We Want to Retire in These Beautiful Homes Surrounded By Water

Monica Gray - February 13, 2024

There’s no better place to retire than next to the water, whether it’s a lake or an ocean. While some people are looking to retire within retirement communities, others are looking to retire in their own, secluded homes. The benefit of living in a retirement community is that people with similar interests, lifestyles, and ages surround you. Oftentimes, you’ll have access to boating, fishing, sprawling golf courses, beautiful parks, warmer climates, beautiful hiking, and delicious restaurants in these communities.

In terms of the USA, Florida is one of the most affordable places for beachfront retirement living. According to managing principal Jon Ulin, “The cost of living is significantly less for entertainment, transportation, food…and even real estate. You can buy a lot more houses in Florida for the same cost.” Additionally, Florida retirees don’t pay state or city taxes. Michigan is another gorgeous state with beachfront retirement homes and small-town charm. But if you’re looking to leave the USA and retire in a gorgeous home abroad, then Europe has some gorgeous homes for affordable prices.


The Alboran Sea, Spain

This contemporary property in the New Golden Mile in Spain flanks the Alboran Sea, with turquoise water and warm temperatures year-round. Nothing screams Mediterranean more than this seaside home. For those of you who want a large home to house your friends and family members, this spot has fourteen bedrooms, two swimming pools, and a home spa.

Why not spend your retirement days in an artistic, lush environment? While you’re not swimming in the pool, you can swim in the ocean. Best of all, you’re never far from pristine beaches or restaurants serving up delicious tapas (RSIR).

55 Places

Orlando, Florida

Visitors from around the world flock to Orlando, Florida to dive into its theme parks and resorts. Its mild winters are a huge draw for retirees, as is the low cost of living. Even though it’s not on the coast, it’s dotted with beautiful lakes and water perfect for retiring. And if you’re ever missing the ocean, you can drive to the Atlantic or Gulf Coast of Florida within an hour.

One of the best places to retire in Orlando is Twin Lakes, located in a rural part of Florida called St. Cloud. The community has a lake with a dock, which grants the opportunity to boat and kayak. Homes can cost as little as $300,000 to $600,000. According to their website, “Start your morning with an exercise class or refresh in our heated swimming pool. From shuffleboard matches to card games to Bingo to billiards, our spacious clubhouse is the hub for a wide variety of community activities.” Not only is this home by water, but it’s full of fun activities (Twin Lakes Inc).

Plantation Bay

Plantation Bay

Florida makes it again on this list with the charming seaside town of Ormond Beach, Florida, where Plantation Bay is. There’s year-round warm water, no state income tax, and a low cost of living which makes Plantation Bay one of the most appealing places to live. This community in particular offers gorgeous homes flanking tennis courts, pickleball courts, and a golf course.

Realtor Mark DeSantis said, “It’s a beautiful area, over 3,600 acres with three golf courses. You can drive the golf carts, and you can walk around many ponds.” This is one of the best places to go birdwatching and is close to one of the largest remaining southern oak forests along the coast of Florida (Homes).

BHG ReLife

Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

Known as the City of Lakes, Minneapolis has numerous homes to retire in, with twenty lakes and waterways to enjoy. Because Minneaopolis-St. Paul is surrounded by waterways, it’s automatically an ideal place to retire by the water. The Minneapolis Park System boasts 22 lakes and beaches, fishing piers, and boat launches. There are numerous walking and biking trails nearby, and when winter comes, the a chance for ice hockey and ice fishing.

What makes homes in this area such a great place to retire are the nearby amenities. U.S. News wrote, “Minneapolis and St. Paul not only have big-city amenities like museums and sports stadiums but also have an approachable Midwestern feel. Locals embrace the harsh winters and partake in hockey, ice fishing, and cross-country skiing. During the spring, summer, and fall, Minneapolis and St. Paul come alive with outdoor music festivals, baseball games at Target Field, and recreational opportunities on the area’s lakes.” (CBS News).

