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retire

Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!

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Retire in Briny Breezes, Florida?

Overview:   Directly east of Boynton Beach on Florida's southeastern coast, little Briny Breezes is a mobile home park that is an incorporated town. It is one of only two such mobile home towns in Florida and is wedged between the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) and the Atlantic Ocean. The demographic is very mature.

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This tiny place got its start as a strawberry field in the 1920s. The owner of the field began leasing lots to Northerners who had come down to camp for the winter, and in the 1950s, he sold the lots to those campers. In 1963, they in turn incorporated the trailer park into a town with a post office and a mayor. Briny Breezes has not changed much since then. All homes are white colored mobile homes, and they are neatly laid out and tightly packed together. Some back to one of four canals and have a boat dock. The private oceanfront beach is 600 feet long, and the ICW side has 1,100 feet of waterfront. Locals, called Brinyites, also enjoy a clubhouse and a lot of clubs and planned activities.

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The Curtain Raisers produce a theatrical event each season. The Beach Club hosts Wednesday happy hours and has a long, oceanfront deck. The Art League offers painting classes. The Travel Club lets residents give presentations about their recent travel adventures. Town government offices are open three days a week. Restaurants, shops, groceries, banks, gas stations, churches and the like are found next door in Boynton Beach.

Population:  625 (city proper)

Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 90% (the median age is 74)

Cost of Living:  8% above the national average

Median Home Price: $180,000

Climate:  Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 60s and 70s.  On average, the area receives 58 inches of rain per year.

At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients?  No, but Bethesda Memorial in Boynton Beach accepts Medicare patients.

At Least One Accredited by Joint Commission?   No, but Bethesda Memorial in Boynton Beach is accredited.

Public Transit:   No

Crime Rate:   Below the national average

Public Library:   No

Political Leanings:  Liberal

Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement?   Yes

Cons:   The hurricane threat is real. In 1964, Hurricane Isbell caused significant damage. In 2010, Hurricane Wilma did the same. In 2017, Hurricane Matthew caused some flooding. A direct hit from a hurricane would probably destroy Briny Breezes, as many of the homes are older without a lot of upgrades.

Notes:  Many residents are "snowbirds," down from the Northeast and Canada for the winter.   A few years ago, a developer wanted to buy the town for $500 million dollars, making each resident rich.  Alas, the deal fell through at the last minute.  There are 488 homes on 43 acres, and every homeowner owns shares in the town.  Briny Breezes has no racial diversity.

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Recommended as a Retirement Spot?    Yes, although the hurricane threat should be considered.

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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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