Advertisement
retirement

St. Augustine, Fla.: A Smart Place to Retire

The Florida beach town has everything from golf to belly dancing for retirees.

Population: 14,576

Cost of living: Not available

Median home price: $343,000

College perk: Low-cost continuing-education courses on everything from digital marketing to belly dancing.

St. Augustine and the surrounding St. John’s County offer more than just surf and sand wedges. But retirees looking for fun in the sun will find it here in spades, along with plenty of cultural activities, affordable luxury living, and first-class health care.

The 42 miles of sand on St. John’s Atlantic coast offer something for everyone. St. Augustine Beach, located 10 minutes from downtown, is backstopped by laid-back restaurants serving up the day’s catch to folks in flip-flops. If a peaceful hammock is more your vibe, chill with the local wildlife on the secluded beaches of 1,600-acre Anastasia Island State Park.

Advertisement - Article continues below

A short drive north will land you in Ponte Vedra Beach, replete with ritzy beach clubs and golf courses. Here you’ll find TPC Sawgrass, home of The Players Championship, one of the PGA’s most prestigious annual events. The area is also home to the World Golf Hall of Fame and the PGA Tour Academy—for golf legends both real and aspiring.

You can’t walk very far in St. Augustine without being reminded that it is the oldest European-established city in the U.S.—one that houses more than 60 historic sites and attractions, including a town square that dates to 1573. The city is still very much alive, however. Pedestrian-only St. George Street, lined with bistros, boutiques and bars, bustles all day and well into the night, with live music coming from practically every other open door.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Also keeping the city young: Flagler College, which operates as a center for educational and cultural enrichment for students and locals alike. Retirees can take in free lectures, plays, musicals, concerts and art exhibitions on campus.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Living costs in greater St. Augustine aren’t cheap by national standards, but retirees—especially those from the northeast—are snapping up its relatively affordable beachfront property, says real estate agent Carrie Reynolds. Oceanfront condos with pools in St. Augustine Beach run about $500,000, compared with $1 million or more in Miami or Fort Lauderdale, she says. She recently showed a 2,222-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bath house in nearby South Ponte Vedra Beach for $520,000. Residents can walk through a tunnel under the adjacent highway straight onto the beach.

Florida has a plethora of health care providers. The Mayo Clinic’s Jacksonville campus, a five-star hospital, is about an hour from St. Augustine.

Florida is among the tax-friendliest states in the country for retirees. There is no state income, estate or inheritance tax.

For population figures, we used the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data. Cost-of-living data comes from the Council for Community and Economic Research (100 represents the national median). Median home prices were provided by Redfin, Zillow and local associations of Realtors.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

18 Things You Can't Return to Amazon
Smart Buying

18 Things You Can't Return to Amazon

Before tossing these items into your virtual shopping cart, be sure to read Amazon's return policy first.
September 17, 2020
Insurance for Long-Term Care at Home
retirement

Insurance for Long-Term Care at Home

In the wake of COVID-wracked nursing homes, increasingly more people are looking at options to age in place with long-term care insurance.
September 17, 2020
Election 2020: Joe Biden's Tax Plans
taxes

Election 2020: Joe Biden's Tax Plans

With the economy in trouble, tax policy takes on added importance in the 2020 presidential election. So, let's take a look at what Joe Biden has said …
September 18, 2020

Recommended

Insurance for Long-Term Care at Home
retirement

Insurance for Long-Term Care at Home

In the wake of COVID-wracked nursing homes, increasingly more people are looking at options to age in place with long-term care insurance.
September 17, 2020
Medicare Basics: 11 Things You Need to Know
Medicare

Medicare Basics: 11 Things You Need to Know

There's Medicare Part A, Part B, Part D, medigap plans, Medicare Advantage plans and so on. We sort out the confusion about signing up for Medicare --…
September 16, 2020
10 Things You'll Spend More on in Retirement
retirement

10 Things You'll Spend More on in Retirement

From reading materials to debt, the demands on your savings during your golden years might surprise you.
September 16, 2020
Retirees, Create An Emergency Fund for Rental Property
Business Costs & Regulation

Retirees, Create An Emergency Fund for Rental Property

Build a cushion to protect your income from an unforeseen crisis.
September 15, 2020