The Best City For Retirement: Sarasota, Florida

Imagine waking up to the sound of palm trees swaying in the wind and ocean waves hitting the dock. If that doesn’t sound like heaven, we don’t know what does.

The Sunshine State––where the sand is hot, the water is refreshing and the people are tan (or burnt)—is a go-to spot for retirees in the U.S. While kids love Florida because of Disney World, the older demographic tends to fancy the southern state because of its year-round warmth—and lack of a state income tax on things like pensions, IRAS or social security benefits. According to Suburban Stats, about 15.5% of Florida’s current population is 60 years old or older.

In particular, Sarasota, Florida—about an hour south of Tampa— is the perfect place to lounge by the sparkling aquamarine waters of the Gulf of Mexico or catch some rays.
Florida-based real estate agent Cathy Watson believes that “the plentiful sunshine, no state income tax and access to world class amenities” intrigue the older community to move to Sarasota.
“Many retirees relocate to Sarasota to enjoy our fantastic winters with average high temperatures of 73 degrees and a slower pace of life,” said Watson.
Believe it or not, the city’s median house price––$262,400––is lower than the national average, which is $315,000. Why spend $260,000 on a place that doesn’t have easy access to an ocean? Sarasota also has smaller homes on the market pricing between $100,000 and $200,000 that are perfect for a retiree to lounge in.
Even though Sarasota tends to be a fan-favorite city for the retiring population, the city also appeals to all sorts of homeowners looking to purchase coastal-cool property. Whether it’s a petite one-bedroom condo or luxurious mansion in a gated community, the plethora of housing options are endless for Sarasota residents.
“Sarasota appeals to all economic classes as it offers properties in all price ranges from small one-bedroom condos and mobile homes pricing at $100,000 to multi-million-dollar waterfront properties,” said Watson.
There are also many gated communities within Sarasota that have everything a retiree needs to enjoy post-work life––such as a private gym, golf course, community pool, trails, lakes and other amenities. And with an endless strip of nearby shoreline and the impressive list of theatres, there’s much to enjoy both inside and outside of town. According to Watson, “the Sarasota lifestyle is renowned for the white sandy beaches such as Siesta Key––” but the town is also known for its impressive list of theaters and other outdoor recreational activities.
“The city offers so much culture through theaters such as the Sarasota Opera House and the Oslo Repertory Theater,” said Watson. “There’s so many outdoor activities you can do too––boating, kayaking, golfing and hiking on nature trails. It all makes Sarasota the perfect community to call home.”
There’s much to celebrate as you get older––retirement, your age and friends you’ve made over the years. What better way to celebrate than sitting in a lounge chair on a sandy beach with a piña colada in hand getting your tan on? Beats me.