A Guide to 55+ Active Living Communities in Florida
Beaches & Balmy Weather Await in Florida’s Active Adult Communities
Florida has a well-earned reputation as the retirement capital of the USA, and for many good reasons!
Florida is said to be in a state of perpetual summer, with mild winters, no snow and temperatures rarely falling below freezing overnight. Daytime winter temperatures are often in the 70’s which is a huge draw for 55+ active adults from the northern states or Canada looking for a place to retire. Seniors residents can maintain a year round active lifestyle playing golf, pickleball, hiking, and shopping, rarely needing more than light sweater.
The state receives enough rainfall to avoid the more desert-like conditions of other sunny states such as Arizona or New Mexico. Beaches coexist alongside wetlands in a warm, subtropical climate perfect for maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle in retirement.
The state has one of the largest 55+ demographics in the country. It attracts empty nesters interested in downsizing and spending their days in the sun near the beach or on the golf course. Florida offers retirees a fairly conservative yet welcoming and open-minded political landscape as many seniors spent much of their working years in other parts of the country.
Should you want to go on vacation from your retirement home in Florida, know that it’s one of the most convenient states for international travel with multiple airport hubs in cities like Orlando, Miami, Tampa, and Jacksonville!
The Best Areas for 55+ Residents in Florida
Florida features diverse opportunities for seniors looking to downsize and find single-story floor plans. Options for 55+ communities in Florida include townhouses, condos, mobile homes, luxury apartment rentals, waterfront options, and more!
Whether you’re looking to live right on the beach or in a more suburban inland town, there is a new home to fit every plan and budget.
Northeast Florida, also known as the First Coast, stretches from the border with Georgia down along the Atlantic coast. Nearly all of the region is within a few miles of the Florida beaches.
Florida’s Northeast region includes the classy seaside town of Ponte Vedra, which has many luxury amenities like rec centers, golf courses, and spas. Within Ponte Vedra lies the planned residential community of Nocatee, which, along with a town square, has a variety of active older adult lving options. Some of these includes The Atwater at Nocatee.
On the other side of Florida lies the Northwest Florida region, which encompasses the Florida panhandle and borders the Gulf of Mexico. Popular retirement areas such as Pensacola and Destin dot the stretch of land headed west along I-10.
This area of Florida is home to the Blue Angels. There’s a rich diversity of cultures that comes from being near the prestigious Naval Air Station Pensacola. It’s a popular spot for veterans to retire because 55+ residents can spend their time enjoying the sunny weather at the beach, biking around town, or sailing the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. .
Southeast Florida consists of the lower half of the peninsula along the Atlantic coast. The region includes many prestigious cities and neighborhoods like Palm Beach and Hollywood. It’s also home to entertainment hotspots like Miami.
The beaches of Southwest Florida are known for their calm waters thanks to the added protection of the Gulf of Mexico.This area is home to the thriving beach communities like Sarasota, Bonita Springs, and Naples.
Other towns like Wimauma and Ft. Meyers lay a few miles inland, but still offer access to riverside and bayside property, plus attractions like parks and shopping centers.
Central East Florida
Famous vacation sites like Orlando can be found in Central East Florida. There are always fun things to do for empty nesters in this area.Active older adults can spend a day at the golf course, then hit the casino for an evening of entertainment!
The Villages, located at the junction of I-4 and Florida’s Turnpike, just to the northwest of Orlando, stretches over 3 counties and features lakes, nature parks and more than a dozen golf courses!
Central West Florida
Some of Florida’s most popular inland areas for retirees are located in Central West Florida.
Towns such as Ocala, Bushnell, and San Antonio offer residents a rural, suburban feel. Cities like Tampa offer a more urban vibe for 55+ active adults with concerts, sporting events, shopping and many exceptional dining options.
Located just 30 minutes from Downtown Tampa, Clearwater is another excellent location to retire in Florida. The seaside town offers seniors a nice mix of city activities and beach fun.
The Best Indoor and Outdoor Things to Do in Florida
Whether your dream retirement involves soaking up the sun near the pool or going on unforgettable nature walks through Florida’s diverse wildlife habitats, you’re sure to find plenty of exciting opportunities to stay active when you decide to retire in Florida!
On-Property Activities to Enjoy in Your Community
Since much of Florida is designed with retirees in mind, many 55+ residences feature single story floor plans, making them accessible to people with disabilities, those with stiff joints or just for practicality as seniors age with grace.
Additionally, Florida’s retirement communities are especially well-equipped to support an active lifestyle, from the prevalence of exercise equipment and walking trails to the many golf courses with golf cart-friendly flat roads.
Community amenities often include a fenced in dog park and dog grooming station. Some locations offer community gardens, where you can plant and harvest fruits and vegetables well-suited to Florida’s sunny climate.
Visit the Community Pool
Swimming in a community pool is an excellent form of exercise, especially in Florida, where it’s almost always warm enough to swim. Pool exercises have been proven to be easy on the joints, and some locations even offer water aerobics classes specially designed for those 55 and up!
Many of Florida’s pools on private property are screened to keep the bugs at bay, though community pools may instead have other features like a snack bar and lifeguard on duty.
Spend the Afternoon at the Community Center/Clubhouse
Communities in Florida have their own clubhouses and community centers, which offer an abundance of ways to get active while also socializing with other residents.
Join an interest group like a book club or an arts and crafts club, or stay fit at the tennis and pickleball courts, putting green and well-equipped fitness center.
