Retiring to Florida: What is Retirement Like in Florida?

Put away your preconceived notions of what retirement is like in Florida.

Truthfully, you’d be hard-pressed to find a shuffleboard court anywhere in Florida. Today’s retirees in Florida will find plenty of activities to challenge them physically and intellectually because the state has changed with modern attitudes about aging.

Perhaps your perceptions of Florida were formed when you were younger. Television comedy shows often portrayed Florida retirees in less-than-attractive light. But retiring to Florida doesn’t mean the end of work or an active lifestyle. In fact, you may be more active in retirement than you were when you were working in another state.

That’s because Florida has so much to offer people in retirement. Consider:

  • Not done working? Many retirees to Florida decide they’d like to continue to work, but on their own terms. They start consulting firms, buy a small-business franchise or mentor younger startup entrepreneurs in business incubators such as The Hatchery at Babcock Ranch. Because Florida is a tourist destination, retirees can find part-time jobs in the hospitality and restaurant industries. Working for even a few months during the busy winter tourism season can be fulfilling and put extra money in your pocket.
  • Get in great shape. Florida’s year-round weather is perfect for anyone who wants to stay or get in shape. At Babcock Ranch, for example, the 50 miles of trails provide plenty of opportunities for bike riding, jogging or hiking. Forget shuffleboard courts. Most communities in Florida now have well-appointed wellness centers with the latest gym equipment. Today’s retirees know that they have to maintain strength and endurance to enjoy a good quality of life in later years. Babcock Ranch’s wellness center can help keep you on the right track, for example.
  • Get outside. Just ask any bird watcher: Florida’s wilderness is teeming with life and it’s easy to get away. For example, most of Babcock Ranch will remain a nature preserve forever. At one time, the area that once totaled 91,000 acres was home to the ranchers and farmers of Crescent B Ranch. Thanks to sustainable-community developer Kitson & Partners and visionary state legislators, the town of Babcock Ranch will only encompass 17,000 acres. The remaining 74,000 acres of what once was Crescent B Ranch is now owned by the state as a preserve in perpetuity.
  • Learn something new. Universities and colleges offer many courses to anyone eager to learn something new, regardless of age. For example, Florida Gulf Coast University’s Renaissance Academy offers lifelong-learning courses for adults at three locations in Southwest Florida, including Punta Gorda, Fort Myers and Naples.
  • Volunteer your time. The Florida Department of Elder Affairs says older people in the state volunteered 154 million hours in 2013, the latest data available. As the baby boomer generation retires, that number will likely grow. Volunteering opportunities are virtually unlimited. At Babcock Ranch, for example, the town will encourage giving back through community projects that bring residents together.

For more information about Babcock Ranch, visit Woodlea Hall, our sales and information center, or call us at 877-484-4434.