Top Ten Best American Beach Towns For Retirement

Thinking about shaking things up? Feel the sea breeze through your hair in these retiree friendly communities.

Posted by The Senior Advocate on Sept. 14, 2019

So you've retired, where should you go? We're here to help.

Many people dream of retiring to a seaside town. But an isolated beach is not always suitable for retirees, who also need access to amenities and services, such as quality health care and transportation options. A recent analysis of the United States compared the 100 largest US metropolitan areas as potential retirement locations, including data on housing affordability, happiness, opportunity, retiree taxes, the labor market and access to quality health care. Here's an overview of the top-ranked towns cities to retire.

1. Fort Myers, Florida

The Fort Myers metropolitan area is located along the Caloosahatchee River, near the coast of the Gulf of Florida. The mild winter weather makes Fort Myers a popular beach retreat destination, and Thomas Edison and Henry Ford built winter farms in the area. The low cost of living makes it easy to move to Fort Myers. The average price of housing in the Fort Myers metropolitan area, which also includes Cape Coral, is $ 200,200, which costs retirees a median of $ 1,364 per month with a mortgage and $ 601 for paid housing. Tenants can spend their retirement years sailing, fishing or walking along the beach at Fort Myers for an average of $ 1,033 per month.

2. Sarasota, Florida

The picturesque beaches of Sarasota, including Lido Key and Siesta Key, attract many visitors and retirees to the area. The unusual quartz sand at Siesta Beach is soft, white and dusty and stays cool to the touch, even on sunny days. Reasonable housing costs facilitate retirement near water. The average value of housing among people 60 years of age or older is $ 207,000. Retirees with a mortgage pay a median of $ 1,254 per month for housing, and that is reduced to $ 497 per month among retirees who are free of mortgages. The average rent is $ 1,070 per month. Sarasota Memorial Health Care System and Doctors Hospital of Sarasota are the main health care providers for the community. Several barrier islands separate the Sarasota Bay from the Gulf of Mexico.

3. Daytona Beach, Florida

If you’re looking for a cheap place to retire near the beach, consider Daytona Beach. The median home price among retirees is just $150,260. Homeowners age 60 and older pay a median of $1,173 per month with a mortgage or $375 monthly for a paid-off house. The median rent is $910 per month. But this is not a sleepy seaside community. The headquarters for NASCAR is home to several large motorsports events each year. Health care services are provided by Halifax Health Medical Center of Daytona Beach and Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center. Located on Florida’s Atlantic Coast, cars can be driven onto some of the hard-packed sandy beaches.

4. Charleston, South Carolina

This seaside town on Charleston Harbor is known for its historic homes and unique southern hospitality. The waterfront is conducive to boating and water sports. Many restaurants serve fresh local seafood. Check the many beaches nearby. Surfers often prefer the waves at Folly Beach, while those looking for quieter relaxation could go to Kiawah Island. The beach on Sullivan Island has stunning views of Fort Sumter. You can also take your grandchildren to the island of Palms, ideal for families. Some parts of Charleston are expensive, but the median home price for those 60+ is $ 205,000.

5. Boston

Retirees in Boston have access to all major city facilities, but can easily escape to the beach whenever they want. Massachusetts General Hospital is ranked 4th in the country in the U.S. News, and the subway system makes it easy to get around without having to drive. Commuter trains can take you straight to Singing Beach in Manchester-by-the-Sea, which is named after the sound produced by sand. You can take a ferry to Spectacle Island, ride your grandchildren to ride the Parous Carousel on Nantasket Beach in Hull, check out the natural environment that inspired Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond State Reservation or take a trip to Cape Cod National Beach. What’s not to love?

6. San Diego

Located in southern California on the Pacific Ocean, San Diego has year-round pleasant weather and a variety of beach and coastal retirement options. You can soak up the California surfer vibe at Swami's Beach, snorkel and scuba dive among the marine life at La Jolla Cove or watch a stunning Pacific Ocean sunset at Carlsbad State Beach. There are miles of sandy shoreline to explore at Mission Bay, a lively boardwalk at Pacific Beach and an old-fashioned beachfront amusement park at Mission Beach. The mica in the sand at Coronado Beach makes the beach sparkle on sunny days. The biggest challenge of retirement in San Diego is finding affordable housing in a metro area where the median home value is $421,020 among people age 60+.

7. Portland, Maine

This seaside destination has a four-season climate with hot summers and cold, snowy winters. The rocky coast of Portland is particularly pleasant to watch as the waves of the Atlantic Ocean crash on the shore. You can watch the waves of Scarborough Beach National Park, spy on hermit crabs along the cornices of Crescent Beach National Park, or harden on the rocky bottom of the ocean at Willard Beach. Enjoy the view while savoring some of Portland's culinary delights, ranging from favorite seafood dishes to innovative restaurants. A home in Maine's largest city costs $ 230,200 on average, and retired renters pay $ 682 a month.

8. Miami

This tropical city is located in the extreme south of Florida. Miami combines the sunny weather and the sandy feet of a beach retreat with the amenities that only a large metropolitan area can provide. Miami retirees have a variety of quality health care options, including the Cleveland Florida Clinic, and are eligible to travel for free on the public transportation system. Beach lovers can choose to see and be seen in South Beach or find some peace on an undeveloped beach at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne. The monthly housing costs for those over 60 are $ 1,780 for homeowners with a mortgage, $ 505 for homeowners without a mortgage and $ 998 for renters.

9. Melbourne, Florida

Melbourne is an affordable coastal city for retirement. The average price of housing among people 60 years of age or older is only $ 145,000. The Indian River Lagoon separates the continent from a barrier island, which is a popular place to take a look at the dolphins and sea turtles that live here. You can visit the beach where Juan Ponce de León first landed in North America in 1513 near Melbourne Beach. You can observe and help protect sea turtles at the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, which extends 20.5 miles between Melbourne Beach and Wabasso Beach. Melbourne residents enjoy a beach retreat along the Atlantic Ocean at reasonable prices. What are you waiting for?

10. Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville, along the Atlantic Coast has 22 miles of white sand beaches. Movie nights and music events are frequently held at the Seawalk Pavilion in Jacksonville Beach during the spring and summer months. The Jacksonville Beach Pier offers the opportunity to fish in deep water and stroll a quarter mile from the coast. This northern Florida town near the Georgia border is crossed by the St. Johns River, providing additional boating and fishing opportunities. The median price for retirement housing is $ 170,500. Renting an apartment near the beach in Jax, as the locals call it, costs $ 950 a month.

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