Sotheby’s Realty

Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway

While Florida boasts tons of coastal retirement communities, one of the most majestic had to be in Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway system. Particularly Sugar Sands, which is a condominium community with saunas, a fitness center, an outdoor pool, and tennis courts. One home in particular looks like it was pulled straight from the Mediterranean and plopped into Florida.

The description of the home reads, “The three upper-level guest suites are comfortable and accommodating, with many enjoying lavish baths, water views, and private balconies and one offering a convenient kitchenette.” If this magnificent place is out of your budget, then the Sugar Sands community might be a better option (55 Places).

Get Golden Visa

Algarve, Portugal

With year-round warm water, gorgeous white-sand beaches, and numerous outdoor activities, the Algarve coast in Portugal is not only an ideal place to retire but a perfect place to live a healthy lifestyle. You’ll have bustling, historic towns like Silves and Lagos, some of which are in proximity to Lisbon. There’s a reason they say people who have a Mediterranean diet live a long life!

If you’re a legal resident, you can register with the National Health Service for access to public hospitals. Once you obtain a permit, you can stay for up to five years as a foreigner, and once that expires, obtain a permanent permit. It’s considered one of the cheapest places to retire in the world (Get Golden Visa).

Lake City, Colorado

Known for being Colorado’s best lake town, Lake City has some of the most impressive homes in the country for retirement. Lake Cristobal’s shores offer retirees tons of water-based activities, like boats, kayaks, paddle-boards, and swimming. There’s a lower cost of living here, and homes typically cost $437,500.

If you’re big into wildlife spotting, bird watching, and camping, then Lake Cristobal offers all of this and more. Not only that, but you’ll get spectacular sunsets that turn the lake and surrounding mountains pink (Lake City).

Roche Realty

Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

This lake town in New Hampshire is full of some of the most beautiful homes in the country. Lake Winnipesaukee is encapsulated by affluent towns perfect for retirement and offers tons of recreational opportunities like fishing, kayaking, and water skiing. Even though the cost of living is a bit higher than the national average, there’s good reason for it.

There are tons of independent communities in Wolfeboro, so you have your choice when it comes to homes. One of them is the oldest summer resort town in America. According to Roche Realty, “The town’s name was in honor of General John Wolfe. In 1763 Governor John Wentworth established an estate on the site known as “Kingswood.” This was the first summer country estate in Northern New England. The town was eventually incorporated in 1770.” Not only will you have your pick of water activities, but history, too (Roche Realty).


Peloponnese, Greece

Even though the Mediterranean Sea encompasses the shores of many countries, the one in Greece offers something special, especially at the Navarino Dunes Beachfront. This is where you’ll find properties like this one, with six bedrooms, a golf course nearby, a spa, and tons of dining options. You’ll never run out of choices of food to eat.

Why not mix indoor living with outdoor living? With this home in particular, you’ll have open-air bedrooms and enclosed bedrooms, providing a magical selection while you spend your days relaxing in the sea-salt air (RSIR).

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Homes of the Rich

Homestead, Florida

Head to Homestead, Florida, for this jaw-dropping 3-story French-inspired home that’s surrounded by water. For those of you with $21,800,000 lying around, this home might be the perfect retirement place. This home was dubbed “Chateau Artisan” and is situated on 14 acres.

According to the sellers, it was “Built-in 2007, the home features approximately 12,770 square feet of living space with 8 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, 2-story great room, formal dining room, gourmet kitchen, billiards room, media room, wine cellar, 6-car garage and more. Outdoor features include a gated entrance, motor court with fountain, drawbridge, terraces, BBQ gazebo, koi pond, pool, boat house, and gardens.” Nothing screams luxury more than this home (Homes of the Rich).


