Palm trees beside a lighthouse in Cape Florida at the south end of Key Biscayne, Miami

For decades, active adults seeking an affordable, oceanside retirement head to Florida.

Florida, in general, is an affordable place to retire. There are no state income taxes, housing prices are still relatively affordable, and general cost-of-living incidentals—such as gas, groceries, and recreation—are economical. Also, you certainly won’t have a high heating bill in the winter.

If you’re looking for a cost-effective retirement destination in Florida, here are the 10 best areas for you and your budget.

1. Ocala

Two horses standing beside trees and a fence in Ocala, Florida

Swim in some springs, take horseback riding lessons, and explore a lot of the local area in Ocala.

Active adults looking for lush forests, accessible golf, and gently sloping hillsides dotted with horse farms should consider the Ocala area. This Central Florida paradise offers low-cost living that’s also beautiful. Swim in some springs, take horseback riding lessons, and explore a lot of the local area in Ocala.

Things to Love

Recommended 55+ Communities in Ocala

2. Lakeland

Palm trees and greenery in a public garden in Downtown Lakeland, Florida

Lakeland is a growing Central Florida area that has maintained its affordability.

Right along the Interstate 4 corridor between Tampa and Orlando, Lakeland is a growing Central Florida area that has maintained its affordability. Active adults have a lot of good reasons to live here, especially if saving money is a priority. Lakeland is all about culture and art, with regular poetry readings, exhibits, and unique dining experiences in the quaint and historic downtown district.

Things to Love

Recommended 55+ Communities in Lakeland

3. Jacksonville

Jacksonville offers a lot of options for retirees who want sun, sand, and self-care on a budget.

As the largest geographical city in Florida, Jacksonville offers a lot of options for retirees who want sun, sand, and self-care on a budget. Some of the best hospitals in the state are in Jacksonville, and there’s professional football, a thriving riverfront full of shops and restaurants, and plenty of public beaches that are great for surfing, boating, and sunning.

Things to Love

Recommended 55+ Communities in Jacksonville

4. Daytona Beach

Palm trees along a path in Daytona Beach, Florida

Daytona Beach on Florida’s Atlantic Coast provides affordable housing and lots of coastal activities.

Good news: You can retire to a beach city in Florida while staying on budget. Daytona Beach on Florida’s Atlantic Coast provides affordable housing, lots of coastal activities, and a front-row seat for the famous Daytona 500 NASCAR race. The city also includes easy access to Interstate 95 and an international airport for frequent fliers.

Things to Love

Recommended 55+ Communities in Daytona Beach

5. Gainesville

Sunset view from a boardwalk extending over the water at Paynes Prairie in Gainesville, Florida

If you’re looking for a quiet and scenic place to spend your retirement, settle into Gainesville.

The University of Florida is one of the best public universities in Florida, and it’s found in Gainesville, one of the most affordable parts of Florida to retire. There’s a lot of nature in this area of Central Florida as well as excellent small towns that are worth exploring. If you’re looking for a quiet and scenic place to spend your retirement, grab your UF Gators gear and settle into Gainesville.

Things to Love

Recommended 55+ Communities in Gainesville

Additional Affordable Florida Retirement Hotspots

The top five places for active adults to spend an affordable retirement offer endless benefits and attractions. The remaining areas on our list are also well-known for their 55+ communities, affordable living, and high quality of life.

6. Tampa

In the Tampa Bay area (including St. Petersburg and Clearwater), residents love living on the Gulf Coast. Professional sports, outlet shopping, and perfect sunsets are the high points.

7. Fort Myers and Cape Coral

The Fort Myers/Cape Coral area offers beautiful beaches and spring training baseball. If you love seashells, this is the place to pick them out of the white sands.

8. Melbourne

Melbourne is close to Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and even Miami. Grab a cruise from the nearby port or enjoy one of the many public golf courses.

9. Orlando and Kissimmee

The Orlando/Kissimme area is about so much more than just theme parks. There’s also some excellent shopping, unique hiking trails, and a vintage amusement park in Old Town.

10. Punta Gorda

Punta Gorda is a quiet seaside enclave that offers luxury living at affordable prices. Here, retirees are close to Sarasota and several islands and keys. Fishing and boating are the most popular pastimes.