(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

It’s no secret that Florida is one of the top retirement destinations in the U.S.. But is it still accessible for people who are on a tight budget? Well, Go Banking Rates conducted a study of the top 10 Florida cities where you can retire in for less than $2,500 a month. The cost of living in this study includes the cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment, groceries, utilities and healthcare in areas popular with retirees.

While the cost of living has significantly gone up, Florida has plenty of retirement destinations if you’re on a budget. The nicest perk of retiring in Florida is that you’ll always be close to a gorgeous beach. Looking to retire affordably? Or want to be close to a family member who recently retired? Here are 10 cities in Florida where you can retire on $2,500/month. We ranked the cities from cheapest to most expensive.

  • 10. Gainesville

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,262
    • Percent of population 65 and older: 11.3%

    The home of the University of Florida boasts the lowest average cost for a one-bedroom apartment on the list — $1,015, which is nearly $400 under the national average. It may have the lowest percentage of 65-and-older residents, but that’s not surprising for a college town.


  • 9. Panama City Beach

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,330
    • Percent of population 65 and older: 16.7%

    The mesmerizing sugar-white sand beaches draw plenty of vacationers to Panama City Beach, but it has just 12,000 full-time residents. You can find a one-bedroom apartment for $1,099.


    (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

  • 8. Winter Garden

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,339
    • Percent of population 65 and older: 14.1%

    If you retire to Winter Garden, plan on having plenty of visitors. It’s just 14 miles from downtown Orlando, where the kids and grandkids can enjoy all of the theme parks on their trip to Florida.

  • 7. Palm Bay

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,383
    • Percent of population 65 and older: 20.9%

    Just south of Melbourne along the Atlantic Ocean is Palm Bay, an affordable option for Florida retirees. The costs of rent ($1,189 monthly average), groceries, healthcare and utilities all are lower than the national average. An additional perk is that you’re super close to beaches, golf courses, and places to ride a bike.

  • 6. Melbourne

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,383
    • Percent of population 65 and older: 20.9%

    The cost to live in Melbourne is higher when it comes to renting an apartment; but makes up for it in cost of healthcare. With 20.9% of the population 65 or older, you should meet plenty of other retirees to spend time with along Florida’s Space Coast.

  • 5. Jacksonville

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,393
    • Percent of population 65 and older: 13.8%

    The only Florida city on the list with an NFL franchise. Jacksonville also has the most shoreline of any Florida city.


    (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

  • 4. Lakeland

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,401
    • Percent of population 65 and older: 22.2%

    Not only is Lakeland a quick trip to Tampa, but it also has been the spring training home of the Detroit Tigers since 1934.

  • 3. Kissimmee

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,469
    • Percent of population 65 and older: 12.4%

    The city that is less than 15 miles from Walt Disney World has an average one-bedroom apartment cost of $1,255, which is $150 lower than the national average.

  • 2. Sanford

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,489
    • Percent of population 65 and older: 12.8%

    Located halfway between tourist destinations Orlando and Daytona Beach, Sanford is the home of the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens.


  • 1. Port Orange

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,497
    • Percent of population 65 and older: 24.6%

    Located south of Daytona Beach on the Atlantic coast of Florida, Port Orange seems like a retiree’s dream, with an 87% livability score and plenty of activities for people 65 and older.

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