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retire

Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!

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Retire in Lakeland, Florida?

Overview:  Located between Tampa and Orlando, Lakeland is in the middle of Florida's coastal plain. It has 38 named lakes, and much of life here revolves around the water.

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Lakeland is nicknamed Swan City because its lakes are also home to large groups of swans, a local point of pride. The inviting downtown is pedestrian-friendly, bicycle-friendly and is nestled along two of the lakes. It has a restored promenade, and the Hollis Garden, a botanic garden set in a neo-classical architectural environment, is just one of the city's many public parks. Residents enjoy the Polk Museum of Art, the Imperial Symphony, the Florida Air Museum, and the Florida Dance Theatre. Shopping venues and eateries are in good supply.

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The Detroit Tigers spend their spring training months at Joker Marchant Stadium, and the city's professional indoor football team, the Florida Marine Raiders, play their games in Lakeland Center. Florida Southern College has a small campus and an impressive collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. It is also the place for the annual Festival of Fine Arts.

Older, tree-canopied areas with modest concrete block homes mix with new neighborhoods that have sleek Mediterranean style homes and newly planted trees. Lake James is a comfortable 55+ community with a lake.

Population:  107,000 (city proper)

Age 45 or Better:  43%

Cost of Living:   10% below the national average

Median Home Price: $185,000

Climate:    Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s with high humidity levels and frequent rainstorms.  Winter temperatures are in the 60s and 70s.

At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients?    Yes

At Least One Accredited by Joint Commission?   Yes

Public Transit:   Yes

Crime Rate:   Meets the national average, although property crime is above the national average.

Public Library:  Yes

Political Leanings:  Conservative

College Educated:  25%

Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement?    Yes

Cons:   Some neighborhoods have seen better days. 

Notes:  People seem to like Lakeland quite a bit or not much at all.   Younger residents think it is a little dull. The city is racially diverse and has grown by 7% during the last decade. Video of a 15-foot-long alligator strolling across a walking path in Circle B Park made national news a few years ago.

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Recommended as a Retirement Spot?   Yes

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Florida:

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.

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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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