What to Look for in a City When Retiring to Florida

Millions of aging Americans are redefining what the golden years mean for them.

From work to health, education and transportation, the ideas of successful aging today have changed significantly from previous generations. Even the concept of retirement has been upended as older people seek fulfillment from work, education, and an active lifestyle later in life. When retiring to Florida, today’s older adults are looking for the lifestyles that will continue to engage their minds, bodies, and spirits.

Researchers at the well-regarded Milken Institute recently published a comprehensive report on the best cities for successful aging. They found older people today are upending conventions, leading what researchers now call a revolution in the culture of aging.

When retiring to Florida, consider some of the same considerations as researchers at the Milken Institute. Then, view our videos to see how the principals of Kitson & Partners are on the cutting edge of this revolution in the culture of aging.

Evaluating Cities for Retirement

Broadly, Milken Institute considered these factors for evaluating towns for successful aging:

Financial security and opportunities for entrepreneurship. Milken researchers say successful communities encourage “encore careers,” where active older people can remain engaged in meaningful work. Florida’s low tax burden helps and so does evidence of small-business growth. At Babcock Ranch, for example, the first phase of the town will include a collaborative business incubator called The Hatchery. Successful retired entrepreneurs and executives who live at Babcock Ranch will be able to participate as business mentors or entrepreneurs themselves.

Beneficial engagements with families and communities. Babcock Ranch is a multi-generational community where diverse population comprising everyone from millennials to boomers, young families to retirees. In an effort to promote a diverse and dynamic town, Babcock Ranch will offer a broad spectrum of residential housing options, from single-family homes to multifamily units.

The residences in the town’s neighborhoods will present timeless architectural designs that encourage social interaction and a strong sense of town. The Craftsman, Farmhouse, Coastal Gulf Vernacular, Spanish, and Colonial/West Indies architectural styles, each sourced in the pre-World War II Southwest Florida regional styles, will convey a familiar, comforting look and feel that recalls a simpler time when neighbors knew and cared about one another.

Mobility and convenience. Babcock Ranch’s planners have expressly designed the town so that residents don’t have to spend time in their cars to get the essentials they need. In fact, Babcock plans include an advanced public and private transportation system of shared, driverless vehicles that is expected to be the eventual backbone for moving people and goods around the community.

Physical, intellectual and cultural enrichment. Within thousands of acres of greenways, Babcock Ranch will offer an active trail system through more than 50 miles of preserved and restored ecosystems. The town’s innovative health and fitness center will support lifelong pursuits of an active lifestyle and choices for medical wellness.

Downtown Babcock Ranch is the heart and soul of the town and designed to foster the personal connection, personal well-being and lifelong learning opportunities that are the core of the town’s way of life. Places of learning and exploration, a wellness center, restaurants, specialty retail shops, a locally grown produce market, and indoor and outdoor gathering places will convey a comforting Main Street ambiance that invites the town’s residents to come as they are and enjoy all that downtown offers.

Babcock will feature an education system providing a wide choice of on-site and distance learning options, from early learning to college-level courses.

Safe, affordable and convenient location. Babcock Ranch is close to all the amenities of Fort Myers and Southwest Florida International Airport while its location on the county line allows for a range of housing options in a pastoral setting. The town will have a mix of affordable, moderate and luxury residences, subscribing to an open-design concept to create a more welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. There will be no gates at Babcock Ranch and buyers will have a choice of centrally located homes walkable to the town center or more secluded hideaways.

You can view videos describing all aspects of Babcock Ranch by clicking here http://babcockranch.com/photo-gallery/.