JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA — Forbes included Jacksonville on its annual list of Best Places to Retire for the sixth consecutive year.
Jacksonville and The Villages both made the list the last two years and were joined by Clearwater in 2021. Sarasota and Orlando ranked alongside the Bold City on Forbes’ 2020 list.
Weather concerns, including Florida’s hot and humid summers, play a factor in the rankings. Housing costs and safety concerns kept other Florida cities from making the cut this year.
“Hurricanes are a big reason why retiree magnet Florida only has one pick on our list,” Forbes contributor William P Barrett noted. “The Villages, a central Florida retirement community that made our last two annual lists, dropped off due to its rising home prices – its median price is now $416,000.”
Barrett called Jacksonville “unusually safe for coastal Florida, with relatively moderate vulnerability to natural hazards.”
While home prices in Jacksonville have nearly doubled since the city first made the list in 2018, the current median cost of $295,000 is still 22 percent below the national average.
Barrett also lauded the city’s air quality, parks and healthcare, but flagged it for crime. Violent crimes in Jacksonville are 80 percent higher than the national average, according to FBI data.