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Aug
26
Southwest Florida: A Sea of Retirement Favorites

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Southwest Florida: A Sea of Retirement Favorites



Southwest Florida is known for its sea of destination ratings and “best of” polls. Interestingly, every poll points to the same cities, time and time again. In fact, three Southwest Florida cities were just named among the “7 Great Places to Retire in Florida.”



Sarasota, Punta Gorda and Venice were named as the top places for retirement according to Kiplinger’s personal finance, Sunshine State.

Sarasota was rated No. 1 on the list as having upscale shopping on St. Armands Circle, the Sarasota Memorial hospital and healthcare system and beautiful, white-sand beaches along the Gulf. Sarasota’s 65 and over population is 26.5%, which is higher than the national average of 14.9%.



“Nature lovers will find lush landscapes and subtropical wildlife at the local parks, as well as well as at Celery Fields, an erstwhile celery farm now known for its birds and wetlands, and the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. “Sarasota has a lively and diverse arts scene, which includes a ballet company, art museums and an 80-member orchestra,” Kiplinger said.



Sarasota’s cost of living is a bit higher than the national average and home pricing is $16,100 above the national median.

Punta Gorda ranked at No. 5, with a 55.3% share of 65 and over residents. On the financial side of things, it ranks less expensive than the national average.



“Life here [Punta Gorda] revolves around 55 miles of canal-front homes as well as numerous retirement communities, restricted to people age 55 and older,” the report said. “Plenty of golfing, plus a Fishermen’s Village waterfront complex with 30 shops and restaurants. Also in town, the Harborwalk along Charlotte Harbor is just a portion of the 18 miles of bike trails and pedestrian pathways you can enjoy.”



Venice also made the “Top 7” ranking by Kiplinger as No. 7. 61% of the residents being 65 and older and the cost of living being higher than average. The report described the proximity to the water, palm tree-lined sidewalks in historical neighborhoods as part of the area’s appeal.



“Venice has a slow pace but offers plenty of amenities,” Kiplinger said. “Locals can stroll the historic district and stop in the numerous shops and restaurants. On Saturday mornings, there’s a farmers market. You can catch a show at the Venice Theatre or a performance by the Venice Symphony at the Performing Arts Center.”



Kiplinger names: Gainesville, Naples, St. Petersburg and St. Augustine among more great places to retire in the state. Florida is growing by more than 1,000 people a day, has a warm climate, tax-friendly status - all of which are key draws for retirees.



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