Jacksonville, Florida – Retirement Guide

Jacksonville, Florida   Retirement Guide

One of Jacksonville’s claims to fame lies in its size: this town of more than 827,000 residents is the largest city by area in the continental United States. The sprawling metropolis encompasses just over 874 square miles, and as you’d expect with any large city, Jacksonville is home to an array of cultural attractions, sporting events, festivals and museums.

Thanks to the city’s size, low cost of living, and median house price of less than $100,000, retirees choosing Jacksonville as a retirement destination will have the chance to consider a vast number of neighborhoods and housing styles. The town is filled with condos and apartments, while the city’s surrounding areas are home to a number of 55+ communities and housing developments.

Retirees will have the choice of living in an urban enclave, a suburban neighborhood, or near one of the beaches. Popular neighborhoods include the historic Riverside and Avondale areas, as well as Fleming Island and Orange Park.

Boating, fishing, kayaking, swimming and sunbathing are all at your fingertips in Jacksonville.

Pros: Low cost of living, close to beaches and river, many museums and festivals
Con: High crime rate

At a Glance
Best For: Urban dwelling beach lovers
Population: 827,908
Cost of Living: 10.7% lower than national average
Median Home Cost: $97,000
Unemployment: 7.3%
Top State Income Tax: No state income tax
Crime Rate: 27.7% higher than national average

Beachgoers have their pick of sandy shores in Jacksonville; the town’s beaches run north of the city, from Jacksonville’s public beaches to Fernandina Beach. Jacksonville beaches technically also encompass the beach communities of Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach and Jacksonville Beach (with its famed fishing pier!). Additionally, the city is bisected by the St. John’s River, which meanders into a number creeks and smaller tributaries.

Land lovers will also have their hands blissfully full in Jacksonville. The town hosts a number of festivals, including one of the nation’s largest jazz festivals, the Planetfest music festival and a popular film festival. Museums are in abundance, as well, such as the Museum of History & Science, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Cummer Musuem of Art & Gardens and the Jacksonville Maritime Heritage Center. Sports enthusiasts can root for the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team.

Perhaps the city’s greatest negative is it’s crime rate, which, like many urban areas, is higher than the national average. Still, the town is so large and sprawling, it’s easy to avoid problem areas.

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