The Best Retirement Spots on Florida’s East Coast

There are plenty of options for retirement on Florida\'s Atlantic Coast. Here\'s where to look.

When your best Florida retirement plans include playing a lot of golf, enjoying sunshine nearly every day, and taking advantage of plenty of beach access, Florida’s Atlantic coast is a destination you should consider. Florida has no state income tax and no estate taxes or inheritance taxes. The cost of living is lower than the national average, and there’s easy access to great medical care, international airports, and active adult housing.

If you’re wondering where to retire along Florida’s east coast, consider cities like Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, Port St. Lucie, or Boynton Beach. These areas are active, scenic, and rich in 55+ communities.

Jacksonville Real Estate and Recreation

Jacksonville’s economy and population are growing, and people from other parts of the country who are planning their retirements are beginning to notice. The city is on the St. John’s River and close to windswept beaches that are perfect for fishing, boating, and surfing.

There are also several new 55+ communities planning to open later this spring. Del Webb eTown, Del Webb Nocatee, and WaterSong at RiverTown will provide age-restricted neighborhoods in master-planned communities.

Other active adult communities in Jacksonville include Sweetwater and Freedom at Arbor Mill. These neighborhoods specialize in providing comfortable living and modern amenities.

Great reasons to retire in Jacksonville include the cost of living. It’s two percent below the national average, and the cost of Jacksonville real estate is 12 percent below the national average.

There are also dozens of beaches nearby. Hiking, sunbathing, swimming, and other coastal activities are available at public beaches like Ponte Vedra, just 20 minutes from downtown, or the more remote Big Talbot Island.

Football fans can cheer on the Jacksonville Jaguars and there’s plenty to do on Jacksonville’s Riverwalk. Locals gather for walks and to enjoy fine dining, entertainment, and museums.

Daytona Beach Retirement Plans

A restaurant on the Dayton Beach Boardwalk and Pier.
With the help of Latitude Margaritaville, Dayton Beach has gone from a spring break spot to a retirement destination.

Another Atlantic hotspot for active adults is Daytona Beach. There’s so much going on, it’s sometimes hard to keep up. From the annual parade of motorcycles during Bike Week to regular events at the Daytona International Speedway, the city is high-energy and full of excitement.

Beach lovers will enjoy the Daytona Beach Pier and outstanding local golf courses include the Daytona Beach Golf Club and LPGA International.

There’s quite a buzz about Daytona Beach’s real estate scene as well. One of the newest communities is Latitude Margaritaville, created by Minto Homes to match the Jimmy Buffett lifestyle that attracts 55+ buyers from all over the country. Homes are selling quickly, and unique amenities like the private waterfront beach club are under construction.

Both median home prices and tax rates are lower in Daytona Beach than other parts of Florida and the whole U.S., making it affordable for retirees.

Treasure Coast Retirement in Port St. Lucie

Active adults looking for a beach town that’s on the smaller side will love Port St. Lucie. Located on Florida’s Treasure Coast, it’s close to nature, history, art, and museums.

For hikers, campers, and friends of wildlife, Florida’s state park system offers a lot to do in and around Port St. Lucie. Savannas Preserve State Park has 15 trails for hiking, biking, and birding. Visitors enjoy guided walks and canoe trips. The St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park is only accessible by boat, offering visitors a unique look at the Treasure Coast’s wildest habitats. When you move to the area, you’ll want to invest in a state park pass, which gets you into parks all over the state for free.

Housing in Port St. Lucie is easy to find and is affordable. Some of the most desirable 55+ communities include LakePark at Tradition, which provides residents with all the amenities of the larger TownPark Tradition master-planned community.

Cresswind at PGA Village Verano is one of the newest communities in the Port St. Lucie neighborhood, and it’s an ideal place for golfers to call home. With three championship courses in the community, residents can schedule tee times, take advantage of the practice facilities, and visit the PGA Historical Center Museum.

Palm Beach Real Estate: Consider Boynton Beach

Palm Beach County is full of outstanding places to plan a Florida retirement, and one of the especially bright spots is Boynton Beach. Nearly 50 communities designed for active adults can be found near the beach and clustered around lakes and natural preserves.

For a country club-inspired lifestyle, 55+ buyers might want to consider Tuscany Bay or Valencia Cove, one of the area’s newest communities.

The Boynton Beach lifestyle includes beach activities like boating, fishing, and snorkeling. It’s also an ideal retirement destination because of its accessibility to other cities and beach towns along the Atlantic Coast. It’s equidistant between Boca Raton and West Palm Beach, and less than an hour from Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

There’s interesting shopping and dining in Boynton Beach, too. At Two Georges Waterfront Grille, diners can park their boats on the water and run into the restaurant for lunch or dinner.

The beauty of Boynton Beach is its proximity to more expensive areas. It provides the same housing, shopping, and recreational options as swankier Palm Beach County cities, but without the high housing prices and property taxes.

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

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