I vacationed in Sarasota starting in the mid 80's, which gave me a lot of time to get comfortable with moving here when I retired. I knew the weather, the beaches, the restaurants, the safety, the relative affordability, the golf, the lifestyle, even the health care, which, thankfully, i'm not quite ready for.
Had I not spent so much time in Sarasota previously, however, I might have ended up here anyway. It seems like every month another publication gives its blessing to the area. The latest I've seen is at Livability.com ( http://www.livability.com/top-10/retirement/top-10-best-places-to-retire/2015 ).
If you're retiring and looking for the best place to settle down, you owe it to yourself to check it out!