20 Best Places to Retire in Florida on a Budget

Searching for the best places to retire in Florida on a budget? Then you are on the right page. Florida is a state in the U.S surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean.

Due to the beautiful scenery to be enjoyed and deep involvement in cultural and creative activities, it is seen as expensive.

There are however places in Florida where you can enjoy all these benefits on a budget as a retiree. Now, let’s look at the list of best places to retire in Florida on a budget.

Here is a list of the Best Places to Retire in Florida on a Budget

  1. Jacksonville 
  2. Gainesville
  3. Lakeland
  4. Fort Myers
  5. Kissimmee, Florida
  6. Cape Coral
  7. New Port Richey, Florida
  8. Edgewater
  9. St. Petersburg, FL
  10. Titusville
  11. Homosassa Springs, Florida
  12. Tallahassee, Florida
  13. Ocala, Florida
  14. Tallahassee, Florida
  15. Pensacola, Florida
  16. Daytona Beach, Florida
  17. Palm Bay
  18. Melbourne
  19. Mount Dora
  20. Dunedin

1. Jacksonville 

Jacksonville, Florida, should be at the top of your list of best places to retire in Florida on a budget if you’re hoping to migrate to a region with a warmer climate and plenty of sunshine all year round.

Jacksonville, one of the best retirement communities in Florida, is a resolute top pick among retirees and families alike.

It truly has something to offer everyone. Jacksonville, Florida, was ranked as the sixth best place to retire in 2020 by U.S. News & World Report, which also noted the city’s accessibility to public transportation, low unemployment, and diverse cultural and aesthetic features. 

Low cost of living and a friendly tax environment with no state income tax, exemptions for food and medicine, a comparatively low sales tax, and little to no estate or inheritance tax.

Property tax exemptions may also be available to some retirees. Jacksonville, Florida, experiences nice weather as well, with average summer temperatures of 82.2°F and winter lows of 56.7°F.

And given its many positive attributes, Jacksonville draws visitors of all ages. You’ll find an intergenerational mix that helps keep life bright and energetic with 14% of the population being over 65 and 25% being under 20.

2. Gainesville 

Living in Gainesville, Florida is a reasonable option for best places to retire in Florida on a budget.

When compared to the national average, the city’s cost of living is 8.7% lower, which is a major benefit if you are moving from a more costly place.

Expect to live comfortably on a $58,000 annual paycheck. You can also benefit from the lack of a state income tax by residing in the Sunshine State. The extra money you’ve been saving adds up quickly and can be put toward the down payment on your ideal house in Gainesville.

Gainesville has some of the top healthcare facilities in the nation, and healthcare costs there are also 1% lower than the national average.

Gainesville’s economic benefits are emphasized by average daily temperatures of 70°F and a strategic location close to both the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastlines.

Retirees are drawn to areas with convenient transportation options. Greater Gainesville attracts retirees because of its top-rated bicycle trails, 40 city bus lines, and Gainesville Regional Airport.

3. Lakeland

Living and retiring in Lakeland are very cheap. The cost of living in Lakeland is around 13% less than the national average, and the city’s income per capita is approximately 30% lower.

In addition to being lower than many other Florida towns, Lakeland’s property taxes are around $427 less than the $2375 national average. Additionally, there is no state income tax and a low 7.0 percent sales tax in Lakeland.

If you’re thinking of retiring in this interior region of Florida with 38 lakes, waterfront property doesn’t have to be expensive.

Despite being only an hour’s drive from Orlando and Tampa, Lakeland offers much more affordable housing than these bigger towns.

The average monthly mortgage payment for retirees in Lakeland is $1,251. Renters pay, on average, $978 per month. Lakeland retirees benefit from pleasant winters, but they also have to deal with hot summers and high air conditioning costs.

Property values in Lakeland, Florida range from under $100,000 to over $1,000,000, with a median home value of about $288,000 overall. As a result, you can see that everyone can find something.

4. Fort Myers

The low cost of living in Fort Myers, Florida, is only one of the city’s many advantages. Living in Fort Myers is appealing to young professionals, families, and seniors alike thanks to a cost of living that is 6% lower than the state average and 4% lower than the national average.

The city, which has been ranked as one of the fastest-growing in the country, has experienced both rapid expansion and rising housing costs in recent years.

However, despite all of this expansion, housing costs are still seen as being lower than the national average.

Living in Fort Myers offers residents all the advantages of southwest Florida at a lower cost. Having a small-town atmosphere, and a developing downtown area, more and more visitors are drawn to the neighborhood by the nearby restaurants and businesses.

5. Cape Coral

Many people believe that living in Florida is expensive, but Cape Coral is surprisingly inexpensive. In this lovely neighborhood, living expenses are far cheaper than those nationwide.

