Bradenton, Florida

Bradenton, Florida

Situated along the southwest Florida coast, a bit south of Tampa, Bradenton is a low key community of about 55,000 people. It has long white beaches, lots of golf courses and a cost-of-living that is about 5% below the national average. The median home price is roughly $145,000, and the median household income is below the national average. Of the population, nearly 45% is age 45 or better.

Bradenton was originally called Bradentown and got its start in the early-1900′s. By the 1940′s, it was known as Bradenton. Today it is home to Tropicana, the fruit juice producer, which is the primary economic underpinning of the town.

Not a lot goes on in Bradenton, but with Tampa and Sarasota so close, cultural amenities and shopping opportunities are never far away. The city can boast, however, DeSoto National Memorial along the Manatee River. This edifice celebrates the Spanish explorer who first came to this area in the 16th century (1539 to be exact). Since the city caters to retirees, volunteer opportunities are many.

The city has some gated master-planned communities, including Lakewood Ranch.

Manatee Community College offers classes to all ages, and retirees are welcome.

Local bus service is provided by Manatee Area Transit, and an international airport is located in Tampa just 45 minutes to the north.

Braden two has two primary health care facilities, the Blake Medical Center with 385 beds and the Manatee Memorial Hospital with nearly 300 beds. Both are accredited by the Joint Commission and both are award-winning.

While it is low-key and has some great beaches, Bradenton also has a crime rate above the national average. The city seems to have a lot going for it but this crime rate is worrisome and should be considered before relocating to Bradenton for retirement.