Living That BOUNCE Life

Many American retirees are looking to age in place, while others who have bid adieu to the workplace are seeking new locales. With no shortage of choices, how do they decide?Some ways to narrow down the list include moving closer to grandkids or settling in a vacation spot that has generated family memories over the years. Folks who get the blues from high taxes and cold weather can find plenty of tax-friendly, warmer places to establish new roots. Those who want to stay active with outdoor recreation or by playing golf have their pick of communities near manicured club courses and the great outdoors.Big cities have advantages, as do small towns with safe streets and quiet neighborhoods. Some of the best choices are idyllic suburbs—like Piermont, New York, and Shenandoah, Texas—that are just minutes away from the business bustle and cultural attractions of big cities. As always, Florida tends to dominate retirement hotspot lists with its year-round warm weather and pristine beaches.

To help retirees considering a move, Stacker referenced Niche’s 2021 Best Places to Retire study, which lists 50 American small towns that offer the best retirement options. Niche made its determinations according to retiree representation, weather quality, cost and safety, access to healthy living, and a host of other factors. For each town on this list, Stacker included the town’s resident population along with figures for owners, renters, and median household income.

While this data is the most current available, some housing statistics Niche uses to calculate its rankings—such as median home values and housing costs—are not entirely reflective of the current housing market. Since these numbers are subject to frequent changes and housing represents 5% of Niche’s total ranking, those statistics are omitted from forthcoming data points and do not detract from Niche’s overall assessment of the best places for retirees.

Read on to see which locations are the best spots to retire in America and where you might want to go.

  • #50. Roseland, Florida

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    – Population: 1,514 (27% age 55-64 and 37% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $47,833
    – Owners: 78%
    – Renters: 22%

    Similar to many Florida towns, Roseland is an ideal place for retirement thanks to its year-round warm weather and retirement communities. Retirees may also appreciate the town’s affordability, as most of the residents in Roseland own their own homes. As of August 2021, the average home cost in Roseland was $267,400.

  • #49. Ridge Wood Heights, Florida

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    – Population: 4,287 (19% age 55-64 and 25% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $53,503
    – Owners: 67%
    – Renters: 33%

    Located in Sarasota County, which is full of beaches and attractions, Ridge Wood Heights scored particularly high with Niche on health and fitness. The community is only a 15-minute drive to Siesta Key, a Gulf of Mexico barrier island abound with sandy beaches, tidal pools, and coral reefs.

  • #48. Miramar Beach, Florida

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    – Population: 8,356 (19% age 55-64 and 31% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $70,069
    – Owners: 71%
    – Renters: 29%

    Miramar Beach is considered a census-designated place—in other words, a community locally recognized but unincorporated. Miramar Beach has tons of things to do, whether it’s going out to eat, perusing racks at the shopping mall, or taking the kids to one of the nearby zoos. For those with grandchildren in the neighborhood, public schools in the area are rated above average. Traffic in Miramar Beach—especially during the summer months and holidays—tends to be heavy due to its large tourist presence.

  • #47. Redington Shores, Florida

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    – Population: 2,176 (21% age 55-64 and 36% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $78,375
    – Owners: 75%
    – Renters: 25%

    Redington Shores offers plenty of parks that may attract retirees. Constitution Park, for example, is an ideal setting for picnics or events, and Del Bello Park is a nature refuge with a dock for fishing as well as exercise equipment for those who wish to work out outdoors. Most of the residents in this laid-back Florida town are homeowners, with the average home costing $633,800 as of January 2022.

  • #46. Estero, Florida

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    – Population: 32,815 (15% age 55-64 and 48% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $82,054
    – Owners: 86%
    – Renters: 14%

    Estero, a small village in Lee County with a suburban feel, offers a solid economy where the unemployment rate is lower than the national average. The median household income for Estero is also higher than the national average and most residents own their homes. For those who have relatives with children thinking of moving to Estero, public school education in the area ranks high on both the national and state levels.

