Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Hobe Sound, Florida
A Quiet Town on the Southeastern Florida Coast, Hobe Sound Boasts a Cute Downtown and a Secret Beach with Nearly Empty Sand
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.
Today, this quiet riverfront town has a mix of established, organic neighborhoods with small, older homes on leafy streets and newer areas with expensive, celebrity-owned waterfront estates. Eaglewood is a 55+ community with single family homes and town homes. The downtown is dotted with eclectic shops and boutiques, and restaurants include catfish houses, BBQ places, steakhouses and delis. Residents have eight or more golf courses on which to play. Hobe Sound's best feature may be its secret beach, a stretch of pristine, nearly empty sand within the nearby Nathaniel P. Reed Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge. No development is around, and the only amenities are an observation platform and a parking area. The views of unspoiled sand, surf and sky are breathtaking.
Just across the water on Jupiter Island are more beaches, but these are often crowded. Local nature areas include rambling, 11,000-acre Jonathan Dickinson State Park and Saint Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park, which has a scenic kayak trail. Blowing Rocks Preserve is a popular snorkeling destination.
Age 45 or Better: 58%
Cost of Living: 24% above the national average
Median Home Price: $550,000
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
College Educated: 30%
Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: Hurricanes are always a possibility, and Irma did some damage in 2017.
Notes: Hobe Sound has grown 20% within the last decade, and home price have increased 31% since a year ago.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
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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