Learn about retirement in Florida, from taxes benefits to the warm, sunny climate

There’s no doubt that Florida is a popular place to retire. A number of retirees flock to the state to live out their next phase of life every year. Florida is consistently ranked among the top states to retire in as well. The Sunshine State is alluring for its warm weather, blue skies, and pristine beaches. Aside from its pleasant year-round weather, retirees also find themselves drawn to the state because of its tax benefits and great health facilities.

While there are some great benefits of retiring in Florida, we’ll also discuss a few drawbacks so you have a full picture of what to expect. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Retiring in Florida offers wonderful benefits with its inviting climate, sense of community, lack of state income tax, and access to healthcare facilities.

  • Retiring in Florida also comes with challenges, including the risks of natural disasters, high insurance costs, crowds from tourism, and lack of housing.

Pros and cons of retiring in Florida

There are quite a few benefits of retiring in Florida. If you choose to call the state your home, you can expect great tax benefits, a vibrant social life, a warm climate, and access to fair healthcare. Of course, no state is perfect for retirement. Although the sunny weather can be appealing, Florida is also prone to natural disasters that have raised home insurance rates. Similarly, Florida's popularity can pose challenges to finding housing, and it tends to be more crowded than you might think.

Read on to learn more about the specific pros and cons of retiring in Florida. 

Pro #1: No state income tax

As one of the only states with no income tax, Florida is a tax-friendly state. This means that you won’t pay taxes on your earned wages, whether they’re from a current job or your retirement income—including money from Social Security income, pensions, 401(k), and IRAs. What’s more, Florida doesn’t impose an inheritance or state tax either so you can leave more to your family. 

Keep in mind that the state offsets some of this cost from income taxes with a higher sales tax. Florida ranks 23rd in the country for the highest sales tax.The combined state and local sales taxes average out to 7.02%, while the national average is 6.44%. 

Pro #2 Retirement communities in Florida

As a popular retirement destination, Florida has no shortage of activities and community for older adults. There are 1,074 senior living communities in Florida, with plenty that are highly-rated and popular among retirees. Florida also offers a variety of different living options so you can find the most suitable option for your situation — from independent living options to retirement communities to assisted living and beyond. 

40% of Florida’s population is aged 50 and over. Another benefit of retiring in the state is its abundance of social activities that fit various lifestyles and preferences. 

Pro #3: Climate, recreation, and weather 

One well-known advantage of living in Florida is its sunny, year-round, beach-ready climate. It’s called the Sunshine State for a very good reason, and many people enjoy year-round outdoor activities that make retiring in Florida relaxing, and fun. From golf to beachcombing, the warm, pleasant weather makes it easy to find comfort in mother nature. 

On the other hand, Florida’s humidity and tendency for natural disasters can be a problem as well, which we’ll discuss in the “cons” section below.

Pro #4: Healthcare in Florida is accessible and ranges in quality

In general, healthcare in Florida can range from poor to very good. However, the state has the second-most physicians, dentists, and home health aids per capita in the United States, making healthcare more accessible. Florida also ranks 23rd for elderly care, which likely means that there’s a range in the quality of healthcare providers. No matter where you live, it’s always a good idea to research healthcare facilities and providers ahead of time so you can get the best care.

Drawbacks of retiring in Florida

Con #1: Florida is prone to natural disasters

Retiring in Florida can be tough because of the frequent hurricanes and other natural disasters. These strong storms can disrupt your life in many ways. They may damage your property, cause power outages, or force you to evacuate. You may need to make some renovations or pay more for homeowner’s insurance to protect your home. 

Con #2: High cost of insurance in Florida

If you live near the coast or might be affected by hurricanes, you’ll need to insure your home, car, and other assets, which can be pricey. 

Residents of Florida often have to pay for different kinds of insurance to protect their homes. On top of your homeowner’s insurance, you’ll likely need to pay hurricane insurance that covers damage from heavy wind and rain. 

Your home isn’t the only asset affected by a hurricane or other natural disaster. Florida residents may also have to pay more for car insurance due to the frequency of strong storms in the state.

One more thing that could make it more expensive to live in Florida is an emergency fund for natural disasters for extra protection.

Con #3: Can be crowded and touristy 

Florida’s popularity is two-fold. The sunny skies and cheery weather are appealing to everybody, including tourists. Florida’s tourism can lead to crowds, especially during peak seasons, and these crowds can be annoying for locals.

Con #4: Housing can be scarce in Florida

Like a few other characteristics of Florida, housing is also a mixed-bag. The average Florida home is valued at $392,922, which is relatively affordable compared to other, more expensive parts of the US. However, because Florida is a popular place to retire and has more affordable housing, the state often has low housing inventory. This low inventory drives prices up, so it’s common to see people buying above market value.   

Medicare in Florida

Once you turn 65, you’re eligible for Medicare. If you plan to retire in Florida, it’s important to understand Florida’s Medicare landscape

There are 4.8 million Medicare beneficiaries in Florida, making up 22% of Florida’s total population. 

When deciding on a Medicare plan, the most important decision you can make is choosing between Medicare Advantage and Original Medicare (with or without supplemental coverage). 51% of Florida Medicare beneficiaries are on a Medicare Advantage plan and the other 49% are on Original Medicare. 

Choosing the right Medicare coverage for you depends on your unique situation. Talk to one of our licensed advisors in Florida to get a thorough understanding of Medicare plans and select the best one for your needs. Get free, personalized advice today at (855) 900-2427.  

Other considerations when retiring in Florida

We went over Florida’s climate as a benefit to retiring, but Florida’s humidity can be limiting to people with certain health conditions, like asthma and dermatitis.. Plus, insects and other critters are more likely to live in wet, humid conditions. If you hate mosquitos, Florida may not be the best place to live.

One common misconception is that you’ll retire to a beachfront in Florida. While there are many options for beachside living, there are also other types of residential areas, including cities, suburbs, and communities. In any state, we recommend doing research before ultimately deciding on a place to retire.

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