Senior Resources » 11 Best Cities in Florida for Retirement

11 Best Cities in Florida for Retirement

two retirees sitting on the beach

Florida has been a favorite retirement spot for a long time and that will undoubtedly be true for years to come. In fact, it’s home to the largest active adult community in the world (The Villages). But, what’s so great about retiring in Florida?


The Sunshine State has been attracting newcomers almost every year since World War II due to its warm weather, world-class entertainment, beautiful beaches, and recreation areas; not to mention, its proximity to both North and South America as well as the Caribbean! Although many people think of Miami or Orlando when considering moving to Florida, there are many other communities, some smaller, that are attractive yet close to those major areas. In this article, we’ll explore the best cities in Florida for retirement.

Boca Raton

Boca Raton, Florida boardwalk
Photo by Rafael Figueroa on Unsplash

Boca Raton, (which is Spanish for “mouse mouth”) was named for the jagged rocks, found all over the southeast coast, that used to chip away at ships entering the city. Renowned as a premier location in Florida for retirees, Boca Raton boasts a plethora of luxurious gated retirement communities that offer a serene and upscale living environment tailored to the needs and desires of senior residents. Services and entertainment in the area are geared toward the vast senior population. This includes plenty of indoor and outdoor activities, as well as top-notch health care!


The seamless blend of scenic beauty, exclusive amenities, and a community focused on senior well-being makes Boca Raton one of the most sought-after destinations in Florida for retirees looking to enjoy their golden years in a vibrant and supportive setting.

Boca Raton has an estimated population of 99,776. 25% of its residents are age 65 or older.


Bradenton, Florida
Photo by Thumbwind Publications on Unsplash

Bradenton is located in Manatee County in southwest Florida. The city’s population is around 53,000 – roughly 45% of which are adults ages 45 and older! Bradenton is home to Tropicana, one of the world’s largest orange juice makers, Village of Arts, and the Pittsburgh Pirates training facility.

Bradenton’s population is 56,961 in 2024. The city has a higher concentration of seniors than the national average. Residents over the age of 65 make up 26.7% of Bradenton’s population.



Clearwater Beach, Florida
Photo by Brandon Cormier on Unsplash

Named one of the “Ten Best Beaches From Maine to Hawaii,” by USA Today, Clearwater, Florida is one of the nation’s top vacation destinations. However, with a great climate and white sandy beaches, it’s also an ideal place for retirees to relocate!

Located just west of Tampa, FL, Clearwater has 28 miles of beaches and is a stereotypical, laid-back beach town with small roads, people hauling coolers, and lots of boats. With marinas, beaches, and an aquarium, Clearwater’s location means there are lots of water sports and fishing! It’s home to the biggest fishing boat fleet on the Gulf Coast of Florida, so there are many opportunities to go deep-sea fishing, dolphin watching, and sailing.

Clearwater, Florida boasts a population of approximately 110,100. Similar to many coastal Florida cities, Clearwater has a significant senior population. Over 23% of Clearwater’s residents are over the age of 65.


Kissimmee, Florida
Photo by Brandon Schmidt on Unsplash

Kissimmee, Florida is a town located in Osceola County. It has a population of around 60,000 and is part of the Orlando metro area. Kissimmee has a small-town feel, as there are no tall skyscrapers. Despite this, it’s home to the Houston Astros spring training facility. Kissimmee has excellent public transportation as well!

Kissimmee, the “Gateway to the Magic,” thrives with a population of roughly 79,900 in 2024. While not as beachfront as some Florida hotspots, Kissimmee still attracts retirees. An estimated 21.3% of Kissimmee’s residents are over the age of 65.


Palm Harbor

Palm Harbor, Florida
Photo by Anita Denunzio on Unsplash

Palm Harbor has a population over 60,000 and is less than one hour from Tampa, Florida. The downtown is full of historic buildings, shops, and delicious dining. Palm Harbor holds its famous, and very popular, First Friday Celebrations every month. There is also an annual Palm Harbor Festival that’s held every October. For retirees who enjoy golf, this city is home to Innisbrook Golf Club & Resort, which ranks among the top 20 golf courses in the US!

While not as urban as some Florida cities, Palm Harbor offers a relaxed lifestyle that attracts many retirees. An estimated 23.4% of Palm Harbor’s residents are over the age of 65.

Coral Gables

Coral Gables, Florida
Photo by Armando Ching San on Unsplash

Corral Gables is located in Miami-Dade County in southern Florida. The city has a whopping 150 shops and restaurants for its population of approximately 50,000 to enjoy. Coral Gables was one of the first planned communities in the US. In the mid-1920s, the town was chosen to be home to the University of Miami. It’s also known for being a very pedestrian-friendly community.

