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21st May, 2009 | Source : Newsweek Showcase

In spite of concerns about hurricanes, over-crowding, escalating real estate prices and environmental issues, Florida remains at the top of the list for most retirees searching for sunshine and warm weather. True, the retirement migration has increased in other Sun Belt states, notably Arizona and the Carolinas, but Florida continues to lead the way in terms of sheer numbers of newly arriving retirees.

Drawn by the promise of sunshine and warm breezes, miles of sandy beaches, golf courses sprinkled across the landscape in every direction and the absence of a state income tax, thousands of newly retired couples and individuals settle here each year… welcomed by an almost overwhelming choice of new real estate developments. Oceanfront, high-rise condos keep springing up along all coasts... traversing the Gulf of Mexico from the Panhandle throughout the urban centers along the West Coast and extending along the East Coast's Atlantic shores. And for those who can an afford an executive lifestyle beside the fairways, designer golf courses inside upscale master planned communities continue unabated.

However, that is not to say that developers are neglecting retirees seeking a more modest lifestyle. While in the past, the only choice for an affordable retirement in Florida may have been defined as "mobile home living"; today there are a number of well-designed and affordably priced housing choices ranging from attractive, thoughtfully-planned manufactured home communities with spacious, luxuriously equipped modular and manufactured homes, set on permanent foundations and virtually indistinguishable from site built housing.

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the data line
the data line