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Retire in Steinhatchee, Florida?
Overview: On the eastern Florida Panhandle, the marshy Big Bend Coast borders Apalachee Bay. In this very rural area, the relaxed "Old Florida" fishing village of Steinhatchee makes its home. It sits at the mouth of the Steinhatchee River, which feeds into the Gulf, and is known for its scallops.
Locals are quick to point out that the town is called "Steen-hatchee" and that the name is from the Native American words for "river of man." Tourists come to fish for trout, redfish, black sea bass and mangrove snapperand, and they often stay at the quaint Steinhatchee Landing Resort. The river is dotted with seafood eateries, a motel here and there, a couple of marinas and a lot of boat docks as many homes sit next to the water or just back from it. Riverfront properties are large and elegant, while dwellings on the northern side of Riverside Drive, the road that parallels the river, are modest ranch ramblers and manufactured homes. Most sit in slightly bedraggled, low density neighborhoods dotted with oak trees, palm trees and ferns.
Services are not overwhelming, but most of the basics are here, including a food market, a hardware store, a doctors' office, a veterinarian, etc. The annual Steinhatchee Fiddler Crab Festival is always a popular event.
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 80% (63% of locals are age 65 or better)
Cost of Living: 10% below the national average
Median Home Price: $130,000
Climate: This area has a humid subtropical climate. Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 50s and 60s. The area receives 60 inches of rain each year on average.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No. The nearest hospital that accepts Medicare patients is Doctors Memorial Hospital in Perry, 35 miles away.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No. The nearest accredited hospital is 48 miles away in Live Oak.
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Slightly above the national average
Public Library: Yes, the Little House Library
Political Leanings: Very conservative
Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: This area is prone to storm surges, and Hurricane Hermine caused damage in September, 2016.
Notes: Steinhatchee is pretty much off the map with just two country roads in and out. The nearest substantial population center is Gainesville, 80 miles to the east. Tallahassee is 95 miles away to the northwest. Although there is no local hospital, Doctors Memorial Hospital does have a clinic in Steinhatchee. Racial diversity has not yet arrived in this little fishing village. Although the official crime stats are above average, one theft in a town this size can skew numbers. Residents say that they feel safe.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes, although the distance to a hospital is a concern.
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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