10 Best Places to Retire

Love the culture and excitement of urban life, but loathe the congestion and cost? One of these 'second cities' could be your first-choice retirement spot.

St. Petersburg, Fla.

best retire st petersburg
Thinking of retiring to Florida's Gulf Coast? The beaches are beautiful, the weather is warm and taxes are low. The downside: tropical storms and an aging population.
  • Population: 244,800 (39% over age 50)
  • Housing costs: $108,000 to buy a home/$1,000 a month to rent
  • Cost of living index: 94 (100 is average)

Can't imagine retirement without a beach? In St. Pete you can dip your toes in the Gulf of Mexico or Tampa Bay -- plus play a round of golf, eat virtually any type of cuisine, and see famous art, all in a single day.

While St. Petersburg is undoubtedly a retiree hotspot, the city has also drawn more young families in recent years, says local realtor Judy Horvath. The mix helps keep the city vibrant and stocked with boutiques, galleries, and restaurants.

Where to live
Downtown: The market for new apartments and condos was flattened by the bust, but developments are now back on track and in many cases selling out quickly. New two-bedrooms downtown start at around $300,000, says St. Petersburg agent Rachel Sartain.
Surrounding neighborhoods: If that's too expensive, going five or 10 minutes outside of downtown brings prices down dramatically; condos in many central areas start in the $200,000 range, says Sartain.

What to do
Beaches: Two of the nation's best (according to TripAdvisor readers) are just a 10-mile drive from downtown, including North Beach, located in the 1,140-acre Fort De Soto Park.
Art: Try the DalĂ­ Museum for works by the Spanish surrealist, or the Museum of Fine Arts for Monet and O'Keeffe.
Sports: Tropicana Field is home to the Tampa Bay Rays. There are also plenty of golf courses, including Mangrove Bay, a par-72 championship course. At $25 a round, these municipal greens may be the city's best bargain.

Taxes
Retirement income is not taxed. Permanent residents get a property tax exemption of up to $50,000.

  • Income tax: None
  • Sales tax: 7%
  • Median property tax: $1,080

NOTE: Median home price and rent data are from June 2013 to August 2013.
SOURCES: Trulia, the Census Bureau, the Council for Community and Economic Research, MONEY research
  @Money - Last updated October 29 2013 11:26 AM ET
Join the Conversation
Find Homes for sale
  • Property Type
  • Find a home in:
    New York | Atlanta | Chicago | Los Angeles
    Washington D.C | Houston | Philadelphia | More options
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.