expat network

Florida’s Best Locations For Expatriates Looking To Relax And Enjoy Retirement

Florida attracts retirees from all over the world, promising warm weather, beautiful coastlines, and a friendly atmosphere. For those looking to get the most out of life abroad, finding the right spot in the Sunshine State is key. This article explores Florida’s best locations for expatriates who dream of relaxing and enjoying their retirement years to the fullest.

Criteria for Selecting the Best Locations

When considering Florida’s best locations for a serene retirement, several factors come into play.

  • Weather, of course, is a big draw with Florida’s year-round sunshine.
  • But there’s more to it. The cost of living can vary widely across the state, affecting how comfortably one can live on retirement savings.
  • Healthcare, a critical concern for retirees, is top-notch in certain Florida cities, providing peace of mind for those in their golden years.
  • Additionally, having a strong community and social life is essential for expatriates looking to make new friends and connections.
  • Lastly, recreation and leisure activities, from beach outings to golfing, enrich the retirement experience.
Picture of a retired couple.
Certain criteria were used to determine Florida’s best locations for retirees.

Top Florida Locations for Expat Retirees

Florida has 411 cities and numerous towns and villages. Picking Florida’s best locations will take time and consideration, but we will give you a few good options.


Sarasota stands out as a top choice for retirees. Beyond its stunning beaches, Sarasota offers a rich arts scene, including opera, ballet, and museums.

The cost of living here is manageable for many retirees, even though it is 6% higher than the state average and 4% more expensive than the national average. The median home price is $480,000, while rent averages $2,100 monthly. Utilities average $160 a month, which is similar to the cost of utilities in other cities.

The healthcare system is robust, featuring several highly rated hospitals, the leading example of which is Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

Boynton Beach

Boynton Beach, located in Florida’s Palm Beach County, offers an attractive blend of affordability and quality living for retirees planning to move to Boynton Beach.

  • The cost of living in Boynton Beach is relatively competitive with other coastal areas in Florida, making it a financially feasible option for many retirees. The median home price hovers around $423,000, and there are various housing options, from beachfront condos to single-family homes in gated communities. For those looking to rent, a one-bedroom apartment averages about $2,750 per month.
  • Grocery expenses in Boynton Beach generally align with the national average, with a retired person likely spending around $3,563 on food per year.
  • Healthcare is another highlight, with Bethesda Hospital East and numerous specialized clinics offering comprehensive medical services.
  • Entertainment in Boynton Beach is abundant, from the tranquil Oceanfront Park Beach to the lively Boynton Harbor Marina, offering boating, fishing, and waterfront dining experiences.

St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg presents a unique blend of cultural and recreational activities. Home to the renowned Salvador Dali Museum and the Mahaffey Theater, it caters to arts and culture enthusiasts. The waterfront parks and mild weather are perfect for outdoor activities, while the community’s inclusiveness ensures expatriates quickly find their place.

For many looking to retire abroad, the reasons people move abroad often include the desire for a peaceful lifestyle and the chance to experience new cultures. In St. Petersburg, these desires are met with open arms, providing retirees with an environment where they can enjoy the arts, engage in outdoor activities, and be part of a welcoming community.

A picture of a location in Florida.
This place is great for art and culture lovers.

The Villages

  • Unique Retirement Community: The Villages stands out as a fully developed retirement haven. It’s not just a city; it’s a lifestyle designed explicitly for retirees, with a focus on active living.
  • Amenities and Activities: Residents enjoy access to golf courses, swimming pools, and hundreds of social clubs. There’s always something to do, from arts and crafts to Zumba classes.
  • Healthcare and Safety: The Villages also boast comprehensive healthcare facilities tailored to seniors’ needs, ensuring residents’ peace of mind. The highest-rated hospital in the area is UF Health The Villages Hospital.

As we consider the moving abroad checklist, The Villages ticks all the boxes for retirees seeking a comprehensive and engaging lifestyle in their new home abroad. It’s a prime example of a location that caters to its residents’ social, recreational, and healthcare needs.


Clearwater is renowned for its breathtaking beaches and clear, shallow waters, making it a paradise for nature lovers and beachgoers alike.

  • Housing and Rent: As for housing, the median home value in Clearwater is about $362,000, which is accessible for many retirees looking to purchase a property. For those preferring to rent, a one-bedroom apartment in the city center averages around $2,500 per month, while it drops to about $2,000 per month outside the city center.
  • Food Costs: Groceries in Clearwater align with national averages. Depending on lifestyle and dietary preferences, a person can expect to spend $46 per day on food.
  • Healthcare Costs: Florida boasts a high-quality healthcare system. In Clearwater, retirees have access to top-rated facilities like Morton Plant Hospital. While specific healthcare costs can vary widely based on insurance and individual needs, Florida’s lack of state income tax can make healthcare expenses more manageable for many retirees.
  • Entertainment Options:
    • Beaches: Clearwater Beach is a major draw, offering white sandy beaches perfect for relaxing or engaging in water sports.
    • Cultural Events: The Clearwater Jazz Holiday is an annual event that attracts visitors from all over. It’s a four-day festival celebrating jazz music, with past performers including famous names like the Avett Brothers and Chicago.
    • Outdoor Activities: The Pinellas Trail provides over 45 miles of biking and walking paths. Additionally, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium offers educational and volunteer opportunities, making it a favorite among retirees interested in marine life conservation.

In terms of financial planning when retiring abroad, Clearwater presents an attractive option for those who seek a balance between a laid-back lifestyle and the convenience of city living without breaking the bank.

A park in Clearwater.
Clearwater is affordable for many retirees from abroad.

Which One Of Florida’s Best Locations Will You Choose?

Florida’s best locations are ideal destinations for expatriates planning their retirement. These areas are perfect for those looking to enjoy a relaxed and enriching retirement. By choosing Florida for retirement, you’re discovering a new way to experience the best of your golden years.