Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Once a Pirates' Lair, Friendly Stuart Sits on Southeastern Florida's Famed Treasure Coast and Has a Thriving Boating Culture
Friendly, mellow Stuart sits on southeastern Florida's famed Treasure Coast and was once a pirates' lair. Today it has a thriving boating and charter fishing industry and is known as the "Sailfish Capital of the World."
Tourists come to dive and sail as well as fish. New residents have come, too, increasing Stuart's population by 5% within the last decade. Yet, unlike some of its neighbors to the south, Stuart is not overbuilt. It has a nice riverwalk, and its cute downtown has awning-draped shops, galleries, eateries and a farmers' market. There is a shopping mall, and national retailers include Target and Publix. The Elliott Museum, the Barn Theatre and the Lyric Theatre provide a touch of culture. The Stuart Boat Show happens every January and showcases 500 boats of every shape and size. Long, clean and white, Stuart Beach has modern amenities and is often uncrowded.
Housing includes everything from waterfront mansions and modest condominiums to concrete block ranch ramblers. The Monterey Yacht and Country Club has affordable 55+ homes and a yacht club.
Population: 18,000 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 54%
Cost of Living: 5% above the national average
Median Home Price: $440,000
Climate: Stuart sits in a transition zone between tropical and subtropical climates. Summers and early fall are hot and humid. Late fall and winter are less humid and cooler. Hurricane season is from early June to late November.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes
Public Transit: Yes, provided by Martin County
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
College Educated: 24%
Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: Four hurricanes have brushed Stuart since 2004, including Matthew in 2016, Dorian in 2019 and Ian in 2022. Homeowners' insurance is expensive.
Notes: Home prices have increased 20% since last year. The population has grown 12% during the last decade.
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.
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