In addition, the state doesn’t levy income taxes, estate taxes, inheritance taxes, or taxes on intangible property. Additionally, the sales tax is charged at a rate of 6-7.5 percent.

Cape Coral receives a great score for its reputation for safety and a 7 out of 10 rating for pricing.

All seniors make up about 20% of the population. The finest area in Florida to retire on a tight budget may be here.

You might find it interesting to know that it is not at all true what people say about it being an expensive area to live or retire in. You are free to choose from a variety of accommodation options that fit any budget.

The Cape Coral economy is mostly driven by the medical sector. This indicates that access to healthcare is simple.

Hospitals are located in Cape Coral and Fort Myers as part of Lee Health, the largest healthcare system in Southwest Florida.

Veterans can receive medical care at the Lee County VA Healthcare System, which is situated on Diplomat Parkway.

6. Kissimmee, Florida

The cost of living is 10% less than the average cost of living nationwide. The typical pay in the area, your career, and the local real estate market can all affect how much it costs to live there.

The region boasts a booming tourism-based economy with low unemployment and income levels that are comparable to national averages because of its attractiveness and strategic location.

The city offers a wide range of housing choices to suit any budget. Kissimmee’s cost of living is lower than Florida and national averages due to average wages and below-average housing expenditures.

The typical home costs $173,000, and roughly 73,000 people are living there.

The cost of housing in Kissimmee is 29% less than the national average, and the cost of utilities is 5% less than the norm.

Gas prices and transportation costs, such as bus fares, are 1% higher than the national average. The cost of healthcare is 4 percent less in Kissimmee than it is nationwide.

7. New Port Richey, Florida

Florida is well known for being a sanctuary for retirees. In comparison to the national average, the cost of living is 8% cheaper and as such has made it to our list of best places to retire in Florida on a budget.

Its determined tax percentage is lower than the national average. The city’s average computed tax rate is 14.6 percent, which is lower than that of much of Florida and gives retirees the chance to live more comfortably than they may in other places.

Seniors make up 25.5 percent of the population of New Port Richey, which implies retirees make up more than one-quarter of the city. As a result, there are plenty of senior discounts, senior programs, and social opportunities.

8. Edgewater

Edgewater is a distinctive city that has both a landlocked region that borders I-95 and a section of waterfront real estate.

Daytona Beach and Orlando are both reachable in less than an hour by car and are great destinations for day getaways or commutes.

Edgewater offers a variety of environments that naturally encourage outdoor activities. Fishing is a popular activity at George R. Kennedy Memorial Park, and the region is home to some of the best campgrounds in the state. Boating is another well-liked pastime and a viable industry.

Veterans Park is a leisure area where you may go fishing off the pier and have picnics. Whistle Stop Park provides everything you might want if you’re seeking a little extra.

It has racquetball, basketball, and tennis facilities in addition to Little League and adult baseball fields. Additionally, there is a skate park, picnic area, and concession stand so you won’t run out of things to do.

Edgewater features other natural attractions if you’re seeking them. There are many prehistoric locations where you can witness Native American ceremonial grounds’ archaeological remains. If you relocate to Edgewater, there is a lot to discover.

With an average rent of $950 per month and an average home price of $194,000, all these advantages are available at a reasonable cost of living.

9. St. Petersburg, FL 

While it would seem pricey to live by the sea in such a bustling city, St. Petersburg is fairly reasonable.

This is one of the best places to retire in Florida on a budget because housing costs are 7% lower in Florida than the national average and 29% lower than the national average! You might thus locate lovely real estate that is affordably priced when you are looking at properties.

Additionally, the absence of state income tax is one of the many advantages of migrating to Florida. Living in a place where there is no income tax might be a tremendous benefit.

Your dream property in your new city can be purchased with the entire monthly income you have saved.

An average annual salary of $77,000 is advised to live comfortably, which is less expensive than living in Tampa.

The cost of lodging, dining and even entertainment is thought to be lower here than in other cities of a similar size.

10. Dade City, Florida

The cost of living is 13% less than the national average. The least expensive place to live in Florida may be Dade City.

With a typical property price of $122,600 and a median income of $29,000, Another commuter town for Tampa is Dade City, which is perfect for those who want to live in a larger area while working in the city.

The Ocala National Forest or Orlando are options for weekend excursions for locals. Kids and adults can both enjoy the area’s many nature walks and fresh springs.

11. Titusville

Titusville, which lies on the state’s Atlantic coast, with a median household income of $40,000 and a median property value of $160,800.

Because of its proximity to Cape Canaveral, Titusville is home to some of the biggest employers, including NASA and SpaceX.

In comparison to Cocoa Beach, which has greater property values and more tourists each year, Titusville is thought to be a more cost-effective option.