Coral Gables, nicknamed “The City Beautiful,” is steeped in history and Mediterranean charm! Coral Gables offers a unique lifestyle that attracts residents from all age groups. However, retirees are drawn to the city’s relaxed atmosphere and cultural offerings. An estimated 22.1% of Coral Gables’ residents are over the age of 65.

Key West

Key West, Florida
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Located in southern Florida, Key West serves as a major hub for many cruise lines. One reason this Monroe County town is so popular with seniors is that it is rarely affected by hurricanes. Old Town Key West is home to many historic buildings, restaurants, pubs, and shops. Retirees can also enjoy the water and one of many beaches in Key West, which are known for being less busy than others around the state.

Key West, a subtropical paradise, boasts a population of roughly 24,826 in 2024. Known for its vibrant culture, this Florida city offers a unique island lifestyle that attracts residents from all walks of life. Retirees are often drawn to the city’s relaxed atmosphere and scenic beauty. An estimated 20.1% of Key West’s residents are over the age of 65.

Palm Coast

Palm Coast, Florida
Photo by Jorge Vasconez on Unsplash

Palm Coast, FL is another popular retirement area. It’s situated in the eastern portion of Flagler County, on the Atlantic Ocean, in Northeast Florida, between the cities of Jacksonville and Orlando. An estimated 27.8% of Palm Coast’s residents are over the age of 65.


Naples, Florida
Photo by Tamara Malaniy on Unsplash

Naples is a favorite retirement location for upscale retirees. Real estate prices got a little carried away but have adjusted. Naples is known for its world-class shopping, dining, and numerous, challenging golf courses.


Why would someone want to live in an area known for celebrities? With one-quarter of the population older than 65, this area is very retiree-friendly as well as has beautiful beaches. With many cultural amenities like museums and parks, there are plenty of indoor and outdoor amenities to enjoy as well. Some museums to check out include the Collier County Museum, highlighting local history through the centuries, and the Von Liebig Art Center, which showcases art after 1950 and in the local style. It also has a 2,000-foot boardwalk!

Naples boasts a population of roughly 20,104. Renowned for its pristine beaches and championship golf courses, Naples offers a luxurious lifestyle that attracts residents from all over the world. Retirees are particularly drawn to the city’s sophisticated atmosphere and scenic beauty. An estimated 38.7% of Naples’ residents are over the age of 65.


Image Credit: Shutterstock

Every year thousands of new residents begin calling Marion County home, keeping it among the three fastest-growing areas in the nation. The county’s welcoming atmosphere makes transitions easy. The variety and affordability of housing ensure that there are homes to suit every taste, lifestyle, and budget.

Ocala, a horse lover’s paradise, boasts a population of roughly 67,163 in 2024. Renowned for its horse farms, Ocala offers a unique lifestyle for retirees. An estimated 28.2% of Ocala’s residents are over the age of 65.

Winter Park

Winter Park, Florida
Photo by Eric Ardito on Unsplash

This little community is located just north of downtown Orlando and is probably one of the first “wealthy” areas of Orlando. Home to Rollins College, Winter Park is a small community that has kept its roots as a vacation resort to the rich in times past to now becoming a bedroom community of Orlando. In many parts of this small town, you can walk by various shops with a farmers market every Sunday just west of the main park north of Rollins College.

Although a bit pricey for homes due to the highly educated and highly-paid workforce, Winter Park makes up for it with cute brick-paved streets and low-speed limits which makes it quiet for residents. Winter Park is a great community to consider living in for seniors who want a tight-knit, classy town that has all the amenities of a small town while being a few minutes from downtown entertainment and workspace.

Winter Park, a charming city with a historic flair, has a population of roughly 49,500. It offers a unique blend of southern hospitality and cultural sophistication, with Rollins College at its heart. Retirees are particularly drawn to the city’s vibrant arts scene, beautiful lakes, and friendly atmosphere. An estimated 22.8% of Winter Park’s residents are over the age of 65.

Thinking About Retiring In Florida?

two seniors sitting on the beach smiling

Overall, living in Florida has its pros and cons. Even though it’s hot in the summer months, the proximity to the beach, the mild temperature outside of the summer months, and the slow pace of life make Florida a great relocation destination for retirees who want a simpler life that doesn’t involve winter weather.


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Need help with retirement planning? Then check out Bob Carlson’s Retirement Watch!

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Originally published April 26, 2024


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