Our About Story

We are Dedicated to Bringing You the True Best Places to Live or Retire in Florida

Why are our best places to live or retire in Florida lists so helpful?

  • Because we don’t accept any advertising or have “sponsors” who have paid us to prominently display what they are selling in Florida. We want to be free from obligation, pressure or influence, so we can show you truly great places to live or retire because we feel they offer the highest quality of life.
  • Moving to Florida is a major life changing event. Moving long distance can be disruptive and expensive. You want to get it right the first time so you don’t have to move again to correct what could be an expensive mistake.
  • We use actual quality of life factors and scores from well known respected government agencies and nonprofits that study and report on these important matters. Any best place list is only as good as the criteria it uses. We suggest that you learn the criteria or methodology a list publisher used to make their choices, to make sure it accurately reflects your values. If the methodology used to select places doesn’t match your priorities, most likely the selections won’t either. If the methodology used is unclear or missing, why would they do that?
  • We know that crime and safety is a priority for almost everyone from all walks of life, when looking for a new place to move to in order improve your life. However, many of the latest best places lists on other websites, only give 3% weight, or less, of their selection process to crime rates. Some lists today don’t even consider it at all anymore.  We have seen some places listed as “best” for retirement on other sites, where crime is out of control. For any town or city to be considered for any best place list on this website, all categories of property and violent crime rates for the town must be lower than the national average. Most of the places we select as best offer far lower crime rates than the national average, making them some of the safest places to live in the US. If that’s what you are looking for, our lists are for you.
  • The fact is, some places in Florida are just far better places to live than others. People who move to places that offer a higher quality of life in most or all categories, have a far better chance of being happy with their choice. We can help you with that.
  • People who are being paid to sell you certain retirement communities, housing developments, etc., don’t really want to discuss anything negative about Florida. They will gladly tout the pros, but usually avoid any and all mention of the cons. The problem is that living or retiring in Florida does have cons. Many of them. Since we aren’t trying to sell you anything in Florida, we are free to talk about the pros as well as the cons. If you’re going to move to Florida, you’ll find about its negatives anyway, eventually. Wouldn’t it be better to learn of them before you go?

Is Published By

About Ron Stack of The Best Places Guy LLC

I moved from eastern Pennsylvania, where I started selling real estate in 1986, to Florida in 1995. I had been to Florida multiple times a year for vacation, for decades, and always had a great time. I naturally continued my real estate career in Florida, first as an agent then became a broker in 2000 and founded a real estate brokerage corporation (just to be clear, this is not a real estate services website, there are no homes for sale or rent on this site and no professional services of any kind offered).

One thing that surprised me almost right away, was how many calls I got from people who wanted to sell their home in Florida so they can move out of the state. A pattern started to establish itself. Most days, half of my time was spent working with buyers thrilled to moving to Florida, often for retirement. The other half was spent helping people who had previously moved to the state, to sell their home so they could move out of the state.

That’s when I started to research what makes some cities, towns and states better places to live than others. That’s why I like to write for this website owned by The Best Places Guy LLC. I can share some of what I have learned from decades of experience and research, and working with 1000’s of people that were moving to different states and places to hopefully improve their lives, and why that didn’t always work out.

Yes, there are about 1000+- people a day that move into Florida, but almost as many leave the state every day too, according to population researchers at a Florida university. While there are many reasons people move out after learning Florida isn’t right for them, choosing a true best place to live or retire when you first move in, can at least help reduce the chance that choosing the wrong place to move to, as one of the causes.

Ron Stack for the Best Places Guy LLC

  • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide. Avoid expensive mistakes.


11 thoughts on “Our About Story”

  1. Hi Ron, I need your expertise please. I am an over 55 American now living in the UK; I want to retire in the next year and move to Florida.
    I am looking for a town that is not huge but has certain amenities like entertainment and shopping. As I will no longer be driving public transport is a must. I don’t mind if it is an over 55 community or not. I prefer not to be on the beach and i want a low crime rate. I previously lived in Tampa for 3 years and did not like that area. Many of the areas that do seem to have potential are out of my price range; I will initially be renting and need to stick to a tight budget. However, at this time in my life, I want to not scrimp too much; I need my money to buy all the paperback books I read!! Any suggestions would be most appreciated to my e mail below. Thank you,

    Patricia S

    • Hello Patricia,
      It’s only natural to assume that we can put together a list of wants for a town and then find at least one place that is ideal, especially in a state with as many cities and towns like Florida. However, we are at the tail-end of an inflating bubble in February 2018, and housing prices are inflated. People have different ideas as to what a tight budget is. One persons tight budget might be 100-200% higher than the next person.

      Living in Florida without a car can be done of course. Can it be done for what your particular “tight budget” amount is? Can a good public transportation system be found in a town with low crime rates? Finding a rental in a smaller city with low crime rates and good transportation that doesn’t cost too much will be a real challenge today. Towns that are on our most walkable or bike friendly may be worth a look. Places such as Gainesville Florida have excellent public transportation, but this is no longer recommended as “best” on this site because of crime rates higher than what it takes to qualify for this site. Good luck Patricia.
      Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy” of Zeus Press Inc

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.


  2. How are you sir ? I had the pleasure of exchanging Q&A , regarding my desire to relocate to Florida. I continue to research towns in the Manatee and Port Charlotte of which I find every home is over priced ( old and newly built). We truly want this, but at best our down payment is on the lower end. we are both 60 years young, I suppose we can wait. What is your opinion of the right time to purchase. I value your thoughts as usual, thanks again. PS I will say it again, safety is a must.

