Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Retire in Sanibel, Florida?
Overview: Just 20 miles south west of Fort Myers on Florida's Gulf Coast, the prosperous, "beachy" town of Sanibel sits on the barrier island named Sanibel Island. It was once an infamous pirates' den but today is one of Florida's top vacation destinations and is renowned for its 15 miles of stunning, white crushed seashell beaches and wildlife refuges.
The 5,200-acre J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge covers much of the island, essentially leaving only the eastern end for humans. Residents enjoy a farmers' market, four delis and grocery stores, a general store, a couple of fun shopping centers, a co-op and many specialty stores. Restaurants include outstanding seafood grilles, top notch steakhouses and island-themed sports bars. Pelicans roam about town, and activities such as shelling, sunbathing, fishing and beachcombing are readily enjoyed. People are often seen bending over while looking for seashells, displaying a posture called the "Sanibel Stoop." Museums include the Sanibel Historical Village, which has exhibits and live presentations.
Residences are large, beautiful and pastel colored. Many are along the water or a golf course.
Population: 7,300 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 75%
Cost of Living: 90% above the national average
Median Home Price: $730,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s with high humidity levels and frequent rainstorms. Winter temperatures are in the 60s and 70s.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but HealthPark MC / Lee Memorial is 10 miles away in Fort Myers and accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but HealthPark MC / Lee Memorial is 10 miles away in Fort Myers and is accredited.
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Way, way below the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: Hurricanes are always a possibility. In fact, Hurricane Irma struck in 2017 and caused some flooding and wind damage.
Notes: Thanks to a causeway to the mainland, tourist traffic is a headache. Racial diversity is minimal. Parking is not allowed on public streets. In-depth shopping takes place in Fort Myers. The town has grown by 30% within the last couple of decades.
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 more golf courses 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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