Cheat Lake, West Virginia

Nestled by hiking trails, campsites, and wildlife, Cheat Lake offers some of the most beautiful homes to retire in on the water. It’s a 1,730-acre man-made reservoir that holds a ton of history. On the lake, there’s kayaking, swimming, and boating. You can also find yoga classes on the lake and stand-up paddle boarding, making it an incredible place once summer rolls around. The cost of living at Cheat Lake is 1% lower than the US average.

Some describe the lake as, the “perfect getaway with calm and shady waters where you can drop your anchor, turn on the radio, and crack open a cool drink. These areas are known by the locals as “the backwaters” and are the spots for swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. Other parts of the lake cater to more adventurous spirits. Power-boaters, inner-tubers, jet skiers, and water skiers can be found along the main drag of Cheat Lake.” In the winter, the lake has a calming effect from the snow and ice around it (Visit Mountaineer Country).

James Edition

Stunning Sea Front Villa In Sestri Levante, Italy

This villa has private access to the sea and was for sale in a place named “the City of the Two Seas,” back in 1833 by H.C. Andersen. There’s a unique town center, with a strip of land diving the sea into two beautiful bays, with colorful houses that face the beach. This villa, and many of the other villas in the area are surrounded by luxuriant Mediterranean vegetation along the waterfront.

There are big, comfortable rooms, including nine bedrooms. If you have a big family and a lot of friends, then you can easily host them in this luxurious, spacious home, where you can spend your retirement days looking out at the cerulean blue ocean (James Edition).


St Joseph, Michigan

On the shores of Lake Michigan lie some of the most beautiful homes in the country. Residents thoroughly enjoy lakefront living, stunning views, numerous parks, and walking trails. The cost is 24.8% lower than the US average. The low cost of living and beautiful shores make it an attractive place to retire.

It’s also a very safe place to live since the crime rate is lower than the national average. According to Great Retirement Spots, St. Joseph is “Known as St. Joe by residents, the town started as a Native American camp and then became a trading post. Finally, in 1834 it became a village and the headquarters of steam lines traveling to Chicago.” You’ll also get the Blossomtime Festival and Parade, one of the oldest festivals in Michigan, and the annual Chalk the Block where artists come to create colorful works on sidewalks in town (Great Retirement Spots).


Annilanselka Lake, Finland

You’ll have long, sunny days in the summertime in Finland, and nights as the Northern Lights dance across the sky in winter. But one of the best locations in Finland has to be this bright, beachy home on a lake. It has three bedrooms, a large terrace, and a jacuzzi.

You’ll even have a private boat dock for water adventures, making it an idyllic retreat or place to retire. Even though Finland is a lot quieter than other major cities, it’s a perfect place to wind down after all those years of hard work (RSIR).

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Brick, New Jersey

Even though the beaches in New Jersey aren’t accessible year-round, Brick is located right on the coast. The retirement community of Ocean County does have many communities near the beach. You’ll find gorgeous homes near clubhouses with a game room, billiards, an outdoor pool, and sports courts. And during those warm, summer months, residents are only steps away from the beach and a drive away from the Jersey Shore. Many waterfront homes, like this one in particular, sit on the lagoon and offer panoramic views. This home has four bedrooms, outdoor living spaces, and renovated kitchens, ideal for those of you looking to downsize.

If you’re not looking for a community but instead want to retire in a beautiful home right on the water, Brick has a plethora of options. Reddit users still love Brick during winter, and write, “It turns into a chill suburb in the winter. Lots of stuff by the shore closes down but if you drive around you can find restaurants and stuff.” With plenty to do in the area even in winter, retiring in homes near this water might be a viable option (Realtor).

Right Move

Maenporth, Cornwall

This six-bedroom home in Cornwall sits near the white sands of Maenporth Beach. It has a large view platform where you can sit, read, and enjoy uninterrupted views of the water. The open-plan living space frames the coastal panoramas, and there’s a heat pump, solar panels, and triple glazing.

