Palm Beach : Florida


What It Is Like to Retire in Palm Beach

Founded by Henry Flagler to provide a luxury destination for his railroad, Palm Beach proper is one of the wealthiest and prettiest communities in the world.  It lies on the Atlantic Ocean just above Miami and straddles the Intercoastal Waterway.  Fancy shops and elegant estates abound in the beautiful downtown. Enormous estates go along the ocean and the Intracoastal.  If you spend an hour on Worth Street and don't see 2 Rolls Royces, you are not looking hard enough. The area also includes West Palm Beach with its extensive active adult and 55+ communities, all trying to trade on the Palm Beach cachet.

The Bernard Madoff pyramid scheme was not kind to Palm Beach residents. This was the Florida epicenter of the Madoff scheme and many of his friends and acquaintances have suffered accordingly. 

Aerial photo courtesy of Wikipedia and Michael Kagdis in public domain. Photo Lake Trail courtesy of CZmarlin in public domain.

Where to Retire in Palm Beach and Home Prices

There are very many active adult communities in Palm Beach (see link at top left).
Home prices vary tremendously, from well over $10 million to just under $200,000, depending on location.  The average listing is over $1 million, although as you move west, south, and north the prices are much more reasonable.  According to Zillow, the median home value in early 2021 was $1,236,072.


What Is Special about Palm Beach

Beautiful beaches, great architecture, and elegant shops on Worth Street are some of Palm Beach's attractions. Pictured above is the very lovely Breakers Hotel on the beach, founded by Henry Flagler. Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago, the Whitehall Flagler Museum, and the Four Arts Gardens are some of the local attractions. Culturally Palm Beach is tops.

What Is Not Special about Palm Beach

If  you are into status it is likely you will feel like a 3rd class citizen in Palm Beach, unless you are a Vanderbilt, Astor, or Rockefeller. People living in West Palm Beach will also feel inferior to the those who live in the "real" Palm Beach along the Ocean.

Who Will Like Retirement in Palm Beach

There are many high quality 55+ and active adult communities to choose from if that retirement lifestyle appeals to you.  The super-rich and those who enjoy high society will also thrive here. But there is a lot going on if you can get over the conspicuous consumption.

Local Economy Is Driven by

Healthcare, financial services, tourism, and retail drive the Palm Beach economy.

Climate and Physical Environment

Palm Beach is south of Jupiter and north of Boynton Beach, Del Ray Beach, and Boca Raton on the Atlantic Ocean in South Florida.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Palm Beach is a cultural powerhouse for a town of its size. The Raymond Kravitz Center for the Performing Arts has multiple venues offering a constant variety of plays, concerts, ballet, and opera.  The Armory Art Center offers art classes and a continuing schedule of exhibits.  The Norton Museum of Art and Ballet Florida are 2 other top-notch cultural venues.


Crime in Palm Beach is very low - about a third of the national average.

Medical Facilities

There are 4 hospitals in Palm Beach or very close by, including Columbia Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital.  Medical specialists of every description are extremely available.


There are 3 major airports close by - Palm Beach, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale. Local train service to Miami (Tri-Rail) and Amtrak are available, as well as bus service in this corridor. Virgin Trains USA operates the Brightline train with service to Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach - Orlando will be connected in 2021. The MiamiCentral station connects to Metro Rail and the Tri Rail. The Intracoastal goes through town and offers a water route. Palm Beach County has Palm Tran Connection which will transport seniors anywhere in the county, door-to-door, for $3.00

Valuable Links

Florida retirement guide
Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce


What people are saying about Palm Beach

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