  • #45. Gulf Gate Estates, Florida

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    – Population: 11,118 (14% age 55-64 and 34% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $50,450
    – Owners: 57%
    – Renters: 43%

    Gulf Gate Estates, located in Sarasota County, is considered a safe town with a decent economy. The neighborhood is conveniently located close to shopping areas, restaurants, and schools. Gulf Gate Estates is also close to health care facilities such as Sarasota Memorial Hospital and William L. Little Health and Human Services Center.

  • #44. Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

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    – Population: 9,137 (21% age 55-64 and 33% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $59,429
    – Owners: 80%
    – Renters: 20%

    The MarshWalk is a source of pride in this beach town known as the seafood capital of South Carolina. It’s a half-mile boardwalk along a saltwater estuary where residents can eat, listen to live music, shop, and enjoy recreational water activities. Myrtle Beach is 10 miles away, and Huntington Beach State Park is even closer.

  • #43. Bonita Springs, Florida

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    – Population: 55,902 (13% age 55-64 and 42% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $70,249
    – Owners: 81%
    – Renters: 19%

    Bonita Springs is a city in Southwest Florida between Fort Myers and Naples. For retirees who still plan to be out and about, a popular attraction in the area is the Barefoot Beach Preserve, where visitors can enjoy seeing various animal species and take in the natural surroundings. Bonita Springs also has a ton of retirement communities and access to medical services such as the NCH Bonita Emergency Room.

  • #42. Surfside, Florida

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    – Population: 5,725 (9% age 55-64 and 23% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $69,063
    – Owners: 55%
    – Renters: 45%

    Surfside, an oceanfront community in Miami-Dade County, is home to some of the most sought-after condos with a waterfront view. The neighborhood is close enough to the city but still provides a sense of community. There are also tons of shopping and restaurant options and the area boasts a diverse international population. What’s more, the city’s government is committed to sustainable initiatives, with height restrictions in place for oceanfront developments to be no taller than 12 stories.

  • #41. Hollywood Park, Texas

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    – Population: 3,327 (17% age 55-64 and 27% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $114,750
    – Owners: 86%
    – Renters: 14%

    Hollywood Park is a San Antonio suburb self-described as “a great, peaceful and friendly place to live.” The Hollywood Park Community Association works toward that goal by hosting community events and running programs like Neighbors Lifting Neighbors, which pairs people needing assistance with others wanting to help.

  • #40. Belle Isle, Florida

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    – Population: 7,010 (20% age 55-64 and 23% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $88,433
    – Owners: 93%
    – Renters: 7%

    Belle Isle, a suburb of Orlando, gives a rural feel for those looking for quiet and seclusion. There’s still close access to cultural and historical sites as well as restaurants. If you’re considering Belle Isle as a place of retirement but choose to work part-time for extra income, the current economy is stable with unemployment lower than the nation’s average. Similar to other Florida cities, Belle Isle provides plenty of outdoor activities to partake in.

  • #39. North Palm Beach, Florida

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    – Population: 13,029 (17% age 55-64 and 34% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $72,027
    – Owners: 76%
    – Renters: 24%

    Living in North Palm Beach provides residents a peaceful lifestyle and senior communities offer high-quality amenities. North Palm Beach, close to communities such as Lake Park, Palm Beach Gardens, and just a 20-minute drive from West Palm Beach, has a low poverty rate. Although the cost of living isn’t as expensive as other areas in the state, it is higher than the national average. As of late 2021, the average home price listing in North Palm Beach is $428,000.

  • #38. Longboat Key, Florida

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    – Population: 7,283 (18% age 55-64 and 70% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $114,762
    – Owners: 94%
    – Renters: 6%

    Longboat Key, located between Sarasota and Manatee counties, may be ideal for retirees looking to escape crowds and leave larger cities. There are options for active retirement communities and waterfront golf, for those who are into the sport. The public schools in Longboat Key also have top-rankings.

