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Venice hosts vibrant special events, including a weekly farmer's market.

Image: Chad Spencer

This month’s Where to Retire Magazine highlights Venice as one of the top spots for retirees in the nation. Editor Annette Fuller calls Venice, “one of the prettiest cities on southwestern Florida’s Gulf Coast,” and says it was “walkable before walkable was cool,” thanks to the 1920s city plan of urban designer John Nolen. She also described Venice as “bustling” on Saturdays, with shoppers enjoying the Farmer’s Market at Centennial Park, “locally owned stores” and cafes and restaurants.”

The magazine reports that 700,000 Americans will retire to new towns this year, and that relocating retirees “tend to be healthier, better educated and more affluent than those who choose not to retire.”  They bring energy, talent and economic benefits to the towns they choose as their new home.

 Venice has long been a popular place for retirees, but Gulf Shores Realty’s Lueanne Woods says she’s seen a new kind of buyer just in the last year as the city receives more national accolades. “These clients are 38 to 62,” she says. “They’re self-made, multi-multi-millionaires. They fly on Citation jets and they own multiple homes.” Her clients—among them the Miejer family, who own a major Midwestern retail chain—are drawn here by the same factors that attract traditional retirees—the weather, natural beauty and beaches—along with a chance to live a low-key lifestyle away from public attention.

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