Southeast Florida vs. Southwest Florida - Which One Is Better For Retirement?

Are you looking for the perfect place to retire? You’ve probably heard that living in South Florida is a popular choice, but with so much coastline, many options exist.

Southeast and Southwest Florida are both attractive areas. They each have their unique offerings. Weighing each option can be difficult, and that’s why we’re here to help!

This blog post will break down the pros and cons of Southeast versus Southwest Florida, so you can decide where your retirement dreams should take shape. Keep reading to discover more — let’s dive in and explore what each part of this great state has to offer!

Why Retirees Are Drawn to the Sunshine State

Florida is a popular destination for retirees looking to enjoy their golden years in the sunshine near the open waters. The warm temperatures and sheltered environment make it an ideal place for retirees to live and stay active, as the weather allows for year-round outdoor activities.

The sunny climate helps promote emotional well-being, while those living close to the coastline can reap the additional benefits from increased exposure to vitamins from sunlight. Many retirees also take advantage of Florida’s lower living costs and tax benefits.

South Florida is infused with a wide variety of cultures and experiences, making it one of the most vibrant places in the state. With so much to discover, retirees will find something new at every turn! Additionally, convenient access to world-class international airports makes it easier to stay connected with friends and family worldwide.

Boasting an array of attractions ranging from national parks to glittering beaches and charming small towns, it’s clear why so many are retiring in South Florida.

Not only can retirees immerse themselves in the range of activities South Florida offers, but they might get lucky enough to experience its deep cultural embedment. Florida’s meld of old traditions and present iterations makes for a truly unique atmosphere that cannot be replicated.

Retiring in Southeast Florida: Pros and Cons To Consider

Southeast Florida is located on the Atlantic side of the state and includes cities such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. It is renowned for its serene beaches and glamorous lifestyle. But is the area suitable for retirees? Let’s see the advantages and disadvantages of living in Southeast Florida.


Endless Activities

Retirement is a time to kick back and enjoy life, and Southeast Florida offers the perfect opportunity for folks to do just that! From every corner of this side of the Sunshine State, you can experience all sorts of activities.

From the metropolitan cities, where you can explore art galleries and fine dining, to beach towns, where nature trails and museums await — there’s something for everyone in Southeast Florida.

For instance, retirees can explore the Everglades, one of the most iconic national parks in the United States. Or they can stroll through Miami’s Little Havana and explore Cuban culture.

Warm Climate

Due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, Southeast Florida has warm temperatures year-round, making it an attractive destination for retirees looking to escape the cold weather. This warm climate allows retirees to enjoy outdoor activities without worrying about extreme temperatures.

The average temperature in Southeast Florida hovers around the low-80s degrees Fahrenheit and rarely dips below 47 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can be sure that your days here will be enjoyable and comfortable.

Variety of Real Estate Options

Retirees will be delighted to know that Southeast Florida offers an array of real estate choices. From small single-family homes to luxury apartments, there are plenty of options for retirees looking to downsize or upsize.

With the range of prices available, you can find something that fits your budget without sacrificing quality. Architectural styles range from Mediterranean villas to art deco buildings, so you can find the perfect spot to call your home.


No place is perfect, and Southeast Florida has some drawbacks.

Cost of Living

Despite its many perks, the cost of living in Southeast Florida can be on the pricey side. From real estate to daily expenses, living in this part of Florida can take up a more significant chunk of your budget than expected.

For example, the average cost of housing in Florida is higher than the national average and tends to be even more expensive in Southeast Florida. Consider your finances before moving to this part of the state.

High Crime Rate

Unfortunately, some areas within Southeast Florida have high crime rates. While the region is generally safe, retirees should take extra caution when choosing a neighborhood to live in and look into any local crime statistics before settling down.

Examples of good neighborhoods for retirees include Boca Raton and Coral Gables, which have comparatively low crime rates.

Retiring in Southeast Florida is an excellent option for those looking to move to the Sunshine State. You’ll enjoy all the warmth and activities it offers without compromising your safety.

However, you should also keep an eye on your budget, as the cost of living can be high, and pick the right neighborhood to ensure your safety.

Retiring in Southwest Florida: Pros and Cons To Consider

With the U.S. Gulf Coast as its backdrop, Southwest Florida offers retirees a unique combination of relaxation and opportunity. From nature-filled parks to cultural attractions like the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, there’s always something new to explore here.

If you are considering retiring in Southwest Florida, here are a few pros and cons to keep in mind.


See why this part of South Florida appeals to retirees.

Lower Crime Rates

Unlike other parts of South Florida, the crime rate in Southwest Florida is relatively low. The area’s population is mainly composed of retirees and families, giving it a more relaxed and safe atmosphere than many other cities in Florida.

Most neighborhoods here have lower crime rates than the state and national averages. Southwest Florida is an ideal place to call home if you value safety and security.

Calmer Waters

If you’re looking for a great place to live near water, Southwest Florida should be on the top of your list. The region is known for its calm, turquoise waters and charming beachfront properties — always the perfect setting for a dip in the sea or some other outdoor adventure. 

Plus, it’s been noted that soaking up the sunshine and breathing in the fresh ocean air can improve your overall health and well-being, making it an investment as good for your body as it is for your spirit.

More Laidback Lifestyle

The atmosphere in Southwest Florida is much more laid back than in other parts of the state. With its slower pace and relaxed attitude, the area makes it easy to forget about the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy a calmer lifestyle. With fewer people around, finding spots to go fishing, boating, or kayaking in peace is easy.


Although Southwest Florida is a beautiful place, it has some drawbacks that should be considered before relocating here.

Increased Risk of Flooding

If you live in Southwest Florida, there is an essential factor to consider when looking for the perfect home: flooding. Due to the flat level of this region, flooding can be hazardous during the rainy season.

Avoiding areas with a high flood risk is crucial to ensure that your family and property remain safe, protected, and dry. Researching the different neighborhoods is key; evaluate past flooding events and their impact on homes. Talk to locals who have lived in the area for a while. They will know which spots are most prone to flooding, so talk with them before making any major decisions.

Limited Arts and Culture

Compared to Southeast Florida, where there is plenty of culture and art to explore, Southwest Florida can be somewhat limited in this area. You may find a few hotspots like the Ringling Museum or the Florida Orchestra, but you won’t find as many cultural venues and attractions.

However, if you are looking for a quieter lifestyle with access to beautiful beaches and watersports, Southwest Florida might be the perfect place to retire!

High Traffic

The Southwest part of this beautiful state is always a magnet for tourists. During peak season, the beaches and other spots of interest can become quite congested — almost unbearably so. It could seriously dissolve your peace if you are looking at these areas with thoughts of settling down here.

Finding an area in a good location that isn’t full of fun-seekers and general hustle and bustle can be a real challenge while hunting for a retirement spot amidst all the fabulous attractions of this bountiful region.

Careful consideration of the pros and cons, potential flooding issues, and peak season traffic can make relocating to Southwest Florida for retirement an excellent choice. Take time to weigh all your options, and you may call this sunny area home!

The Verdict

There’s no denying that retiring in Florida is an attractive idea to many. With the state’s warm weather and stunning beaches, it’s not hard to see why! Outdoor activities like tennis, golf, swimming, and even just catching some rays — who could say no to that? However, retirees considering moving to South Florida may find the Southeastern part more suitable than the Southwestern part.

With the robust culture and art scene and lower risk of flooding in the East, retirees can rest easy knowing they have made the best decision for their lifestyle. But whichever part you settle down in, you’re bound to find plenty of things to do and lots of beauty all around!

Posted by Andy Mandel on
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