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Retire in Sebastian, Florida?
Sleepy Sebastian sits along the Indian River Lagoon on southeastern Florida's Treasure Coast, an area so named because so many Spanish ships lost their treasure along the coast during the early 18th-century.
A quiet, simple place, Sebastian is the site of America's first wildlife refuge, Pelican Island, and it is home to the Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway, the most biologically diverse estuary in the country. Needless to say, wildlife is in abundance. The waterfront is clean, grassy and has a modern fishing pier. Surfing, boating and saltwater fishing for redfish, bluefish and Spanish mackerel are favorite pastimes. Restaurants range from cozy, family owned eateries to funky biker dives. Many residents drive to Vero Beach, 13 miles down the road, for services and shopping at the Indian River Mall.
Neighborhoods have a mix of older construction, newer gated communities and spiffy riverfront developments. Six nearby beaches, three with facilities and three without, are often nearly empty on weekdays. Thick, wild and wet, St. Sebastian River Preserve borders the city to the west and is the place for horseback riding, canoeing, hiking and camping.
Population: 26,000 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 50%
Cost of Living: 9% below the national average
Median Home Price: $355,000 See This Sebastian Home in a Waterfront Community for Sale for $275,000.
Climate: Sebastian has a hot, humid climate. Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 60s and 70s. On average, the area receives 55 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes, Sebastian River Medical Center
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes, Sebastian River Medical Center
Public Transit: Yes
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
College Educated: 28%
Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The area is vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storms.
Notes: Sebastian has grown 10% during the last decade. This fact does not please some long time locals. Home prices have increased 40% since a year ago.
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.
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