News & Media

3 Fla. Cities in Top 10 ‘Best Places to Retire’ list

U.S. News & World Report: Out of 125 cities ranked, 10 Fla. cities are in the top 50. In top 10: 1) Fort Myers, 2) Sarasota, 5) Port St. Lucie and 6) Jacksonville.

WASHINGTON – U.S. News & World Report released its 2020 Best Places to Retire in the United States list, and all Florida cities were in the top third, with three metros in the top 10.

The magazine says its rankings “offer a comprehensive evaluation of the country’s 125 largest metropolitan areas – up from 100 last year – based on how well they meet Americans’ expectations for retirement, with measures including housing affordability, desirability, health care and overall happiness.”

The report lists four Florida metro areas in its top 10.

Up from No. 2 last year, Fort Myers tops the list at No. 1 due to increases in desirability, health care quality, job market strength and happiness. Sarasota jumps from No. 3 to No. 2 due to increases in desirability, health care and job market scores, despite falling in the areas of happiness and housing affordability.

In addition, two metro areas not previously ranked broke into the top five, including Port St. Lucie, at No. 5 thanks to ranking high due to desirability, happiness scores and retiree tax policy.

At No. 6, Jacksonville was still in the report’s top 10.

2020 U.S. News best places to retire rankings – top 10

1. Fort Myers

2. Sarasota

3. Lancaster, Pa.

4. Asheville, N.C.

5. Port St. Lucie

6. Jacksonville

7. Winston-Salem, N.C.

8. Nashville, Tenn.

9. Grand Rapids, Mich.

10. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

Florida city rankings in U.S. News 2020 report

1. Fort Myers

2. Sarasota

5. Port St. Lucie

6. Jacksonville

14. Miami

15. Lakeland

17. Tampa

19. Melbourne

22. Orlando

33. Pensacola

54. Daytona Beach

“Deciding where to retire is an important part of your life plan,” says Emily Brandon, senior editor for Retirement at U.S. News. “When considering potential retirement spots, you should look for an affordable cost of living, proximity to health care services and a strong economy, especially if you plan to work part-time.”

The 2020 Best Places to Retire were determined based on a methodology that factored in happiness, housing affordability, health care quality, desirability, retiree taxes and job market ratings. These measures were weighted based on a public survey of individuals across the U.S who are nearing retirement age (ages 45-59) and those who are of retirement age (60 or older) to find out what matters most when considering where to retire. Survey respondents said happiness and housing affordability were their most important criteria when selecting a retirement spot. Data sources include the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as U.S. News rankings of the Best Hospitals.

Of the 10 least desirable retirement cities ranked by U.S. News & World Report, five are in California, including the four at the bottom of the list. Of the rest, two are in Louisiana, and one each in Alabama, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

© 2019 Florida Realtors®