Are you moving to Florida? if the answer is YES, you should read this article to explore the top key factors to consider before living in Florida. The Sunshine State has long been a state with appeal due to its year-round warm weather, endless coastline, and great communities within reach of the major cities.
It’s not only common for people to retire here, but—because of its affordability compared to —young residents are settling in as well. Whether you’ve done your research or are just getting started, it’s a good idea to consider important things before moving to Florida.
Table of Contents:
1. It’s a retirement state.
It is true that a lot of people retire to Florida. By 2030, Florida is projected to be home to over 6 million people aged 65 or older.
Some communities are built entirely around seniors’ wants and needs. The Villages, for example, is a 55+ community with over 132,000 residents.
Florida is also well-known for its snowbirds, who live in Northern states part of the year but come to Florida to escape frigid, snowy winters.
But weather isn’t the only draw for the senior crowd. It’s also the state’s tax-friendly policies, which make retirement income go a lot further than it would in, say, California.
Florida has no state income tax, which means that disbursements from Social Security, pensions, 401(k)s, and IRAs are all tax-free.
If you’ve decided to make Florida your new home, you’re in luck – it’s a big and varied place, with something for all ages, family dynamics and budget. Continue reading as we dive into some notable Pros and Cons about the state itself, the top cities to live in across a variety of categories, and…
2. There is room for the younger crowd.
While Florida has the largest net migration of retirees in the U.S., not every community in the state is in bed early.
There are also many areas with vigorous nightlife and plenty of young adults. South Beach and Miami are famous for their bars, clubs, and live music, and there are great party beaches all over, from Panama City Beach to Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale.
If you enjoy the party vibe but prefer to live somewhere quiet, the suburbs just outside Miami, , and Orlando allow you to be a hop, skip, and jump away from the city without the noise and crowds.
With year-round warm weather and over 8,000 miles of coastline, it’s no wonder Florida is a prime vacation destination. Filled with wildlife, beaches, lakes, rivers, amusement parks, diverse entertainment options and much more, the population of Florida is growing with people that want to call Florida “home,” soak up the sun…
3. Florida is for foodies.
Florida has a vibrant culinary scene, with plenty of influence from Mexico, the Caribbean, and the ocean itself.
Closer to Alabama and Georgia you’ll find more southern comfort food.
Fresh-caught seafood, Cuban dishes, and island flavors are among the highlights.
4. Watch out for the weather.
While the weather is Florida is often beautiful and warm, Floridians know that weather can change on a dime.
Heavy rainstorms come frequently, and hurricanes are common. Both may be accompanied by flooding. Tornadoes and lightning can dangerous, too.
When from another part of the country, you’ll need to research how to protect yourself and your property from any threats you haven’t experienced before.
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5. Tourism is huge.
With 663 miles of beaches, year-round warm weather, and tons of attractions, Florida is a major tourist destination. In fact, tourism is Florida’s largest industry, adding over $100 billion dollars per year to the state’s economy.
For those who prefer to leave the hot spots to out-of-towners, inland cities (with the possible exception of Orlando) may be a better fit. They tend to have a higher proportion of locals going about their daily lives—and fewer selfie-takers wearing Mickey Mouse ears.
6. It’s a swing state.
For decades now, Florida has gotten a lot of attention in national elections, and that’s because it’s a battleground state. Many statewide elections are won by under two percentage points, and in presidential contests the state’s 29 electoral votes have been up for grabs.
That means a lot of campaign dollars are spent trying to sway Floridians and get out the vote. It also means that every vote truly counts.
Locally, Republicans tend to win control of the state legislature.
7. Disney is within reach.
Disneyworld, Universal, SeaWorld, and Legoland draw millions of visitors to Florida each year, many of whom pay big money to travel to and stay in the state.
When you , some of the country’s best attractions are simply day trips. And you don’t have to fit all of the attractions into a single week, so you can spend more time at individual parks, such as Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Blizzard Beach waterpark, or Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Islands of Adventure.
The same is true for Florida’s world-class beaches. While people around the country and the world buy plane tickets and stay in expensive hotels in order to experience the likes of Destin and Clearwater, Floridians can drive to the best beaches within a few hours.
We have presented options that will fit different budgets and needs – there should be a choice for everyone. We have listed the most affordable cities first, though the ranks and index scores are assigned based on a larger set of characteristics that we have reviewed…
8. This state loves sports.
If you are a baseball fan, then Florida is the right place to be. Spring training takes place in Florida, giving you plenty of opportunities to see some of your favorite teams at half the price, and perhaps with half the travel.
But it doesn’t end there for sports fans. There are two NFL teams: the Miami Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At a Bucs game you can watch Tom Brady, one of the greatest athletes of all time.
If baseball and football aren’t your things, you aren’t out of options. The Tampa Bay Lighting play NHL hockey while the Miami Heat caters to NBA basketball fans.
College sports are big here, too.
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9. The wildlife is truly wild.
Alligators, sharks, and snakes are a few of the scarier creatures that come to mind when it comes to Florida. However, they aren’t the only wildlife that is worth a mention.
Check out beautiful manatees, whales, and dolphins in different marine life habitats or visit the Everglades for some of the best birding in the country.
10. It’s a big place.
Florida is a large state with a lot of variation from one area to another. Before moving, it’s best to explore various communities until you find the right one to suit your needs.
If it’s big city life you’re after, check out Miami or . St. Petersburg is one of the sunniest cities in America. For a resort feeling year-round, look to the Florida Keys. And if you don’t want to be in a major tourist area, look further from the coast in cities like Tallahassee and .
A Surge in New Residents
Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, Florida has seen a huge surge in people moving to the state. According to Chance Realty, a south Florida real estate agency, from out-of-state visitors have been on a steady rise.
With the problems that big states like California and are facing, Florida is looking to be the go-to getaway spot, and these may be some of the reasons.
Miami is the only major U.S. city to have been founded by a woman. Arriving in 1891, native Clevelander, Julia Tuttle bought several hundred acres along the bank of the Miami River in an area then known as Biscayne Bay. Her passion to build a community in her newly found paradise…