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Top 10 Cities for Florida Retirement According to Experts

Updated on June 29, 2019
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish has spent 30 years working in medicine, psychology, STEM instruction, and aerospace education for Active USAF Civil Air Patrol.

Melbourne Beach Pier (photos, public domain).
Melbourne Beach Pier (photos, public domain). | Source

Expert Opinions About Retirement

The publication known as 55-Alive! is a well respected publications for people over 50 years old. It suggests a number of places that are better than average for retirement living in America.

Expert recommendation from 55-Alive! often include many states in the union, but also go so far as to suggest good living in Mexico. Some of the most highly recommended locations are in Florida and the five most often held up as wonderful are listed on the map below.

Melbourne FL:
Melbourne, FL, USA

get directions

Gainesville FL:
Gainesville, FL, USA

get directions

Naples FL:
Naples, FL, USA

get directions

Jupiter FL:
Jupiter, FL, USA

get directions

Vero Beach FL:
Vero Beach, FL, USA

get directions

Top 10 Recommended Sunshine State Cities by 55-Alive!

  1. Melbourne: This is also named as one of the "most affordable" retirement cites by This organization also states that Palm Harbor and Jensen Beach are among the Top 20 Most Affordable Cities for retirement.
  2. Gainesville
  3. Naples
  4. Jupiter
  5. Vero Beach
  6. Marco Island
  7. Jacksonville
  8. Ocala
  9. Kissimmee
  10. Tallahassee

Another Five Great Retirement Cities

In additional to the Top Five cities, an additional five also offer good retirement living:

  • Orlando
  • Clearwater
  • St. Petersburg
  • Tampa
  • Palm Beach

Other Recommendations

  • adds one more: Dunedin.
  • US News and World Report suggest Punta Gorda for the health factor.
  • adds all of Brevard County.

Melbourne is the most affordable retirement city in Florida and one of the best places for offering what retirees want.

Highlight on Melbourne, Florida

Melbourne was named as one of the "most affordable" retirement cites by

Melbourne may be the best place to retire in Florida for a number of reasons. For instance, it has been named one of the most affordable cities in the nation for retirement; but retirement jobs are also available for those that wish to continue working in this metro area.

It is located about an hour's drive south of the Kennedy Space Center and is convenient for watching NASA liftoffs in the exciting 21st century of proposed Lunar and Martian exploration beginning in 2018.

In addition, this is the center of the Florida Space Coast, a high-tech hub of Southeastern USA. The city is a little over an hour east of Disney World and has easy access to Highway I-95.

Part of the city lies off the mainland. Two causeway bridges provide access to this scenic area. At over 78,000 population, the city is not overly large and lends less stress to life than do large urban metroplexes, as well as offering its enjoyable sightseeing attractions.

Many senior retirement centers are similar to upscale planned communities and many of these centers offer anything from Independent Living in apartments or bungalows to Full-Time Nursing Care, each in different areas of the dwelling complex.

Top Retirement Communities in Melbourne

  • Best information about lower cost, good housing off highway I-95 is found at Windwood Apartments. This complex offers laundry facilities, a Clubhouse, and High Speed Internet and from 300 to 900 square feet of living space.
  • Hibiscus Court at 540 East Hibiscus Blvd Melbourne FL 32901. Website:
  • Kisco Senior Living: The Fountains at Melbourne at 4451 Stack Blvd., Melbourne FL 32901.
  • Quail Run Retirement at 2445 Eber Blvd., Melbourne FL 32904. Website:
  • Senior Lifestyles: This location includes wellness programs and the School of Culinary Arts that provides experience and ongoing training for chefs.
  • Senior Assisted Living: Brookdale Melbourne at 1765 W Hibiscus Blvd. Call (321) 244-2662

Senior Services Centers of the Space Coast

Brevard County Senior Center At Wickham Park

  • Senior Citizen Center at 2785 Leisure Way, Melbourne FL. Call· (321) 255-4496

Greater Palm Bay Senior Center

  • 1275 Culver Dr. NE in Palm Bay FL. Call (3210 724-1338

Martin Anderson Senior Center

  • 1025 South Florida Ave. in Rockledge FL. Call (321) 631‑7549

North Brevard Senior Center.

