When it comes to retirement, Punta Gorda is a top spot to enjoy your golden years, according to a popular guidebook released this week.
The city is listed again in the sixth edition of America’s 100 Best Places to Retire, which highlights the most appealing retirement towns across the country.
Punta Gorda is one of just 18 Florida cities that made the cut. More than a dozen states had no cities on the list.
Regionally, Sarasota, Naples and Cape Coral are also top retirement spots.
The book is available online at amazon.com. It was edited and published by the national magazine Where to Retire, which is published six times per year with a circulation of 200,000, and is sold in major bookstore chains.
“This is by far our most popular book, which compiles and updates profiles from our magazine,” said Where to Retire Editor Annette Fuller in a Dec. 4 release. “It will be your most helpful asset in planning your own post-retirement departure and arrival.”
Sarasota is no stranger to the list. It has been featured in the guidebook’s other five editions. So has Punta Gorda — except in the last edition from 2013, according to Where to Retire spokesperson Kathryn Worrall.
“We appreciate the recognition,” said Punta Gorda spokesperson Melissa Reichert. “It comes as no surprise to those of us who call Punta Gorda home. Punta Gorda is what so many people are looking for, a laid-back community where residents know one another, engage with one another and enjoy life together in a relaxed, harbor-side destination.”
To come up with the latest edition, editors spent 11 months researching more than 800 cities. Each of the city’s profiles include interviews with hundreds of retirees.
“We based the book on cities, not MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Areas),” said Worrall. “Of course, the area around the city has plenty to do with the appeal.”
Cities in Midwestern states where many local retirees hail from, like Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio, were barely on the list for desirable retirement destinations.
Just Traverse City was listed out of Michigan, and none from Illinois or Ohio, for example.
Besides retirement, Punta Gorda was also one of 10 “best small towns” listed in the guidebook. Sarasota snagged a spot as one of the “best art towns.”
But neither made the cut for “best low cost towns,” “best beach towns” or “best undiscovered towns.”
“This book allows readers to tap into the wisdom of hundreds of relocated retirees, including those who moved to Punta Gorda, one of our 10 best small towns,” Fuller said. “This volume will get you dreaming of your retirement and where you might land. But the stories also bring you past wistful dreams and into the realm of real research, including information on weather, taxes, downtown attractions and even the caveats of each city.”