Those looking to retire in the next few years might want to set their sights on the Sunshine State, as this year’s list of Best Places to Retire in the U.S. is topped by one of Florida’s most easy-going cities: Fort Myers.  

The Best Places to Retire in the U.S. list is an annual ranking from U.S. News and World Report where cities are graded on their ability to support retirees using measures like the happiness of local residents, housing affordability, tax rates and healthcare quality.

One hundred and twenty five of the largest, most populous metropolitan areas in the country were surveyed for the report, but Fort Myers, Florida, nabbed the top spot with a 7.6 out of 10 for its overall score. 

Also ranked the 35th best place to live in the U.S., Fort Myers is lauded for its small-town feel, charming downtown core and proximity to several beaches (many of which are dog friendly). Located along the Southwest Gulf Coast, the city is peppered with opportunities for shopping, fishing, eating, socializing and enjoying the arts. 

With a low unemployment rate (3.4 percent), high median age of residents (47.8 years), lack of state income taxes and high standard of living, Fort Myers has become a hotspot for the 66 and up crowd, even growing in population in recent years (the 2010 census found a population of 62,298, which rose to 82,254 in 2018). 

The City of Palms isn’t the only Florida hotspot make its way onto the list’s top 10 — Sarasota snagged the #2 spot while Port St. Lucie took #5 and Jacksonville took #6.

The entire list is can be found on the U.S. News and World Report website.

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