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Retire in Bay Harbor Islands, Florida?
Overview: Balmy Bay Harbor Islands (BHI) is a sun-soaked town that sits on two small islands along the southeastern Florida coast just east of North Miami. To BHI's east is Bal Harbour, a town on the barrier island that is also home to Miami Beach.
BHI's two islands are packed to the gills with concrete block ranch ramblers on the west island and with apartments and white washed condominiums on the east island. Vintage Condo is a quiet condo community on the east island. Homes on the canal between the two islands or on Biscayne Bay, which separates BHI from the mainland, are larger and have boat docks. Restaurants and retailers, including a cigar shop, some art galleries, beauty salons, a few clothing stores, a couple of jewelers, a mini mart grocery and liquor store, are situated along Kane Concourse, the palm tree-lined, four lane road that connects BHI to Bal Harbour and to the mainland.
More in-depth shopping is next door in either Bal Harbour or in North Miami (Aventura Mall is just seven miles away). The white sands of Bal Harbour Beach are less than a mile away.
Population: 6,000 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 45%
Cost of Living: 22% above the national average
Median Home Price: $300,000
Climate: This area has a humid subtropical climate, meaning two seasons a year. Summer and early fall are hot and humid. Late fall and winter are less humid and cooler.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but nine hospitals are within a 10 mile radius and most accept Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but nine hospitals are within a 10 mile radius and most are accredited.
Public Transit: Yes
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: No
Political Leanings: Liberal
Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: Hurricanes are always a possibility.
Notes: Bay Harbor has a good location in a relatively quiet area close to Miami and is near some beautiful (but crowded) beaches. The town has grown by 25% in the last decade or two and is racially diverse. Taking up the entire island to the south of BHI is Miami's Indian Creek Golf Course.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
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 golf courses, more 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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