  • 909 Lane Ave. in Titusville FL. Call (321) 268‑2333

Greater Palm Bay Senior Center:
1275 Culver Dr NE, Palm Bay, FL 32907, USA

get directions

Brevard County Senior Center At Wickham Park:
2785 Leisure Way, Melbourne, FL 32935, USA

get directions

Martin Anderson Senior Center:
1025 Florida Ave, Rockledge, FL 32955, USA

get directions

North Brevard Senior Center.:
909 Lane Ave, Titusville, FL 32780, USA

get directions

Taxes in Florida and Melbourne

The following link discloses all state tax information:

Excerpt of the Law:

"Other Taxes and Fees"

Florida does NOT impose the following taxes:

  • Personal income tax
  • Inheritance tax
  • Gift taxes
  • Intangible personal property taxes

However, there are other taxes and fees that, in certain counties or some circumstances, Florida residents may be required to pay. These include:

  • Convention development tax
  • Local option tourist tax
  • Fuel taxes
  • Communications services tax
  • Gross receipts tax
  • Lead-acid battery fee
  • New tire fee
  • Motor vehicle fee (Lemon Law)
  • Rental car surcharges

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Racing for all ages.Andretti Thrill Park
Racing for all ages.
Racing for all ages. | Source
Andretti Thrill Park
Andretti Thrill Park | Source

Melbourne Attractions

  • Brevard Zoo | Melbourne, Florida

    Brevard Zoo is a small zoo that does big things. Our mission is 'Wildlife Conservation through Education and Participation.'

  • Andretti Thrill Park: This six-acre amusement park is named after the famous Andretti racing family, especially multiple cup winner Mario Andretti, his son Michael, and his grandson Marco. Of course, two GoKart tracks are favorites among visitors and many racers started out on GoKarts.
  • Baytree National Golf Links

    Baytree National Golf Links in Melbourne, Florida, offers you one of the premier playing opportunities on Florida's famous Space Coast, featuring a Gary Player Signature Course that will impress you with its wonderful conditions and spectacular tests

  • The Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts in Melbourne: 3865 N Wickham Rd, Melbourne, Florida 32935. Music, ballet, holiday events.
  • Melbourne Harbor Marina in Melbourne, Florida, located on central Florida's East Coast on the Intracoastal Waterway and the Indian River Lagoon. 2210 South Front Street, Melbourne, Florida 32901
  • Melbourne International Film Festival: Movies, events, festival profile

A historic landmark: The William H. Gleason House.
A historic landmark: The William H. Gleason House. | Source

Space Coast Harbor City

Melbourne is nicknamed the Harbor City as a reflection of its location on the eastern coast of Florida, about 24 miles south of Cape Canaveral. Beeches, waterfronts, and harbors offer numerous recreational activities to residents and visitors.

Several State Parks and Conservation Areas are located within half an hour's drive time as well. In case of severe inclement weather and hurricanes, the city is well prepared with a system of services that offer

Within an hour's journey to Kennedy Space Center, Melbourne makes the ideal retirement spot for hobbyists that enjoy astronomy and space exploration events. The research division of the center is involved in remarkable projects that include wildlife and agriculture as well as weather and space travel.

For Baby Boomers that grew up on Walt Disney shows about space exploration and were hooked on the subject - like actor Tom Hanks who portrayed astronaut Jim Lovell in Apollo 13 - Melbourne is a dream come true.

At one time, NASA operated a short project that studied seniors and space travel and today, privatized space travel is in the grasp of seniors in the near future. Kennedy offers attractions for all ages, making it a comprehensive educational and recreational complex for the community as well a center for NASA projects.