Titusville is a well-liked place to live for people who appreciate taking cruises because it is close to Port Canaveral as well.

12. Homosassa Springs, Florida

The cost of living is 15% less than the national average. Tampa Bay is located north of Homosassa Springs.

Its median home price is $152,500, and its median income is $28,000. Although this town is smaller and located in a more rural area of the state, it is nevertheless simple to travel to downtown Tampa for jobs and entertainment.

Some of the least expensive places to live in Florida may be found in Homosassa and the nearby community of Crystal River. They are renowned for having many manatees.

To snorkel with these gentle giants, tourists come from all around the state, which fuels Homosassa’s thriving tourism industry.

There is a lot of nature to appreciate between the springs and beaches close by.

This community is close to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, which is the location of Florida’s renowned mermaid display.

13. Tallahassee, Florida

Students and retirees can live affordably in the state capital of Florida. Florida State University, which has over 40,000 students and is located in the college town of Tallahassee, offers free course auditing to Florida adults 60 and older.

Retired people may enjoy going to on-campus sporting activities like football games. In Tallahassee, a mortgage-financed property averages $1,358 a month.

The median monthly rent for an apartment is $991. This city in northern Florida is not on the water, although it is close to Apalachee Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

14. Ocala, Florida

A less expensive option for Florida’s seaside towns is Ocala. This city in inland Florida features moderate housing costs and a cheap cost of living.

In Ocala, the median cost of a mortgage-financed home is just $1,099 per month. Rent is much more affordable, with a median monthly cost of $896.

Florida does not have a state income tax, so retirees who work keep more of their earnings.

The most notable features of Ocala are its award-winning horses and equestrian activities and contests. The community makes a great home base for exploring the Ocala National Forest.

15. Pensacola, Florida

Consider retiring to Pensacola if you’re seeking an economical beach retirement in Florida. This city in western Florida lies close to the Gulf of Mexico and the Alabama border on Pensacola Bay.

Retirement years could be spent fishing, sailing, or taking strolls down white-sand beaches in search of dolphins and sea turtles.

Pensacola Beach, Perdido Key, and the Gulf Islands National Seashore are some of the nearby beaches.

It, therefore, has made it to our list of best places to retire in Florida on a budget. Renters pay an average of $1,015 per month, whereas the typical cost of owning a mortgage is $1,305.

Florida has no state income tax, which is advantageous for people who intend to work into their retirement.

16. Daytona Beach, Florida

Daytona Beach offers affordable retirement living near the beach.

The median monthly mortgage payment for homeowners is $1,282. In Daytona Beach, the average rent for an apartment is $1,076 per month.

The NASCAR headquarters are located in this vibrant city, which also regularly stages several sizable motorsports events, so don’t plan on a quiet retirement here. Even some of the white, sandy beaches allow for car driving.

17. Palm Bay

The city was first known as Tillman and was given the name Palm Bay in the 1920s in honor of its sabal palm palms.

The “Space Coast,” which includes Melbourne, Titusville, and Palm Bay, is made up of a sizable and intricate network of barrier islands, beaches, and coastal settlements.

This is because Cape Canaveral and the John F. Kennedy Space Center are situated on the northernmost large barrier islands.

With a median home price of little over $90,000, Palm Bay’s two primary industries—telecommunications and technology—are expanding, yet the area is very affordable.

18. Melbourne

Another city on the Atlantic coast with quick access to Cape Canaveral is Melbourne. Orlando is an hour away and Miami is three hours away from Melbourne.

Like most Florida cities, this town has a sizable tourist population, but it also has a flourishing local community. Melbourne’s median home price is $195,000 and its median wage is $40,000.

Despite the average age of Melbourne’s citizens being 45, younger people have recently moved there as a result of the city’s rapid expansion over the last ten years.

19. Mount Dora

Mount Dora can be the finest place for you if you like to spend your time at charming antique stores or drive through orange groves that are in bloom. The median property price in Mount Dora is $234,000, while the median income is $48,000.

You can spend the weekend boating or snorkeling in the local fresh springs because Mount Dora is surrounded by lakes. For simple access to the amusement parks and airport, it lies to the north of Orlando. Despite having a 51-year-old median age, Mount Dora has enough charm to appeal to everyone.

20. Dunedin

Dunedin is a tiny town on the Gulf Coast, situated north of Clearwater, with quick access to Tampa and St. Petersburg.

Dunedin’s is one of the best places to retire in Florida on a budget with a median annual income of $46,000, while the average property price is roughly $254,000.

The population of Dunedin is primarily older, but this is beginning to change.

This small hamlet has developed into a center for artisans and craft breweries. What are your thoughts about these best places to retire in Florida on a budget?

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