With 21.3 percent of the population over 65, endlessly sunny days, beautiful beaches, and bottomless options for entertainment and recreation, Florida is one of the most highly desirable places to retire in the nation. If your work-free years are coming with a limited budget, however, affording the Palm Beach, Miami Beach, or Highland Beach lifestyle may feel out of reach. Before you start looking for a different, and less amazing, state for your retirement, though, consider some of the many Florida communities that boast affordability and access to the retirement lifestyle you are dreaming of. Here are 25 budget-friendly places to retire in the state.
Florida is synonymous with beautiful beaches and blue ocean water, but Boynton Beach still manages to stand out thanks to the quality of its seaside location. With renowned beaches, this is the perfect place to retire if being near the water and all the fun it provides is a priority for you.
Known for its safety and quality healthcare, Cape Coral is a peaceful and secure place to enjoy your retirement. Safety does not equal boredom, however. This reasonably-priced city has 400 miles of canals, giving you access to everything from boating to fishing. Near the Gulf of Mexico, it also provides easy access to the Gulf’s beautiful beaches. Looking for a more athletic retirement? Consider taking advantage of the city’s golf courses, tennis courts, and stunning natural areas where you can bike, hike, and run.
With a cost of living that is 13 percent lower than the national average, Dade City lets you hold on to more of your retirement income so you can put it toward enjoying your retirement years. Drive to nearby Orlando, explore Ocala National Forest, or walk along the quaint downtown’s many unique and appealing shops. A walkable city, this is one of Florida’s most budget-friendly and desirable places to enjoy your retirement.
Another Florida city with a third of its population over the age of 60, Daytona Beach is a mecca for retirees thanks to its affordable cost of living and seaside location. If you love NASCAR, consider retiring here, the NASCAR headquarters. This bustling city overflows with opportunities to enjoy the Daytona 500 and other races, water parks, golf, and of course, every beach activity you can imagine.
Delray Beach has a reputation for being a cheerful and upbeat place to live. USA Today and Rand McNally dubbed it the “Most Fun Small Town in the USA,” in part because of its unique, diverse, and fun downtown shopping area. In addition, this city offers easy access to Florida beaches and many fun attractions. To add to its reputation for fun, the city also puts on a number of special events, including July 4th celebrations, that make it easy to connect with other community members.
Dunedin is a small Florida town located near Clearwater. One of West Coast Florida’s oldest towns, it has a quaint vibe close to the beach. Choose this location for quieter retirement close to big cities and an affordable cost of living in a friendly community known for its Scottish celebrations and retirement-aged populations.
Edgewater sits less than an hour from both Orlando and Daytona Beach. Choose this community if you want to enjoy an outdoorsy retirement that includes activities such as fishing, picnicking, camping, and boating. The Indian River offers beautiful scenery to enjoy and the city also sits close to the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse and Museum.
Fort Myers is a gem of a city located in Southwest Florida. An extremely popular retirement destination, 35 percent of its population is above the age of 60. With a median monthly mortgage of $1,461, it offers a reasonable cost of living that allows retirees to devote more of their resources to the things that make their work-free years more enjoyable and fun. If you want to stay busy during retirement, you can also explore its historic attractions, seaside destinations, Manatee Park, and Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve.
With a cost of living that is 8.7 percent lower than the national average, Gainesville will allow your retirement budget to stretch further without limiting your retirement opportunities. Gainesville especially stands out due to its exceptional healthcare, which is among the best in the nation. With bicycle trails, easy access to public transportation, and a convenient location near the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean, Gainesville earns its place as one of the best places to retire in Florida on a budget.
With a cost of living that is 15 percent lower than the national average, Homosassa Springs sits just south of Tampa Bay and offers a convenient and beautiful place to retire. Discover a state park here, alongside abundant scallops that you can dig for yourself, and huge amounts of wildlife such as bears, wolves, flamingos, and alligators.
Kissimmee is a well-known tourist destination within Florida, but it still manages to offer a cost of living that is 10 percent lower than the national average. If you do not mind a touristy location for your work-free years, consider enjoying this city’s theme parks, amusement parks, outdoor activities, endless dining and shopping, and other exciting activities. Want to enjoy Kissimmee without living in the city? Try our Emerald Lake community in Davenport.
As one of Florida’s more northern cities (sitting just 150 miles from Georgia), Jacksonville is spared the worst of the Florida heat. This city is also vibrantly retirement-aged, with more than 22 percent of residents over the age of 65. That means you can enjoy the best of Florida weather, avoid the worst of the scorching heat, and find plenty of amenities, opportunities, communities, and relationships to enrich your retirement life. Plus, Jacksonville offers access to quintessentially Florida beaches – White, sandy, and miles long. Add in golf courses with beach views, a pier for fishing, and world-class healthcare, and you have a retirement mecca that is less than two hours from our communities in Ocala and Paisley, FL.
Three of our 55+ communities are located in Lakeland, Florida, and with good reason. This quaint city boasts 38 lakes that give it its name and provide many opportunities for water-based recreation, relaxation, and exercise. With a median monthly mortgage of $1,251, and affordable mobile home rentals in Florida for snowbirds, Lakeland is extremely affordable. At the same time, it sits between Tampa and Orlando in order to offer easy access to big-city amenities and healthcare. Add in its own exceptional healthcare, and you have a place that offers a comfortable, attainable, and beautiful place to pursue exactly the kind of retirement you are dreaming of.
