Miami is known for its long list of gorgeous beaches, vibrant nightlife options, and flourishing commercial, entertainment, artistic, and cultural sites. These make the city not only one of the top vacation destinations in the world, but one of the most popular retirement spots as well.
Below are the top 10 reasons why more and more people are choosing to retire in the beautiful seaport city of Miami.
As the largest city in the retirement hotbed that’s Florida, Miami is most often associated with a warm, sunny weather that no one could resist. Its average peak temperature during summer is only 81 degrees F (27 C), while its average annual low is still a cozy 60 degrees F (16 C).
Miami is known for having the warmest winter climate of any major U.S. city, making it a perfect retirement destination for those who suffer from arthritis and other joint disorders.
While English remains the official language of Miami, its large number of Spanish-speaking immigrants has led to it being referred to – in jest – as the capital of Latin America.
Besides being an obvious destination for hispanophiles, the city, where roughly 60% speak Spanish, attracts anyone who’s looking to cut down on government dues. Florida is one of the few states in the union (besides Texas and Alaska) that do not impose an income tax on its residents. There is also neither estate tax nor inheritance tax, which makes it an ideal place where one can serenely enjoy one’s post-work years.
There are dozens of Active Adult Communities that cater to retirees throughout Florida, and many of them are in Miami. These AACs offer a variety of services and amenities, besides the intangible comfort of belonging to a caring group.
As an example, the award-winning Lennar Active Adult Communities, which builds retirement and active-adult homes in over 18 states, offers state-of-the-art fitness centers, club and hobby rooms, and community events. There is no doubt that joining an AAC in Miami can add lots of excitement to your retirement years.
Miami’s sun, sea, and sand can do wonders for your health, and you’ve got lots of options for sunbathing, swimming, sand castle-building, or simply people-watching, three of them being Miami Beach, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park (at the south end of Key Biscayne), and the South Beach.
Miami also has the Virginia Key Beach (which is right off the Rickenbacker Causeway and in close proximity to the Miami Seaquarium), Haulover Beach (located along Miami Beach between Sunny Isles Beach and Bal Harbour), and the Homestead Bayfront Park and Marina. Quiet, scenic beaches to consider are the 85th Street Beach (along Collins Avenue), Matheson Hammock Park Beach (along Old Cutler Rd. in South Miami), Matheson Hammock Park Beach, and Virginia Key (on Key Biscayne).
While we’re on the topic of beaches, did you know that there are tons of other fun activities you can do in Miami’s beaches? For instance, those who wish to be one with nature will appreciate Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park (at the edge of Key Biscayne), thanks to its more than a mile long beach, historic lighthouse, and exciting nature trails.
For the more adventurous, Hobie Beach (along the side of the causeway to Key Biscayne), although technically not a beach but an inlet, is considered Miami’s best windsurfing spot. Meanwhile, Haulover Beach (just past the causeway from Bal Harbour) offers Miami’s largest swells for surfing. And for those who’d like to play with their little grandkids, we highly recommend Bal Harbour Beach (along Collins Avenue at 96th Street) for hunting colorful shells.
Miami International Airport (MIA) serves as one of the world’s busiest airports, being the single largest international gateway for American Airlines and serving over 35 million passengers annually. MIA’s international routes include non-stop flights to more than 70 major cities in North and South America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Wherever your loved ones may be coming from, you can have them visiting you as quickly and comfortably as possible, thanks to Miami’s world-class airport.
If you’re feeling lonesome or simply want to satisfy your wanderlust, MIA (and several others in Florida, such as Fort Lauderdale Airport) can cater to both domestic and international flights. And before we forget, the fact that Orlando’s fun theme parks and other attractions are just a couple of hours away are an added incentive for your grandchildren to visit you more often.
The importance of regular physical activity becomes even more crucial as we age, and Miami offers various exciting activities. You may stroll, run, or bike along the city’s numerous paved paths. Miami has over 800 parks and is the only U.S. city that is surrounded by two national ones: Biscayne National Park and Everglades National Park.
There are also many lovely old neighborhoods to take a look at, like Coral Gables. The Art Deco District (in South Beach) also happens to be one of the most interesting destinations due to its historic sites, nightclubs, and shopping malls. Various events like the Winter Music Conference, Sony Ericsson Open, Art Basel, South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Miami, and the Latin art, music, and food festival called Carnaval on the Mile likewise draw millions to the city year after year.
Miami is regarded as a very walkable community. In fact, since 2011, Miami consistently lands in the top 10 of Walk Score’s annual rankings of America’s most walkable cities. In 2015, Miami (the city proper, not the greater metropolis area) was the fifth most walkable city in America, three spots higher than its previous year’s rank. Walk Score’s rankings include all American cities with a population of 300,000 or more and took walking routes, pedestrian friendliness, neighborhood data, depth of choice, and population into account.
The Wynwood and Design District neighborhoods, where many new dining places and entertainment centers have mushroomed in previous years, are a joy to explore by foot. Meanwhile, areas like the South Beach have always been considered walkable and have become even more enticingly so in previous years. Neighborhoods like Wynwood, the Design District, Little Havana, Brickell, and Downtown are likewise an ease to walk at, so make sure to bring your favorite walking shoes.
In 2008, Forbes Magazine ranked Miami as the Cleanest City in America. And in 2015, Livability.com ranked Miami as America’s fourth healthiest city, based on factors such as local access to doctors, lifestyle choices, and farmers’ markets. Livability rounded up its top 10 list by determining cities that offer the “best health care in terms of access, quality, and affordability,” health factors like the number of smokers, alcoholics, obese, and daily-exercising residents, as well as access to food, walkability, and amenities that promoted healthy living. Even clean air and water were taken into account.
The site reported that most of Miami residents “get in some kind of daily exercise at least three times a week, keeping the city’s obesity rate under 23 percent… Majority of residents resist the urge to drink excessively or smoke.” Its recent juice bar boom, access to parks, beaches, the Everglades, and kayak-ready canals were also among the factors that led to the Sunshine State’s biggest city being crowned as the fourth healthiest U.S. city.
To complete the top 10 reasons to retire in Miami, being one of the most popular retirement havens in America bred one huge advantage: excellent health care services that are specifically tailored to people with advanced age. With a large number of its population seeking medical services, a handful of health care providers set up shop all over the city.
Just northwest of downtown is the Civic Center, Miami’s hub for hospitals and research institutes, with renowned hospitals like Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami VA Hospital, the University of Miami’s Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, Holtz Children’s Hospital, and Mount Sinai Medical Center (in Miami Beach). The world-famous Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston and the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville are not so far away either. So when Miami’s amazing climate, nonexistent taxes, AACs, beaches, adventures, travel comforts, leisure and entertainment options, walking benefits, cleanliness, and overall health advantages fail, take comfort in the city’s world-class medical facilities.