Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Bonita Springs, Florida
Along the Gulf of Mexico, Pretty Bonita Springs Boasts Palm-Lined Lanes, Canals, Lakes, Beachfront Parks and Plenty of Golf Courses
Overview: Beautiful Bonita Springs is sandwiched between Fort Myers and Naples on Florida's southwestern coast. It caters to retirees and second home owners.
The city sits on Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, with the nine-mile long Imperial River running through the middle of downtown. Riverside Park provides river access, and a boat ramp and fishing pier make the river a favorite locale for water activities. The nearby barrier island has several beachfront parks, including Bonita Beach Park, which has sand dunes, swimming areas and a boardwalk. Barefoot Beach Preserve Park has been named one of the best beaches in the nation. Other sections are filled with development. Coconut palms line city streets, and locals are proud of their arts council, large air-conditioned flea market, free city band concerts and wildlife preserves. Restaurants range from fine dining bistros to taco stands. Fifty or so golf courses are in and around town.
Some neighborhoods are modest with concrete block homes, but most areas are well-tended with newer Mediterranean-style construction. Many homes back to a canal, river or pond.
Population: 53,000 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 60%
Cost of Living: 4% above the national average
Median Home Price: $340,000
Climate: The climate is tropical. Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 50s, 60s and 70s. On average, the area receives 53 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Physicians Regional, 14 miles away in Naples, accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital is Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Physicians Regional is 14 miles away in Naples and is accredited. It is also a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence.
Public Transit: Yes, provided by LeeTran, but it is limited with just a handful of stops in town (K-Mart, downtown, the beach and the grocery).
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
College Educated: 34%
Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The area is susceptible to hurricanes and was struck by Irma in 2017.
Notes: The city is racially diverse and has grown by 19% within the last decade. Some people say that Bonita Springs is a little snobby.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
The world's 11th largest peninsula doesn't just have an east coast and a west coast. It has a First Coast, Surf Coast, Space Coast, Treasure Coast, Gold Coast, Paradise Coast, Lee Island Coast, Cultural Coast, Nature Coast, Big Bend Coast, Emerald Coast, and a Forgotten Coast.
Each of these geographic regions is packed with its own history and attractions. The first place to be colonized by Europeans, the First Coast is rich with tidal marshes. It's the home of Amelia Island and St. Augustine. The venerable Castillo de San Marcos sits here and guards the Matanzas Bay.
Daytona Beach and the Halifax River are the heart of the Surf Coast. Automobile racing helped it develop its reputation. The area code is 386 (FUN). South of the fun is the Space Coast. Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral, and the Kennedy Space Center are a part of its culture.
Named after the Spanish fleet lost in a 1715 hurricane, the Treasure Coast's principle city is Port St. Lucie. It is a northern neighbor to Miami and the Gold Coast. The affluent Naples and major land reserves characterize the Paradise Coast. The Ringling Estate and Sarasota make the Cultural Coast come alive. Twenty miles of beaches along the Gulf Coast distinguish the Suncoast from the forests and blackwater rivers of the Nature Coast.
Travel up to Florida's Big Bend along its emerald waters. Find the Forgotten Coast. With no major cities, it may be the best place to enjoy the state's white-sand beaches.
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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