Gainesville, Florida – Retirement Guide

Gainesville, Florida   Retirement Guide

Perhaps Gainesville’s biggest draw for retirees is the University of Florida, one of the 10 largest universities in the nation. It’s presence in the town quite literally colors the area: students permeate the area, colorful restaurants, bars and music venues abound, and seniors who have lived in Gainesville for a year or more can audit classes at the university free of charge.

But really, that all pales in comparison to the profound fandom for the university’s sports teams, including baseball. Football season (Gators!) attracts a particularly fervent — and fun — crowd. The university also creates a vibrant cultural scene in the town, from lectures by speakers like Presidents George H. Bush and Bill Clinton to theater and dance performances.

Though the town is an hour’s drive from the nearest beach, Gainesville still offers a number of outdoor activities, including more than 60 miles of biking trails, at least 7 golf courses and botanical gardens. Additionally, you’ll find the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Hippodrome State Theater and the Harn Museum of Art.

The town is also an affordable option for retirees. Cost of living in Gainesville is nearly 10 percent below the national average, a number of retirement communities are in the area and the median home price is $128,400.

Pros: College town with continuing ed opportunities, near to outdoor activities like golf
Con: Not every retiree enjoys the town’s college scene

At a Glance
Best For: Sports (college football) lovers
Population:125,326
Cost of Living: 9.5% lower than national average
Median Home Cost: $128,400
Unemployment:5.8%
Top State Income Tax: No state income tax
Crime Rate: 25% above national average

Weather in Gainesville is normally mild, though it can get chilly from November through February. Retirees considering a move here should be aware that one of the town’s downsides is a higher than average crime rate.

Photo by Rudi Riet via Flickr. All statistics were up to date as of publication. See these sources for the most current data.