In addition to gauging our changing attitudes, this annual survey analyzed the 150 most populous metro areas in the U.S. based on metrics that matter to retirees—including weather, affordability, health care, and taxes. It also factored in a happiness index, which rates an area's well-being (think supportive relationships, pride in one's community, and access to resources like libraries and churches).
While past retirement surveys may have shown a wide variety of retirement-friendly locales, this time, there was one clear-cut winner: Florida. Eight of the top 10 cities in this survey hail from the Sunshine State.
Amid the pandemic, Florida's reigning status makes more sense than ever— the warm climate allows for plenty of time outside, with minimal risk of passing on germs and viruses. Plus, after putting up with the stress of the pandemic and its economic shake-ups, our desire to one day leave it all behind and kick back on a beach may be stronger than ever.
"After a year of staying at home, many people are dreaming about a Florida beach retirement," says
Emily Brandon, U.S. News senior editor for retirement.
But Florida's attractiveness for retirees extends far beyond pandemic concerns. This state also boasts great tax breaks and top-notch health care—two things of crucial importance as Americans age.
And even though retirement is the goal here, the job market's strength in Florida was also factored in, since a strong economy is key for those who still plan to work part time, adds Brandon.
As for which Florida city takes top honors? It's Sarasota. This southwestern spot on the Gulf of Mexico took the highest spot yet again, like last year. Naples, another gulfside city about two hours south of Sarasota, took the second spot on the list. And up north on the ocean, Daytona Beach vaulted from 12th place last year to No. 3.
What's new in retirement must-haves
This year, U.S. News added two new factors in its reporting to calculate the happiness index score: air quality and crime rates.
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In fact, Daytona Beach was able to crack the top 10 in large part because it has such fresh, clean air and low crime numbers. Other cities in Florida that benefited from the addition of these new indicators included Tampa, which moved 14 spots into sixth place, and Pensacola, now in 10th, up 15 places over last year.
Sarasota's scores were hurt by a dip in health care quality and housing affordability, but it still managed to rank well because of its excellent job opportunities. At the same time, cities in California slipped down the list when their air quality, no doubt related to the recent spate of wildfires, was taken into account.aside">
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Top retirement destinations outside of Florida
If you're not a die-hard golfer and love the other three seasons of the year, there are a couple of non-Florida cities that might suit you in this year's report, including Lancaster, PA, and Ann Arbor, MI.
Pennsylvania on the whole offers strong scores in terms of happiness and housing affordability. But there was only one other city in the Northeast in the top 25—Manchester, NH. So whatever you're dreaming of in terms of retirement, there's a place that will fit the bill.
The 10 best cities for retirement
- Sarasota, FL
- Naples, FL
- Daytona Beach, FL
- Melbourne, FL
- Lancaster, PA
- Tampa, FL
- Fort Myers, FL
- Port St. Lucie, FL
- Ann Arbor, MI
- Pensacola, FL
Source : https://www.sfgate.com/realestate/article/How-COVID-19-Changed-Where-Americans-Want-To-16545562.php1216