Each year, Forbes comes out with a list of Best Places to retire in the U.S. This year, two Florida cities made the Forbes list, Cape Coral and Port Charlotte.
Cape Coral, on the Gulf of Mexico, was founded in 1957 as a master-planned community and currently has a population around 160,000 people. Cape Coral is often called the “Waterfront Wonderland” because there are more than 400 miles of navigable waterways, and has more canals than any other city in the world.
Here's why Forbes likes it:
Rosy economy in half-century-old Gulf of Mexico coast city developed with a master plan. Cost of living 4% below national average, with home prices also slightly national average, at $190,000. Good weather, above average air quality, low serious crime rate.
Port Charlotte, located less than an hour north of Cape Coral and about 1/3 the size, made the 2012 U.S. News & World Report best places to retire list back in 2012.
It's also the Spring Training home of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Port Charlotte took a near-direct hit from Category 4 Hurricane Charley back in 2004, but the area has come back strong over the last decade.
The Pro's of Port Charlotte according to Forbes:
Recovering economy in town on Gulf of Mexico inlet. Cost of living 8% below national average, median home price $147,000. Good weather, above average air quality, low serious crime rate.
For What Its Worth…
I've never been a big fan of best places to retire type lists. As you know, there's just so much personal preference that factors in to this kind of decision. That's why I don't publish a “best places” list here.
I've yet to hear one person tell me they chose to retire somewhere because the cost of living was 5% below the national average. But this type of data weighs pretty heavily into how these lists are compiled.
The reality is, these lists seem to get a lot of page views and social shares, and that's why some publications like them.
That said, here's the rest of the Forbes list, if you're interested:
Forbes 2015 Best Places to Retire
*Indicates city was also on the 2014 Best Places List
Abilene, TX *
San Angelo, TX*
San Marcos, TX
You can see the original Forbes Best Places to Retire 2015 story here.