Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Panama City Beach, Florida
Disclosure: This article has an affiliate link below. We earn commissions from our affiliate relationships. Overview: Panama City Beach, not to be confused with Panama City 10 miles to the east, is located on the part of Florida's Panhandle known as the Emerald Coast. The city is famous for its 27 miles of stunning white powdery beaches and blue-green waters. It is also a Spring Break destination, with up to 100,000 college kids arriving every March and April.
On the Florida Panhandle's Emerald Coast, Panama City Beach is Famous for its 27 Miles of Mesmerizing White Powdery Beaches and Sparkling Blue-Green Waters
Disclosure: This article has an affiliate link below. We earn commissions from our affiliate relationships.
Overview: Panama City Beach, not to be confused with Panama City 10 miles to the east, is located on the part of Florida's Panhandle known as the Emerald Coast. The city is famous for its 27 miles of stunning white powdery beaches and blue-green waters. It is also a Spring Break destination, with up to 100,000 college kids arriving every March and April.
Sometimes called the "Redneck Riviera," this area boomed between 2000 and 2008. Developers built stylish condos and high rises along the beach, and as a result, some of the city's old fashioned funkiness has faded. Yet, Panama City Beach remains a tourist magnet, and its artificial reefs are particularly popular with fishermen and SCUBA divers. Thanks to its curving shoreline, sunsets happen over the Gulf of Mexico and are especially awe inspiring. Popular Pier Park is an outdoor mall and "lifestyle center" with national retailers, restaurants and movie theaters. Shell Island is a beautiful, barely developed barrier island and a perfect place for swimming. The close at hand Camp Helen State Park has a dune lake and areas for fishing.
Housing stock includes everything from modest manufactured homes and ranch ramblers to spectacular waterfront residences with triple decker balconies. See Panama City Beach Foreclosures and Inexpensive Homes at Foreclosure.com
Population: 13,000 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 45%
Cost of Living: Meets the national average
Median Home Price: $305,000 See Panama City Beach Foreclosures and Inexpensive Homes at Foreclosure.com
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 50s 60s and 70s. On average, the area receives 58 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Gulf Coast Medical Center in Panama City, 10 miles away, accepts Medicare patients. Ascension Sacred Heart Bay is also in Panama City and accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Gulf Coast Medical Center in Panama City, 10 miles away, is accredited. Ascension Sacred Heart Bay is also in Panama City and is accredited. It has an ER department in Panama City Beach.
Public Transit: Yes, provided by Bay Town Trolley
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
College Educated: 29%
Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: Hurricanes and tropical storms are always a possibility. In fact, in 2018, Hurricane Michael, a Category 5 storm, caused heavy damage, ripping homes off their foundations and nearly destroying nearby Tyndall Air Force Base, home to 11,000 airmen and their families.
Notes: Panama City Beach is still rebuilding from Michael and making significant progress. Not all families, though, have recovered. The city has grown by 9% during the last decade.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes, although the tourists crowds, Spring Break kids and hurricane threat might be too many drawbacks for some.
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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