Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Retire in Estero, Florida?
Overview: Once inhabited by Native American Calusas and treasure-seeking Spaniards, mellow Estero was founded as a religious colony and Utopian society in the late-1800s. It sits along Estero Bay on the southwestern Florida coast and has been booming, increasing its population nearly tenfold in the last 10 to 20 years.
Although Estero did not flourish as a Utopian society, its mellow character, abundant wildlife and vast opportunities for recreation still make it a desirable place to live. Established neighborhoods with ranch ramblers now coexist with sleek new subdivisions peppered with Mediterranean and Italian architecture. Residents enjoy kayaking, canoeing, boating, fishing and other water activities, as well as weekend festivals and events, golf expositions and the Mound Key paddling tours. Several museums and galleries are devoted to the local Native American and Utopian history. Two large malls provide shopping opportunities. The closest beach is Barefoot Beach, about 10 miles away.
The 10,000-acre Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve on the west side of town is Florida's oldest aquatic nature preserve. NaplesMound Key Archeological State Park, a rich Calusa artifact site, is only accessible by boat, and Koreshan State Historic Site is the site of the original religious settlement.
Population: 32,000 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 72%
Cost of Living: 25% above the national average
Median Home Price: $310,000
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 eight miles south, in Fort Meyers, the Gulf Coast Medical Center accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but eight miles south, in Fort Meyers, the Gulf Coast Medical Center is accredited.
Public Transit: Yes, provided by LeeTran, but it is limited.
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: Hurricanes are always a possibility.
Notes: Estero does not have much of a downtown, and it does not have much racial diversity. Long time residents grumble about the explosive growth.
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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