The 10 Best Places To Retire In Florida For 2021


We analyzed over 143 places in Florida to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best places to retire in Florida.

Whether you are just starting our your career or at the end of it, there is one magical time that we can't help but think about: retirement.

It may seem like you are working for this mythical period of your life that involves fun and relaxation, but really, it can happen -- just fast forward a few decades. So now you are over 65 and a good chunk of your paychecks have been saving for this moment and now you will have to come to the next big decision of your life: what will you do with your retirement and most importantly, where will you live?

The state that comes first to mind is probably Florida. It is known as the retirement state. A place where you can soak up the sun and live in massive upscale retirement communities. It is no surprise that Florida is a favorite retirement destination. The weather is beautiful, the beaches practically surround the state, and the state is very affordable. From Disney to the Everglades and everything in between, Florida is a great vacation spot, so why not retire here? Who wouldn't want to swim with dolphins, snorkel with manatees, or drink bottomless pina coladas? If Florida is a top retirement state, then we wanted to know which places are the best to retire. After all, the state is pretty big. Not every city can be a retirement paradise.

Luckily for you, HomeSnacks has figured out the best places to retire in florida and it's not Miami or Jacksonville.

Why did Fernandina Beach take the top spot? And where are Jacksonville and Miami?

We analyzed 146 cities in Florida and came up with the best of the best to retire: Fernandina Beach. This ranking was based on several retirement criteria, like low cost of living, low crime, good weather, and the average age of residents.

If you are a huge circus fan, then Sarasota is your place. It is actually the hometown of the Ringling Brothers Circus. You can tan on the beach by day and visit the circus at night. Perhaps elephants and circus folk aren't your forte -- that's fine. You've got a lot of other top retirement choices like North Palm Beach and Naples. The beach could just become your backyard in these cities.

Interested to see how your favorite Florida city stacked up in terms of retirement glory? Read on to find out and to see how we crunched the numbers to find the best of the best retirement cities in Florida for 2021.

For more Florida state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Florida For 2021

Fernandina Beach, FL

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 12,364
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 15)
Median Rent: $1,139
Distance to Closest Airport: 18 miles
More on Fernandina Beach: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Tavares, FL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 16,752
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $1,018
Distance to Closest Airport: 28 miles
More on Tavares: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Clearwater, FL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 115,159
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $1,092
Distance to Closest Airport: 6 miles
More on Clearwater: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Vero Beach, FL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 16,857
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $890
Distance to Closest Airport: 35 miles
More on Vero Beach: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Sarasota, FL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 56,919
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 3)
Median Rent: $1,134
Distance to Closest Airport: 4 miles
More on Sarasota: Real Estate | Data | Photos

North Palm Beach, FL

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 13,029
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $1,526
Distance to Closest Airport: 9 miles
More on North Palm Beach: Real Estate | Data | Photos

South Daytona, FL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 12,879
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 6)
Median Rent: $995
Distance to Closest Airport: 3 miles
More on South Daytona: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bradenton, FL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 56,551
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $1,117
Distance to Closest Airport: 6 miles
More on Bradenton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Naples, FL

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 21,812
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $1,357
Distance to Closest Airport: 26 miles
More on Naples: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Fort Myers, FL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 79,927
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $1,033
Distance to Closest Airport: 7 miles
More on Fort Myers: Real Estate | Data | Photos

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Sunshine State for 2021

To create our list of the best places in Florida to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Sunshine State -- 915 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 10,000 people that weren't townships. This left us with 146 places from across the state.

For these 146, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI's Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • Low cost of living as measured by rent
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport
  • Other retirees (High median age)

We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 146, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Fernandina Beach, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers. You can download the data here.

Maybe You're Not Ready To Retire In Florida Yet...

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Florida goes to Fernandina Beach.

If you're not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:

  1. Homestead
  2. Ocoee
  3. Apopka

For more Florida reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Florida?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Fernandina Beach 12,364 $1,139
2 Tavares 16,752 $1,018
3 Clearwater 115,159 $1,092
4 Vero Beach 16,857 $890
5 Sarasota 56,919 $1,134
6 North Palm Beach 13,029 $1,526
7 South Daytona 12,879 $995
8 Bradenton 56,551 $1,117
9 Naples 21,812 $1,357
10 Fort Myers 79,927 $1,033

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.