Sarasota, Florida – Retirement Guide

Sarasota, Florida   Retirement Guide

You don’t have to be retired to fall in love with Sarasota; this Gulf Coast town’s charms are plenty. From a downtown filled with boutique shops and restaurants, to a thriving arts and gallery culture, as well as numerous museums, including the acclaimed Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota offers all manner of attractions. Of course, one of the Sarasota’s greatest perks lies just across the Intracoastal from its downtown — Siesta Key Beach, often touted as America’s best beach.

While many Florida coastal town’s gain acclaim solely for their sandy shores, Sarasota has earned its reputation as the state’s cultural capital. The city is home to Florida’s Sarasota Orchestra, the annual 3-week Sarasota Music Festival, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, a number of performing arts spaces, as well as the Sarasota Ballet, Sarasota Opera and Sarasota Film Festival.

If you’re calendar’s not too booked with the city’s many performances and festivals, you can pay a visit to the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens or Sarasota Jungle Gardens. More than a dozen colleges and universities are in proximity to Sarasota.

Pros: Vibrant arts and culture scene, proximity to great beaches
Con: High crime rate

At a Glance
Best For: Arts and culture lovers
Population: 52,341
Cost of Living: 3.6% lower than national average
Median Home Cost: $175,000
Unemployment: 7.7%
Top State Income Tax: no state income tax
Crime Rate: 55% higher than national average

These schools offer retirees chances for continuing education or to take advantage of speakers series and lectures. Outdoor enthusiasts will not be left wanting, either. Golf remains a popular pastime, and many courses are located nearby. Additionally, fishing is another popular diversion.

Many retirees live directly in Sarasota’s downtown, in apartment buildings or retirement communities (more than a dozen retirement communities are located in Sarasota), while others choose to live on one of the barrier islands within Sarasota’s boundaries, including Lido Key, St. Armands Key, and portions of Siesta Key. Housing prices in Sarasota can vary, though the average home cost runs a little over $175,000.

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