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What Fort Walton Beach is like for active adults

The City of Fort Walton Beach, “The Emerald Coast”, is a popular beach and fishing community of 20,000 on Florida’s extreme northwest coast, almost in Alabama.  The busiest time of the year is summer, although it is also a popular destination for spring breakers. Many of its residents are active adults using it as a retirement community. Some of those retirees were formerly connected with the U.S. Air Force, which has 2 huge bases in the area. With its 24 miles of sandy beaches it is also very popular spring break destination.

This town has a reputation as a low key beach and fishing town. Part of the city is on a barrier island, the rest is surrounded by Santa Rosa Sound and Choctawhatchee Bay.  The resort of Destin is nearby. Fort Walton Beach has a mild climate in the winter, although not as warm as in south Florida. Fort Walton Beach is located in Okaloosa County, Florida. Photo of Sound Park courtesy of Wikipedia and Fvcrew22. Here are more resources and information on what is like to retire in Florida

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Where to Live & Real Estate Values

Fort Walton Beach has a wide variety of living choices. You can live on the beach, in a development, or near town. There is at least one retirement community in town.
According to, the median home price in late 2014 was about $145,000. However, Zillow reports it to be much higher at $225,000 in mid 2015.  Places near the water will sell for much more.

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What is special about this retirement community

24 miles of great beaches and 4 beachfront parks; Fort Walton Beach Golf Club has two public 18 golf courses; AVT Pro Women's Tennis Tournament; many residential options for retirees; the Affordable Housing program; The City of Fort Walton Beach Heritage Park & Cultural Center; and the Destin and Okaloosa Island are popular local tourist destinations

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What is not special about this retirement community
Hurricane and spring break seasons can be turbulent.  The 2010 oil spill in the Gulf was of great concern to the beaches and wetlands in the Fort Walton Beach area. As of August, 2010, only sporadic tar balls have been sighted in the area. For more information go to Florida Spill Update.
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What kinds of people like retiring here
Fort Walton Beach attracts a community of retirees who like living in an understated beach town. Fishing and golf are very popular.
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Local economy is driven by
The military and tourism are the two major drivers of the economy. Two major Air Force bases border Fort Walton Beach: Hurlburt Field and Eglin AFB. Support industries include military contractors and the service industry. Spring break contributes to the economy. The Emerald Coast Conference Center has 35,000 sq. ft. of flexible exhibit space
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Climate and Physical Environment

Fort Walton Beach is in the north west side of Florida's Gulf coast. Barrier islands connect to the mainland across a very large Choctawhatchee Bay.

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Restaurants & Cultural Scene
The City of Fort Walton Beach Heritage Park & Cultural Center provides area historical educational programming.
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Crime in Fort Walton Beach is just about the national average.
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Medical facilities
There are 2 hospitals here: Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and the Gulf Coast
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Pensacola Regional is 40 miles
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Valuable Links

City of Fort Walton Beach

Fort Walton Beach on Wikipedia


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What people are saying about Fort Walton Beach

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  • State: FL
  • Environment: Coastal,Boating Community,Resort Community,
  • City Population: 10,000-25,000
  • Median age of Population: 25-44
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 41-60
  • Avg July Temperature: 81+
  • Median HH Income: 41,001-60,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $100,000-$200,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: Less than 2000
  • Total Crime Index: 81-90 (low)
  • Cost of Living Index: 81-90 (low)
  • Culture Index: 81-90 (low)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: No
  • Name of the Guide: ctyankee

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Fort Walton Beach retirement communities
Vote on the Ratings for Fort Walton Beach
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1. Overall Retirement Ratings Discuss

1. Rating: 2.7/5 ( 14 votes cast)

2. Expense:
Inexpensive to Luxury Discuss

2. Rating: 3.3/5 ( 8 votes cast)

3. Taxes:
Inexpensive to Expensive Discuss

3. Rating: 3.0/5 ( 4 votes cast)

4. Culture:
None to Cosmopolitan Discuss

4. Rating: 1.5/5 ( 6 votes cast)

None to Summer camp Discuss

5. Rating: 3.3/5 ( 4 votes cast)

6. Transportation:
Boondocks to World Hub Discuss

6. Rating: 2.3/5 ( 3 votes cast)

7. Security:
Dangerous to Ft. Knox Discuss

7. Rating: 3.0/5 ( 7 votes cast)

8. Medical Facilities:
None to Excellent Discuss

8. Rating: 3.0/5 ( 4 votes cast)

9. Political Situation:
Conservative to Liberal Discuss

9. Rating: 2.2/5 ( 9 votes cast)

10. Environmental:
Oblivious to Ultra-Green Discuss

10. Rating: 2.3/5 ( 3 votes cast)


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