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Sarasota area ranked third in top retirement destinations

In a study of the nation's top 100 retirement destinations, the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton metro is third and is one of five Florida metro areas in the top 20.

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Five of the nation's top 20 metropolitan areas in which to retire are in Florida, according to research by personal storage provider StorageCafe. It’s also the only state in the Southeast United States to make the list.

The North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton metro area ranks  at No. 3, two behind Fort Myers-Cape Coral as the No. 1 retirement destination in the nation. 

StorageCafe ranked all of the nation’s 100 largest metros, analyzing data culled from multiple sources including county health rankings, the FBI, U.S. Census Bureau, Council for Community and Economic Research, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Weather Source, Zillow, Trust for Public Land, World Population Review and Yardi Matrix.

According to StorageCafe, in the Sarasota metro:

  • Seniors make up 63% of the adult population and residents have an average life expectancy of 81.4 years.
  • On average, retirement income is $36,157 a year, the fifth-highest among the places analyzed.
  • Of the metro’s multifamily accommodations, 10% is composed of age 55-plus communities designed specifically to cater to a more relaxed, engaging lifestyle.
  • Offers one of the best safety scores out of the 100 metros ranked.

Additionally, seniors in Florida benefit from a favorable tax climate with incomes, benefits and inheritances not subject to state taxes. 

That is among the reasons three other metros — Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater at No. 8, Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach at No. 17, and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach at No. 18 — join the local metro in the top 20.

Perhaps surprisingly, the Northeast fared well in the study, boasting nine of the top 20 retirement metros. Ohio and Wisconsin also have two metros each on that list. Texas and California each have one metro in the rankings.

StorageCafe considered average incomes, health factors, crime statistics, housing and food costs and local tax burden. Also considered was how well metros provide providing age-restricted communities — an indication of a city’s preparedness for senior living.



Andrew Warfield

Andrew Warfield is the Sarasota Observer city reporter. He is a four-decade veteran of print media. A Florida native, he has spent most of his career in the Carolinas as a writer and editor, nearly a decade as co-founder and editor of a community newspaper in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.