If a smaller community appeals to you more than fast-growing Jacksonville, you may want to consider spending your work-free years in Margate. This city only has a population of about 58,000, making it a quiet place to live. At the same time, this city is less than 30 minutes from the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area and provides easy access to the stunning Everglades. The best of nature AND the best of the big city, all in a reasonably-priced and quietly-paced city? No wonder Margate makes the list for the best places to retire in Florida on a budget.
Located in East Central Florida, Melbourne sits along what is referred to as the Space Coast. This is an exciting area of Florida to reside in, considering the fact that NASA’s launches are easily viewed from several areas along the coast. Also close at hand is the Atlantic Ocean, dolphin watching, and sea turtle viewing along the stunning coast. Despite its many recreational activities, Melbourne boasts a reasonable cost of living and a strong healthcare environment provided primarily by Health First Holmes Regional Medical Center.
An inexpensive retirement getaway, Mount Dora offers access to snorkeling, abundant lakes, and easy access to all of the thrills, healthcare, and amenities of Orlando. The median age of this city is 51. Retire here to enjoy small town charm, antique shops, and proximity to three freshwater lighthouses.
New Port Richey
With about a quarter of the city made up of retirees, New Port Richey is an affordable place to connect with other like-minded, work-free individuals. Near the Tampa-Clearwater area, it offers easy access to those cities’ beaches, activities, healthcare, and transportation options. However, you can also enjoy lots to do in the city itself. Consider dining at its top-notch restaurants or exploring its diverse shopping options, for example. Retirement is always vibrant in a city that is inexpensive and overflowing with community, nature, and entertainment.
If you love horses, you may love retiring in Ocala. This equestrian-based town offers shows, events, and many opportunities to pursue horseback riding on your own. Due to its inland location, Ocala does not provide easy access to beaches, but you may find it to be the right place for your retirement if you care less about the beach than you do about affordability, lakes, springs, national forests, and a quiet, close-knit community feel. Want to enjoy Bedrock Communities in Ocala? Try Dogwood Acres, located near the interstate and all of the best that Ocala has to offer.
Also part of the Space Coast, Palm Bay has a low median home price while still offering access to Kennedy Space Center, NASA launches, beautiful beaches, and an active retirement. Less crowded than many other Florida cities, the area still offers access to enough dining, shopping, and entertainment to keep you occupied for many years. Retire here to discover resort-style living that is possible even on a frugal budget.
Situated along the Gulf of Mexico, Pensacola offers beachside retirement life for an affordable average mortgage of just $1,305 a month. If you love being active outdoors, Pensacola might be right for you. The city makes it possible to enjoy walking, hiking, biking, fishing, sailing, and dolphin and turtle sighting, all within reach of healthcare, transportation, and big-city fun.
Port St. Lucie
With a third of its population over the age of 60, Port. St. Lucie has an active retirement population that can make it easier for you to find friends and connections to enrich your own work-free years. If you are wondering where you can retire in Florida on a budget, this city could be a good choice. Affordable housing is easy to find here, alongside beaches and a state park. You can even watch the New York Mets undergo spring training in this small and vibrant Florida city.
As a city of about 800,000 located on the water, Sarasota is one of the best places to retire in Florida on a budget because it has a lot to offer retirees. Not the least of these is the excellent healthcare provided through Sarasota Memorial Hospital. In addition, the average for mortgages for this area is only $1,531. Choose Sarasota for your retirement if you enjoy white sand beaches, arts and culture, and a place that feels safe, secure, and welcoming.
Located near Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg is known in its own right as a beautiful Florida beach city. Housing costs here are 29 percent lower than the national average. Move here (Or to our Little Manatee or Southern Pines communities) to enjoy beautiful, inexpensive housing that is set within reach of St. Petersburg’s vibrant city life. If you live in St. Petersburg proper, you may also be able to get many places by walking, cutting down on your vehicle expenses without limiting your retirement pursuits.
Tallahassee is another Florida city that, due to its location in the northern part of the state, offers Florida sun without as much of the oppressive heat that the state can be known for. It is also one of the few Florida cities that has all four seasons. Choose this city for retirement if you want a reasonable cost of living combined with friendly residents, gorgeous architecture, cultural activities, and an intellectual vibe.
A beautiful city located on pure white beaches, Tampa and the Clearwater area are known for quintessential Florida beach experiences. What you may not know is that the city itself as well as surrounding areas, such as Ruskin and Seminole, boast a cost of living below the national average. That can make it more affordable to settle here, without forcing you to compromise on the beachy activities and sunny Florida life you have envisioned for yourself. Tampa also boasts professional sports teams in baseball, football, and hockey, access to many different cruises, and a wide variety of excellent healthcare providers so you can enjoy a retirement that is as active, healthy, and rewarding as possible. Check out our Porpoise and Little Manatee communities for attainable, Tampa-area retirement living.
If you are looking for an affordable retirement, mobile home parks in Florida in any of these communities can provide beautiful, attainable Florida living near some of the state’s most appealing attractions. Pet friendly mobile home parks even allow you to bring your furry friends with you during your retirement. Bedrock Communities offers many, as well as homes to purchase in some of the state’s most desirable communities. Explore our communities today!