    • Hello Alexsandra,

      You Wrote: “PS I will say it again, safety is a must.”

      In 2017 the overall crime rate for Florida was high. It ranks places the state at #39 out of the 50 states from low rate to high, according to statistics derived from FBI public reporting. If you choose one of our best places to live in Florida from any of our lists, you will be moving to one of the safer places in Florida. All of our best places must have crime rates (Both property and violent crime) below the national average, to qualify as best for this website. Most of our places have crime rates so low they are among the safest places in the country to live or retire to. It was reported that the first police officer on the scene of the recent Florida school shooting, stayed outside of the school hiding behind a stairwell pointing his weapon at the school, but did not go in. It was also reported that the next 3 officers who arrived, also stayed outside hiding behind their squad cars but did not enter the build until after other offices from a different department arrived and went in. It’s been reported that police officers do not have a duty to protect us (Supreme Court ruuling), even though we may think that’s what their job is. I support law enforcement and do not want to get into the politics of this here. But I bring this up because it gives me another chance to drive home, you may reduce your chances of becoming a victim, if you move to a place with low crime rates. This might seem like common sense but…

      1) Many Florida cities and towns of all sizes have crime rates higher than the national average. Finding places in Florida with low crime rates is not as easy as you may think.

      2) You know what area you would not move to (or even visit), in the town you now live in because of high crime, because you know the area. People do not want to move into high crime areas.

      3) Yet people move to Florida all the time to Cities and towns that have crime rates far higherr than where they now live. Then they can’t enjoy where they’ve moved to but stay and suffer, or spend another fortune to sell, buy and move again.

      4) Many people with something to sell you in Florida, don’t even know what the crime rate of the area really is. Or whether it’s going up or down. However, they do know if you buy what they’re selling they will make lots of cash. Their opinion may be contrary to the facts.

      5) There are so many people moving into, and out of Florida that areas can change quickly. Getting an idea if that best place will still likely be best in 5 years is also not a bad idea. Most people move to Florida believing that they will live there forever. Crime rates affect home prices. I have seen people pay high prices for homes in areas with low crime rates, only to see the crime rates rise. As crime rates go up, prices usually head south and homes can become hard to sell. In the worst crime areas of Detroit, they were trying to unload homes for $1 and still had no takers.

      You didn’t say what town in Manatee County you were considering, but Port Charlotte in Charlotte County has (estimated) crime rate’s far higher than the national average. They’re estimated because Port Charlotte doesn’t have its own police department. Protection is provided by the Charlotte County Sheriffs Office and those stats that are reported to the FBI. Port Charlotte is not on any of our lists.

      In between Port Charlotte and Manatee County, there are two towns on our best places lists. They are Venice and North Port. They both have crime rates so low they are two of the safest places to live in the US. They also have all-around high quality of life scores and both towns are on more than one of our lists.

      As far as timing Florida’s home price rollercoaster, this post may hep you. Good luck Alexsandra.
      Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy” of Zeus Press Inc

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.


  3. Read your book and gave much more thought to moving before buying in to Florida. Our decision was right because your book gave us much to consider and we were prepared for life in Florida as opposed to ‘vacationing’ in Florida. Life is Grand here in Paradise. Better than we hoped it would be.
    Thanks for the help.

    • Hello Harry,
      I’m glad you found the book helpful. Too many people move to Florida without the info they need to avoid common costly mistakes when considering a move to Florida because what people really need to know just isn’t available (it happened to me when I moved to FL). There’s millions of webpages, brochures, ads, etc. on moving to Florida selling the place as paradise, and they’re designed to separate as much money from prospective new residents as possible as the move to FL. So they end up in the wrong house, wrong city and wrong part of Florida for them. As the book points out, Florida isn’t for everyone, so it’s better to know that before spending the time money and effort to move down, and then back to correct the mistake as so may do. I understand all the promo is just business and there’s nothing wrong with lawful commerce. However, people need info to help them protect themselves because almost everyone they deal with will be working in their own best interest, not the person moving into the sunshine state. Hopefully the book helped you increase your odds of enjoying Florida longer or forever it that’s your plan. Good luck Harry!
      Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy”

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.


  4. Hello Ron,

    I have read a lot of your articles and read both of your books. Thanks for the honest and truthful information that you share. I have tried to leave comments before, but I have never seen them here. I am not sure if they are coming across to you.

    My question is, is there a way to subscribe to your blog, so I can be up to date on your posts?


    • Hello Sam,
      First of all, thank you for purchasing the books and visiting this site. I believe I replied to your 1st comment within 24 hours, which is usually the case. Your comment and my reply can be found here is now a good time to buy in Florida. It should be right at the beginning of the comment section. Thanks again for reading and writing.
      Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy”

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.


  5. Hi Ron:

    Thanks for the great information. I really found the book helpful with new information as well as confirming some of my moving concerns. One area that I would like to understand better are CDDs in Florida. Some say they never go away and can add significantly to the tax bill. How do you find information in a subdivision on if and what the CDD is for?

    • Hello Tim,
      This list may help you determine if the there is a CDD in a specific community: http://www.harmonycdd.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Florida-Districts-List-Map.pdf

      If I had questions about a CDD that affected a property I was interested in, I would consult a real estate attorney in that area (preferably one who does a lot of title insurance/real estate closings). The information I would get would be factual, and they would be working to protect my best interest. Information/opinions from other sources may include “spin” or be inaccurate.

      Thanks for buying the book and good luck.
      Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy”

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.
      • _____

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