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retire

Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!

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Retire in Alva, Florida?

Overview:   Originally platted in the 1800s, easygoing Alva straddles the Caloosahatchee River and is at the western edge of the Okeechobee Waterway in southwestern Florida. Less than an hour from Fort Myers and Cape Coral, the town stretches over 18 square miles and has fought to retain its rural character in the face of encroaching development from the west.

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Grazing cattle, citrus groves and large oak trees with hanging moss dot the local landscape and evoke Old Florida. The first bridge over the Caloosahatchee was built in Alva in 1903, and its boat launch is still in use today. The active garden club curates the local museum and sponsors talks by master gardeners. Palm Beach Boulevard on the southern edge of town has convenience stores, gas stations and fast food places, but most shopping takes place in Ft. Myers, 20 miles to the west, or in Lehigh Acres, eight miles to the south. Alva is bracketed by three preserves, and Hickey Creek has hiking trails, a kayak landing, and a fishing deck. The Caloosahatchee Regional Park has campgrounds, guided walks and biking trails.

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Some Alva neighborhoods have a country feeling, while others are more suburban. A few areas, including the River Hall Golf and Country Club, are peppered with ponds. Housing stock includes Mediterraneans, ranch ramblers, manufactured homes and more. Cascades at River Hall is a peaceful 55+ single family home community with water views.

Population:  2,100 (city proper)

Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better:   55%

Cost of Living:  Meets the national average

Median Home Price: $199,000

Climate:  Summers are warm with highs in the upper 80s and low 90s.  Winters have temperatures in the 50s, 60s and 70s.  On average, the area receives 50 inches of rain per year.

At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients?  No, but Lehigh Regional Medical Center, just eight miles away, accepts Medicare patients. 

At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission?  No, but Lehigh Regional Medical Center, just eight miles away, is accredited by the Joint Commission.  

Public Transit:   No

Crime Rate:   Well below the national average

Public Library:   No

Political Leanings:  Conservative

Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement?   Yes

Cons:   Lehigh Regional Medical Center does not receive good patient reviews. Ft. Myers has several hospitals, but they are 15 to 20 miles away.

Notes:  Alva has doubled in size during the last decade or two.  

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Recommended as a Retirement Spot?   Yes

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