12 Top Worst Places to Retire in Florida

Florida is known as one of the best places in the country to retire, although there are some worst Places to Retire in Florida with its beautiful weather and ocean views, great golf courses, and sprawling country clubs.

But that does not mean that there are not some places where you shouldn’t consider retiring.

In fact, there are quite a few neighborhoods that should be avoided if you want to avoid spending your golden years suffering from boredom, isolation, and even illness or injury. Here are the worst places to retire in Florida.

The List of Worst Places to Retire in Florida

1. Naples

If you’re looking for a place to retire, Naples might not be the best choice. Naples has some of the worst crime rates in Florida, with reports of car break-ins and burglaries on the rise. In addition, it’s more expensive than other cities on this list.

The median home price is $369,000 which is about $200,000 more than what you would spend for a similar size home in Tampa or Orlando.

And if you’re wondering why housing prices are so high, remember that many people are retiring in Naples and that makes finding an affordable house nearly impossible.

As of 2014, Naples had more than 17,000 retirees over 65 years old. That number is expected to grow by 40% over the next 20 years.

And while they may offer a great golf course or beachfront property, these features don’t make up for all of the cons.

2. North Miami Beach

When you think of Florida, you may not think of retirement. But there are plenty of locations for people looking for a nice place to retire.

Especially if you’re looking for an affordable option. However, North Miami Beach is one of the worst Places to Retire in Florida on the list and it’s not even close.

Sure, some people like the idea that it’s close to Miami and Coral Gables but there’s a lot more than meets the eye. The home prices here are some of the most expensive in all of Florida, making this location one where retirees can’t afford to stay long-term.

Furthermore, crime rates here make this one of the riskiest places to be as well. In 2015 alone, there were over 2,000 violent crimes committed in the area.

It has one of the highest poverty levels out of anywhere else too, so low-income seniors may have trouble affording their housing options.

Finally, despite being near major cities and attractions, they still don’t have public transportation services available at all times which means you’ll need your own car to get around!

3. Miami Gardens

You can’t talk about retirement without mentioning Miami Gardens. The city is one of the worst places to retire because the crime rate is high, and property taxes are high. In addition, there aren’t many things for retired people to do.

There’s no public transportation, and there’s a lack of walkable areas with restaurants and shops.

However, if you’re looking for senior housing or assisted living facilities, this could be a good place to look. It has six different senior communities and four assisted living facilities in close proximity to each other.

Plus, they’re reasonably priced (at least as far as Florida goes). They range from $3,000 per month to $7,500 per month. If you have enough savings and don’t mind a bit of risk, it might be worth considering. But otherwise, stay away.

4. Tamarac

Due to this, there are not many activities available for retirees and you’ll have to drive into neighboring Fort Lauderdale or Miami for nightlife and entertainment. There are also few professional services such as doctors or dentists that cater specifically to retirees.

This small city on the southeast side of town is a place where retirees can enjoy a slower pace of life while being close enough to the major city of Miami.

There are no real attractions and many people find it difficult to get around without a car. It also has one of the highest crime rates in the state and high property taxes.

If you’re looking for an affordable place that is easy for seniors to navigate, then this might be your best bet. The population is mostly middle class, making it more likely for there to be shared community resources available, like libraries and medical centers.

However, all these benefits come at a price: Tamarac’s high rate of crime (especially violent crime), lack of transportation options, plus lack of shopping and entertainment options make it difficult to recommend as a place for seniors to retire.

Still, if you need a less expensive option with good schools and low property taxes, this may be worth considering.

5. Margate

Some of the worst places to retire in Florida are Margate, Fort Lauderdale, and Pembroke Pines. These three cities are considered by many retirees as a retirement wastelands due to the lack of senior-friendly entertainment and cultural attractions.

Margate is a town that has seen its population decline dramatically over the past few decades – from over 33,000 residents in 1990 to just over 16,000 today making it difficult for entrepreneurs who want to start businesses there.

