Lifestyle

15 Best Cities to Retire in Florida in 2024

When you think of retirement states, Florida probably naturally comes to mind. The mild winters and miles of beaches make Florida popular with retirees eager to enjoy life. Whether you’re looking for city life, a suburban home, or a dedicated retirement community, there are tons of options geared towards seniors.

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Adam Cecil

Published February 23rd, 2021

Updated January 23rd, 2024

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

When you think of retirement states, Florida probably naturally comes to mind.

Attractions and amenities can vary dramatically from one Florida town to the next.

It’s important to look at the 65-plus population while also considering basics like access to restaurants, shopping, and healthcare

When you think of retirement states, Florida probably naturally comes to mind. The mild winters and miles of beaches make Florida popular with retirees eager to enjoy life.

Is Florida a good place to live for retirees?

Yes, Florida rates consistenly as one of the best places to live for retirees. Whether you’re looking for city life, a suburban home, or a dedicated retirement community, there are tons of options geared towards seniors.

We rank Florida as the third best state to retire in our annual Best & Worst States to Retire Report.

Is Florida tax-friendly for seniors?

Florida is one of the most tax-friendly states in the country for retirees. That’s in large part thanks to the state’s lack of income tax. That means you won’t pay state taxes on Social Security income, payments from public or private pensions, or withdrawals from accounts like 401(k)s or IRAs. Snowbirds take note—you’ll have to make Florida your residence for over half of the calendar year to qualify.

Another benefit for full-time Florida residents: no inheritance or estate tax.

Do seniors in Florida pay property taxes over 65?

Permanent residents of Florida typically qualify for the Florida Homestead Exemption, which lowers the taxable value of your property by $50,000. Seniors may qualify for an extra $50,000 if they meet certain income requirements, though these will vary county by county. Another warning to snowbirds—the property isn’t your permanent residence, you likely won’t qualify for any exemptions.

What benefits do seniors get in Florida?

Florida’s Department of Elder Affairs offers a number of services to the state’s sizable retiree community, including disaster preparedness programs (useful for a state that is often hit by hurricanes both big and small), multiple nutrition programs and food services, memory disorder clinics and Alzheimer’s disease initiatives, and your typical programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.

Where is the best place to retire in Florida?

The best places to live in Florida aren’t necessarily the best places to retire in Florida. What makes a great retirement city? Great weather is important, but access to healthcare, amenities, and affordable living are three top features.

Here are the top 15 cities to consider for your retirement years.

Sarasota

sarasota

CITY POPULATION: 54,842

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 29.6%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 8.1% above the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $456,741

MEDIAN RENT: $3,000

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

If you’ve always dreamed of retiring to a beachfront community, Sarasota should top your list of the best cities to live in Florida. Miles of award-winning beaches combine with retail, restaurants, and culture to make it an all-around great place to live.

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Orlando

orlando

CITY POPULATION: 307,573

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 11.8%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 4.2% below the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $373,927

MEDIAN RENT: $2,100

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

Orlando is best known for being home to Disney World, but there are other reasons it’s one of the best places in Florida. There are plenty of restaurants and attractions, and you can even enjoy senior discounts in the off season. If you like the amenities of a retirement community, Orlando is packed with plenty of those, as well.

Jacksonville

jville

CITY POPULATION: 949,611

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 15%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: within 0.1% of the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $293,901

MEDIAN RENT: $1,631

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

Jacksonville is one of the best cities in Florida overall because it has a little of everything. Sports, beaches, retail, restaurants, and more. The weather is also a little milder than you’ll get in other areas of the state. But one of the biggest benefits of Jacksonville living is access to top-quality healthcare, which is a priority for many retirees.

Daytona Beach

daytona-beach

CITY POPULATION: 72,647

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 21.9%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 2.1% below the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $258,093

MEDIAN RENT: $1,600

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

Another option for your beachfront Florida retirement living is Daytona Beach. The area definitely has a tourist population, but if you don’t mind the crowds, you can carve out a nice life. Daytona Beach is especially appealing to car and motorcycle enthusiasts, thanks to the many automotive events held there, including the legendary Daytona 500.

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The Villages

villages

CITY POPULATION: 79,077

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 81.6%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 3.6% above the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $407,790

MEDIAN RENT: $2,988

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

Located just a half an hour north of Orlando, The Villages is not only one of the best retirement communities in Florida. It’s often named as one of the top retirement communities in the world. With more than 3,000 social clubs, three town squares with nightly entertainment, and numerous recreational centers and golf courses, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a similar large-scale community dedicated to retirees.

Port St. Lucie

psl

CITY POPULATION: 204,851

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 22.2%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 6.4% above the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $391,638

MEDIAN RENT: $2,575

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

If you love golf, one of the best places in Florida is Port St. Lucie. The city is packed with golf communities, and you’ll find more than 20 courses located throughout the city. You’ll also have access to miles of beautiful beaches and plenty of restaurants and shops.

St. Petersburg

st-pete

CITY POPULATION: 258,308

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 21.5%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 1.5% above the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $374,185

MEDIAN RENT: $2,161

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

Between the beaches of St. Petersburg and nearby Clearwater, you’ll never be without a beach day. But what makes St. Petersburg one of the best cities in Florida for retirees are its theaters and museums. There’s also plenty of shopping and dining options, as well as multiple 55-plus communities.