Maenporth is home to attractive beaches, leisure resorts, and some of the best dining in the United Kingdom. According to Visit Cornwall, “There are excellent family facilities that include a cafe, car parking, public toilets and the opportunity to hire out a range of watersports activities including kayaking, sailing and scuba diving. The shipwreck of the ‘Ben Asdale’ can be spotted offshore, and is often explored by divers.” It looks like this spot offers everything for retirees, and more (Visit Cornwall).


Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota

This mansion is equipped with not only a private road but the entire Wayzata Bay it’s built on top of. It’s the most expensive estate in the state and costs more than $14,700,000. According to the sellers, the historic property “originally belonged to Dorilus Morrison, the first mayor of Minneapolis, and remained in Morrison’s family for about 130 years.”

Now, it’s a five-bedroom, seven-bathroom home that has panoramic views and land flanking the house to the north and south ends. You’ll even have two kitchens and nine refrigerators, including a wine fridge. And you never have to worry about doing your laundry, since there are three laundry rooms. If you don’t feel like spending time on the lake, just head to the theater, sauna, or golf simulator. Furthermore, “On the property, you’ll also find a replica of the tallest lighthouse in Canada, a boat dock, the tallest residential flagpole in the state, and a garage with space for up to eight cars.” Did someone say it’s time to retire? (Kare11).

Northwest Realty Group

Coeur D’Alene, Idaho

As one of the most popular retirement cities in the USA, the shores of Coeur D’Alene Lake sound like something from a European town. Not only does it have a stunning lake, but it’s a fast-growing city with a natural area and natural forest. The lake offers water sports, boating, fishing, kayaking, and paddle boarding.

The lake offers gorgeous sunsets every evening. It’s aptly nicknamed the “Heart of it All.” It also turns into a popular feeding ground for Bald Eagles as they hunt around for “kokanee” (Northwest Realty Group).

Mansion Global

Jenner, California

On California’s North Coast, this mansion sits on a rocky outcrop above the swirling sea of the Pacific Ocean. This home was originally built in 1964 and named the “Glass House.” It has floor-to-ceiling windows with a panoramic view of the ocean. The home itself has Old Growth California redwood blends and native sandstone.

There’s a fully equipped kitchen, marble counters, and stainless steel appliances. Best of all, the living room has a sunken conversation area around the fireplace. For nearly four million dollars, this home can be yours to spend your days out of work and relaxing next to the sea (Mansion Global).


Lake Como, Italy

You might have heard about the magical waters of Lake Como in Italy. But did you know this is a gorgeous place to retire, too? In this house in particular, you’ll get exposed-beam ceilings, chandelier-style lighting, an indoor pool, a home cinema, and a fitness area with a spa. The outdoor terrace gets a lot of light and sun, and you can dip in the outdoor pool or the lake.

One retiree who retired to Lake Como said, “Life for a retiree in Lake Como, and its surroundings can be quite idyllic and fulfilling. The region is known for its stunning natural beauty, with picturesque towns and villages nestled along the shores of the lake, surrounded by lush green mountains. The climate is mild and pleasant, making it an ideal location for outdoor activities such as hiking, boating, and swimming. There is a growing expat community in the area, with many retirees from various countries choosing to settle in Lake Como for its relaxed pace of life and beautiful surroundings.” Top it off with a gorgeous villa and you’ll never want to leave (Expat Exchange).

Tellico Lake Home Team

Tellico Lake, Tennessee

Imagine relaxing in your home that flanks Tellico Lake, with a view of the Smoky Mountains. About 40 miles southwest of Knoxville is a lakefront community with beautiful homes adjacent to wilderness and nature. You’ll have skiing, recreational boating, kayaking, and fishing. Near the lake is a golf course, and a stable where equestrians can ride horses along the 125 miles of hiking trails.