Live a Low-Maintenance Lifestyle
Florida’s year round warm weather means even in winter, you’ll never have to shovel snow! Many 55+ communities offer lawn care so residents can spend their afternoons playing golf or riding through their communities in their golf-carts rather than doing yard work.
However, if you’re interested in gardening, Florida receives a fair amount of rain making it the perfect environment to grow low-maintenance native flowers and shrubbery.
Go Off-Property and Explore Nearby Communities
Alongside its incredibly well-equipped community areas, there are many more things to do in Florida that are located near 55+ communities. These include hiking trails through Florida’s nature-filled wetlands at locations like the Everglades and Ocala National Forest, which are also great spots for birdwatching!
Florida also features local culture, from art museums with thousands of pieces on display, to cultural gathering spaces for the state’s diverse ethnic groups. Churches, temples, and mosques can all be found nearby the most popular 55+ communities, and the state has many medical facilities that cater specifically to seniors.
High-class shopping centers like The Aventura Mall and The Mall at Millenia offer easy access to luxury brands and local businesses alike. Florida also has some of the most diverse dining options in the country, offering everything from classic American fare to authentic ethnic cuisine. Hubs like Orlando and Miami routinely host concerts and other live events.
Florida has multiple airports from which you can vacation or welcome guests. Major names like Orlando International Airport (MCO), Tampa International Airport (TPA) and Miami International Airport (MIA) help thousands of people visit family and traverse the world each day!
There are few better ways to spend a sunny day in retirement than on the fairway - luckily, Florida has many nationally-acclaimed golf courses spread around the state.
Seminole Golf Club is widely considered the best of the best, and there are dozens of other options within reach no matter what region of the state you choose to call home.
Visit the Beaches
Florida has over 1,000 miles of coastline, the most of any state other than Alaska!
Miami Beach, Palm Beach, Naples and Key West all have incredible beaches that draw seniors from around the country, but you can find a secluded stretch of shoreline nearby no matter where you retire. From Destin in the Panhandle to Clearwater on the Gulf and Daytona Beach on the Atlantic, when you retire in Florida, you’ll never be far from the beach!
Win at the Casinos
Florida has dozens of casinos, with many of them located in Central Florida around the Tampa area.
Have fun playing slots, poker, roulette, and more at famous locales like the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa, or take a unique casino cruise just off the coast in Tampa Bay.
Is Florida the Right State for You?
Florida’s warm and sunny weather makes it one of the most popular spots for retirement-age active living in the country, which is perfectly complemented by the statewide easy access to beautiful beaches. There are also countless ways to stay active outdoors, from golf, swimming and pickleball to hiking and going on nature tours.
Thanks to its significant senior demographic, Florida has an abundance of medical facilities that cater to seniors, including specialists and cancer centers. Despite its many perks, the state remains a very affordable place to retire and enjoy your golden years in peace and comfort.
Residences and Communities in Florida
With a wide range of 55+ communities, maintenance free communities, all age communities, and more, there’s a perfect fit for every active empty nester in Florida, whether you’re looking for affordable accommodations or you’re seeking a luxury residence.
Snowbirds that live about 6 months each winter in Florida before spending the second half of the year often in the northern states or Canada are also afforded options of all types to call Florida their winter home!
Golf Course Communities
Golf Course Communities offering convenient access to the course are perfect for seniors that enjoy playing golf. New homes in master planned communities that dot the fairways and greens are very popular for seniors that choose to retire in Florida.
Courses for all skill levels are spread out through every corner of the state, many offering amenities like clubhouses, putting greens and driving ranges. Some golf course communities offer exclusive access for residents and guests, providing the perfect way to stay active in retirement.
Manufactured Homes Communities
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly home located in an age restricted community, consider living in a manufactured home.
Depending on the structure of the community, these homes may be offered on a land-lease basis, or they may be entirely resident owned. The latter option allows residents more freedom and control over their property, while the former is an affordable way to retire in Florida.
Luxury Apartment Rentals
Live like a king or queen when you lease a luxury apartment rental in Florida!
Luxury apartments typically include everything you will need for a low-maintenance lifestyle, plus high-end community features like a gated pool, fully equipped fitness center, and laundry facility. Floor plans are often on a single floor in one to three-bedroom layouts featuring patios or balconies with scenic views. You can also expect modern appliances, upgraded flooring and elevators to the upper floors.
Many of Florida’s condominium (condo) communities are specially designed as active adult communities, with amenities meant to appeal to those looking to stay fit later in life.
These often include on-property gyms with an array of fitness equipment plus access to community pools. Condos range in price with options to fit all budgets depending on the property size and location. Homeowners Associations typically cover all community needs outside the units, making for a truly low-maintenance lifestyle!
Cost of Living in Florida
Florida is a very affordable retirement location, with no state tax and gas and food costs falling below the national average in most locations!
While cities like Miami and Tampa feature a slightly higher cost of living, you can still find budget-friendly places to retire in suburbs nearby, with costs falling significantly in more residential zones and 55+ retirement communities just outside of town.
Many communities offer reasonably priced, waterfront property. The state has a high diversity of housing available to suit different budgets affording seniors of all types an opportunity to retire in the state!
Top Healthcare Practices in Florida
Florida has a large population of 55+ residents, which means there are many healthcare facilities designed to help seniors manage health conditions and keep chronic pain in check. There are also many accessible pharmacies within a few minutes’ drive of most age-restricted communities, some of which will even deliver prescriptions right to your door.
Notable healthcare practices with locations in Florida include UF Health Shands Hospital, the Mayo Clinic, and AdventHealth centers for primary and specialized medical services.
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