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Sarasota Ranked in Top Places to Retire

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Top 10 Places to Retire 2015

Sarasota Ranked in Kiplinger's Top 10 Great Places to Retire 2015

sunset-on-siesta Maybe you like the idea of retiring to a town where you'll never wield a snow shovel again. Or, trading your pricey home in a high-tax area for a more affordable city. Or, ditching the suburban cul-de-sac for an urban neighborhood.

Our dream retirement places run the gamut: big and small, north and south, mountains and seashore, coast to coast. They all rank high on access to health care--a must for a retirement destination. Some are affordable, with a cost of living that's at or below the national average (shown as 100). Others are more expensive, but with an attractive location and amenities for retirees who have deeper pockets. We also evaluate cities based on climate, walk-ability, housing costs compared with the national median ($200,000), tax-friendliness, culture and entertainment, and access to outdoor activities.


Sarasota, Florida

Population: 53,326

Cost of living (national avg. = 100): 104

Median home price (national median = $200,000): $218,000

Retiree tax picture: Most tax-friendly

Cool feature: The Ringling estate's museums and 66-acre Bayfront Gardens

Top Places to Retire

Life in this small city moves a bit more slowly than in St. Petersburg and Tampa, but Sarasota offers plenty of amenities. Examples are the many restaurants and 130-plus stores in the island shopping center of St. Armands Circle, as well as access to the Sarasota Memorial Health Care system, which is one of the largest public health systems in Florida.

Located along the Gulf of Mexico, Sarasota has miles of white-sand beaches. Homes a few miles inland tend to be newer and more affordable than homes along the waterfront, which start at about $500,000. Nature lovers will find lush landscapes and subtropical wildlife at the local parks, as well as at Celery Fields (an erstwhile celery farm now known for its birds and wetlands) and the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Sarasota also has a lively and diverse arts scene, which includes a ballet company, art museums and an 80-member orchestra. August 2015