  • #37. West Lake Hills, Texas

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    – Population: 3,311 (16% age 55-64 and 28% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $187,569
    – Owners: 81%
    – Renters: 19%

    This hilly, 4-square-mile patch of Texas is conveniently located near Austin’s downtown region and two Austin gems: Zilker Metropolitan Park and Lady Bird Lake. West Lake Hills also received the 2019 Certified Scenic City Award, which recognizes cities that demonstrate a “commitment to high-quality scenic standards for public roadways and spaces.”

  • #36. Bee Ridge, Florida

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    – Population: 9,958 (15% age 55-64 and 41% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $65,508
    – Owners: 73%
    – Renters: 27%

    Bee Ridge, a suburban neighborhood in Sarasota County, is a quiet, affluent community. The unemployment rate is currently lower than the national average, with most residents in Bee Ridge owning their own homes. There’s also convenient access to medical facilities such as Doctors Hospital of Sarasota and Wound Center-Doctors Hospital.

  • #35. Iona, Florida

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    – Population: 14,118 (16% age 55-64 and 54% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $58,075
    – Owners: 70%
    – Renters: 30%

    Iona, located in Lee County, has many restaurants and parks and is about a 25-minute drive from the popular city of Fort Myers. As of December 2021, Iona’s median home price is $422,500 for those interested in buying property in the area, a rather sizable jump over the average home price in Florida, which currently stands at $342,077.

  • #34. Fountain Hills, Arizona

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    – Population: 24,729 (20% age 55-64 and 38% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $85,200
    – Owners: 79%
    – Renters: 21%

    This safe, master-planned community in Maricopa County holds numerous community events throughout the year and is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. The town, known for its large fountain, is an International Dark Sky Community, a designation given to places that “promote responsible lighting and dark sky stewardship.”

  • #33. Pine Knoll Shores, North Carolina

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    – Population: 1,343 (22% age 55-64 and 47% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $75,313
    – Owners: 89%
    – Renters: 11%

    This community sits on the 25.4-mile barrier island of Bogue Banks, which is part of an area known for its white beaches and clear water called the Crystal Coast. With numerous water trails and a temperate climate, the coast is a paddler’s paradise. The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores offers a different kind of fun, as well as volunteer opportunities.

  • #32. North Redington Beach, Florida

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    – Population: 1,242 (23% age 55-64 and 48% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $72,981
    – Owners: 63%
    – Renters: 37%

    North Redington Beach in Pinellas County offers plenty of recreational activities for retirees looking to keep active. For households with kids, there’s Boca Ciega Millennium Park and Seminole City Park to keep the little ones busy. North Redington Beach has something for everyone with several retirement communities and medical centers, making it a top destination for retirees.

  • #31. Brookridge, Florida

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    – Population: 4,412 (14% age 55-64 and 56% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $42,099
    – Owners: 87%
    – Renters: 13%

    Brookridge may be under the radar compared to other Floridian cities, but this low-crime, tight-knit Tampa suburb boasts high-ranking public schools and a community that leans conservative. It is also one of the most affordable places for retirees in the state.

  • #30. Catalina Foothills, Arizona

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    – Population: 50,454 (17% age 55-64 and 31% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $92,929
    – Owners: 74%
    – Renters: 26%

    Catalina Foothills, a census-designated place, is located close to Tucson near the Santa Catalina Mountains. There’s tons of sunshine, golf, and picturesque views of the area’s landscape. Catalina Hills also has a thriving economy where the household income is higher than the national average and most residents own their homes.

  • #29. Bal Harbour, Florida

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    – Population: 3,004 (11% age 55-64 and 36% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $76,962
    – Owners: 79%
    – Renters: 21%

    Everything about the Miami suburb of Bal Harbour embodies luxury, from its fine dining to its upscale shopping and oceanfront resorts. For those who still plan on having an active social life, there are plenty of activities going on in the area, which also has easy access to medical care with Miami Beach Community Health Center being close by.