While eating breakfast, you can enjoy the sunrise on the lake. Or while relaxing on your deck, you can enjoy the sunset views. The more adventurous can go tubing down the Tellico River and mountain biking on the trails. And for those of you who prefer year-round temperate weather, then Tellico Lake is the place for you (Tellico Lake Home Team).

Ideal Living

Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy

Head to Villa Casa del Porto, Positano on the Tyrrhenian Sea in Italy and sprawl out in gorgeous homes flanking the warm waters with cliff-side living. This villa in particular is shrouded by natural rock and lush flora. Many of the homes here are built traditionally, with vaulted ceilings, earthy stones, hand-painted doors, flourishing gardens, and an outdoor dining area.

Other spots on the coast are Tropea, Pizzo, Scilla, and San Nicola Arcella, several unknown places that are untouched by tourism and relatively unknown to tourists. You’ll have a never-ending selection of turquoise water, dramatic grottoes, and cobblestone streets that’ll make retiring feel like you’re in a fairytale land (Italy Property Consulting).

Lake House At Ferry Point Inn

Laconia, New Hampshire

The largest lake in New Hampshire, Lake Winnipesaukee, has a stunning natural beauty with mountains, wooded shorelines, and rolling hills. One of the main draws of living in Laconia is the lower cost of living, with homes costing around $460,000.

The town has just over 15,000 people, which gives it a gorgeous, small community feel. Even though there are tons of things to do in the area, the biggest draw is getting out on the lake, swimming, and boating. For the more adventurous, you can spend your days taking a scenic flight over the Lakes Region or explore the Castle on the Clouds (New Hampshire Inn).


Rhine River, Germany

Imagine being surrounded by vineyard villas, the Rhine River, century-old trees, and stunning sunsets. This home in particular comes with granite floors and sandstone, high ceilings, a library, a tennis court, a wine cellar, and a billiard room. The outdoor veranda provides incredible sunlight.

There are several cities you can choose to retire at the Rhine River, but all of them provide their unique charm. According to users of Reddit, “I’d recommend the Rhine Valley. There are some medium-size cities, e.g. Mainz or Freiburg with a population of about 200.000 people. Along the Rhine Valley, you’ve got the highest average temperature in Germany.” The smaller towns will have a bit more of old-school charm (Reddit).

Right Move

Saint Lawrence, Isle of Wight, England

Nothing screams retirement home more than this serene lake house on the Isle of Wight. Wake up every morning to glass-still water and two acres of gardens and land. There’s an entertainment area filled with tropical plants, and the coastline is just a few minutes away. It’s the perfect solution for those of you who want to be near the beach but not directly in the midst of it all.

Even though this gorgeous home costs more than one million dollars, it’s well worth paying the price for serenity, peace, and quiet. Whenever you want some bustling city vibes, you can easily make your way to London, Liverpool, or Manchester (Right Move).

Large 10a Eagles Nest Dr
Mansion Global

La Conner, Washington

Built in the Eagles Nest Community is this gorgeous cliffside home with a view of Puget Sound, the islands, and the Olympic Mountains. Towering old-growth trees surround the gated house. This one in particular has two bedrooms, one-and-a-half bathrooms, and a hot tub.

You’ll have plenty of space to explore on the 2.5-acre property, which also has a tennis court and a pool. There’s nothing better than retiring on your cliff-side level plateau and spending your days gazing out at the horizon (Mansion Global).

Stay in Tamarindo

Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Retiring in a beachside home in Tamarindo is easier than ever before. For only $1,500-$2,500/month, you’ll have a comfortable home with some small indulgences. If your budget is more, up to $4,000/month, you’ll live happily and comfortably. Some homes will come with pools and outdoor kitchens, and some homes are better for single occupants, couples, or families.

Either way, you’re always a hop, skip, and a jump away from the beach, where you can learn how to surf, or spend your days kayaking or paddle-boarding. You’ll have never ending options for fresh seafood and soaking in the sun (Point2Homes).