Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Laguna Beach, Florida
On the Florida Panhandle, Laguna Beach Boasts a Long, Wide Stretch of Sugar Soft Sand Nestled Along Emerald Waters
Overview: Low key Laguna Beach is an elongated, unincorporated community on the Florida Panhandle coast, about two miles west of Panama City Beach. On one side of town is the Gulf of Mexico and on the other side is beautiful Conservation Park, a 3,000-acre wetland area with walking trails and a few alligators.
Essentially the quieter side of Panama City Beach, Laguna Beach has a long, wide stretch of sugar white sand tucked against emerald waters. The town is mostly residential, and its beach is lined with vacation rentals, motels and condominiums. Neighborhoods have an unfinished feeling, and stubby palm trees line narrow streets without sidewalks. Architectural styles include bungalows and conches. Beach access points are all along Front Beach Road, which is the main drag that runs along the western edge of town (busy Panama City Beach Parkway runs along the eastern edge). Nearly all services, shopping venues and amenities are in Panama City Beach.
Population: 3,900 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 52%
Cost of Living: Meets the national average
Median Home Price: $280,000
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 Gulf Coast Medical Center, 15 miles away in Panama City, accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Gulf Coast Medical Center, 15 miles away in Panama City, is accredited.
Public Transit: A bus runs along Front Beach Road and connects to Panama City Beach.
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: No
Political Leanings: Very conservative
College Educated: 28%
Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: Laguna Beach is completely exposed to the Gulf and in 2018 Hurricane Michael caused some flooding and property damage (Panama City Beach next door suffered much more extensive damage).
Notes: Laguna Beach has grown 4% within the last decade but has little racial diversity.
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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