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Best Florida Retirement Cities According to Experts

Ms. Inglish has 30 years experience in medicine, psychology, STEM instruction, history, and aerospace education for USAF Civil Air Patrol.

Melbourne Beach Pier (photos, public domain).

Melbourne Beach Pier (photos, public domain).

Expert Opinions About Retirement

The publication known as 55-Alive! is a well respected publications for people over 50 years old. It suggests a number of places that are better than average for retirement living in America.

Expert recommendation from 55-Alive! often include many states in the union, but also go so far as to suggest good living in Mexico. Some of the most highly recommended locations are in Florida and the five most often held up as wonderful are listed on the map below.

Melbourne is a 2021-2022 top place to retire in the United States.


Best Florida Cities

Top 10 Recommended Sunshine State Cities by 55-Alive!

  1. Melbourne: This is also named as one of the "most affordable" retirement cites by This organization also states that Palm Harbor and Jensen Beach are among the Top 20 Most Affordable Cities for retirement.
  2. Gainesville
  3. Naples
  4. Jupiter
  5. Vero Beach
  6. Marco Island
  7. Jacksonville
  8. Ocala
  9. Kissimmee
  10. Tallahassee

Another Five Great Retirement Cities

In additional to the Top Five cities, an additional five also offer good retirement living:

  • Orlando
  • Clearwater
  • St. Petersburg
  • Tampa
  • Palm Beach

Other Recommendations

  • adds one more: Dunedin.
  • US News and World Report suggest Punta Gorda for the health factor.
  • adds all of Brevard County.

Melbourne is the most affordable retirement city in Florida and one of the best places for offering what retirees want.

Highlight on Melbourne, Florida

Melbourne was named as one of the "most affordable" retirement cites by

Melbourne may be the best place to retire in Florida for a number of reasons. For instance, it has been named one of the most affordable cities in the nation for retirement; but retirement jobs are also available for those that wish to continue working in this metro area.

It is located about an hour's drive south of the Kennedy Space Center and is convenient for watching NASA liftoffs in the exciting 21st century of proposed Lunar and Martian exploration beginning in 2018.

In addition, this is the center of the Florida Space Coast, a high-tech hub of Southeastern USA. The city is a little over an hour east of Disney World and has easy access to Highway I-95.

Part of the city lies off the mainland. Two causeway bridges provide access to this scenic area. At over 78,000 population, the city is not overly large and lends less stress to life than do large urban metroplexes, as well as offering its enjoyable sightseeing attractions.

Many senior retirement centers are similar to upscale planned communities and many of these centers offer anything from Independent Living in apartments or bungalows to Full-Time Nursing Care, each in different areas of the dwelling complex.

Top Retirement Communities in Melbourne

  • Lower cost, good housing off highway I-95 is found at Windwood Apartments. This complex offers laundry facilities, a clubhouse, and high-speed internet included with apartments of 300 to 900 square feet of living space. Located at 1530 Windwood Dr NE STE 101, Palm Bay, FL 32905; just five miles from Melbourne.
  • Hibiscus Court at 540 East Hibiscus Blvd Melbourne FL 32901.
  • Kisco Senior Living: The Fountains at Melbourne at 4451 Stack Blvd., Melbourne FL 32901.
  • Quail Run Retirement at 2445 Eber Blvd., Melbourne FL 32904.
  • Senior Assisted Living: Brookdale Melbourne at 1765 W Hibiscus Blvd. Call (321) 244-2662
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Senior Services Centers of the Space Coast

  • Brevard County Senior Center at Wickham Park: 2785 Leisure Way, Melbourne FL. Call· (321) 255-4496
  • Greater Palm Bay Senior Center: 1275 Culver Dr. NE in Palm Bay FL. Call (3210 724-1338
  • Martin Anderson Senior Center: 1025 South Florida Ave. in Rockledge FL. Call (321) 631‑7549
  • North Brevard Senior Center: 909 Lane Ave. in Titusville FL. Call (321) 268‑2333

Taxes in Florida and Melbourne

The following link discloses all state tax information:

Excerpt of the Florida State Law:

"Other Taxes and Fees":

Florida does NOT impose the following taxes:

  • Personal income tax
  • Inheritance tax
  • Gift taxes
  • Intangible personal property taxes

However, there are other taxes and fees that, in certain counties or some circumstances, Florida residents may be required to pay. These include:

  • Convention development tax
  • Local option tourist tax
  • Fuel taxes
  • Communications services tax
  • Gross receipts tax
  • Lead-acid battery fee
  • New tire fee
  • Motor vehicle fee (Lemon Law)
  • Rental car surcharges

