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retire

Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!

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Retire in Hobe Sound, Florida?

Overview:   In 1696, a ship carrying British Quakers sank off of Florida's southeastern coast, and the religious group was forced ashore. It was the first time that white men had set eyes upon the idyllic area now known as Hobe Sound.

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Today, this quiet riverfront town has a downtown with electic shops and boutiques. Residents have eight golf courses on which to play, and restaurants include catfish houses, BBQ places, steakhouses and delis. Housing is an interesting mix. Established, organic neighborhoods have small, older homes on leafy streets. Other areas have newly planted trees and expensive, celebrity-owned waterfront estates. Eaglewood is a 55+ community with single family homes and town homes. Hobe Sound's best feature may be its secret beach, a long stretch of pristine, nearly empty sand within the nearby Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge. There is no development around, and the only amenities are an observation platform and a parking area. The views of unspoiled sand, surf and sky are breathtaking.

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Other nature areas are close at hand, too. Rambling, 11,000-acre Jonathan Dickinson State Park has camping areas. Saint Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park has a scenic kayak trail. Blowing Rocks Preserve is a popular snorkeling destination.

Population: 13,500

Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better:  58%

Cost of Living:  8% above the national average

Median Home Price: $229,000   

Climate: This area sits in a transition zone between tropical and subtropical climates.   Summer and early fall are hot and humid.  Late fall and winter are less humid and cooler.  On average, the area receives 58 inches of rain per year.

At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients?  No, but Martin Memorial, seven miles away, in Stuart accepts Medicare patients.

At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission?    No, but Martin Memorial, seven miles away in Stuart, is accredited.

Public Transit:   There is a dial-a-ride van service but no fixed public bus route.

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:   Hobe Sound has grown by 15% within the last 10 years.

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Recommended as a Retirement Spot?   Yes

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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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