Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Retire in Pensacola, Florida?
Overview: Pensacola is a deep water seaport on the western end of Florida's Panhandle and began in 1698. It sits along Pensacola Bay and has been ruled by five different countries: Spain, France, Britain, the U.S. and the Confederate States of America. The city's nicknames and mottos include "Redneck Riviera," "America's First Settlement" and "World's Whitest Beaches."
This last nickname about the beaches is why many people live here. This part of Florida is known for its wide, white sand beaches, and Pensacola has its share, although much of the sand is lined by condominiums and other development. The city also has a large military presence and is home to the Pensacola Naval Air Station, which hosts the Blue Angels. The University of Western Florida (15,000 students) is here, too, and it offers athletic events, theater performances, public lectures and more. A naval museum, a large co-op art gallery, a community theater, boat tours and summer concerts are all part of the Pensacola fabric. Downtown is comprised of banks, retailers, offices and such. The Pensacola Seafood Festival and the Pensacola Crawfish Festival are two of the city's most popular events.
Ferry Pass, Bellview and Brent are census designated communities to the north and west of the city and are where most people live. Homes range from very simple ranch ramblers in modest neighborhoods to beautiful, custom-built Mediterranean estates in nicely landscaped areas.
Population: 55,000 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 38%
Cost of Living: 13% below the national average
Median Home Price: $165,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 40s and 50s. On average, the area receives 62 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes
Public Transit: Yes, provided by ECAT
Crime Rate: Slightly above the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
College Educated: 36%
Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The area is susceptible to hurricanes. In 2004, both Florence and Ivan caused flooding and extensive beach damage. In 2005, Dennis caused some flooding.
Notes: Pensacola is racially diverse and has maintained its population during the last decade.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes, although the hurricane threat is real.
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.
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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