Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Retire in Alachua, Florida?
Overview: Although it is only 15 miles from Gainesville in northern Florida, Alachua (Ah-lach-ua) retains a distinctly rural quality. It got its start in the late-1880s and has a long agricultural history. It is also home to the largest contingent of Hare Krishnas in the Western Hemisphere.
Cows graze in pastures, and local farmers still plant beans, corn and squash, and magnolia trees. Hickory trees dot the landscape. Even the cute main street is lined with iconic Bradford pear trees. Merchants include a garden shop, a candy store, a music store and charming cafes. During October, town center lamp posts are decorated as scarecrows. The Fall Festival is a favorite event, as is April's Holi Festival of Colors at the Hare Krishna farm. The farmers' market has fresh dairy and produce for sale, but locals often travel to Gainesville for shopping and services. Alachua has grown by 10% in the last decade, and many newer homes are brick ranch ramblers.
Residents are within minutes of some large fresh water natural springs, including Poe Springs, Blue Springs (a designated manatee refuge) and Ginnie Springs (known for its diving caves). Nearby San Falesco State Park and Oleno State Park are also draws. In particular, Oleno features sinkholes, sandhills, hardwood hammocks and nature trails.
Population: 9,800 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 37%
Cost of Living: 5% below the national average
Median Home Price: $202,000
Climate: Summer high temperatures usually top out in the low 90s. Winter temperature highs are in the 60s and 70s with lows in the 50s. Average rainfall is 52 inches per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Gainesville has several hospitals that accept Medicare patients.
At Least One Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Gainesville has several hospitals that are accredited.
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Liberal
Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The tornado risk is 34% greater than the national average, and the poverty rate is slightly above the national average.
Notes: Alachua is racially diverse. Interstate 75 runs through town. Tourists come to visit the Alachua Hare Krishna Temple.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
Named Pascua Florida by Juan Ponce De Leon, the Sunshine State did not enter the Union until March 3, 1845. Balmy mild winters began attracting snowbirds to the state in the late 19th century. Retirees continue to flock to the state. It's not hard to see why tourism has become the leading industry.
International trade and citrus are also major contributors to the state's economy. Eighty percent of the nation's oranges and grapefruits are grown here, and 40 percent of all U.S. exports to Latin America flow through Florida.
Florida's landscape includes uplands and coastal plains. It contains more than 11,000 miles of waterways and about 4,500 islands spread across 10 acres.
The state has 1,250 golf courses, more than any other state in the Union. The 47 mile Pinellas Trail is the longest urban trail on the east coast. Orlando theme parks attract more visitors than any other theme parks in the U.S. The only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles co-exist is in National Everglades Park.
Population - 20,612,439
Persons 65 years old and over - 20%
High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 87%
Bachelor's degree or higher, persons age 25+ - 27%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 24%
White persons, not Hispanic - 58%
Median household income - $47,525
Median home value - $159,900
Social Security taxed? No
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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