Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
St. James City, Florida
Tucked on Florida's Pine Island, St. James City is Rife with Wildlife, Old Florida Charm and is Sometimes Called a "Drinking Town with a Fishing Problem"
St. James City is a compact, unicorporated community on the southern half of southwestern Florida's Pine Island. Sometimes called a "drinking town with a fishing problem," it boasts a laid back, tropical vibe and is a closely knit place where neighbors know one another. It suffered significant damage from Hurricane Ian in September, 2022 and continues to rebuild today.
The community has no beaches and is dotted with mangroves and pine forests. As a result, commercial builders have not been terribly interested in the area, and much of it remains undeveloped, agricultural and rife with wildlife. Building height and density restrictions are in place, even after the hurricane, and have helped keep much of the island in a very natural state. The southern end of St. James City has single family homes, and Pine Island Cove, a 55+ manufactured home community, sits on the northern end. Nearly every residence sits along a canal. There are several marinas, a long bicycle path, a Winn Dixie, a Laundromat, a liquor store and banks but no golf courses. Fun restaurants and bars with bands come alive at night. Shopping and services are on the mainland, which is accessible via just one road.
Population: 3,500 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 80%
Cost of Living: 16% above the national average
Median Home Price: $500,000
Climate: St. James City has a hot, humid 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? No, but HealthPark MC / Lee Memorial in Ft. Myers, about 12 miles away, accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but HealthPark MC / Lee Memorial in Ft. Myers, about 12 miles away, is accredited.
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: No
Political Leanings: Conservative
College Educated: 30%
Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The hurricane threat is real. Hurricane Charley struck Pine Island in 2004 and did extensive damage. Irma came ashore in 2017 and also caused damage. The latest hurricane, Ian, brought significant flooding and wind damge in 2022.
Notes: The population has stayed steady during the last decade. Pine Island is popular with nature lovers, fishermen, artists, writers and musicians (including the late, great Jimmy Buffet). Home prices have increased a whopping 40% since a year ago.
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.
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