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retire

Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!

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Retire in Brooksville, Florida?

Overview:   Established in 1856, Brooksville sits about 60 miles north of Tampa and roughly 15 miles inland from Florida's Nature Coast. It is a rural, slightly overgrown place and reminds many people of what Florida used to be before the developers arrived.

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The authentic downtown boasts moss-covered trees and cute retail shops with hand-painted murals on the side. Large historic homes line canopy, brick lanes in adjacent neighborhoods. Farther out, areas vary from nicely tended with single story Mediterraneans to a little bedraggled with manufactured homes. The city maintains an art gallery, a Saturday market, and a railroad museum. A cycling classic, live music, barbecue cook-offs, and Civil War reenactments are a few city-sponsored events. The north campus of Pasco-Hernando State College, one mile from the town's core, hosts cultural workshops and bi-annual poetry readings. More than 10 shopping centers surround the city.

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Residents also enjoy three parks, walking trails, tennis courts, and a community center. The public nine-hole golf course is sculpted from an abandoned mining pit, and the private Southern Plantation Golf Course includes a spa and a clubhouse. The nearby Withlacoochee State Forest stretches through Cypress groves and along 13 miles of winding river, providing opportunities for fishing, hiking and picnicing.

Population:  8,000 (city proper)

Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 50%

Cost of Living: 18% below the national average

Median Home Price: $99,000

Climate:   This area has a hot, humid climate. Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s with high humidity levels and frequent rainstorms.  Winter temperatures are in the 60s and 70s.

At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes

At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes

Public Transit:   Yes, provided by The Bus, but it does not run during the evening or on weekends.

Crime Rate:  Above the national average

Public Library:  The county library offers book discussion groups as well as sewing classes, Medicare workshops and more.

Political Leanings: Conservative

Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement?    Yes

Cons:  The crime rate is above the national average, but residents say that they feel safe.

Notes:     Brooksville has grown by 5% within the last 10 to 20 years and is racially diverse. People seem to enjoy living here.

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Recommended as a Retirement Spot?   Yes, although the higher than average crime rate is a concern.

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Florida:

Sticking out into Hurricane Alley, Florida was a land no nation seemed to want. Ruled successively by Spain, France, England, and the Confederate States of America, the state had a backwater reputation. Other than St. Augustine and Pensacola, there were few cities. The area was rural and populated by frontier farmers.

In the late-1800s, changes came when railroads began chugging down both coasts. Industrialist Henry Flagler's Florida Easy Coast Railway even made it all the way to Key West. The Great Florida Land Boom, the build-up to World War II, and the space industry also helped turn Florida into one of the nation's most populous states. In 1900, there were about 500,000 residents. Today, there are more than 20 million, almost 351 people per square mile.

Why do people keep coming? Tourism marketing is one reason. Annually, millions visit Orlando's theme parks and the state's 663 miles of white sand beaches. Taxes generated by the billion dollar vacation industry allow Florida to prosper without a personal income tax. Budget-sensitive retirees have flocked to its cities and shorelines.

If you can ignore the hurricanes, the state's climate is relatively mild. Only five other states are sunnier. Florida's system of state universities and community colleges is sizable, and its big cities are meccas for culture and the arts. Sarasota is a good example. Its Ringling Museum Complex contains internationally known art museum, a circus museum, an historic theater, and a 66-acre garden. Museums near Orlando range from a Zora Neale Hurston gallery to a Madame Tussauds.

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Stats:

Population - 20,612,439 

Persons 65 years old and over - 20%

High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 87% 

Bachelor's degree or higher, persons age 25+ - 27% 

Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 24% 

White persons, not Hispanic - 58% 

Median household income - $47,525 

Median home value - $159,900 

Social Security taxed? No

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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