Florida has long been a haven for seniors (age 55 and over). The year-round climate of Florida is a huge draw for seniors, especially those who have grown tired of the unbearable winters in the northeast. Taxes also play a role in their decisions. There is no state income tax in Florida and there is no inheritance tax or estate tax. That alone is a huge incentive for seniors who find themselves living on a fixed income. With the state of Florida being such a retirement haven, the question is often asked, what is the best retirement community in Florida?
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Florida is home to the best retirement communities
In addition to the wonderful reasons listed above, Florida is home to some of the top-rated and best retirement communities in the country. The Villages, near Ocala, Florida is the largest adult community in the US. The amenities and services offered at The Villages are second to none. Homes and villas are available in the different neighborhoods in every price range (from the $180’s for the Patio Villas to the $600’s for Premier Homes). The Villages community provides healthcare centers, fitness centers, as well as senior living facilities for those who need some extra assistance. They literally have included everything you need at arms reach.
Imagine living in an adult community with your own Target, chain restaurants, banks, financial advisors, hair salons, and more. Many residents in The Villages find that they hardly ever need to drive their personal vehicles because it’s so easy to travel through the community on your golf cart!
The Villages believes in doing their best to keep seniors active. Golf, swimming, tennis, water aerobics, bridge, croquet, and softball are just a sample of the many options available to keep the residents active in both mind and body.
Lakewood Ranch in Sarasota, FL is an extremely popular option for retirees as well. Unlike The Villages, Lakewood Ranch is a “multi-generational” community, but they offer several options within the neighborhood that are strictly for the 55+ age group. Del Webb and Cresswind are restricted to residents 55 and older.
Lakewood Ranch offers a variety of different living options from apartments, townhomes, villas, and single-family homes. Prices range from the $300’s to over $600,000. Like The Villages, the folks at Lakewood Ranch have included everything you would need right at your fingertips. The Ranch is home to over 200 shops and eateries. They have their own florist, law offices, bank, and spa. They also have numerous health care facilities throughout the community, such as cancer specialists, fitness centers, assisted living communities, and a YMCA.
Residents can enjoy a game of bocce ball, swimming, pickleball, art classes, social clubs, and many planned outings. There is truly something for everyone in the Del Webb and Cresswind neighborhoods.
As you can see, Lakewood Ranch and The Villages are top-notch retirement communities, but there are many other options as well. If you are contemplating spending your retirement years in sunny Florida, spend some time researching the many retirement communities to find one that would best suit your needs. Some communities offer options to lease a home instead of buying. That’s a great option that would afford you time to decide if a permanent move is right for you.
Sonja Vaughan is a freelance content writer, blogger, fully licensed insurance agent, Medicare Specialist, and author of Temporary Lumps and proud breast cancer survivor.