Thinking About Retirement? Consider Naples as Your Next Home

By Melissa Hansen

You've worked hard and you deserve the best, so why not live in one of the best places in Florida—Naples. In fact, according to U.S. News and World Report's Best Places Rankings, Naples nabbed the fourth spot as top destination to retire in Florida and perhaps even more impressive, it's ranked 7 of the top 10 cities to relocate to nationally, with competition from Boulder, CO and Raleigh, NC. So why has Naples racked up all these accolades? An undeniable asset is Naples location, as it sits cozily near the outskirts of the enchanting Everglades and offers pristine Gulf of Mexico shorelines. You can fly into Fort Myers airport on a major airline carrier (about a 45-minute drive to downtown Naples) or fly private and land directly in Naples Airport.

This portion of Collier County isn't just a retirement spot for successful corporate titans and entrepreneurs, it has a big draw for singles and families, with tons of outdoor activities, and world-class cultural amenities like an opera and a symphony. Those coming here with kids can choose from a solid selection of private and public-school options, as well as enjoy proximity to Florida Gulf Coast University.

Naples used to be thought of as a hidden gem, but the word is out about the tantalizing dining and shopping options found in downtown or off the beaten path. You can make a day of testing out the local breweries or museums, or if you are up for something more adventurous kayak in Big Cypress National Preserve. Though the traffic picks up a bit during season, typically from the end of October through the end of May, Naples is decidedly more laid back than Miami or Tampa, which are only two hours away for a drive to satisfy a big-city fix. The roads and sidewalks empty out a bit during the toasty summer months, when plenty of residents vacation elsewhere or flee to lake houses and mountain homes seeking cooler climes.

But in season, there are a flurry of social events, largely benefitting local non-profit organizations. In fact, the philanthropic hearts of full-time and seasonal Naples residents are remarkable to behold, whether they are bidding on auction items at the impressive Naples Winter Wine Festival or a myriad of other parties with massive fundraising efforts accumulating millions of dollars to put to work for causes benefitting children, education, and more.

Not a social person? Not a worry in Naples. Plenty of folks listen to the beat of their own drummer here and spend time doing things that make them happy—like biking, playing golf or tennis, taking long strolls on the beach, or snuggling on the sofa with a good book and a great dog or cat.

Now that your leisure time is taken care of in Naples, how are you going to pay for it all? The job market in Naples is smaller than in Tampa or Miami, but there are still interesting career opportunities being posted on LinkedIn, Indeed, and other job search sites weekly. If you are moving a business to Naples, or Florida in general, you can reap the benefits of no state income tax, which may make your budget for buying a dream home a little more generous than if you chose to put down roots elsewhere. Need more motivation to put Naples on your list? Check out an iconic Naples sunset on the infamous Naples Pier.