Melbourne Beach Area.
Melbourne Beach Area. | Source

Melbourne Workforce Status

Melbourne city officials are joined by NASA, Disney, higher education facilities, and local businesses in order to promote the development of new jobs and new career fields to boost the city and state economy.

Research and employment internships help to expand the workforce and increase the quality of living in Melbourne. Retirees that want to work can also find employment in the area.

The most frequently listed job opportunities are in Healthcare, Finance, and IT (Information Technology/computers).

Top 15 Jobs in Melbourne Through 2024

  1. Construction Laborers
  2. Construction Trades Workers like helpers and others.
  3. Nursing, Psychiatric, and Home Health Aides
  4. Customer Service Representatives
  5. Healthcare Support Staff
  6. Registered Nurses: RN, BSN, MSN, NP
  7. Health Diagnosing and Treating Staff: Doctors, Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, Dentists, etc.
  8. Health Techs
  9. Combined Food Preparers and Servers, like fast food, delis, and casual dining.
  10. Retail Salespersons
  11. Cooks and Other Food Preparers
  12. Installation, Maintenance, and Repair
  13. Information and Record Clerks
  14. Food and Beverage Servers
  15. Primary, Secondary, and Special Education Teachers K-12.

Largest Local Employers

  1. Harris Corporation: Communications for public and private entities.
  2. Northrup Grumman: Aerospace and Defense; NASA Commercial Crew
  3. United Space Alliance: Owned by Boeing (who sells aircraft to China) and Lockheed Martin, both of which are in the NASA Commercial Crew.
  4. Brevard Board of Education
  5. Health First: Healthcare
  6. Intersil Corporation: Integrated circuits
  7. MC Assembly: PC parts and assemblies
  8. Space Gateway Support
  9. Rockwell Collins Inc.: Aircraft communications; NASA Commercial Crew
  10. Patrick US Air Force Base
  11. Sea Ray Boats: Manufacturing
  12. MIMA: Healthcare
  13. Florida Tech: Major college
  14. Dictaphone: Electrical manufacturing.
  15. Florida Today: News media.


Colleges and Universities

The system of Higher Education in and around Melbourne includes many community opportunities for classes and trips in conjunction with NASA, Kennedy Space Center, and other attractions.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Patty Inglish MS

Comments, Additions, and Experiences

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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      4 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Hi Linda Robinson60 - Thanks for visiting here! There's a lot to like about Florida, despite some high humidity!

    • Linda Robinson60 profile image

      Linda Robinson 

      4 years ago from Cicero, New York

      Hi Patty I really enjoyed your fun attention grabbing pack filled hub with so much incredible and interesting and very detailed content. So nice meeting you. I look forward to reading many of your hubs. Linda

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      5 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Thanks for your uplifting comment, Debbie! I've visited some 55+ communities and think they are pretty good places to live - better than high-rise "retirement homes" - or short ones, too.Florida sounds more and more like a very good retirement state.

    • profile image

      Debbie Mathers 

      5 years ago

      Hi there,

      This was a really great post for those trying to decide where to retire in Florida. Melbourne, Marco Island and Ocala are all great places to consider. Overall, I think Florida is the very best state to retire in. You can’t beat the weather!

      I myself was very interested in an active adult community in Delray Beach. I love to play tennis, and my husband loves to golf, so it was important to us to be around others who felt the same. 55 plus communities are really great options for retirees, and there are tons to choose from in Florida.

      Thanks again for your post! It will be very helpful for plenty of folks.



    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      6 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Florida looks better all the time, considering the snow and ice most of the rest of the US received - except California.

    • poetryman6969 profile image


      6 years ago

      Retiring near water would be cool.

