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Florida’s premier retirement paradise, The Villages, goes viral on TikTok

Florida’s premier retirement paradise, The Villages, goes viral on TikTok

Florida is known to be the most popular retirement destination for many in the U.S. due to its tax-friendliness and warm weather. But one spot in the Sunshine State is going viral on TikTok searches as Florida's top retirement spot, and here's why.

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When it comes to choosing a place to settle down and spend the golden years of the American retirement dream, Florida is the top choice for many because of its tax-friendly policies. First, the state charges no income tax or even taxes on estates, inheritances, Social Security benefits and retirement plans like 401(k). Melissa Terry, CFA at VEM Tooling, said, “That's a significant advantage for any retirees considering Florida,” adding, “The lower taxes from your allocated retirement distributions or passive income checks are the only money available in your budget.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Florida has one of the highest percentages of retirees (over 65) in the state at 21.3%, with Maine close behind at 21.8%. For example, North Port ranks first at 32.4% and Palm Coast ranks second at 30.2%. Additionally, another census-designated place in Sumter and Marion counties has an age-restricted community.

The Villages in Central Florida is not just a senior living community; it is a community for people ages 55 and older that promotes an active adult lifestyle. As of 2023, The Villages is home to over 145,000 residents across its two neighborhoods, which span approximately 57 square miles. Opened by the Morse family in the early 1980s, this senior living community is home to around 71,000 households. What sets this community apart is that it is essentially a small town designed exclusively for retirees. With various recreation centers, town squares, parks, shopping, and over 3000 recreational activities for seniors, it is a haven for active retirees. For golf lovers, this retirement spot is the stuff American retirement dreams are made of.

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Like a city, The Villages has a 307-bed acute care hospital, UF Health The Villages® Hospital. Residents also have access to UF Health Leesburg Hospital, UF Health The Villages Rehabilitation Hospital and UF Health Leesburg Hospital Senior Behavioral Health Center.

What about the cost of living? Although Florida home prices are 4% higher than the national average, The Villages' affordable housing is an attractive option for retirees. An 850- to 1,310-square-foot home will cost retirees about $860 a month. These cheapest units are lower than the average rental prices in the state. For example, a Florida studio apartment (about 400 and 600 square feet) costs $1,795 and a one-bedroom home costs $1,950. The Villages' designer homes (1,440 to 2,550 square feet) cost about $1,370 a month, while a standard three-bedroom Florida home (about 1,480 square feet) starts at $2,800. In addition, residents pay an additional amenity fee of $195 per month to gain access to the golf courses, sports activities and all the perks this premier retirement oasis has to offer.

For retirees who want to keep working (which financial guru Dave Ramsey says is a good idea, as he firmly believes that “hedonism leads to heart attacks”), there are often vacancies in the Villages.

To make the offer more attractive to potential residents, The Villages also offers a relocation program to make it easier for retirees to move. The service includes a free appraisal of your home, assistance with the sale, and national movers when the home sells.

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This article Florida's premier retirement paradise 'The Villages' goes viral on TikTok originally appeared on Benzinga.com

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