  • #28. North River Shores, Florida

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    – Population: 3,874 (16% age 55-64 and 24% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $58,250
    – Owners: 84%
    – Renters: 16%

    North River Shores sits on the banks of the North Fork St. Lucie River in Martin County. Among the attractions for residents are four waterfront neighborhood parks and a private boat ramp, all readily accessible in this low-population town.

  • #27. Bingham Farms, Michigan

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    – Population: 1,129 (16% age 55-64 and 48% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $131,071
    – Owners: 89%
    – Renters: 11%

    This community created its Design Review Board “to preserve, protect and enhance the ecologically and historically unique environment and aesthetic charm of the village.” Residents are just minutes from Detroit and 30 miles from the Brighton Howell area, which has 123 miles of trails and 20 golf courses.

  • #26. St. Pete Beach, Florida

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    – Population: 9,587 (24% age 55-64 and 36% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $76,516
    – Owners: 75%
    – Renters: 25%

    Deemed the best beach in the country and the fifth-best beach in the world by Tripadvisor’s annual Travelers’ Choice Awards for Beaches, St. Pete Beach certainly has some bragging rights. The resort city attracts retirees from all over with its big-city amenities. For retirees desiring a social scene, there are plenty of shopping malls and dining options.

  • #25. Sun City West, Arizona

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    – Population: 25,544 (12% age 55-64 and 84% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $52,196
    – Owners: 88%
    – Renters: 12%

    This unincorporated community near Phoenix was founded in 1978 by construction maven Del Webb. In addition to its seven golf courses, Sun City West offers amenities like adult learning opportunities, organized trips, more than 100 clubs, and four recreation centers.

  • #24. Garden City, South Carolina

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    – Population: 10,669 (20% age 55-64 and 40% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $44,862
    – Owners: 79%
    – Renters: 21%

    Garden City is a prime spot for crabbing and fishing because of its access to the Atlantic Ocean and Murrells Inlet. The community’s 668-foot-long fishing pier provides an ideal spot for anglers during the day and acts as a live music venue during summer nights. For anyone considering a move to Garden City, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce offers a relocation guide.

  • #23. Southgate, Florida

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    – Population: 7,817 (16% age 55-64 and 24% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $58,663
    – Owners: 71%
    – Renters: 29%

    Southgate in Sarasota has tons of coffee shops, restaurants, and parks. This census-designated place has an average home cost of $450,000, with a large majority of the residents owning their homes.

  • #22. Naples, Florida

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    – Population: 21,812 (17% age 55-64 and 53% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $107,013
    – Owners: 78%
    – Renters: 22%

    Naples, known for its beautiful beaches, has a large retirement community and is consistently rated as one of the best places to retire. There’s the year-round warm climate, picturesque surroundings, lifestyle, and amenities. The city is also known for its charming downtown area. Naples is also home to several reputable medical centers including Naples Community Hospital.

  • #21. Englewood, Florida

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    – Population: 15,095 (18% age 55-64 and 51% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $47,862
    – Owners: 80%
    – Renters: 20%

    What’s not to love about this beachfront town on Florida’s southern Gulf Coast? Shared by Charlotte and Sarasota counties, Englewood’s beaches are wide and uncrowded, making them popular spots for water activities and observing the many bird species that call this part of the state home. The low-key beach town has two state parks, Stump Pass Beach State Park and Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park.

  • #20. High Point, Florida

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    – Population: 3,974 (18% age 55-64 and 52% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $38,490
    – Owners: 86%
    – Renters: 14%

    High Point is a community that sits on the Florida Gulf Coast, not far from Tampa Bay’s pulsing metropolis. Seniors love the warm weather and quaint downtown, plus it’s one of the most affordable places in the nation, with home costs far below the national median.

  • #19. Green Valley, Arizona

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    – Population: 20,902 (14% age 55-64 and 80% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $49,147
    – Owners: 85%
    – Renters: 15%

    Recreation and learning opportunities abound in this retirement community 25 miles south of Tucson in the Sonoran Desert. The nonprofit Green Valley Recreation operates 13 recreation centers and offers more than 1,000 classes. Every March, it hosts the Southern Arizona Senior Games in which more than 1,000 participants compete in events that include bicycling, mahjong, tennis, and powerlifting.

