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retire

Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!

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Retire in Lady Lake, Florida?

Overview:   This northernmost Lake County town is a midpoint between Florida's two coasts and about an hour northwest of Orlando. It is a pleasant, safe place and has part of the large, master-planned 55+ development The Villages within its borders. The rest of The Villages abuts Lady Lake to the west.

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The county has 500 lakes, and many of them, including Lake Sunshine and Lake Ella, are scattered about town or just outside of town limits. Residents enjoy eight public golf courses in and around Lady Lake, and the town's Heritage Park has a gazebo and one of Florida's oldest live oaks. There is also a dog park and a very popular Tuesday farmers' market. Major retailers include Bealls, Target, Kohl's and more. Restaurants are mostly family-style chains. Housing stock not within the The Villages includes manufactured homes, concrete block and wood frame ranch ramblers, modest Mediterraneans and others.

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Lake Griffin State Park is less than 10 minutes away and has dockside fishing, a boat ramp and boat rentals. The nearby Ocala National Forest permits hiking, horseback riding and canoeing.

Population:  15,000 (city proper)

Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better:   80%

Cost of Living:   Meets the national average

Median Home Price: $215,000

Climate:  This area has a humid subtropical climate, meaning two seasons a year.  Summer and early fall are hot and humid.  Late fall and winter are less humid and cooler.  

At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients?  No, but The Villages Regional Hospital, two miles away, accepts Medicare patients.

At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission?    No, but The Villages Regional Hospital, two miles away, is accredited.

Public Transit:   Yes

Crime Rate:   Below the national average

Public Library   Yes

Political Leanings:  Conservative

Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement?   Yes

Cons:   The tornado risk is 115% greater than the national average.

Notes:   The Villages Lifelong Learning College has classes for Village and non-Village residents, and the Villages' town centers, movie theaters, restaurants and more are also open to residents and non-residents (many people who do not want to live in The Villages but want to enjoy its amenities live in Lady Lake). The town has grown by 5% within the last decade.

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Recommended as a Retirement Spot?    Yes

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Florida:

Sticking out into Hurricane Alley, Florida was a land no nation seemed to want. Ruled successively by Spain, France, England, and the Confederate States of America, the state had a backwater reputation. Other than St. Augustine and Pensacola, there were few cities. The area was rural and populated by frontier farmers.

In the late-1800s, changes came when railroads began chugging down both coasts. Industrialist Henry Flagler's Florida Easy Coast Railway even made it all the way to Key West. The Great Florida Land Boom, the build-up to World War II, and the space industry also helped turn Florida into one of the nation's most populous states. In 1900, there were about 500,000 residents. Today, there are more than 20 million, almost 351 people per square mile.

Why do people keep coming? Tourism marketing is one reason. Annually, millions visit Orlando's theme parks and the state's 663 miles of white sand beaches. Taxes generated by the billion dollar vacation industry allow Florida to prosper without a personal income tax. Budget-sensitive retirees have flocked to its cities and shorelines.

If you can ignore the hurricanes, the state's climate is relatively mild. Only five other states are sunnier. Florida's system of state universities and community colleges is sizable, and its big cities are meccas for culture and the arts. Sarasota is a good example. Its Ringling Museum Complex contains internationally known art museum, a circus museum, an historic theater, and a 66-acre garden. Museums near Orlando range from a Zora Neale Hurston gallery to a Madame Tussauds.

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Stats:

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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