Florida cities top list of Best Places to Retire

by | Oct 19, 2021

The Sunshine State continues to be a top choice for retirees, according to a new list from U.S. News & World Report.

On Tuesday, the news media company unveiled the 2021-2022 Best Places to Retire in the United States. The new list evaluates the country’s 150 most populous metropolitan areas based on how well they meet Americans’ expectations for retirement, with measures including housing affordability, health care and overall happiness.

Florida metro areas captured eight out of the top 10 spots this year. Despite decreases in health care, housing and happiness scores, Sarasota maintained the No. 1 spot due to increases in desirability, retiree tax and job market scores. Naples jumped two places to No. 2, while Dayton Beach landed at No. 3, up 12 spots due to its good air quality and low crime rate.

Additionally, Melbourne, Tampa, Fort Myers, Port St. Lucie, and Pensacola were featured in the top ten.

“After over a year of staying at home, many people are dreaming about a Florida beach retirement. Florida dominates this year’s ranking of the Best Places to Retire, taking eight of the top 10 spots on the list,” said Emily Brandon, U.S. News senior editor for retirement.

The only other metropolitan areas to crack the top ten were Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Ann Arbor, Michigan.

For the 2021 rankings, U.S. News added crime rates and air quality as factors that make up its Happiness Index, as they help measure how content residents are with important aspects of their daily lives. According to the rankings, happiness is the most heavily weighted of the six factors in the 2021-2022 Best Places to Retire methodology, which also includes housing affordability, health care quality, retiree taxes, desirability and job market ratings.

These measures were weighted based on a public survey of individuals across the U.S. who are nearing retirement age (ages 45-59) and those who are of retirement age (60 or older) to find out what matters most when considering where to retire. Data sources include the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Sharecare Community Well-Being Index, as well as U.S. News rankings of the Best Hospitals.

“Deciding where to live is an important retirement decision,” Brandon continued. “When comparing potential places to retire, look for affordable housing, proximity to health care services and a strong economy, especially if you plan to work part-time.”

To view the full rankings, click here.


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