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Retire in Goodland, Florida?
Overview: The tiny, closely-knit village of Goodland, nearly completely surrounded by water and wilderness, makes its home on the outlying eastern edge of Marco Island in southwestern Florida. The only way to get here is via State Road 92/892 or by boat.
Goodland was established after WWII by the Barron Collier Company, a Florida land developer. The name Goodland came from the land being good for farming and the shores being good for fishing. Today, the town is mostly residential with manufactured homes, cottages and triple story residences with triple balconies. Homes are not packed together like sardines and most of them, except for a few in the middle of the village, back to a canal. Life is relaxed and all about the water. The Goodland Boating Park has slips and a fishing station, and there are two marinas. Cultural amenities are few, but the burgeoning Goodland Arts Alliance's Harbor Arts Festival is in its fifth year.
The Old Marco Lodge has great seafood, and Stan's Idle Hour Restaurant has live music, dancing and is always packed on weekends. Stan's also hosts the town's annual Mullet Festival. The Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park sits across Goodland Bay. Called the "Amazon of North America," this 20-mile swamp forest is a haven for hiking and wildlife viewing.
Population: 295 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 65%
Cost of Living: 24% above the national average
Median Home Price: $330,000
Climate: This area has a tropical climate. Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, winter temperatures are in the 50s, 60s and 70s. On average, the area receives 55 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Physicians Regional, 13 miles away in Naples, accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Physicians Regional Medical, 13 miles away in Naples, is accredited.
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Well below the national average
Public Library: No
Political Leanings: Very conservative
Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: Hurricanes are always a possibility, and the town suffered wind and flooding damage during Hurricane Irma in 2017.
Notes: Shopping and services are in Marco Island, which is the town on the island of the same name and five miles away. Goodland has doubled in size within the last decade or two.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes, although amenities are limited.
Named Pascua Florida by Juan Ponce De Leon, the Sunshine State did not enter the Union until March 3, 1845. Balmy mild winters began attracting snowbirds to the state in the late 19th century. Retirees continue to flock to the state. It's not hard to see why tourism has become the leading industry.
International trade and citrus are also major contributors to the state's economy. Eighty percent of the nation's oranges and grapefruits are grown here, and 40 percent of all U.S. exports to Latin America flow through Florida.
Florida's landscape includes uplands and coastal plains. It contains more than 11,000 miles of waterways and about 4,500 islands spread across 10 acres.
The state has 1,250 more golf courses than any other state in the Union. The 47 mile Pinellas Trail is the longest urban trail on the east coast. Orlando theme parks attract more visitors than any other theme parks in the U.S. The only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles co-exist is in National Everglades Park.
Florida, particularly the Keys and the Gulf Coast, were struck by Category 4 Hurricane Irma in early September, 2017. Towns will rebuild, perhaps this time with climate change in mind, making them safer and better equipped to handle major hurricanes going forward.
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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