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Where Should I Retire?

Jan. 23, 2021, 7:30 p.m. EST

I want to move to the South, I want the beach — and a liberal mindset. Where should I retire?

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By Silvia Ascarelli

Dear MarketWatch, 

I’m 74, and my wife and I are looking to retire to a place full-time where it is warm all year long (over 60 degrees during the day in winter), has a liberal mind-set and is on the East Coast and on the ocean.

Right now we are spending six months on Fire Island, two months in Brooklyn and four months in Florida. We have been in Jensen Beach, but it is not exactly liberal-minded.

We are getting tired of moving around and would like a permanent spot. If we sell our place in Fire Island, then we’d like to buy something for around $400,000.  

What do you think? 

Rick

Dear Rick,

Left-leaning politics can be a tough request in the South. Even in Florida.

A glance at the 2020 Florida election results says your beachside options are pretty limited: the Jacksonville area, the three counties in the southeast corner (Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade) and, on the Gulf side, the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. Look deeper, though, and it’s not always so simple. Jacksonville’s mayor is a Republican, for example, and its beach communities are represented by a Republican in Congress. 

Readers may point out some blue waterfront areas surrounded by red, but the bottom line is you may need to compromise.

I won’t even get into hurricane threats and rising sea levels caused by climate change . As I’m sure you know, there’s the added cost of insurance against flood and wind damage.

Ocean spots don’t come cheap, so you may have to search hard for a spot with an ocean view for $400,000. But near the beach is doable. Don’t forget to take into account any HOA fees.

Here are three suggestions to get you started. 

This walkable city of 70,000 between Boca Raton and Palm Beach attracted writers and artists a century ago and continues to have an arty vibe. The Cornell Art Museum showcases contemporary art, and the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum is dedicated to discovering, collecting and sharing the African-American history and heritage of Palm Beach County. 

There is also the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens , and you can turn to the 25-acre Delray Oaks Natural Area for shade and birds (it’s part of the Great Florida Bird and Wildlife Trail ).

Winter highs are in the mid-70s, and summer highs average 90 degrees. Just over a quarter of the city’s residents are 65 or older.

Based on median listing prices from Realtor.com (owned, like MarketWatch, by News Corp.), you should be able to find a townhouse or condominium in your price range; a single-family home will be harder. Here’s what’s for sale now .

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