Thursday, December 16, 2010

Florida, still tops the list of best places to retire

Despite the hurricanes, heat and housing market, Florida, and particularly Southwest Florida, still tops the list of best places to retire.

Eight of the Top 10 places to retire are in Florida and three of the Top 5 are in Southwest Florida, according to a study released Thursday by, a national business news Web site.

Naples landed in fifth place, right behind the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area. Bradenton-Sarasota was first out of 157 ranked cities, 13 of which were in Florida.

”I don’t know what the criteria was, but I think Naples is No. 1,” said Arlene Carozza, Realtor and president of the Naples Area Board of Realtors.

Naples City Councilman John Sorey said just being on the list is reason enough to be proud.

“I think that obviously we would like to be No. 1,” he said. “But, I think as long as we’re in the Top 5 or Top 10, that’s a pretty high level of competence, that’s pretty competitive.” used a six-part formula to rank the most popular retirement destinations. As part of the formula, it used raw data from the U.S. Census Bureau. It chose the 157 areas because of their senior population, setting the minimum at 40,000 senior citizens.

“The reason I think people retire to Naples — other than structurally since we have no state income tax — I think people retire to Naples for the same reason I retired to Naples,” Sorey said. “I traveled around the world and visited many locations to retire, but look at quality of life, climate, citizens that are here, the arts, and restaurants. It’s just a wonderful place to retire.”

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