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Retire in St. James City, Florida?
Overview: Laid back St. James City is an unicorporated residential community on the southern half of southwestern Florida's Pine Island. It is a closely knit place where neighbors know one another.
The community has no beaches and is dotted with mangroves and pine forests. As a result, commercial builders have not been terribly interested in the area, and much of it remains undeveloped, agricultural and rife with wildlife. Building height and density restrictions are in place and have helped keep the entire island in a very natural state. The southern end of St. James City is thick with single family homes, and Pine Island Cove, a 55+ manufactured home community, sits on the northern end. Nearly every residence sits along a canal. There are several marinas, a long bicycle path, a Winn Dixie, a Laundromat, a liquor store and banks but no golf courses. Bars with live bands and fun restaurants come alive at night. Shopping and services are on the mainland, which is accessible via just one road.
Population: 3,800 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 80%
Cost of Living: 30% above the national average
Median Home Price: $345,000
Climate: St. James City has a hot, humid 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 in Ft. Myers, about 12 miles away, accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but HealthPark MC / Lee Memorial in Ft. Myers, about 12 miles away, is accredited.
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: No
Political Leanings: Conservative
Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: Should a hurricane strike, the island is vulnerable. Hurricane Charley struck Pine Island in 2004 and did extensive damage. Irma came ashore in 2017 and also caused damage.
Notes: At least one person has called St. James City a "drinking town with a fishing problem." The population has doubled during the last couple of decades. Pine Island is popular with nature lovers, fishermen, artists, writers and musicians (including Jimmy Buffet).
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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