Do I retire to Florida? is the question countless baby boomers continually ask themselves., a firm dedicated to issues related to personal finance, recently prepared a report on the US cities where it is most convenient for seniors to live their last years. The analysis took into consideration the 150 most populous cities in the country and was based on four variables: cost of living, recreational activities, quality of life and health care.

The study established a range on the 1-100 scale and, using weighted measurement averages, arrived at the following results for the state of Florida:

Florida Cities: Retirement Convenience Index

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Since the majority of retirees depend on a fixed income, it is very convenient that they take into consideration that the cost of living in Miami and its areas of influence -Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines and Hialeah- is much higher than in the rest of the state while that Tampa, Tallahassee, Orlando and Jacksonville are among the cheapest cities in the country.

When it comes to variety of attractions for seniors, Miami ranks second and Orlando, with its famous theme parks, ranks seventh. First place nationally for this category went to San Francisco, California's oldest city.

In terms of quality of life, Cape Coral is listed as the city that offers the most comfort to its inhabitants in all of Florida. It is followed by Hialeah, Tampa, Port Saint Lucie, Pembroke Pines, Saint Petersburg, Miami, Orlando, Ft Lauderdale, Tallahassee and Jacksonville, in that same order.

The last variable evaluated, the local health system, gives Orlando first place in the state and number 11 in the country. Following in that range are Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Cape Coral, Port Saint Lucie, Hialeah, Pembroke Pines, Tampa, Saint Petersburg, Tallahassee and Jacksonville.

The goal that every retirement candidate must pursue is to gauge which of these variables would be the most important in relation to their particular circumstance. If the prospect has health problems, it would be convenient for him to settle in Orlando or Miami and its surroundings. If his budget is tight he should aim for Tampa, Tallahassee, Orlando or Jacksonville.

And, finally, if the retiree is a dynamic person who wants to enjoy the pleasures of life, they should settle in Miami or Orlando, where they will find all the comforts and entertainment of big cities.

As an inspiration, I dismiss these lines with the stimulating phrase once pronounced by the master Pablo Picasso: ”When they tell me I'm too old to do something, I try to do it right away."

If you want to read other articles by the author click here. _________________________________________________

Alfredo González Amaré / *

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