15 Reasons Florida Will Always Be the Best Place To Retire

Explore the 15 undeniable reasons why Florida reigns supreme as a retirement haven.

Footbridge to smathers beach at sunrise
Updated July 18, 2024
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Florida has long been a top destination for retirees, and there are many good reasons why.

Although other places in the U.S. offer great perks for retirees, nothing tops the Sunshine State.

So, if you are crafting your retirement plan, here are some key reasons why Florida should be on your list of possible new places to call home.

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Housing is affordable

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe tampa florida skyline at sunset

The median sale price for a home in Florida was $407,000 in February, according to real estate website Redfin. That compares to the national average of $412,000 for the same period.

Housing costs in Florida can vary from location to location, so be aware that some cities may be more expensive than others.

However, the affordable cost of housing in Florida might help you keep more money in the bank when you buy a home.

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The weather is warm throughout the year

Kevin Ruck/Adobe orlando florida skyline during day time

Florida lets you trade your winter coat and snow shovel for shorts and a beach chair.

The weather in Florida is pleasant and comfortable for most of the year. There's a reason it is known as the Sunshine State.

There are 55-plus communities

Lisa F. Young/Adobe romantic senior couple hugging on bridge

Some retirees prefer to live in a community that caters to those who are 55 and older. Florida rolls out the red carpet for seniors.

A 55-plus community might be a great option for your next home, and there are plenty in Florida to choose from.

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You can always enjoy the beach

Pauline/Adobe emerald water at pensacola-beach

Florida has beautiful beaches lining its peninsula, and there's no shortage of cities to choose from if you want the beach life.

You'll have plenty of options for homes on or near the water.

Tax laws favor retirees

csfotoimages/Adobe retired couple at siesta key beach

Florida doesn't have a state income tax.

In addition, you don’t have to pay tax on Social Security income or withdrawals from retirement accounts. And if you have a pension, you won’t have to pay tax on that either.

Outdoor activities abound

Sarah Rypma/Adobe family hiking on trail in florida

Florida’s beautiful weather and proximity to beaches make it an ideal place for retirees who want to be active after they finish working.

Florida also offers outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, snorkeling, and swimming.

And if you’re looking for something more inland, the state has parks and nature areas full of hiking trails, biking trails, and other adventures.

There are plenty of world-class amusement parks

JHVEPhoto/Adobe walt disney world entrance in florida

Retirement means you can spend more time having fun. So, head to one of Florida’s amusement parks to enjoy a day outside.

Orlando is home to theme parks such as Disney World and Universal Studios. Legoland is in Winter Haven, and Busch Gardens is in Tampa.

Businesses cater to retirees

XaMaps/Adobe senior couple enjoying life after retirement

With so many seniors in one place, restaurants, stores, and other businesses naturally cater to retirees.

For example, you might get extra deals and discounts on early bird specials at local restaurants.

It’s easy to get in and out of the state

Neitiry/Adobe senior couple driving cabriolet car

One goal you may have during retirement is to travel more, and Florida has you covered.

The state has plenty of airports to get you all over the world. You'll also find Interstate 95 and the Florida Turnpike if you plan to travel north or south.

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The state has 11 national parks

Sceninc Media/Adobe dry tortugas national park in florida

Florida has 11 national parks for you to explore when you’re retired.

The most famous park may be the Everglades National Park, with its unique habitat for animals and plants. But don’t sleep on Dry Tortugas National Park, which features Fort Jefferson and beautiful coral reefs.

Good health care is available

JHVEPhoto/Adobe hca healthcare building in tampa florida

Florida is known for its good health care options, particularly for older patients who live in the state.

Doctors in Florida might be more up-to-date on the latest treatments for health issues that impact retirees.

Housing options are diverse

oldmn/Adobe atlantic coast of south florida

In addition to many 55-plus communities, Florida offers everything from single-family homes to townhouses and many condominiums.

Whatever type of home you seek, you will surely find it in Florida.

Senior homes are abundant

marchello74/Adobe gated community houses with palms florida

If you decide to spend the rest of your life in Florida, you might need to move into an assisted living or nursing home facility at some point.

Florida has many options for those who need more care as they grow older.

There is plenty of entertainment

aiisha/Adobe orlando eye on orlando east coast

Florida has plenty of entertainment options, such as concerts, art shows, and other events. Active seniors will have no trouble keeping themselves entertained in Florida.

There is an endless variety of restaurants

Andriy Blokhin/Adobe harbor boardwalk pirate's alley in destin

Florida is packed with all types of restaurants, from laid-back bars in Key West to Cuban restaurants in Miami.

You will also find plenty of fresh seafood options on both the Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast.

Bottom line

lunamarina/Adobe palm trees in florida fort myers

While other places in the U.S. have a lot to offer retirees, the factors on this list keep Florida firmly atop the list of states to call home during your golden years.

So, before you retire, check out the Sunshine State and see if it is right for you.

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Jenny Cohen

Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.