Article Overview: Local Highlights the Best Places to Retire in Florida
Thinking about retiring in Florida? You’re in good hands! The The Sunshine State has a lot to offer, which is why folks are retiring in Florida in hordes.
We thought it’d be helpful to roundup the best cities to retire in Florida for anyone considering a similar move. We’ve rounded up a few key factors, like median home prices and healthcare to help make the process a little easier to navigate.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into this helpful guide for those moving to Florida for retirement, hope you enjoy!
Best Places to Retire in Florida
5 Best Large Cities to Retire in Florida
List of large cities in Florida with a population between of 120,000+
- Population: 962,970
- Median home price: $298,897
- Average age: 36
In this day and age, Jacksonville probably needs to introduction. Known for offering something for everyone, this city is prime for those moving to Florida for retirement, especially those keen on coastal living.
Not only is this popular Florida city conveniently located near I-95 for quick visits to nearby South Carolina and Georgia, but it’s also a beachfront community with lots of action in the downtown area.
And you get all the amenities of Jacksonville with an affordable price tag that is a fraction of the cost of other coastal retirement cities in Florida.
With the average home cost of only $298k, living in the “River City on the Sea,” is definitely affordable for most retirees.
Combine this with over 22 miles of beautiful beaches, being home to the largest urban park system in the U.S., more than a couple of award-winning hospitals, beautiful golf courses, and the downtown entertainment options — the perks keep adding up!
There’s a plethora of reasons locals consider Jacksonville, FL among the best cities to retire in Florida for those who love the beach life and nightlife.
- Population: 393,264
- Median home price: $385,827
- Average age: 36
If you’re looking for urban amenities with lots to keep you busy during your retirement years, Tampa is the place to be.
Perfectly situated on Tampa Bay by the Gulf of Mexico, Florida’s third-largest city is a thriving waterfront metropolis. In addition to the almost perfect weather and beautiful waterfront location, Tampa is one of the best cities to retire in Florida because of its affordability.
The average home price in Tampa is around $385k and allows you to live your best retirement life within budget near the beach and downtown.
Tampa is not a quiet beach town to grow old in; that’s for sure. There is always something to do in its high rise filled downtown area and is the place to be if you’re looking to stay active.
Locals enjoy unique shopping opportunities and delicious dining options and all with a waterfront view. There are also plenty of chances to cheer on your favorite pro sports team, visit a theme park (the grands will love), and even catch a cruise from your own backyard at the local cruise port.
- Population: 312,280
- Median home price: $367,034
- Average age: 34
Although Orlando is best known for its variety of theme parks and resorts; it’d be a mistake to overlook this as a great place to consider for retirement living in Florida.
With a lower cost of living than many popular retirement communities, Orlando is a great choice for those who don’t necessarily want to be near the coast and are looking to get the most bang for their buck when it comes to retirement living.
You can score a nice home in Orlando for around $368k that may even come with a pool to enjoy if you are a savvy shopper.
And if you’re looking forward to spending lots of quality time with the grandchildren, they will definitely look forward to visiting you as well as nearby Walt Disney World Resort, Sea World, and Universal Studios Orlando.
Be prepared for traffic though, as every other human on the planet, or at least the U.S., will most likely visit Orlando this year, too.
Port St. Lucie
- Population: 224,480
- Median Home Price: $380,808
- Average age: 43
Considered by many to be part of “The Real Florida,” which prides themselves as being the perfect small and friendly Florida beach and golf town, Port St. Lucie is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. In addition, it’s one of the best places to retire in Florida with over one third of its population being over the age of 60.
Perfectly situated along the Atlantic Ocean in southern Florida, this affordable beach town is a great place to call home if your dream is to retire in a coastal city. The average home price of around $380k makes it a very budget friendly option for retirement living.
Locals can enjoy the beach without excessive crowds and baseball fans will love the opportunity to see the New York Mets at their spring training events each year.
- Population: 121,380
- Median Home Price: $288,194
- Average age: 42
Known for the wide variety of wildlife and its 38 beautiful lakes, Lakeland is nicknamed, ‘Swan City’ for the graceful birds that swim in the many waterways in the area.
A peaceful and more affordable place to live versus the popular nearby large cities of Tampa and Orlando, Lakeland is located in the center of the state of Florida and is considered to be one of the best cities in Florida to retire on a budget.
Live life at your own pace and have money to enjoy life with the average home price hovering just around $288k.
