LAL ranked #10 out of 100 Best Places to Retire in the U.S.

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Put on your party hat Lakelander and pop open the champagne. Our Swan City was just awarded it’s newest claim to fame.

The City of Lakeland was ranked number 10 among the 100 Best Places to Retire in the U.S. by U.S. & World Report News. The criteria for the win included a gauge of the happiness of local residents, housing affordability, tax rates + healthcare quality.

Currently, there are approximately 47 million seniors living in the United States, and according to The Population Reference Bureau, this number will soon double. It’s projected that by 2060, nearly 100 million Americans will be 65 or older. The CDC says that this is due to the senior population more than doubling over the past 40 years, as baby boomers are now projected to have a longer long life span.

With 30,200 assisted living communities in the U.S. today and 1,760 of those communities being in Florida, it should really come as no surprise that the sunshine state was voted as the number one state in the U.S. to retire in overall.

Why wouldn’t folks flock here? Our all-year seasonally warm weather, no income tax + the fact that friends have also chosen the state are only three out a billion reasons why people choose to retire in Florida.

And to help you repress the urge to complain about out-of-state drivers and longer waits at restaurants during the winter months, seasonal retirees contribute $135 billion annually, almost $15 billion more than residents aged 49 and under.

Statewide seniors also account for 50% of all new home construction, contribute $3.5 billion to charities, pay $1 billion in local school taxes, expend $1.4 billion more in state taxes than they receive in social services + are Florida’s largest group of voters at 40%.

Of course, monetary means are not all that Florida’s seniors add to our state.

In addition to being our state’s second largest economic sector, the knowledge and experience to Florida’s local communities seniors exhibit is pretty huge. Many retirees volunteer and donate their time in the amount of 7.5 million person days annually.

As someone who grew up right next to The Villages, I’d say I’ve become pretty well versed on senior living communities, winter visitors + different volunteer opportunities that these communities can provide. And Lakeland has ample opportunity to get involved.

One of our very own, Alex Gomez, an officer with over 20 years of service at the Lakeland Police Department, is a frequent guest at Lake Morton Plaza, sharpening his Wii bowling skills + even hanging out with local resident Ike at his 107th birthday party last year.

If you have more insight, let us know. As always, we love to hear your feedback.