8 Communities in Clearwater
Clearwater is a thriving coastal city in the Central Gulf Coast of Florida with warm year-round weather and prime access to sandy beaches. A historic and revamped downtown center with plenty of shopping and access to nearby nature preserves make the city highly desirable for retirees.
Climate & Geography
Just off the Gulf of Mexico, Clearwater has a tropical climate with hot, humid summers and mild winters. Thunderstorms occur frequently in summer, resulting in higher than average rainfall. Between October and May, Clearwater is dry, mostly sunny, and sees very little change in temperature. Residents can expect a few frosty nights each winter but with no snow.
Part of the Tampa Bay area, Clearwater is just west of Tampa and north of St. Petersburg. It is also surrounded by water on both the west and east sides, creating easy access to multiple beaches.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
The white sand beaches of Clearwater make it a popular destination for retirees looking for active coastal living. Clearwater Beach is the largest, with nightly events along the pier. Coachman Park is another popular shorefront venue that hosts concerts, festivals, and exhibitions all year. On the other side of Clearwater, Moccasin Lake Nature Park is a large nature preserve with a lake that features kayaking, swimming, camping and the Environmental Nature Preserve for those interested in wildlife and classes.
Beyond the beach, downtown Clearwater underwent a beautification project, which has brought new bars and restaurants, shops, and public art to the historic and walkable Cleveland Street District. Murielle Winery is a social stop for retirees looking to expand their wine knowledge.
Cost of Living & Taxes
Clearwater’s cost of living sits just above the national average, including factors like groceries, housing, utilities, and transportation. Health care is just below the average. Though above average in the U.S., Clearwater’s average cost of living is lower than the rest of Florida.
Florida does not tax income, which includes Social Security and other forms of retirement income, and Clearwater has a combined sales tax rate of 7 percent. Property taxes in Florida generally rank lower than the national average, but Pinella County’s property taxes are even lower than the rest of the state.
The Tampa Bay area has several high performing hospitals. Morton Plant Hospital, located within Clearwater city limits, is ranked by U.S. News as the No. 9 hospital in Florida with nine high performing specialties, including heart failure, hip and knee replacements, and colon and lung cancers. Three other area hospitals, Largo Medical Center, Mease Countryside Hospital, and Northside Hospital–St. Petersburg, are all ranked high performing as well.
There is a nationally ranked hospital in Tampa, the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institution, which is the No. 8 hospital in the country for cancer treatment.