Melbourne Attractions

  • Andretti Thrill Park: This six-acre amusement park is named after the famous Andretti racing family, especially multiple cup winner Mario Andretti, his son Michael, and his grandson Marco. Of course, two GoKart tracks are favorites among visitors and many racers started out on GoKarts. 3960 Babcock St S, Melbourne, FL 32901
  • Brevard Zoo | Melbourne, Florida: Brevard Zoo is a small zoo that does big things. Our mission is 'Wildlife Conservation through Education and Participation.'
  • Baytree National Golf Links: Baytree National Golf Links in Melbourne, Florida, offers you one of the premier playing opportunities on Florida's famous Space Coast, featuring a Gary Player Signature Course that will impress you with its wonderful conditions and spectacular tests
  • The Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts in Melbourne: 3865 N Wickham Rd, Melbourne, Florida 32935. Music, ballet, holiday events.
  • Melbourne Harbor Marina in Melbourne, Florida, located on central Florida's East Coast on the Intracoastal Waterway and the Indian River Lagoon. 2210 South Front Street, Melbourne, Florida 32901
  • Melbourne International Film Festival: Movies, events, festival profile

A historic landmark: The William H. Gleason House.

A historic landmark: The William H. Gleason House.

Space Coast Harbor City

Melbourne is nicknamed the Harbor City as a reflection of its location on the eastern coast of Florida, about 24 miles south of Cape Canaveral. Beeches, waterfronts, and harbors offer numerous recreational activities to residents and visitors.

Several State Parks and Conservation Areas are located within half an hour's drive time as well. In case of severe inclement weather and hurricanes, the city is well prepared with a system of services that offer

Within an hour's journey to Kennedy Space Center, Melbourne makes the ideal retirement spot for hobbyists that enjoy astronomy and space exploration events. The research division of the center is involved in remarkable projects that include wildlife and agriculture as well as weather and space travel.

For Baby Boomers that grew up on Walt Disney shows about space exploration and were hooked on the subject - like actor Tom Hanks who portrayed astronaut Jim Lovell in Apollo 13 - Melbourne is a dream come true.

At one time, NASA operated a short project that studied seniors and space travel and today, privatized space travel is in the grasp of seniors in the near future. Kennedy offers attractions for all ages, making it a comprehensive educational and recreational complex for the community as well a center for NASA projects.

Melbourne Beach Area.

Melbourne Beach Area.

Melbourne Workforce Status

Melbourne city officials are joined by NASA, Disney, higher education facilities, and local businesses in order to promote the development of new jobs and new career fields to boost the city and state economy.

Research and employment internships help to expand the workforce and increase the quality of living in Melbourne. Retirees that want to work can also find employment in the area.

The most frequently listed job opportunities are in Healthcare, Finance, and IT (Information Technology/computers).

Top 10 Jobs in Melbourne Through 2026

The top 10 most in demand jobs in Melbourne, FL according to and U.S. BLS in mid-2022:

  1. Software Engineers, all levels
  2. Registered Nurses: RN, BSN, MSN, NP
  3. Sales Associates
  4. Certified Nursing Assistants and Nursing, Psychiatric, and Home Health Aides
  5. Certified Medical Assistants/Certified Nurse Assistants
  6. Licensed Practical Nurses
  7. Systems Engineer, all levels
  8. Customer Service Representatives, Call Center Staff
  9. Healthcare Support Staff
  10. Health Techs

Largest Local Employers

  1. L3Harris Corporation: Communications for public and private entities.
  2. Health First: Healthcare
  3. Brevard Board of Education
  4. RG Next: Raytheon and General Dynamics; NASA Commercial Crew
  5. Florida Institute of Technology
  6. Profile Services: Temp-to-Perm Employment
  7. Northrup Grumman: Aerospace and Defense; NASA Commercial Crew
  8. United Space Alliance: Owned by Boeing (who sells aircraft to China) and Lockheed Martin, both of which are in the NASA Commercial Crew.
  9. Rockwell Collins Aerospace: Aircraft communications; NASA Commercial Crew
  10. Patrick Space Force Base

Colleges and Universities

The system of Higher Education in and around Melbourne includes many community opportunities for classes and trips in conjunction with NASA, Kennedy Space Center, and other attractions.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Patty Inglish MS

Comments, Additions, and Experiences

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on November 04, 2015:

Hi Linda Robinson60 - Thanks for visiting here! There's a lot to like about Florida, despite some high humidity!

Linda Robinson from Cicero, New York on November 03, 2015:

Hi Patty I really enjoyed your fun attention grabbing pack filled hub with so much incredible and interesting and very detailed content. So nice meeting you. I look forward to reading many of your hubs. Linda

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on June 01, 2015:

Thanks for your uplifting comment, Debbie! I've visited some 55+ communities and think they are pretty good places to live - better than high-rise "retirement homes" - or short ones, too.Florida sounds more and more like a very good retirement state.

Debbie Mathers on May 31, 2015:

Hi there,

This was a really great post for those trying to decide where to retire in Florida. Melbourne, Marco Island and Ocala are all great places to consider. Overall, I think Florida is the very best state to retire in. You can’t beat the weather!

I myself was very interested in an active adult community in Delray Beach. I love to play tennis, and my husband loves to golf, so it was important to us to be around others who felt the same. 55 plus communities are really great options for retirees, and there are tons to choose from in Florida.

