Sarasota, FL / Bradenton, FL

Why retire in Sarasota, Florida?

Are you asking yourself, “Why retire in Sarasota?” If you’re not, you should be! This beautiful city nestled inside Sarasota Bay is lined with Florida’s famous keys, white sand beaches, and sparkling blue waters that perfectly suit a retirement lifestyle of leisure and relaxation. But of course, beaches and water aren’t everything you need to consider in retirement – unfortunately.
So why retire in Sarasota? Here are some great reasons to kick back, relax, and live out your golden days in peace and harmony.

No taxes and low taxes

Nobody loves to pay taxes, and in retirement, even more so. You’re probably done accumulating your nest egg, leaving you with a finite resource that should last until your final days. To your surprise, the federal government wants a sizeable chunk of your retirement savings – up to 37% of it in 2023!
Fortunately, the state of Florida won’t tax your retirement withdrawals, such as from a 401(K) or IRA, so you’re saving a lot on state income taxes. The Sunshine State also doesn’t tax your assets when you pass away, making it an excellent state for estate planning.
While Florida may not have an income tax, it does have a property tax. However, Sarasota County residents are graced with the second lowest millage rate out of all the 67 counties in the State. The millage rate is the number of dollars assessed for every thousand dollars worth of property. Sarasota County currently stands at 3.46 mills.
All these factors make Florida and Sarasota some of the tax-friendliest places in the nation.

Great medical infrastructure

Sarasota has several great hospitals, including the award-winning Sarasota Memorial Hospital, which nationally ranks for two adult specialties, plus is rated as high-performing in another adult specialty and fifteen procedures and conditions.
Also of particular note is the Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, a private hospital that ranks in the top 5% of hospitals for surgical care in 2022 and 2023 and ranks in the top 50 hospitals for surgical care. For the younger members of your family, there is the John Hopkins All-Childrens Outpatient Center, with a hospital in nearby St. Petersburg.
There are also plenty of high-quality assisted living centers scattered throughout the city and Sarasota County as well. In 2021, Florida led the nation with 32 Bronze Quality Award Recipients from American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), proving once again that Florida attracts some of the best geriatric care professionals in the country.

Free Transportation

Unfortunately, many retirees experience depression, and losing the ability to travel is a big part of it. In Sarasota, though, retirees will have a problem getting around, as Florida offers free door-to-door transportation for eligible seniors that otherwise don’t have access to transportation, giving them the freedom to make their way around the state to visit family and friends – a massive boost to morale while retired.

Sarasota retirement communities

Speaking of facilities, retirees will always feel right at home in Sarasota, surrounded by their peers in one of the various 55+ retirement communities here. In fact, there are about 45 such facilities, varying in price, location, and style. For example, the Sarasota Bay Club offers beachfront condos just a few minutes away from downtown Sarasota and its cultural and entertainment offerings.
If golf is more your thing, you can check out the University Park Country Club, complete with a championship golf course, tennis courses, a fitness center, and its own restaurant. Of course, these are just a couple of the many offerings, so be sure to take your time and shop around for a community that fits your lifestyle and finances.

The weather is fantastic

If you’re from a cold state, you’ll be happy to finally experience a mild climate year-round when you retire in Sarasota. No more shoveling snow, scraping ice off your windshield, or bundling up just to check the mail. During winter, temperatures in Sarasota typically range from 55 degrees at night to 70 degrees during the day. In the summer months, temperatures can fluctuate between 75 and 90 degrees.
And it’s not just about it being warm year round – Sarasota has about 251 sunny days a year, which is wonderful for your health. In fact, sunshine provides vital Vitamin D, promotes bone health, possibly lowers blood pressure, and staves off depression. Just be sure to use sunscreen, and you’ll be golden!
“But what about hurricanes?” I can hear you asking. Well, due to its fortunate position on Florida’s western coast, hurricanes rarely directly hit Sarasota, though Hurricane Ian was a notable exception. Many hurricanes flow in a westerly direction, striking the east coast or south coast of Florida, lessening their impact as they travel across the state.

Cultural activities

Sarasota may not be New York City or Paris, but it does have its own fair share of museums, art galleries, theaters, and fine dining to keep you entertained. The Ringling Museum of Art features the late John and Mable Ringling’s personal collection of European art pieces and other antiquities, making it a must-see. But the cultural capital of Southwest Florida wouldn’t be complete without its own world-class opera house, ballet, and chamber orchestra. With such a well-rounded and refined fine arts scene you’ll never feel intellectually understimulated in Sarasota.

The beaches and parks

One cannot write an article about Sarasota and not mention its beautiful beaches and keys. Siesta Key, an 8-mile-long barrier island in Sarasota, has gorgeous white quartz sand and crystal blue waters, with plenty of fun things to do, such as fishing charters, sailing, parasailing, surfing, and kayaking. Its primary beach, Siesta Beach, has been awarded the #1 and #2 beach in America several times by TripAdvisor. If you ever get tired of Siesta Beach, don’t worry. There are thirteen more beaches in Sarasota to keep you engaged and entertained.

Retire in Sarasota

So, why retire in Sarasota? It truly is a great place to live, and especially live out your twilight years. Surrounded by peers, a great climate, unending sports and leisure activities, and fine arts, you can finally let your hair down and make the most out of life.
Is Sarasota the right place for you? We’ll gladly review your retirement plan and see if Sarasota fits your financial circumstances and retirement goals. Just click the button below!

About the Authors

  • Douglas Walters

    Doug is the Managing Partner of Walters Strategic Partners, LLC, a licensed Registered Investment Advisory firm. Doug is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of Florida and holds a Series 65 Investment Advisor Representative securities license. He is also a member of the AICPA. With over 28 years of experience as a CPA, he believes investment decisions should be based on decades of peer-reviewed research rather than relying on the latest “hot tip” from media outlets. This empirical evidence puts the science of investing to work for his clients.

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  • Jose Joia

    Jose M. Joia is a Wealth Advisor at Walters Strategic Advisors, LLC. As a member of the team, Jose’s responsibilities involve comprehensive wealth management, planning and customer service. He has over 6 years of industry experience specializing in planning and solving unique issues his clients encounter. Jose has experience serving individual clients, business owners and non-profit organizations.

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