Senior Living
Living in Fort Lauderdale: A coastal gem for retirees

Living in Fort Lauderdale: A coastal gem for retirees

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Living in Fort Lauderdale

Nestled along the sparkling Atlantic coastline of South Florida, Fort Lauderdale has long been a popular destination for sun-seekers, beachgoers, and water enthusiasts. Yet this vibrant city offers so much more than just its famous white sand beaches and turquoise waters. 

Beyond its natural beauty and temperate climate, Fort Lauderdale boasts a thriving cultural scene, quality healthcare, and an impressive selection of senior living facilities, making it an ideal locale for active adults seeking an enriching and convenient lifestyle. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the many aspects of living in Fort Lauderdale, a true coastal Florida gem. 

Living in Fort Lauderdale: The pros and cons 

Like any place, Fort Lauderdale has its advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of living in Fort Lauderdale: 



1. Beautiful Beaches: Fort Lauderdale boasts miles of pristine beaches with soft white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters. 

1. High Cost of Living: Housing, utilities, and overall living expenses are significantly higher than the national average. 

2. Vibrant Nightlife: The city offers a diverse and lively nightlife scene, with numerous bars, clubs, and live music venues. 

2. Traffic Congestion: Fort Lauderdale experiences heavy traffic, particularly during peak hours and tourist season. 

3. Cultural Attractions: From art museums and theaters to historical landmarks and festivals, Fort Lauderdale has a rich cultural scene. 

3. Hurricane Risk: Fort Lauderdale is located in a hurricane-prone area, which can pose a significant risk to residents. 

4. Excellent Dining: The city boasts a wide variety of restaurants, from casual eateries to upscale dining experiences, offering diverse cuisines. 

4. Limited Public Transportation: While public transportation options exist, they are not as extensive or reliable as in other major cities. 

5. Boating and Water Sports: Fort Lauderdale is a boating paradise, with numerous marinas and opportunities for water sports like fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. 

5. Limited Job Opportunities: While some industries thrive in Fort Lauderdale, job opportunities in certain fields may be limited. 

6. Warm Weather: Fort Lauderdale enjoys warm and sunny weather year-round, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts. 

6. High Tourist Population: The city attracts a large number of tourists, which can lead to crowded beaches, attractions, and restaurants. 

7. Family-Friendly Activities: The city offers a range of family-friendly activities, including parks, playgrounds, and kid-friendly museums. 

7. Potential for Sea Level Rise: As a coastal city, Fort Lauderdale is vulnerable to the effects of sea level rise, which could impact the long-term future of the city. 

8. International Airport: Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport provides convenient access to domestic and international destinations. 

8. Limited Green Space: While Fort Lauderdale has parks and green spaces, the city is relatively densely populated, which can limit access to nature. 

Cost of living in Fort Lauderdale 

The cost of living in Fort Lauderdale is significantly higher than the national average, particularly when it comes to housing, which is 61% higher than the US average. Here is an overview: 

Housing expenses in Fort Lauderdale 

  • Rent: Fort Lauderdale has a high rental market, with average monthly costs ranging from $1,500 to $3,000 for a one-bedroom apartment, depending on location and amenities. 
  • Home prices: The median home price in Fort Lauderdale is around $700,000, significantly higher than the national average. Prices can vary depending on the neighborhood, size, and amenities. 

Other costs 

Here’s a quick breakdown of other costs compared to national averages: 

  • Utilities: Slightly (6%) higher than the national average, especially for water and sewer. 
  • Transportation: Gas is in line with the national average, but car insurance is higher. Public transportation is affordable but limited. 
  • Groceries: Almost 19% higher than the national average. 
  • Dining: Higher than the national average, especially for upscale restaurants. 
  • Healthcare: 5% lower compared to the US average. 

Tips for managing cost of living in Fort Lauderdale 

  1. Consider shared housing 
  2. Explore affordable neighborhoods 
  3. Utilize public transportation 
  4. Prepare healthy meals at home 
  5. Take advantage of free activities 

Free things to do in Fort Lauderdale 

Fort Lauderdale offers a variety of free activities for older adults, catering to different interests and mobility levels. Here’s a more elaborate list of free things to do in Fort Lauderdale: 

Outdoor things to do in Fort Lauderdale

  • Beach bliss: Stroll along Fort Lauderdale’s pristine beaches, collect seashells, or simply soak up the sun. Enjoy the soft sand and refreshing ocean breeze at Fort Lauderdale Beach, Dania Beach, or Hollywood Beach. 
  • Riverwalk rambles: Take a leisurely walk or bike ride along the scenic Riverwalk, enjoying beautiful views of the New River, the city skyline, and lush greenery. 
  • Park adventures: Explore Hugh Taylor Birch State Park for free walking trails, picnic areas, and a scenic lagoon. Enjoy birdwatching, fishing, or simply relax in the natural surroundings. 
  • Waterfront wonders: Stroll along the Intracoastal Waterway, enjoying views of waterfront homes, boats, and beautiful scenery. 