Tampa

tampa

CITY POPULATION: 384,959

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 13.4%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 1.3% above the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $379,142

MEDIAN RENT: $2,175

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

Tampa has a little bit of something for every age group. But for retirees, it’s one of the best cities to retire in Florida because of its large size. The warm climate and close proximity to multiple beaches make it ideal for long walks, or just enjoying a nice dinner with a great view. If you’re hoping to be surrounded by other retirees, you can opt for one of the many active adult communities in the area.

Naples

naples

CITY POPULATION: 19,115

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 54.6%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 2% above the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $593,085

MEDIAN RENT: $6,500

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

Naples is one of the best small towns in Florida due to its beautiful beaches and high-end shopping. There’s a high cost of living, but the city itself is geared toward the needs of the predominant 55-plus community. You’ll have access to some of the best healthcare in the country, both in Naples and throughout Collier county.

Melbourne

melbourne

CITY POPULATION: 84,678

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 23.1%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 2% below the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $368,900

MEDIAN RENT: $2,000

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

If you’re looking for a beach town with a mild climate, Melbourne is one of the best places to retire. Located midway down the east coast, Melbourne has plenty of golf courses and a year-round warm climate. It’s also only an hour from Orlando, so you can take the grandkids to Disney World when they visit.

Inflation? Recession? No problem.

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Ft. Myers

ft-myers

CITY POPULATION: 86,395

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 24.2%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 2.6% below the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $368,386

MEDIAN RENT: $2,400

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

Those who love the great outdoors often name Ft. Myers one of the best retirement communities in the country. The daytime temperature rarely dips below 60 degrees, allowing you to enjoy the beaches, golf courses, and other outdoor amenities. You’ll also find plenty of shops, restaurants, and cultural venues to keep you busy.

Florida Keys

keys

COUNTY POPULATION: 82,874

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 25.1%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 46.1% above the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $1,062,464

MEDIAN RENT: $5,844

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

If you have the money to swing the high cost of living, consider the Florida Keys. It’s one of the best areas to live in Florida due to its breathtaking waterfront views and year-round warm climate. The many museums, shops, and cultural attractions make it a great place to live either part- or full-time.

Ocala

ocala

CITY POPULATION: 63,591

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 18.4%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 2.6% below the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $269,841

MEDIAN RENT: $1,715

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

Ocala is often lumped in with The Villages due to its proximity, but it has plenty to offer on its own. Often cited as one of the places to live in Florida for its large horse farms, you’ll find plenty of horseback-riding opportunities. The charming downtown square has plenty of unique shops, and you’ll find a wide range of dining options throughout the city.

St. Augustine

st-augustine

CITY POPULATION: 14,329

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 26.2%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 2.6% below the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $452,453

MEDIAN RENT: $2,300

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

History buffs may find St. Augustine a great option for retirement. Known as the oldest European-established town in the U.S., the city is rich with culture. Tourists come to the city each year, so you’ll find plenty of attractions, retail shops, and restaurants. Travel a little outside of the charming downtown area to get to miles of beaches.

Clearwater

clearwater

CITY POPULATION: 117,292

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 23%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 1.6% above the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $368,924

MEDIAN RENT: $2,350

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

Among Florida gulf coast cities, Clearwater has several 55-plus communities, each packed with plenty of amenities. The city is home to golf courses and beautiful beaches, as well as a popular marine aquarium. You’ll also find great seafood restaurants and entertainment, making it a great option if you’re looking for that “year-round vacation” experience.

Bottom Line

We hope this list of best cities to retire in Florida serves as a helpful tool to get you started on your search. In the end, only you can determine which community is the best to fit your lifestyle. Whatever you decide, Retirable can help you set up a plan to start saving so that you can enjoy your retirement when the time comes.

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Adam Cecil
Adam Cecil

Adam Cecil is a freelance writer who has produced financial content for Retirable, Policygenius, and Donational, In his free time, he writes the weekly pop culture newsletter Night Water and produces independent fiction podcasts.

Best Places To Retire

Getting Started


Northeastern U.S. Best Places To Retire


Southern U.S. Best Places To Retire


Midwestern U.S. Best Places To Retire


Western U.S. Best Cities To Retire

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Best Places To Retire

Getting Started


Northeastern U.S. Best Places To Retire


Southern U.S. Best Places To Retire


Midwestern U.S. Best Places To Retire


Western U.S. Best Cities To Retire


Share this advice


Adam Cecil
Adam Cecil

Adam Cecil is a freelance writer who has produced financial content for Retirable, Policygenius, and Donational, In his free time, he writes the weekly pop culture newsletter Night Water and produces independent fiction podcasts.

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Legal

Retirable, Inc. ('Retirable') is an SEC registered investment advisor. By using this website, you accept our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. Retirable provides holistic retirement planning services, which are available only to residents of the United States. You must be at least 18 years of age to become a Retirable Premium user. Nothing on this website should be considered an offer, solicitation of an offer, or advice to buy or sell securities.

Investing involves risk and past performance is not indicative of future results. Increased spending increases the risk of depleting your savings and performance is not guaranteed. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any decisions based on your own personal circumstances.

For more information, see our Form ADV Part II and other disclosures.

Retirable is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Blue Ridge Bank N.A., Member FDIC. FDIC insurance is available for funds on deposit up to $250,000 through Blue Ridge Bank N.A., Member FDIC. The Retirable Visa® Debit Card is issued by Blue Ridge Bank N.A. pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.

* Annual Percentage Yield (APY) of 5.12% is effective as of Aug 1, 2023. This is a variable rate and may change after the account is opened. Fees could affect earnings on the account.

** Refer to the fee schedule in your Consumer Deposit Account Agreement

© 2024 Retirable Inc. All rights reserved.

We're accredited and certified by