  • #18. Villas, Florida

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    – Population: 13,072 (13% age 55-64 and 31% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $53,500
    – Owners: 59%
    – Renters: 41%

    On the Gulf Coast, Villas is about 130 miles south of Tampa and St. Petersburg. The region hosts a number of baseball spring training camps, and the scenic islands of Sanibel and Captiva are nearby. Winters in the subtropical climate are mild. In the summer months, late afternoon thunderstorms are common—although tropical storms and hurricanes can bring downpours and high winds.

  • #17. Shenandoah, Texas

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    – Population: 2,887 (10% age 55-64 and 40% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $80,451
    – Owners: 55%
    – Renters: 45%

    Situated in the northern corridor of Houston, Shenandoah has a host of great amenities like the Aveda Institute, which offers a wide range of spa services; an indoor swimming and Olympic training facility that holds national competitions and is also open to the public; and a 10,000-seat artificial turf stadium that hosts football and soccer games. The cost of living in Shenandoah is lower than the U.S. average, and the poverty rate is low.

  • #16. Timber Pines, Florida

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    – Population: 5,198 (11% age 55-64 and 79% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $48,672
    – Owners: 89%
    – Renters: 11%

    The Timber Pines Community Association, dedicated to offering premier “country club living for active adults,” calls Timber Pines the “[best-kept] secret in Florida.” Residents can swim in two geothermal heated pools, golf on four courses, play tennis on eight courts, and join more than 100 clubs, classes, and organizations.

  • #15. Whiskey Creek, Florida

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    – Population: 5,022 (15% age 55-64 and 34% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $75,552
    – Owners: 91%
    – Renters: 9%

    Located within the Fort Myers and Cape Coral areas, the Whiskey Creek neighborhood sits near the Caloosahatchee River, which connects to the Gulf of Mexico. Community members may join the semi-private Whiskey Creek Country Club for access to an 18-hole golf course and a bar and restaurant, as well as social activities such as bridge and dancing.

  • #14. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

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    – Population: 1,400 (24% age 55-64 and 48% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $114,583
    – Owners: 82%
    – Renters: 18%

    For a town of just one square mile, there’s a lot to enjoy, including pristine beaches and a mile-long boardwalk filled with attractions, shops, and restaurants. In the summer, Rehoboth Beach hosts a free concert series.

  • #13. Leland Grove, Illinois

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    – Population: 1,406 (17% age 55-64 and 34% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $108,947
    – Owners: 95%
    – Renters: 5%

    Leland Grove is just minutes away from Springfield and all the restaurants, attractions, and shopping the state capital has to offer. A 2013 regional planning commission report noted that Leland Grove’s “high-quality residential character represents its greatest strength,” and that its “community spirit is a valuable asset.”

  • #12. Cape Canaveral, Florida

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    – Population: 10,377 (22% age 55-64 and 36% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $54,653
    – Owners: 63%
    – Renters: 37%

    With its welcoming sense of community, Cape Canaveral, located along Florida’s Space Coast in Brevard County, has become one of the top retirement destinations. For those not into beaches, another attraction to keep in mind in Cape Canaveral is the Air Force Space and Missile Museum, which offers several exhibits that give a firsthand look at the hardware and spirit of American air and space travel.

  • #11. Cypress Lake, Florida

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    – Population: 12,978 (17% age 55-64 and 41% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $50,945
    – Owners: 70%
    – Renters: 30%

    In Cypress Lake, located down the Caloosahatchee River from Ft. Myers, the cost of living is more than 5% below the national average, and median home prices barely break $200,000. A vibrant nightlife, sense of family-oriented community, and high-ranked public schools are all draws to this south Florida town.

  • #10. Jensen Beach, Florida

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    – Population: 13,479 (18% age 55-64 and 29% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $54,778
    – Owners: 71%
    – Renters: 29%

    Between Fort Pierce and West Palm Beach sits Jensen Beach, a vibrant community known for its major shopping centers, fine dining, and water sports. Jensen Beach has two golf courses and hosts an annual arts and crafts show.

