Best Retirement Cities in Florida for Active Seniors

By on June 21, 2021

When retirees are considering a move to Florida, several factors might play into their decision on exactly where to go. This is especially true for active seniors who are enjoying their “Golden Years” by traveling, hiking, exercising, and enjoying all that life has to offer. 

Some factors that they might consider as they look for their next home could include:

  • Activities and amenities nearby
  • Cost of living
  • Crime rate
  • Tax rates
  • Traffic and driver safety
  • Family

From pickleball tournaments to amusement parks, here are some of the best places to retire in Florida for active seniors:

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The Villages

This retirement community here itself has over 30 recreation centers and 200 pickleball courts. They are home to the annual “The Villages Senior Games” where over 500 players participated in the most recent event. Putting on an official monthly pickleball tournament, Villages Pickleball Club organizes a yearly exhibition with visiting pros and the country’s top talent attending. 

Additionally, The Villages is one of the top 5 safest cities in Florida for drivers. Car accidents can be devastating for seniors. With the growing rate of distracted drivers on the road, it is important to live in a community where there is a lower accident rate.

Pensacola, FL

 22% of the city’s population of 481,964 are age 60+ here. This is considered a top spot for retirees on a budget. Residents really enjoy the housing affordability here as well as a highly rated level of desirability. Residents enjoy strolling on Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key, and look out for rays, sea turtles, and dolphins that are prevalent in this northwest Florida region.

Tampa, FL

This is perhaps one of the most affordable retirement locations near the beach. Entertainment options for retirees include a zoo, aquarium, theme parks, and professional sports teams. Another lure for retirees is that this is a popular port for cruise ships. Seniors really get into Caribbean or European cruises out of this port, enjoying a wide variety of onboard activities geared toward seniors.

Lakeland, FL

 Lakeland is one of the most affordable Florida cities to retire in, with the median home price for people age 60 and older just $120,900. Waterfront property is inexpensive in this city located between Orlando and Tampa. It is so named for the 38 inland lakes in the area. The city had a population of an estimated U.S. Census Bureau number of 112,136 residents in 2019. 

Daytona Beach, FL

Famous for the biggest NASCAR race of the season and for being a haven for “Spring Breakers”, this area is popular for its very pleasant winter weather, the low housing costs, and the proximity it has to the Atlantic Ocean. Residents who love the beach take in the 23 miles of beach here, often driving right onto some beaches that offer this option. 32% of the population here is age 60+.

Jacksonville, FL

With a population of 1,475,386, this is one of Florida’s most populous cities and continues to grow rapidly every year. Attractive features for retirees here include the Atlantic Ocean beaches, mild winters, and terrific golf courses overlooking the ocean.

Melbourne, FL

This area, known as the Space Coast due to the presence of the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, has very mild and agreeable winters, and the cost of housing for seniors is relatively low here. Residents love strolling along Atlantic Ocean beaches and particularly enjoy spotting dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon. The population here is 576,808, 31% of which are residents age 60+.

Miami, FL

Though a bit more expensive to live here, residents feel that the tremendous array of local attractions, amenities, and health care options close by making it worth the cost. 23% of the 6,070,944 residents here are age 60+. Miami-Dade residents age 65 and older can ride on public transit for free of charge, a bit of cost savings for many who may rely more heavily on this way to safely get about the area.

Ocala, FL

This is a unique area for retirees, one that really caters to equestrian lovers, as this is a town known for producing Kentucky Derby-winning horses. Residents really enjoy viewing equestrian events and competitions, and they take to horseback riding out on one of the many nature trails here. Of what seems like all the glitz and glamour that goes along with “equestrian life”, the cost of living is reasonable here, and the housing costs are low, particularly appealing to residents on a fixed income. The population here is 348,371, 35% of which are residents age 60+. The median home price is only $136,100 for people 60 and older.

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Best Retirement Cities in Florida for Active Seniors