Retire in Florida: These 5 Hidden Gems Are Waiting for You


Would you like to retire in Florida?

More and more people think about spending their golden years in the beautiful state of Florida. And why shouldn’t they? The weather is gorgeous all year round, the sandy beaches are to die for, there are lots of theme parks where you can have fun and walk around, there are lots of cultural attractions waiting to be visited, and you’ll have the time of your life there.

Besides these good things, another reason why many people want to retire in Florida is that the tax advantages are incredible. The sunny state has no state income tax, and that’s true for pension income, withdrawals from IRAs and 401(k) plans, and also for Social Security benefits.

retire in Florida
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Tax benefits

Moreover, homeowners who purchase a property and designate it as their principal residence are free from paying property taxes up to $50,000 (except for school district taxes, where the exemption is $25,000). Besides that, there’s a cap on annual assessment increases, set at 3% or the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is lower, providing further protection against property tax hikes.

If you want to retire in Florida and take advantage of all these good things, you need to do some planning beforehand. The sunny state must be your permanent residence or domicile, not just a home you visit every season. The first thing you should do to get the benefits is to file a Declaration of Domicile and then support it with specific actions, like registering to vote in this state, having a Florida driver’s license, changing your mailing address, and even purchasing a home.

If these sound like a perfect plan and you’re on the fence about where you’d like to move, here are the best places in Florida.

1. Sarasota

If you want to retire in Florida, you should check out Sarasota. Even though the cost of living is higher compared to other cities in the state, it offers incredible benefits, like waterfront homes, a gorgeous downtown that’s walkable, gated communities, and a lovely atmosphere.

The St. Armands Circle is absolutely to die for, with incredible places to shop and dine, park benches, and stunning sculptures. Some of the best hospitals here are HCA Florida Sarasota Doctors Hospital and Sarasota Memorial Hospital, so you’ll be taken good care of in case it’s needed.

If you’re into the arts, you’ll be happy to hear that there are lots of art galleries, museums, and cultural events in Sarasota, so you can spend your evenings in theaters, watching ballet, opera, or Broadway shows. It’s such a lovely city. Don’t you think so?

…Where would you prefer to retire in Florida?

2. Tampa

Tampa is another incredible city you should check out if you want to retire in Florida. It’s located in Tampa Bay along Florida’s Gulf Coast, and the population is less than 500,000. This location is perfect for retirees who love water sports, boating, beach life, and exploring city life. If you love music and other art forms, you’re in for a treat, because there are lots of places you can go, such as the Tampa Bay History Center or the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts.

If you plan to retire in Florida to take part in the sports culture, this sunny state’s got you covered. You can enjoy some fabulous games at the Tampa Bay Rays (baseball), Tampa Bay Lightning (hockey), and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (football). The cherry on the cake, as many people say, is when the New York Yankees come for their annual spring training camps at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

The cost of living isn’t exactly the lowest, but it’s approximately 20% lower than in NYC. If you want to invest in a gorgeous house in Tampa, you should know that the closer you are to the waterfront, the more expensive it will be. The healthcare system is top-notch in this city, so there’s no need to worry about unpleasant events.

We have many other gorgeous cities to check out if you want to retire in Florida, so keep reading!

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3. Fort Myers

Another amazing city you should check out if you want to retire in Florida is Fort Myers, a lovely place located on the southwestern Gulf Coast. Given the fact that the cost of living is slightly lower than in other parts of the state, this one is considered by many to be a fabulous and affordable place to retire.

Fort Myers is visited year-round for its sandy beaches and sports, as well as for the stunning dance performances, Broadway musicals, and classical music concerts. If you’re a baseball fan, you’ll be happy to discover that the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins stay in Fort Meyers during their spring training camps.

4. Fort Lauderdale

If you want to retire in Florida and prefer the southeast coast, Fort Lauderdale might be the perfect destination for you. Placed among canals and waterways, this fabulous city has long been a wonderful retirement community and vacation spot.

This is the place where nature meets modernism, and it will impress you with its great restaurants, entertainment venues, golf courses, resorts, marinas, and out-of-this-world sandy beaches. I have to warn you that the cost of living is pretty high in Fort Lauderdale, but if you have enough retirement savings, you won’t regret living here.

With access to the beach, Intracoastal Waterway, and shade trees, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park will bring nature into the middle of Fort Lauderdale’s metropolitan environment. If you’re into horse racing, you can go to Gulfstream Park, and if gambling’s more of your thing, you can check out the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Along with the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, the Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District is home to several theaters, restaurants, retail stores, and museums. The city is home to many hospitals, including Holy Cross Health, which is known for offering exceptional services.

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5. Ocala

This one is for people who want to retire in Florida but get closer to nature. Only 45 minutes south of Gainesville in Central Florida, Ocala is one of the most gorgeous cities where you can enjoy nature and stunning landscapes at every step.

Known as the “Horse Capital of the World,” Ocala is home to over 400 thoroughbred horse farms and training facilities. The World Equestrian Center is the ideal location if you’d like to learn more about horses or give riding a try. Nature lovers can also hit the hiking trails, go kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding, and check out the historic glass-bottom boats at Silver Springs State Park.

If you want to settle down in an affordable place, Ocala is for you, because the cost of living is around 7% lower than the national average and 8% lower than the state average. Even though there are only a bit over 60,000 residents here, the healthcare system is amazing. You can find incredible doctors at several hospitals, such as AdventHealth Ocala, Kindred Hospital Ocala, and HCA Florida Ocala Hospital.

Would you like to retire in Florida? Where would you like to move? Let us know in the comments below!

Don’t forget to do your research and ask residents about what it’s like to live in any of these cities. However, if you’re sure that you want to retire to Florida and call the Sunshine State your home, pack your bags and have fun!

Until next time, here’s another great post for you to check out: Health Insurance Denial: 7 Possible Causes and What You Can Do

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