AARP named the Ormond Beach-Daytona Beach-Deltona area as its top location in a top 10 list of best places to retire on $30,000 a year.
BY MIKE CAVALIERE | ASSOCIATE EDITOR
When Mary Minnis and her husband, Bert, retired to Ormond Beach from Philadelphia in 1988, they moved into a house two minutes from the ocean. And they quickly fell in love with the city’s weather, its serenity.
“It was considered a quiet, residential area — called a bedroom community then,” she said. “That has changed!”
But although the face of the city might have evolved, its appeal has not, according to an AARP the Magazine report published this month which named the Ormond Beach-Daytona Beach-Deltona area as the best place to retire on $30,000 a year, in a top 10 list.
Citing factors such as home values, property taxes and inexpensive entertainment options, the study credits coastal amenities and a $108,900 median home price as reasons for the area’s high appeal.
“Our median price has come up a bit since that article — we are (now) around $138,000 across the county,” said John Adams, general manager of Adams, Cameron & Co. Realtors. “But we have loads of retirees coming into the market at any time. I think affordability is one thing, but there is more to it. We have loads of services for people of all ages and plenty to do.”
Minnis agrees. A publicity worker for the local chapter of the AARP, she spoke to members last week to find out why they chose Ormond Beach to spend their golden years.
Ellen Powers, a retired Air Force lt. colonel nurse, chose the city after leaving Illinois because of how less crowded it was than Florida’s west side. Since she moved, about 15 of her family members have followed.
New Jersey natives, Jay Smethers and her two sisters moved to Ormond Beach to be near the Daytona International Speedway.
Terry and Joe Quinn moved to Ormond for the warmer climate, which Terry believes helped keep Joe alive longer after his health began to decline.
And Eva Andrada simply felt safe here — she came from New York.
“I think we are a fantastic area for retirees,” Adams added. “We have incredible natural beauty with the beach, the open area towards West Volusia. Plus, we have the Halifax, St. John's, Tomoka and Spruce Creek rivers.”
AARP’s study also points to the Art League of Daytona Beach as the area’s “favorite freebie”; Tia Cori’s Tacos, on North Beach Street, for its $1.50 tacos and $4 margaritas; Jackie Robinson Memorial Ballpark for its free entry into Tuesday games with a $15 membership into the Silver Sluggers Club; and all of the local surfing and fishing opportunities.
The study was conducted based on a TD Ameritrade survey last year that showed that Baby Boomers are nearly half a million dollars short on retirement savings, in comparison to what they need. This means that many Boomers are left relying solely on Social Security payments for income.