Explore the culture and history of Fort Lauderdale 

  • Artful encounters: Visit the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale on the first Saturday of every month for free admission and explore a diverse collection of contemporary and historical art. 
  • Historical discoveries: Learn about the history of Fort Lauderdale and Broward County at the Broward County Historical Society Museum, free on Sundays. 
  • Free performances: Check local newspapers and community calendars for free concerts, plays, or other performances offered by local organizations and venues. 
  • Historic estate exploration: Enjoy free admission to the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens on the first Wednesday of every month, showcasing beautiful gardens, art collections, and historical exhibits. 

Social activities in Fort Lauderdale 

  • Senior center activities: Fort Lauderdale’s senior centers offer a variety of free programs and activities, including fitness classes, social gatherings, and educational workshops. 
  • Community events: Check local newspapers and community calendars for free events like farmer’s markets, festivals, and community gatherings. 
  • Volunteer opportunities: Give back to the community by volunteering at local organizations like libraries, hospitals, or senior centers. 
  • Literary discussions: Join a free book club offered by many libraries and community centers, providing an opportunity to socialize and discuss literature. 

Some cheeky tips 

  • Look for free days and discounts: Many museums and attractions offer free admission on specific days or times. Take advantage of senior discounts offered by various businesses, including restaurants, attractions, and transportation. 
  • Use public transportation: Fort Lauderdale’s public transportation system is relatively affordable and convenient for getting around. 

Is retiring in Fort Lauderdale a good idea? 

Whether retiring in Fort Lauderdale is a “good idea” is subjective and depends heavily on individual preferences and financial circumstances. Before deciding on a retirement in Fort Lauderdale, ask yourself these three questions: 

Three key considerations for retiring in Fort Lauderdale 

  1. Financial situation: Can you afford the high cost of living in Fort Lauderdale? Will your retirement income be sufficient to cover your expenses? 
  2. Health and mobility: Are you comfortable with the potential risks associated with hurricanes and the limited public transportation options? 
  3. Personal preferences: Do you enjoy a lively social scene, or do you prefer a more tranquil environment? What are your priorities for retirement? 

Top retirement communities in Fort Lauderdale, Florida 

There are several high-quality assisted living facilities in Fort Lauderdale along with other long-term care facilities. Here are some of the best retirement communities in Fort Lauderdale Florida: 

  1. Colonial Assisted Living at Fort Lauderdale 
  2. The Meridian at Waterways 
  3. Independence Hall Senior Living 
  4. Villa Rio Vista 
  5. The Preserve at Palm-Aire 
  6. Kelly’s Assisted Living 
  7. Leisure Living of Victoria Park 
  8. Ranmar Gardens 
  9. Royal Palm Senior Residence 
  10. The Garden of Health 

What are the best hospitals in Fort Lauderdale? 

Here are some of the top-rated hospitals in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida area: 

  1. Broward Health Medical Center 
  2. Memorial Regional Hospital 
  3. West Boca Medical Center 
  4. Holy Cross Hospital 
  5. Cleveland Clinic Florida 
  6. University Hospital and Medical Center 
  7. Boca Raton Regional Hospital 

Final thoughts 

So, is Fort Lauderdale the right fit for you? That depends on your priorities and what you’re looking for in a city. If you crave sunshine, vibrant culture, and a laid-back lifestyle, Fort Lauderdale might be your perfect match. But if you’re on a tight budget, concerned about hurricane risks, or prefer a quieter pace of life, you might want to consider other options. 

Ultimately, the decision is yours. But one thing’s for sure: Fort Lauderdale is a city that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking a retirement haven, a family-friendly escape, or a bustling urban adventure, there’s a slice of paradise waiting for you in this coastal gem. 

Related articles


  • What are some of the best neighborhoods to live in Fort Lauderdale? 

Some popular neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale include: 

  1. Las Olas 
  2. Victoria Park 
  3. Harbor Beach 
  4. Coral Ridge 
  5. Rio Vista 
  6. Sunrise 
  7. Central Beach 
  8. Plantation 
  • Is Fort Lauderdale expensive to live in? 

The cost of living in Fort Lauderdale is higher than the national average, but it’s generally considered more affordable than other major cities in Florida, like Miami and Palm Beach. Housing costs are a significant factor, with prices varying depending on location and type of property. 

  • What’s the weather like in Fort Lauderdale? 

Fort Lauderdale enjoys a subtropical climate with warm temperatures year-round. Summers are hot and humid, with average temperatures in the 80s and 90s. Winters are mild and sunny, with average temperatures in the 70s. 

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