Best Places To Retire In The South

Best places to retire
Florida continues to be a top destination for retirees

On average, Americans retire at the age of 64 (although Americans have been retiring later over the past few decades). Nonetheless, they typically look to move to a location that will make the most of their time and money. Of course, a warm climate that allows for year round activities such as golf, tennis, and fishing doesn’t hurt either. According to U.S. Census data, in 2021, over 250,000 people at or close to retirement age migrated to the South from other regions in the U.S. Not surprisingly, most of these transplants came from the Northeast.

Recently, the site curated data from to formulate the top 50 best places to retire in the south. Factors such as cost of living, weather, and access to healthcare were used in compiling these rankings. It should also be noted that Stacker limited each state to no more than 10 spots on the top 50 list. Although Florida dominated the top 10 list, this limitation per state is why more Florida cities were not listed in the overall top 50 ranking. In other words, this top 50 ranking would have been dominated by Florida without this limitation.

Florida dominates again (Top 10 cities to retire in the south)

Not surprisingly, ten of the top twelve retirement spots in the south were located in The Sunshine State. Just outside of the top 10 were Whiskey Creek, FL at #12 and Jensen Beach, FL at #11. As for the top 10 best places to retire in the south, they were as follows:

  • #1. Pelican Bay, FL: population 6,257
  • #2. Highland Beach, FL: population 3,907
  • #3. Indian River Shores, FL: population 4,255
  • #4. South Palm Beach, FL: population 1,855
  • #5. Dutch Island, GA: population 1,338
  • #6. Hillsboro Beach, FL: population 1,964
  • #7. Gulf Stream, FL: population 885
  • #8. Siesta Key, FL: population 5,587
  • #9. Cypress Lake, FL: population 12,766
  • #10. Rehoboth Beach, DE: population 1,588


Overall, southern states tend to offer warmer weather, lower cost of living, and tax-friendly environments. When considering Florida in particular, you certainly can not forget about the beautiful beaches and tremendous culture. Although retiring in Florida is certainly not a new phenomenon, the list above does highlight some smaller beach towns that may not necessarily be household names to many Americans. In addition, there are many amazing spots to consider just within the South Florida market that are not mentioned in these rankings.

Are you looking to retire in South Florida? We can help! Nobody knows the South Florida real estate market better than our team at Live South Florida Realty, Inc. Be sure to contact us today! While you are at it, don’t forget to download the free Florida Home Search app! You will be glad that you did.

By natasha moore

REALTOR® with Live South Florida Realty, Inc.