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A recent survey by US News revealed that Florida boasts 6 of the 25 best places to retire in the US. Metros in the Sunshine State consistently tick the boxes for those in or about to enter retirement. Florida also ranks high on the relocation list and is the state that experienced the highest number of domestic in-movers in 2018.

Best places to retire in the US

Looking at 125 metros in the country, US News took 4 criteria – happiness among residents, housing affordability, tax rates and quality of healthcare. The results reveal the best places for retirees. As has traditionally been the case, Florida takes the lion’s share with over one fifth of the top 25 spots.

In second position nationally, is Fort Myers. This Southwest Florida metro regularly ranks as one of the best places to retire in the US. Just behind it lies Sarasota, also in Southwest Florida. According to the report, “warm temperatures year-round, award-winning beaches and a thriving arts and cultural scene have made Sarasota a go-to place for retirees and families.” When it comes to the best places to live in the US, Sarasota is the highest-ranking metro in Florida in 18th position.

Other Florida metros popular with retirees include Lakeland in 10th position, Daytona Beach in 15th, Miami in 21st and Jaxsonville in 24th. The overall winner for best place to retire is Lancaster in Pennsylvania.

Who moves to Sarasota

The US News report also looked at the profile of residents in Sarasota and says the metro area “has a significant number of residents over the age of 65 and that population is predicted to increase”. One of the reasons behind the rise in retirees lies in the leisure activities in the area. “A retiree in Sarasota has a busier social calendar as the area caters to its older residents,” it says, emphasising the high season from October to April when “snowbirds from colder climates come to enjoy Florida’s more temperate weather”.

As well as one of the best places to retire in the US, Sarasota makes a popular relocation spot too. “Families also feel at home in Sarasota,” says the report, “and there are plenty of good schools, clean parks and local attractions for them to enjoy”. Sarasota offers a lower cost of living than many other Florida metros with a rising property market.

Florida most new residents

Reflecting the high rankings of Florida metros among the best places to retire in the US are statistics from the US Census Bureau on in-state migration. The latest figures for 2018 show that 10.1% of the American population relocated within the country, approximately 32.4 million people.

The most popular state for domestic in-movers was Florida. In total, the Sunshine State welcomed 566,476 new residents last year, the highest in the country. This translates to over 1,550 a day. Some 63,722 people relocated from New York State to Florida in 2018, the highest of any of the states.

New residents are drawn to Florida’s buoyant economy and affordable property market. The state ranks as the number destination for mortgage loan applications in the US. In the Builder’s Local Leaders list, the Sunshine State has 8 of the top 50 housing markets in the US.

(Sources: US News, Florida Realtors)

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