Enjoy the convenience of living between both of these bustling cities with loads of entertainment options like theme parks and live NFL games without the traffic and hectic pace on a daily basis.
Although Lakeland is a college town and home to both Florida Southern College and Florida Polytechnic University, retirees will feel right at home with the average age being closer to them than the students.
5 Best Mid-Sized Cities to Retire in Florida
The best mid-sized cities to retire in Florida with a population between 25,000 – 100,000.
- Population: 27,382
- Median home price: $454,767
- Average age: 69
Often voted one of the best places to retire in the US as well as one of the happiest seaside towns, Venice offers retirees the best of everything. With over 31 parks, a variety of tennis clubs, and plenty of golf courses, Venice is the place to be for those who are looking for outdoor fun in their retirement years.
Considering everything Venice has to offer, the cost of living is quite reasonable, with the average home price being around $450k for stunning homes in amazing communities with tons of amenities.
Named after the beautiful city in Italy, Venice is one of the best cities to retire in Florida and one of the most beautiful, as the architecture is just like the stunning buildings in the Italian town it is designed after.
Locals will also enjoy the lively theater community, rated as the number one theater in the US, and the laid back lifestyle the town offers.
- Population: 105,260
- Median home price: $363,820
- Average age: 41
If relaxing and recreation is what you are looking for in your retirement years, Fort Myers, Florida may be the perfect place for you to settle.
With its great beaches, offshore fishing charters, world-class golf courses, and unique shopping and dining opportunities, you’ll be living the good life in Fort Myers.
But that’s not even the best part of living in Fort Myers. This popular seaside community habitually scores off the charts when it comes to locals being happy and the area being desirable.
This is probably the reason you will find a plethora of fun-filled communities for those over 55 there with a third of the population being over 60.
And with the average home cost being around $365k, there should be plenty of retirement funds left over for fun.
Its prime location on the Gulf Coast and Caloosahatchee River offers a variety of entertainment options that range from delicious local restaurants, beautiful beaches, plenty of boating and water sports activities.
Heck, even fun times at the ballpark are not overlooked. You can watch both the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins host their spring training activities.
- Population: 86,463
- Median home price: $371,304
- Average age: 42
Melbourne is part of the Space Coast, which is located near Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center.
Once a booming area due to the active space program, Melbourne is once again seeing a revitalization due to the excitement of SpaceX and the fast-growing, new commercial space program.
Melbourne is one of the best cities to retire in Florida if you’re looking for a great investment opportunity, as the home prices are affordable now at around $370k and are expected to make a steady increase as the new space program expands.
Enjoy coastal living in a quiet area and enjoy the beautiful and safe beaches and watching dolphins play along the waterways of the city.
Melbourne also boasts a fun arts district in its charming downtown area with great parks and outdoor activities for everyone.
Those who enjoy unique entertainment options will love viewing the rocket launches and visiting the exhibits of the space center and Cape Canaveral.
- Population: 65,100
- Median home price: $269,680
- Average age: 39
Best known as Florida’s equestrian town with an award-winning horse breeding history, Ocala offers a beautiful scenic background for one of the most charming cities in the state.
Although Ocala is an inland location, it still offers literally hundreds of rivers, lakes, and springs where you can fish, swim, and kayak in the Ocala National Forest.
Ocala, Florida is the best place to retire in Florida if you want an affordable retirement lifestyle in a beautiful inland location with plenty to see and do. The average home cost is around $269k which is right on track with many retirement budgets.
Add in the unique restaurants and shops in the popular downtown area, the plentiful equestrian events, horse shows, and opportunities for horseback riding on the beautiful nature trails, and you will definitely enjoy your retirement years in Ocala.
- Population: 56,003
- Median home price: $461,770
- Average age: 54
If you are looking for perfect white-sand beaches and a high quality of life for your retirement hometown, Sarasota, Florida is a great choice.
Known as the playground for retirees, residents are among some of the happiest in the state, and it’s no wonder with its prime location on the Gulf of Mexico and near perfect weather.
The reasonable price of housing in Sarasota means that retirees on a budget can live the good life near the water without breaking the bank like many other Florida cities. Homeowners spend on average around $460k on a home in Sarasota.
Sarasota has a distinct style that is all its own that offers a vibrant cultural scene, a welcoming beach town vibe, and is beginning to become a foodie’s dream town.