    • profile image

      James T 

      7 years ago

      These are some great beaches in Florida and also good places to retire in Florida. I can see the allure of Florida for retirement, green, warm and it's just a nice place to be to relax and spend your last years. My grandparents just retired to a nice city on the coast right outside of Orlando- Palm Bay, so glad it is on your list! I was there and went to some great places, went golfing and walked the beaches. I stayed at the Palm Bay Hotel as well and the prices were beyond reasonable!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Thanks for the link - prices look reasonable.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      There are so many great places to retire in Florida, it is crazy! My parents recently retired to the Melbourne area in Palm Bay and they love it so much. Slow paced, great community and the weather is wonderful year round. Whenever I go visit them I love the hotel they set me up with, the Palm Bay Hotel ( Cheap and large, those pools are amazing when you aren't in the mood for the beach!

    • bredandagnes profile image


      8 years ago from Ireland

      just returned from a visit to Viera Melbourne and I have to agree-would love to retire there.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Florida has always interested me and seems a fun place to retire. I am glad this Hub brought good memories back to you!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Many years ago, I lived in Boca Raton, palm beach florida. This Hub has brought back some great memories.

    • Dr Rockpile profile image

      Dr Rockpile 

      9 years ago from USA

      I'd love to have a place in the Kissimmee/Orlando area. A great spot for visiting grandchildren. :)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      excellent collection

      All The Best for your future hubs

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Nice hub,lots of great places to retire in Florida because of environmental factors.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      rebekahELLE - Thanks for your experiences Palm Harbor and Sarasota. I'm at least going to have a vacation arund Florida, if not eventually to move there.

      bryanmccarthy - Thanks! I especailly like the idea of being n the Space Coast where the space exploration mecca is centered - and soon, a commerical part to the spaceport.

    • bryanmccarty profile image


      10 years ago

      How, what a great hub! I hope you are getting a hundred people a day to this hub because it is one of the best ones I have read yet!

    • rebekahELLE profile image


      10 years ago from Tampa Bay

      Patty, another great hub and so helpful! I live very close to Palm Harbor. It's a nice area and so central to everything. Depending on how close one lives to the Gulf, there is the breeze from the water. Yes, it is how and humid during the summer, but actually not too much more than the midwest, probably because we're so close to the Gulf. Sarasota is nice also, probably a bit more expensive than Palm Harbor. But It's a great cultural area of Florida, as well as Tampa. :)

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Sandyspider - I'm ready to go now, because of snow clogging traffic here!

      Don - I'll take a look at those cities as well. Florida is sounding better all the time.

      A friend retired to a part of Central Texas at Christmas, a cold snap hit, and the furnace went out. Not as warm as expected!

    • dusanotes profile image


      10 years ago from Windermere, FL

      Thank you doe this exceptional Hub. Might I add Sarasota/Bradenton as a great retirement place. Specifically, I believe Sarasota is marvelous. Bradenton isn't a great city, but it has one great retirement community that makes up for its deficiencies and that is a place where we lived for several years, Lakewood Ranch. We built a home there on a large pond. Great memories of it. A lot to do. Just 11 miles from the beach and a great city, Sarasota. I'd go back there in a heartbeat. Keep up the good work.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      10 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Sound like some great places to retire. The plus is no snow!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      @skgrao - Do you recommend US senior citizens retire in India? Some may like to do so - which cities do you suggest?

      @William - Thanks for posting; it's good to see you. Some parts of Florida are pretty humid and hot, aren't they?

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      10 years ago from Great Britain

      I didn't even know there was a Melbourne in Florida.! Thanks again , Patty for great information.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      10 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for a very interesting and informative hub.

    • skgrao profile image

      S K G Rao. 

      10 years ago from Bangalore City - INDIA.

      Visit India to see Top ONE place in the world.

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 

      10 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Thanks for the interesting hub, Patty. I have several friends and relatives in and around Melbourne. It seems they must subscribe to 55-Alive -- They're all in the Melbourne area -- Palm Bay, Titusville, Barefoot Bay, Kissimmee, Ocala. Actually, they all went South from Connecticut to Fort Lauderdale years ago and drifted north to the area over the years. Based on my occasional visits, it seems like a nice place to live. It's a bit cooler than Lauderdale.

    • profile image

      david stillwagon 

      10 years ago

      They all sound like great places to retire to! I really like the Clearwater area.


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