Fort Lauderdale lacks things to do outside of what’s at Sawgrass Mills Mall, which can be an issue for those without transportation or without any desire to go shopping.

The median age in Fort Lauderdale was 49 years old in 2016 according to the Census Bureau. Even though people who live here get more sleep on average than their counterparts nationwide (79% vs 76%), they also report feeling less safe walking alone after dark.

Pembroke Pines doesn’t fare much better when it comes to family-friendliness; in fact, one out of every five families with children under 18 living in this city consists of only one parent with children under 18.

6. Orlando

Orlando has a population of over 140,000 people and is home to some of the most popular theme parks in the world. If you are looking for a place that brings out your inner child, Orlando may be just what you need. However, like any large city, it also has its downsides. With Orlando’s high crime rate, it can be difficult for retirees who have lived a crime-free life for decades to transition into the new environment.

7. Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is a popular tourist destination for snowbirds and retirees, but it’s also one of the worst places to retire. The median cost of living is nearly 15 percent higher than the national average, and rent has increased by more than 30 percent since 2000.

Nearly half of all households in Fort Lauderdale have a mortgage, which means retirees on fixed incomes are struggling to make ends meet.

8. Jacksonville

Jacksonville is the largest city in the U.S. that ranks as one of the worst places for retirement. It has low-paying jobs, a high cost of living, and a lack of amenities for seniors.

In addition, it has higher crime rates than any other city on this list. If you’re considering retiring to Jacksonville, be sure to pack your running shoes! Residents report higher instances of criminal activity than anywhere else in the state, which is a big deterrent for many people looking to retire there.

For example, 40% more robberies occur per capita here versus in Miami. There are also significantly fewer doctors per capita here compared with Fort Myers or Sarasota – something that could come into play should you need medical attention.

9. West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach is one of the most expensive cities in Florida. The cost of living there is 70% higher than the national average. There are also very few places for retirees to find affordable housing. In the past, this city had a large middle-class population and was known as an attractive retirement destination.

However, today’s population is largely composed of wealthy seniors. The median home price in West Palm Beach is $280,000 – four times more than the state’s median home price of $67,700 and nearly three times more than Miami’s median home price of $126,600.

10. Miami

Miami is one of the most expensive places to live in the United States, and it is just as pricey for retirees. In fact, Miami was rated as one of the worst places for retirement because of its high cost of living and crime rate.

The median cost of a home is $365,000, which makes it hard for retirees on fixed incomes to afford it.

And when they do retire there, they are more likely to be victims of crimes like robbery and burglary than in other parts of the country.

A recent study showed that about 22% of residents who were over age 65 were victims of crime, compared to 14% nationwide.

Additionally, according to Sperling’s Best Places website, Miami has some of the nation’s highest rates of violent crime per capita at 24 per 100k residents.

11. Tampa

There are many reasons that Tampa is a terrible place to retire. For one, the cost of living is higher than the national average. The median rent is $1,297 per month and the median home price is $240,000.

Plus, there’s no local public transportation and the weather isn’t ideal for retirees either. On top of all this, crime rates are above average and healthcare costs are expensive too.

12. Cape Coral-Fort Myers

Cape Coral-Fort Myers is a city where the median age is 45.1 years old, and only 5% of people over the age of 65 have a bachelor’s degree or higher. The cost of living is 34% above the national average and there are few opportunities for social interaction.

If you’re looking for someplace that offers good caregiving services, this place might not be it either.

Cape Coral-Fort Myers is a city where the median age is 45.1 years old, and only 5% of people over the age of 65 have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The cost of living is 34% above the national average and there are few opportunities for social interaction.


The Sunshine state is not always a retirement haven. There are some areas of Florida where the cost of living can be so high, coupled with the crime and lack of services, that it becomes nearly impossible for retirees to live comfortably. If you are considering moving to retire in Florida, here are the worst places we recommend avoiding.

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