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Retire in Weeki Wachee, Florida?
Overview: Weeki Wachee and North Weeki Wachee are essentially one community in northwestern Florida at the southern end of the Big Bend region. About an hour north of Tampa, the Weeki Wachee area is south and east of the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area, which is adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico.
The area grew up around the famous Weeki Wachee Springs tourist attraction. This synchronized underwater mermaid show began in 1947 and reached its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s. Even Elvis Presley, Esther Williams and Arthur Godfrey came to Weeki Wachee to see the performance. These days, vacationers still come not to just see mermaids but also a wildlife show, boat tours and more. This tourism is what keeps Weeki Wachee economically viable. Businesses - dentists, hardware stores, pizza places, liquor stores, dry cleaners, veterinarians and the like - are spread out along a couple of main arteries as there is no defined downtown. The Shoppes at GlenLakes is a nicer strip mall with a Publix.
Somewhat haphazard neighborhoods with older ranch ramblers mingle with new, well tended custom home subdivisions. Glen Lakes is a large, gated golf community.
Population: 8,200 (Weeki Wachee and North Weeki Wachee combined)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 64%
Cost of Living: 5% above the national average
Median Home Price: $225,000
Climate: This area 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 Oak Hill Hospital, 12 miles away in Brooksville, accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Oak Hill Hospital in Brooksville, 12 miles away, is accredited.
Public Transit: Yes, but it very limited.
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The area has lost 3% of its population in the last decade. That rate would accelerate if Weeki Wachee Springs were to close.
Notes: Weeki Wachee really has no population per se. Nearly everyone lives in North Weeki Wachee, which abuts Weeki Watchee.
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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