Thanks again for your post! It will be very helpful for plenty of folks.



Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 24, 2014:

Florida looks better all the time, considering the snow and ice most of the rest of the US received - except California.

poetryman6969 on January 04, 2014:

Retiring near water would be cool.

James T on December 05, 2012:

These are some great beaches in Florida and also good places to retire in Florida. I can see the allure of Florida for retirement, green, warm and it's just a nice place to be to relax and spend your last years. My grandparents just retired to a nice city on the coast right outside of Orlando- Palm Bay, so glad it is on your list! I was there and went to some great places, went golfing and walked the beaches. I stayed at the Palm Bay Hotel as well and the prices were beyond reasonable!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on September 10, 2012:

Thanks for the link - prices look reasonable.

Janie on September 10, 2012:

There are so many great places to retire in Florida, it is crazy! My parents recently retired to the Melbourne area in Palm Bay and they love it so much. Slow paced, great community and the weather is wonderful year round. Whenever I go visit them I love the hotel they set me up with, the Palm Bay Hotel ( Cheap and large, those pools are amazing when you aren't in the mood for the beach!

bredandagnes from Ireland on March 13, 2012:

just returned from a visit to Viera Melbourne and I have to agree-would love to retire there.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 25, 2012:

Florida has always interested me and seems a fun place to retire. I am glad this Hub brought good memories back to you!

MP50 on January 25, 2012:

Many years ago, I lived in Boca Raton, palm beach florida. This Hub has brought back some great memories.

Dr Rockpile from USA on October 12, 2011:

I'd love to have a place in the Kissimmee/Orlando area. A great spot for visiting grandchildren. :)

deepakkumaarr on January 23, 2011:

excellent collection

All The Best for your future hubs

TheDisneyVacation on August 03, 2010:

Nice hub,lots of great places to retire in Florida because of environmental factors.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 01, 2010:

rebekahELLE - Thanks for your experiences Palm Harbor and Sarasota. I'm at least going to have a vacation arund Florida, if not eventually to move there.

bryanmccarthy - Thanks! I especailly like the idea of being n the Space Coast where the space exploration mecca is centered - and soon, a commerical part to the spaceport.

bryanmccarty on February 01, 2010:

How, what a great hub! I hope you are getting a hundred people a day to this hub because it is one of the best ones I have read yet!

rebekahELLE from Tampa Bay on January 11, 2010:

Patty, another great hub and so helpful! I live very close to Palm Harbor. It's a nice area and so central to everything. Depending on how close one lives to the Gulf, there is the breeze from the water. Yes, it is how and humid during the summer, but actually not too much more than the midwest, probably because we're so close to the Gulf. Sarasota is nice also, probably a bit more expensive than Palm Harbor. But It's a great cultural area of Florida, as well as Tampa. :)

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 05, 2010:

Sandyspider - I'm ready to go now, because of snow clogging traffic here!

Don - I'll take a look at those cities as well. Florida is sounding better all the time.

A friend retired to a part of Central Texas at Christmas, a cold snap hit, and the furnace went out. Not as warm as expected!

dusanotes from Windermere, FL on January 04, 2010:

Thank you doe this exceptional Hub. Might I add Sarasota/Bradenton as a great retirement place. Specifically, I believe Sarasota is marvelous. Bradenton isn't a great city, but it has one great retirement community that makes up for its deficiencies and that is a place where we lived for several years, Lakewood Ranch. We built a home there on a large pond. Great memories of it. A lot to do. Just 11 miles from the beach and a great city, Sarasota. I'd go back there in a heartbeat. Keep up the good work.

Sandy Mertens from Wisconsin, USA on January 04, 2010:

Sound like some great places to retire. The plus is no snow!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 04, 2010:

@skgrao - Do you recommend US senior citizens retire in India? Some may like to do so - which cities do you suggest?

@William - Thanks for posting; it's good to see you. Some parts of Florida are pretty humid and hot, aren't they?

Dim Flaxenwick from Great Britain on January 03, 2010:

I didn't even know there was a Melbourne in Florida.! Thanks again , Patty for great information.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on January 03, 2010:

Thank you for a very interesting and informative hub.

S K G Rao. from Bangalore City - INDIA. on January 02, 2010:

Visit India to see Top ONE place in the world.

William F Torpey from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on January 02, 2010:

Thanks for the interesting hub, Patty. I have several friends and relatives in and around Melbourne. It seems they must subscribe to 55-Alive -- They're all in the Melbourne area -- Palm Bay, Titusville, Barefoot Bay, Kissimmee, Ocala. Actually, they all went South from Connecticut to Fort Lauderdale years ago and drifted north to the area over the years. Based on my occasional visits, it seems like a nice place to live. It's a bit cooler than Lauderdale.

david stillwagon on January 02, 2010:

They all sound like great places to retire to! I really like the Clearwater area.

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