the best places to retire, as well. While the city has a slightly higher cost of living than the national average, it credits the city for being walkable and bikeable.
U.S. News ranks Fort Myers extremely high, as well. Fort Myers gets high marks for its quality of life, which can be traced back to the days of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. Both once had winter homes in the city, which can still be visited today.
This growing city sits right alongside the Caloosahatchee River, offering up endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. While it’s technically more of a mid-sized city, Fort Myers manages to retain the appeal of a small town. You’ll find countless art galleries, theaters and museums, as well as to easy access to outdoor recreation including sailing, fishing and boating. Niche.com gives Fort Myers an overall “A” when it comes to retirees.
Port Charlotte/Punta Gorda
Port Charlotte sits right on the Gulf Coast, and it’s packed with charm. It’s a past winner of the best place to retire from CNN Money, plus it’s also ranked high on the list according to studies compiled by Forbes and U.S. News.
With miles upon miles of canals, Port Charlotte is a great place for boating and fishing. In terms of small towns, Punta Gorda is considered one of the best. With a true Old Florida vibe, Punta Gorda is home to Fishermen’s Village, plus it offers some great marinas and restaurants, too.
Naples gets an overall “A” from Niche.com, and an “A+” when it comes to places good for retirees. The website gives credit to the many parks, coffee shops and restaurants of Naples. In addition, U.S. News also ranks Naples high for retirees.
While Naples isn’t usually known for its affordability, it is known for its beautiful golf courses, beaches and homes. Many retirees choose to purchase a second home in Naples.
Another high-ranking city for retirees, according to U.S. News, is Ocala. Known more for its horse farms and its rolling hills than anything else, this central Florida city also enjoys the historic appeal of a charming downtown city square framed by Victorian-era homes.
While perhaps best known for its theme parks, there’s much more for retirees than that in Orlando. Home prices come in below the national median, plus the city boasts good air quality and a high ratio of doctors. Forbes.com considers Orlando one of the best places to retire.
Wallethub.com also considers Orlando a top retirement city. The website points out the central Florida city’s affordability. U.S. News additionally ranks Orlando relatively high on its own list for retirees.
With its dozens of lakes, the name Lakeland is only fitting. Found to the east of Tampa, Lakeland is also filled with local parks and natural appeal. Another bonus, of course, is that Lakeland is close enough to the theme parks of Orlando, but also not far from some of Southwest Florida’s best beaches.
Tampa also comes in high itself in terms of the best cities to retire, at least according to Wallethub.com. While not as glitzy as some other cities in the state, Tampa is ideal for those in search of an active lifestyle during their retirement years. U.S. News also ranks Tampa high for retirees. While it’s a great place for outdoor recreation and water sports, Tampa is also full of museums, restaurants and entertainment options.
Not to be outdone, Pensacola gets an admiral “A-“ from Niche.com when it comes to good places for retirees. The city is known for its beautiful beaches. According to Marketwatch.com, the cost of living in Pensacola is also lower than average, plus there’s plenty to do and experience in Pensacola. Another advantage is that homes in the area are said to be more reasonably priced than some other communities in Florida.Posted by Scott Meadows on