Retire in Tampa Bay

Come for the Beaches, Stay for the Dancing!

The Tampa Bay West Coast Swing Association (TBWCSA) has around 200 members who pay annual dues in order to belong to our club.  There are probably another 100-200 WCS dancers in the area.

  • We are the largest WCS group in Florida, more WCS dancers than all other areas combined.
  • There are 3 competition events in the Tampa Bay Area every year, and another in Orlando (2 hour drive), and 4 in other cities in Florida. You can go to an event in Florida almost every month if you are interested in that.
  • 80% of the dancers live in Pinellas County (St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Seminole, Largo, Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, etc). Housing is very affordable. You can get a lot for your money. As usual, best to rent first to get a feel for the area.
  • Florida is where many people instinctively look for a retirement community – it probably has more retirement oriented communities than anywhere in the world. Its climate is warm all year round and you are never too far from water.

Study: Tampa is the best city in the U.S. to retire in 2015

Tampa is the best place in the United States to retire, according to a recent study by WalletHub, which found the city to be affordable for seniors while also offering a lot to do.  Tampa Bay stood out in the study because it’s a relatively cheap place to live — ranked at No. 11 in affordability.

“Affordability is what really pushed Tampa to the No. 1 slot,” said Jill Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for WalletHub.  Finances, however, aren’t all that matter during retirement. Tampa also has a lot of things to do, ranking No. 4 for “recreational activities,” WalletHub found.  Tampa also ranked No. 26 for health care and No. 21 for quality of life, which included metrics such as crime rates, weather and number of retirees, the study found.

St. Petersburg, while ranked as just as affordable as Tampa, was far lower on the list in terms of activities, quality of life and health care.  St. Petersburg came in at No. 11 in the study, which looked at 24 metrics across four categories: health care, affordability, recreational activities and quality of life.  Tampa outranked 150 of the largest U.S. cities, the personal finance website found.

Largo is the third largest city in Pinellas County.  As of the 2010 census, Largo may not be the first place people think of when considering retirement, but the city was rated fourth (4th) on a recent list of retirement spots for baby boomers.  The website ranked the area fourth (4th) based on factors including access to affordable and quality health care, practical cost of living, retiree-friendly businesses and services, as well as several amenities to help keep residents active.  According to a press release, officials cited that “Largo offers retirees an abundance of sunny days, golf courses, beaches and favorable tax policies.  From hospitals and clinics to restaurants and transportation services, many businesses here focus on making life more comfortable and enjoyable for older adults.  Most neighborhoods and shopping areas are easy to navigate on foot or bicycle, and the city offers a variety of recreational activities.”


Some of the Major Positive Aspects:

  1. #18 in America’s Best Cities for a Healthy (and More Affordable) Retirement was commissioned by the Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement.  It was conducted in April 2015 by the independent research firm Sperling’s Best Places.  The full report can be viewed at  The research ranked the 60 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. on a universal set of criteria that are directly or indirectly indicative of health and quality of living, from health and wellness to culture and the environment.
  2. No State Income Tax
  3. Sales Tax 7%
  4. No Estate or Inheritance Taxes
  5. Not over crowded.  Less people means less traffic and less congestion.
  6. Lower than average Cost of Living.  According to Thomas C. Corley in his book “The Top 100 Cheapest Places to Retire in the U.S. in 2012”

#7 Largo, FL

#11 New Port Richie, FL

#30 Dunedin, FL

#38 Seminole, FL

#39 Pinellas Park, FL

#54 Port Richie, FL

  • Great Health care
  • There are 301 physicians per 100,000 population in Pinellas County, Florida. The US average is 261.
  • Air quality in Pinellas County, Florida is 83 on a scale to 100 (higher is better). This is based on ozone alert days and number of pollutants in the air, as reported by the EPA.
  • Water quality in Pinellas County, Florida is 50 on a scale to 100 (higher is better). The EPA has a complex method of measuring watershed quality using 15 indicators.
  • Nice Weather. The Florida climate is characterized as humid subtropical. Summers are hot and wet, winters are warm or mild.  52″ of rain per year (US average = 37″).  244 sunny days per year.  July high = 90 degrees, January low is 53 degrees.
  • Wonderful beaches
  • Reasonable housing costs: $625 / studio, $780 / 1 br, $980 / 2 br, $1,305 / 3 br
  • Florida has a homestead law, Save Our Homes, that protects full-time residents from property taxes above the rate of inflation. The Florida law caps increases in a home`s assessed value at 3% a year for full time residents.
  • Median age = 46.3 years old
  • 48% of people are white, 10.28% are Black, 3.02% are Asian, 0.25% are Native American, and 0.91% claim ‘Other‘. 8.00% of the people in Pinellas County, Florida, claim Hispanic ethnicity (meaning 92.00% are non-Hispanic).
  • about 3 million population in the Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties (Tampa, Clearwater, Largo, Tarpon Springs)