Despite its reputation as America's premier retirement destination, a new study shows that South Florida actually isn't the smartest place for the elderly to retire. The Milken Institute's "Best Cities for Successful Aging" rankings put the South Florida tri-county area at 37th out of America's 100 largest metro areas for retirement. South Florida is particularly hard for retirees in the areas of finance and health care.
The study considered 91 separate factors broken up into eight main categories. Here's South Florida's rankings in those eight categories:
The area was ranked disturbingly low in some of the small factors: 94th for crime rate, 97th for income distribution, 98th for percent of 65 and above living poverty, 91st for investment in public/senior transportation. 96th in number of public libraries, and 92nd in number of caregivers.
However, the area ranked in the top ten in several other categories: fifth for number of banks, second for capitol gains as a percentage of AGI, second for number of grocery stores, ninth for percentage of the population that is 65 or older, sixth for number of museums and cultural institutions, and fifth for life expectancy of those 65 and older.
South Florida is still the best large metro area in Florida for seniors to retire. Jacksonville came in 40th, Cape Coral-Ft. Myers was 46th, Sarasota was 47th, Tampa was 65th, Orlando was 77th, Palm Bay was 89th and Lakeland was 97th.
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Though, the relatively unimpressive to dismal rankings for Florida metros is worrisome.
"If you're a state and retirement is your second-largest business right behind tourism, this is something you'd think would be in your DNA," Rep. Mark S. Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, told The Palm Beach Post. "Florida should be a model of how we treat our seniors."