Get the best of both worlds with the city’s downtown area with popular rooftop bars, fine dining choices, and resorts as well as Siesta Key Village with a charming seaside and beach town atmosphere.
5 Best Small Cities in Florida to Retire
The best cities to retire in Florida with a population under 20,000.
- Population: 17,376
- Median home price: $369,810
- Average age: 52
Located just 200 miles south of Jacksonville, it’s no wonder the quiet community of Vero Beach is one of the best cities to retire in Florida.
This small and friendly seaside community is not only one of the safest places to live in Florida, but there is so much to see and do during your retirement years that there will never be a dull moment.
Not only is Vero Beach a great place to be, but it is also very affordable, especially considering it is a popular beach community.
With average home prices around $369k, you just might even be able to retire a bit early and start soaking up that Florida sunshine!
From golf and fine dining to fishing, and cultural events; Vero Beach feels like a big town but remains a charming seaside village.
Combine this with the warm weather, a crime rate lower than the state’s average, and the prime location on the coast, and Vero Beach is definitely at the top of the list of best small cities to retire in Florida and the entire US.
- Population: 13,566
- Median home price: $591,558
- Average age: 55
The northernmost city in the state and its prime location along the Atlantic Ocean, makes Fernandina Beach one of the best cities to retire in Florida on the coast.
If you are a beach lover, this is the place for you with over 13 miles of pristine shoreline to enjoy.
While you will need to have a secure retirement fund, with the average home price at around $590k, you will be surrounded by the best Southern views nature has to offer and plenty of gorgeous beaches to explore as well as many opportunities to fish, kayak, and enjoy water sports.
Always touted as one of the top small towns for retirement in Florida, Fernandina Beach has an average age of 55 with one-third of its population being over the age of 65.
This means that you will be surrounded by other retirees who are looking for the same activities and lifestyle as you, so finding friends with similar interests is a breeze.
- Population: 15,175
- Median home price: $456,393
- Average age: 55
Discovered by the Spanish in 1565, St. Augustine is rich in history and offers a laid back coastal lifestyle that is perfect for retirees.
In addition, its ideal location, just 40 miles south of Jacksonville, gives you the best of both worlds – a peaceful seaside retreat and a bustling city with lots of urban activities, making St. Augustine one of the best cities to retire in Florida
The average home cost in St. Augustine, FL is around $450k and includes a variety of different types of housing communities including modern homes near the city, Spanish-style homes in the old town area, and waterfront homes on the ocean or one of the rivers that run through the city.
And, although this Florida city is beautiful with plenty of exciting things to see and do, there are a few things to consider.
The crime rate in St. Augustine is actually higher than the national and the state averages. There is also a great deal of traffic during most times of the year because it is a popular tourist destination.
- Population: 16,881
- Median home price: $490,842
- Average age: 48
Situated along Old Tampa Bay near popular Tampa, FL, the historic town of Safety Harbor was founded by the Spanish and promptly named “Water of the Holy Spirit” due to the five natural mineral springs located here.
This quaint and charming small town is just 4.90 square miles with most of it being surrounded by water, making it one of the best cities to retire in Florida if you love coastal living.
And while Safety Harbor is one of safest places in Florida to live with a crime rate of less than half of the state average; it can be spendy to live here.
Although it is somewhat affordable for those who have planned to retire to the coast with average home prices around $490k, that is still on the high end for many retirees.
The beautiful Florida city offers a variety of fun things to do for locals including many water-oriented activities like boating, fishing at the pier, waterfront parks, festivals, and more.
- Population: 2,330
- Median home price: $294,830
- Average age: 52
Although this small fishing village is only about 2 square miles, it is rich in history and offers some of the best oystering and fishing in Florida’s whole Gulf Coast area.
This close-knit community is one of the best places to retire in Florida due to its friendly neighbors and very affordable living.
In fact, the average home cost in Apalachicola is around $294k, which is much lower than the state and national average for home prices, making it one of the most affordable small towns in Florida for retirees.
The city is known for its unique architecture and historic buildings and is popular for its variety of seafood restaurants with fresh local catches.
In addition, the crime rate is less than half of Florida’s state average, probably because everyone knows your name and where you live.
Retiring in Florida (Post Summary)
In sum, here’s a roundup of the best cities to retire in Texas.
- Port St. Lucie
- Fort Myers
- Vero Beach
- Fernandina Beach
- St. Augustine
- Safety Harbor
Map of the best places to retire in Florida