Get the app
Get the app

Join millions of investors on Stash

Investing, simplified

Start today with as little as $5
Get the app

7 Best Cities to Live and Retire in Florida

October 20, 2017

4 min read

When you hear the word “retirement,” you probably imagine a community of similarly aged people outside in the sun, and maybe even on the beach.  In short, you probably imagine Florida.

A generation ago, Florida was the preferred place to retire. Now the state has competition from other warm states like Texas and Arizona, but Florida is still one of the preferred destinations for older adults to spend their golden years. And for good reason: no state income, inheritance, or estate tax; it has a wide variety of adult communities; the state generally has a low cost of living.

Florida has inexpensive home care compared with other states. And let’s not forget the sand and the sun for which Florida is so famous.  

Here are our favorite retirement destinations in Florida.

A note on methodology: all cost of living (COL) estimates are compared with the national average, which is set at 100. For example, a COL index of 125/100 means that the place has a COL that is 25% higher than the median income in the US, which is $53,086. Sperling’s Best Places provides the COL indices and population data. Average high and low temperatures from US Climate Data.

1. Cape Coral

Cape Coral is often cited as being one of the best places to retire; Forbes listed it as one of their 25 best places to retire for both 2015 and 2016. This master-planned city along the Gulf of Mexico has a booming economy, a lower than average cost of living, and beautiful weather.

2. Clearwater

Clearwater is located on the West side of Tampa near the bay, along with St. Petersburg. Clearwater has a distinct small-town vibe but is close enough to Tampa for those looking for a little city life on the weekends. Money, for one, rated it in the top 25 in 2011.­ It’s a  beach town without the luxury cost. Bonus for retirees: The area is home to a wide variety of active adult communities.

3. The Villages

The Villages isn’t technically a town or a city, but a census-designated place that’s billed as a “premier active adult community.” The Villages was built specifically for retirees and includes retiree-oriented activities, town squares, plenty of shopping and restaurants, health and wellness centers, social clubs and many types of recreation for the active adult.

4. Miami

Miami is something of an anomaly – it’s extremely popular with the college-aged partying crowd, and also with those over the age of 65.  The city has an abundance of activities and entertainment to suit just about anyone, low taxes, a great climate, and feels vibrant and alive. It also tops the list for the number of home-care facilities per capita and has some of the best fishing in the country. At the same time, the cost of living is among the highest on this list, and has a below-average physician-per-capita ratio.

5. St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg often top the charts of preferred retirement destinations. In 2013, Money named it one of the top ten places to retire in the nation, and Kiplinger rated it among the top ten in 2016. St. Pete, as it is nicknamed, is clustered with Tampa and Clearwater in the Tampa Bay. However, it has less of a small-town feel than Clearwater and is slightly more urban – think the suburbs of a metropolitan area. St. Petersburg is also well-known for its shopping district and for its bustling downtown district.

6. Lakeland

Lakeland is halfway between Tampa and Orlando, and unsurprisingly, is growing rapidly. The area boasts a number of retirement communities – a Google search will reveal ten separate ones within the first twenty entries – along with several historic districts and some original installations by Frank Lloyd Wright. For now, the cost of living is below average, but with the speed at which the town is growing, that may soon change.

7. Ft. Lauderdale

For those looking for a Venetian feel without traveling to Italy, Ft. Lauderdale is about as close as it gets. Located on intercoastal waters and a sprawling system of canals (sometimes used with more frequency than cars) this city is perfect for those who have always dreamed of a life on the water. Ft. Lauderdale has been a popular retirement destination since World War II, and as such has a variety of active adult communities.

Key takeaways

Florida has been one of the most popular states in which to retire for generations for good reasons: low tax liability, warm weather, the generally low cost of living, and tons to do. Whether you’re not planning on “growing old” and plan to party with the college crowd for years to come, or you’re ready to settle down for peaceful and quiet golden years, there’s something in Florida for everyone.

Want to start saving for your retirement?

It’s never to early to start! Downloading the Stash app is one way to start and provided you follow a long-term and consistent investment strategy.

Thanks to technology, the Stash invest app can now help you start investing with as little as $5. In fact, Stash Learn is giving new users a special $5 sign-up credit to get started by just subscribing here. The app is also free to download for iOS and Android. Don’t know what Stash is? Find out more here.

By Stash Team

Next for you
What To Expect (When You’re Investing for Retirement)

Investment Profile

Bonds Worldwide

An International Bond ETF on Stash

Learn more
Explore more articlesChoose a topic to learn more about
Technology budgeting politics market news social media

This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, represents an assessment of the market environment as of the date of publication, is subject to change without notice, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice or opinion. Stash assumes no obligation to provide notifications of changes in any factors that could affect the information provided. This information should not be relied upon by the reader as research or investment advice regarding any issuer or security in particular. The strategies discussed are strictly for illustrative and educational purposes and should not be construed as a recommendation to purchase or sell, or an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. There is no guarantee that any strategies discussed will be effective.

Furthermore, the information presented does not take into consideration commissions, tax implications, or other transactional costs, which may significantly affect the economic consequences of a given strategy or investment decision. This information is not intended as a recommendation to invest in any particular asset class or strategy or as a promise of future performance. There is no guarantee that any investment strategy will work under all market conditions or is suitable for all investors. Each investor should evaluate their ability to invest long term, especially during periods of downturn in the market. Investors should not substitute these materials for professional services, and should seek advice from an independent advisor before acting on any information presented. Before investing, please carefully consider your willingness to take on risk and your financial ability to afford investment losses when deciding how much individual security exposure to have in your investment portfolio.

Past performance does not guarantee future results. There is a potential for loss as well as gain in investing. Stash does not represent in any manner that the circumstances described herein will result in any particular outcome. While the data and analysis Stash uses from third party sources is believed to be reliable, Stash does not guarantee the accuracy of such information. Nothing in this article should be considered as a solicitation or offer, or recommendation, to buy or sell any particular security or investment product or to engage in any investment strategy. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission. Stash does not provide personalized financial planning to investors, such as estate, tax, or retirement planning. Investment advisory services are only provided to investors who become Stash Clients pursuant to a written Advisory Agreement. For more information please visit