Best counties to retire to in Florida

Written by:
July 31, 2022
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Best counties to retire to in Florida

Buyers and sellers of real estate alike—when asked what are the three most essential considerations about a property—will nearly always reply "location, location, location." While this answer is sometimes tongue-in-cheek, it is often quite accurate, and this reply perhaps applies to retirees more than any other demographic. Settling down after a lifetime of working and perhaps raising a family calls for the perfect location: a spot where you can enjoy life with as few concerns as possible.

When seniors aged 65 years or older decide on where they want to live out their golden years, they consider very specific factors, such as the cost of living, government services, health care facilities, weather and overall climate, crime rate, outdoor recreational activities, eating establishments, cultural and entertainment opportunities, and more.

Stacker compiled a list of the best counties to retire in Florida using data from Niche. Niche ranks counties based on a variety of factors including cost of living, healthcare, recreation and weather. Read more about Niche's methodology here.

Location is critical as retirees determine where to spend their senior years enjoying favorite activities; however, it’s a very unique decision based on a multitude of preferences and needs. Whether it be bustling downtowns or access to parks, affordable home prices or cultural amenities like museums, retirees seeking to settle in a permanent spot are sure to find a private paradise in any of these counties recommended by Niche because, in the end, there is no place like home—no matter the location.

Read on to discover the best counties to retire to in Florida.

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Ebyabe // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Gulf County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (B), weather (A-), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Port St. Joe (B+)
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#24. Nassau County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (B-), weather (A-), outdoor activities (A)
- Top places to live: Fernandina Beach (A-), Yulee (B+), Callahan (B)
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Ebyabe // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Levy County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (A-), weather (A-), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Williston (B), Cedar Key (B), Bronson (B-)
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Ebyabe // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Franklin County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (B+), weather (A-), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Apalachicola (B+), Eastpoint (C+), Carrabelle (B-)
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#21. St. Johns County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (C+), weather (A-), outdoor activities (A)
- Top places to live: Nocatee (A+), Palm Valley (A+), Fruit Cove (A+)

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Georgia Guercio // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Flagler County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A+), cost of living (C+), weather (A-), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Palm Coast (B+), Flagler Beach (B), Bunnell (B)
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Georgia Guercio // Wikimedia Commons

#19. St. Lucie County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A+), cost of living (C+), weather (A), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Lakewood Park (B), Port St. Lucie (B), River Park (B)
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Ebyabe // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Pasco County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A+), cost of living (B-), weather (A), outdoor activities (A)
- Top places to live: Wesley Chapel (A), Land O' Lakes (A), Odessa (A)
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#17. Marion County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A+), cost of living (B), weather (A-), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Ocala (B+), Belleview (B-), Dunnellon (B-)
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Ebyabe // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Volusia County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A+), cost of living (B-), weather (A), outdoor activities (A)
- Top places to live: DeBary (A-), Port Orange (A-), Ponce Inlet (B+)

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Michael Kagdis // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Palm Beach County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A+), cost of living (C-), weather (A), outdoor activities (A)
- Top places to live: Grandview Heights (A+), Highland Beach (A), Boca Raton (A)
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Roman Eugeniusz // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Manatee County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A+), cost of living (C+), weather (A), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Whitfield (A-), Ellenton (B+), West Bradenton (B+)
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Daniel Wilton // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Hernando County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A+), cost of living (B), weather (A), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: North Brooksville (B+), South Brooksville (B), Brooksville (B)
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Swarm // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Collier County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A+), cost of living (C), weather (A), outdoor activities (A)
- Top places to live: Pelican Bay (A), Naples (A), Pine Ridge (A-)
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#11. Lake County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A+), cost of living (B-), weather (A), outdoor activities (A)
- Top places to live: Clermont (A-), Montverde (B+), Silver Lake (B+)

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Ebyabe // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Citrus County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A+), cost of living (B+), weather (A-), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Citrus Hills (B+), Sugarmill Woods (B), Hernando (B)
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Zhukova Valentyna // Shutterstock

#9. Brevard County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A+), cost of living (B-), weather (A), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Satellite Beach (A+), South Patrick Shores (A), Indian Harbour Beach (A)
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Ebyabe // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Sumter County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A+), cost of living (B-), weather (A), outdoor activities (A)
- Top places to live: The Villages (B+), Bushnell (B+), Wildwood (B)
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#7. Martin County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A+), cost of living (C+), weather (A), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: North River Shores (A), Jensen Beach (A), Palm City (A-)
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#6. Charlotte County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A+), cost of living (B-), weather (A), outdoor activities (A)
- Top places to live: Punta Gorda (B+), Charlotte Park (B+), Grove City (B+)

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#5. Pinellas County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A+), cost of living (C+), weather (A), outdoor activities (A)
- Top places to live: Euclid-St. Paul (A+), Holiday Park (A+), North Shore (A+)
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Nadezda Murmakova // Shutterstock

#4. Lee County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A+), cost of living (C+), weather (A), outdoor activities (A)
- Top places to live: Whiskey Creek (A), Gateway (A), Sanibel (A)
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Fl295 // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Highlands County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A+), cost of living (B+), weather (A), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Lake Placid (B), Avon Park (B-), Sebring (B-)
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#2. Indian River County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A+), cost of living (B-), weather (A), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Indian River Shores (A), South Beach (A-), Wabasso Beach (A-)
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Creative Couple Media // Shutterstock

#1. Sarasota County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A+), cost of living (C+), weather (A), outdoor activities (A)
- Top places to live: South Sarasota (A), Osprey (A), South Gate Ridge (A)

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