  • #9. Siesta Key, Florida

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    – Population: 5,573 (16% age 55-64 and 54% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $102,143
    – Owners: 84%
    – Renters: 16%

    Siesta Key, located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, is a hotspot not just for vacations but retirement as well. It’s a short drive from downtown Sarasota and offers its own share of dining, shopping, and of course, beaches.

  • #8. Lake Success, New York

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    – Population: 3,119 (12% age 55-64 and 31% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $177,500
    – Owners: 100%
    – Renters: 0%

    This New York village offers fitness center memberships as well as planned game and movie nights. There’s plenty of opportunity for golfing at Lake Success Golf Club or the Fresh Meadow Country Club, which has been a historic destination for celebrities including baseball legend Babe Ruth.

  • #7. Hillsboro Beach, Florida

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    – Population: 1,752 (26% age 55-64 and 55% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $73,558
    – Owners: 83%
    – Renters: 17%

    Hillsboro Beach, a Fort Lauderdale suburb an hour outside Miami, has an urban feel with residents making an above-average income and owning their homes. The public school system in Hillsboro is above average, and as with many other Floridian cities, there’s always the option of having a beach day.

  • #6. Gulf Stream, Florida

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    – Population: 1,053 (25% age 55-64 and 27% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $216,250
    – Owners: 88%
    – Renters: 12%

    Gulf Stream in Palm Beach County has an active lifestyle community with parks and recreational activities. The affluent area has a thriving economy with high-earning household incomes and most residents owning their homes. Among its unique features is the historic canopy of Australian Pines along North Ocean Boulevard.

  • #5. Indian River Shores, Florida

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    – Population: 4,206 (12% age 55-64 and 74% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $118,669
    – Owners: 97%
    – Renters: 3%

    As of August 2021, the median cost for a home in the resort town of Indian River Shores was $992,000. Residents, however, can see where that cost goes, enjoying an affluent, low-key neighborhood that has a suburban feel with a top-ranking public school system.

  • #4. Dutch Island, Georgia

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    – Population: 1,162 (17% age 55-64 and 28% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $170,417
    – Owners: 100%
    – Renters: 0%

    Dutch Island, situated on the outskirts of Savannah, is like stepping into another world. The tight-knit island community was built along 500 acres of pristine natural beauty and prides itself as a perfect place for retirees thanks to its quiet and serene atmosphere. Dutch Island is small, with just 480 homes, and offers plenty of activities, from tennis and beach volleyball to boating, hiking, and a community pool.

  • #3. Highland Beach, Florida

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    – Population: 3,885 (19% age 55-64 and 58% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $115,219
    – Owners: 90%
    – Renters: 10%

    Highland Beach, located in Palm Beach County, is an ideal location for retirees with its laid-back, relaxing beaches and scenic views. Highland Beach is also situated between the more popular cities of Delray Beach and Boca Raton. Palm Beach overall has a huge golfing scene for those who are interested in the sport.

  • #2. South Palm Beach, Florida

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    – Population: 1,296 (22% age 55-64 and 50% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $60,500
    – Owners: 82%
    – Renters: 18%

    An affluent and safe city, South Palm Beach is a haven for retirees. Its attractions include museums, golfing, dining, shopping, close proximity to airports, and of course, beaches. There are also plenty of retirement communities and access to reputable health services.

  • #1. Pelican Bay, Florida

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    – Population: 6,140 (13% age 55-64 and 83% age 65+)
    – Median household income: $141,856
    – Owners: 95%
    – Renters: 5%

    Pelican Bay, a luxury community, boasts private beaches, waterfront dining, museums, and private nature preserves. Residents can also partake in various activities including tennis and art classes. Pelican Bay is also a short drive from its more popular neighboring city, Naples. The NCH North Naples Hospital is just minutes away, should medical services be needed.