Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Retire in St. Cloud, Florida?
Overview: This quiet city sits on the southern shore of East Lake Tohopekaliga in east central Florida. Founded as a retirement town for Union Civil War veterans and known for years as the "Friendly Soldier City," St. Cloud did not incorporate until 1915.
About 28 miles from Orlando, St. Cloud has a cute downtown with brick streets and colorful storefronts that house collectible shops, antique stores and Southern-style restaurants. Every April, the Main Street Association puts on a "Smokin' Blues" festival that features blues, boats and barbeque. "Hipstoric" third Fridays bring people out for sidewalk shopping and food. A popular serpentarium and heritage museum bring people in from neighboring Kissimmee. Lakefront Park features a banquet hall, a bike path, a performance pavilion, beaches, and a nice marina. Hopkins Park has a butterfly and vegetable garden, and the 58-acre Peghorn Nature Park sponsors bluegrass jams. It also has a trail through the wetlands.
The aquatic center is open for laps, lounging, and aqua fit classes. The Osceola Center for the Arts is just minutes away and hosts two theater series, gallery exhibits, and the Osceola Arts Big Band. Neighborhoods are generally well tended and have flowering bushes, palm trees and oak trees dripping with Spanish moss. Homes include Mediterranean-style ranch ramblers, bungalows, Craftsmans and others. Twin Lakes is a stylish 55+ community next to a lake.
Population: 46,000 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 37%
Cost of Living: 10% above national average
Median Home Price: $225,000
Climate: Summer and early fall are hot and humid. Late fall and winter are less humid and cooler. On average, the area receives 48 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by the Joint Commission? Yes
Public Transit: Yes, provided by LYNX
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: St. Cloud Regional Medical Center does not receive very good patient reviews. Osceola Regional Medical Center is nine miles away and has better reviews.
Notes: People seem to like St. Cloud.
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.
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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