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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Largo named a top place to retire in Forbes list

A mural in downtown Largo painted by local artist Tanya Pistillo.


A mural in downtown Largo painted by local artist Tanya Pistillo.



Forbes released this month its annual list of best places to retire, and one Tampa Bay city made the cut: Largo, nestled in the middle of Pinellas County with a population of about 80,000.

Forbes assessed several economic and quality-of-life factors to land on the group of 25 cities, including three others in Florida. For Largo, the fourth largest city in the Tampa Bay area, the list highlighted its low median home price ($150,000), strong economy, warm climate and high number of doctors per capita as pros for those looking to retire.

Mayor Woody Brown said he welcomes the findings even as the city has grown younger over the last decade.

“A lot of things people who are looking for a great place to retire look for are the same things I look for or people looking for employment look for,” said Brown, who is 45 and married with two sons.

Along with the factors Forbes considered, Brown pointed to the city’s resident services, parks and recreation programs and close proximity to the beaches as qualities that make it stand out in the Tampa Bay area.

But the list wasn’t all praise for the city. It mentioned Largo’s low ranking on the most recent Best Cities For Successful Aging report from the Milken Institute, a California-based economic think tank, which evaluates factors such as transportation and community engagement — both topics that Largo residents harped on during a recent series of community conversations.

Carol Stricklin, the city’s community development director, said city officials have those concerns in mind looking at next year’s budget with potential plans to retrofit streets to make them more walkable and hire a community outreach coordinator, among others.

“This whole thing couldn’t be more timely in terms of the things the city is actively working on to improve the community,” she said.

[Last modified: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 10:33am]


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