Each region of Florida has its own unique charms.
Before deciding on a retirement community, you should really spend some time thinking about which part of Florida you might like best.
I like to think of the decision process as: Location —> Community —> Home
Here are links to a few of the popular Florida retirement regions:
Central Florida – There are a lot of retirement communities to choose from in Central Florida. Some prominent cities include Orlando, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, Winter Park, Kissimmee, The Villages, Leesburg, Ocala, Gainesville, and Lakeland.
The West Coast – Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Bradenton, and Sarasota are the biggest population centers in this region of the state. This area is also very popular with residents and retirees from the Midwest who are able to shoot right down I-75 to get here.
Southwest Florida – Southwest Florida which includes Naples, Marco Island, and Fort Myers, is extremely popular due to its proximity to the tranquil Gulf of Mexico and relaxing beaches. Most retirement communities in Southwest Florida are very upscale.
North Florida – Jacksonville and other parts of North Florida have a wide array of retirement communities from which to choose. Living in Jacksonville and the Northeast part of Florida gives you a chance to be away from the hustle and bustle of South Florida while enjoying a slightly milder climate, though the city of Jacksonville itself is pretty busy.
The East Coast – This region includes Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach, Port Orange, New Smyrna, Titusville, Melbourne, and Cocoa Beach. This popular retirement community destination is growing rapidly not only because of Northerners retiring there but also because of people moving up from South Florida.
South Florida – Southeast Florida has been one of the nation’s all-time most sought-after retirement community locations. The most popular destinations include Port St. Lucie, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, and West Palm Beach.
Panhandle/Northwest Florida – This region includes popular retirement destinations like Destin, Panama City Beach, and Pensacola, and is quickly becoming even more popular with the development of Latitude Margaritaville Watersound.
For Additional Reading…
Florida Trend is one of my favorite sources of information about Florida.
As the leading business publication in the state (they also report on politics and government) they are always cranking out useful data on the latest Florida trends and statistics.
You might not think a business publication would lend itself to helping you figure out where to retire in Florida, but think again!
The information they compile each year on Florida's 8 diverse regions should be of particular interest to you.
When you visit the regional section of their site, you are presented with an interactive map of Florida's 8 regions. Simply clicking on any of those regions will take you to an in-depth report on that particular region.
The individual reports include information on what industries are most important in that region, an overview of the types of people that live in that region, in-depth information on the economics of that area, information on quality of life, and more.
Simply taking the time to peruse some of this information should give you a good handle on what makes the various parts of Florida “tick”, which is all excellent information to have when trying to figure out where in Florida you want to retire.
We picked Citrus County, just North of Tampa, near Ocala.
The weather is perfect, and the fishing is awesome. It has a small town feel.
We are moving from pa to Clearwater Florida area. Can’t wait and I will keep working until 62
Aubrey Bell says
Looking to move somewhere in Florida. Looking for a home in the 240,000 range with a RV port to park the RV. Maybe the North West part of Florida in a retirement community..
Patricia Perugini says
Try to stay in Fort Myers, we love it because we have 2 dogs. We never pulled the trigger and moved there. Now 70 and 72 it’s really too late for us. Just find your place and do it. Love Venice Beach as well but not as much. Try Sarasota too. We love it also. Find your place and go for it. If Fort Myers doesn’t work out move to another spot. Much nicer than the east coast.
Larry and Cindy Boudreau says
I am 61 and will be moving to Florida . Not sure what part yet. We have lived in St Augustine and Palm Coast . We are interested on Gulf Coast . Will be seeking a small home, condo or what ever is with in our comport zone and location to shopping and entertainment is keen