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Spending your days with your toes in the sand may sound like the perfect retirement.
However, there’s a lot more to take into consideration when it comes to finding the ideal location.
U.S. News & World Report recently analyzed the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas and came up with a list of the best beach towns in which to spend your retirement.
“While some people dream of retirement in a remote beach town, older retirees often need access to services, such as medical care or transportation,” said Emily Brandon, senior retirement editor at U.S. News & World Report. “Many retirees also need to work at least part-time in retirement to supplement their retirement income.”
The publication also considered factors such as housing affordability, happiness and taxes when compiling the list.
Here are the best coastal towns for retirement, along with housing costs, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Fort Myers, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida.
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Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, the Fort Myers metro area boasts a number of beaches within its reach, such as Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel and Captiva islands.
The median home cost for those age 60 and older is $200,200. The median monthly mortgage payment is $1,364, while monthly costs for a paid-off house is $562. Median rent is $1,033 per month.
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Just about an hour south of Tampa, Sarasota is a popular tourist and retirement destination thanks to the white, powdery sand beaches like those on Siesta Key. About 2.7 million people visited Sarasota County between October 2017 and September 2018, according to the latest statistics from the area’s tourism bureau. Approximately 26.50% of the population is aged 65 and older, a recent GoBankingRates analysis found.
The median home prices for those age 60 and older is $204,000, while the median monthly rent is $1,060.
Daytona Beach, Florida
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For a cheaper retirement option, head to Daytona Beach on Florida’s Atlantic coast. It may also be a little more lively. NASCAR, headquartered in the area, holds several large motorsports events each year, U.S. News said.
The median home price for those age 60 and older is $160,200. The median mortgage payment is $1,173 per month, while the monthly cost of a mortgage-free home is $433. The median monthly rent is $910.
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Situated on the Pacific Ocean in southern California, San Diego offers up miles of shoreline, a boardwalk and amusement park.
It’s also pricier than its Florida counterparts. The median home price for those age 60 and older is $483,600.
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Head north to get a four-season climate in Portland, Maine. There you can savor lobster, visit the region’s lighthouses and take in the rocky coastline along the Atlantic Ocean.
The median home price for those age 60 and older is $249,200, while the median rent is $783 per month.
Miami Beach Coast, Florida (Photo by Hoberman Collection/UIG via Getty Images)
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Retirees who crave a city vibe may opt to head to Miami. Dubbed “The Magic City,” Miami lures retirees to fast-paced South Beach or laid back Key Biscayne. They can also soak up the sun all year long, although Miami also faces occasional rain storms and hurricane threats.
Housing will cost those age 60 and older $1,529 a month if they have a mortgage or $589 if they don’t. Renters should expect to pay $998 per month.
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston SC skyline
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Charleston offers up historic charm with a dose of Southern hospitality. The waterfront boasts restaurants, as well as boating and water sports. It is also a short drive to Kiawah Island and Isle of Palms.
While some areas of Charleston are pricey, the median home price among those age 60 and older is $204,800.
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Melbourne is located in the area known as Florida’s Space Coast, which is also home to the Kennedy Space Center.
The downtown area offers museums and restaurants. Its waterfront is the Indian River Lagoon, which separates Melbourne from a barrier island on the Atlantic Ocean.
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Those who retire in Melbourne can enjoy a beach life for a reasonable cost. The median home price for those age 60 and older is $157,900.
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Retirees in Jacksonville can enjoy 22 miles of sandy beaches along the Atlantic Ocean and fishing off the Jacksonville Beach Pier.
The median home price for retirees is $172,500. It costs a median of $921 a month to rent an apartment near the beach.
Boston skyline at night.
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Retirees relocating to Boston can take in a ballgame at Fenway Park, visit myriad historical haunts, take the ferry to Spectacle Island or a hop on the commuter rail to Singing Beach in Manchester-by-the-Sea.
The median home price in Boston is $423,450 and the median monthly rent is $1,335.