27 Pros and Cons of Retiring in Florida

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While retiring and moving to Florida may seem a bit cliché today, behind most cliches is at least a small element of truth. Many people retire to Florida because they see it as a desirable location, with the current percentage of Florida residents over the age of 65 (retirement age) being 20.9%, a number that continues to grow. What are the pros and cons of retiring in Florida?

Some of the pros of retiring in Florida include no state income tax, close to perfect weather, and the ability to live the life you want. However, there are also downsides like scammers and pests, cities that have lost their charm, and bad weather.

Whether or not you plan on retiring in Florida is something you must decide for yourself. Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of retiring in Florida. With this information, you will be able to decide regarding this important time in your life.

Pros of Retiring in Florida

There are several benefits of retiring in Florida, depending on your preference and what you like to do. Many people swear Florida is the best place to spend your Golden Years because of the endless sunshine, beaches, and large senior population. However, this is something each person must decide for themselves. Our goal is to help make this decision a bit easier by highlighting all the best aspects of making Florida your home.

Learn more about retiring in Florida and the main benefits of this decision here. With this information, you may be ready to purchase a retirement home.

27 Pros and Cons of Retiring in Florida

No State Income Tax

One of the top reasons many people decide to retire in Florida is because there is no state income tax. This means all your retirement income, which includes Social Security benefits are not taxed.

While you still have to pay property and sales taxes, you can handle these issues with renting and smart spending, rather than ownership. You can also receive a homestead exemption up to $50K for permanent residents.

For many, especially if you have lived in a state where income tax was collected, this is a huge draw and may be the factor that convinces them to make a move. You have to admit, it is an appealing reason to make a move to Florida. 

Close to Perfect Weather

When it comes to weather in the U.S., Florida is about as close to perfect as you will get during the winter. It is during this time of year that hurricane season is gone, and the humidity is minimal. Also, it rains less, and you will not be burned by the sun within minutes of stepping outside.

However, that is not all. Thanks to the mild temperatures, your electric bill will drop, and you will find an array of outdoor events and festivals. Even the alligators and mosquitoes make themselves scarce, making it an enjoyable place to live.

Different Types of Lifestyle

Florida is home to an array of waterways, golf courses, beaches, and other outdoor activities. It makes it easy for you to stay active during your retirement years. If you prefer a less active lifestyle, there are plenty of retirement communities that accommodate that, too.

New Opportunities and New Friendships

According to the 2010 census, Florida has the highest percentage of individuals over the age of 65 in the U.S. Approximately one in five people fall into this group, and the figure is expected to continue going up.

Florida is so appealing to retirees because of how many planned communities are available, exclusively for the senior demographic. You can lease or purchase in an area where all the other residents are retired, too. This means you have countless chances to shop together, go on picnics, attend planned social gatherings, and make new friends.

It is expected that by 2030, Florida will have a population of more than 23.9 million people. Over six million of these residents will be over the age of 65, which is twice the size of retirees’ existing population.

Prepay Your Health Costs

A huge advantage of retiring in Florida is the continuing care retirement communities found here (as mentioned above). They provide an effective way to secure your financial situation because it is possible to prepare for future needs if you have a life care plan in place.

If you know what your expenses will be now, you can budget for your daily living needs and the activities you want to participate in down the road. Also, this helps to reduce the cost of care, even if you are eligible for Medicare.

Availability of International Airports

You can find several international airports in Florida, which makes it simple for your family to visit. With 13 international airports in this state, along with several smaller, regional airports, it is easy for seniors to travel during their retirement, too.

If you retire in Florida, you have access to the globe. From Southwest Florida International Airport in Ft. Meyers to Tallahassee International Airport and even Dayton Beach International Airport, you will find that regardless of where in Florida you choose to settle down, your travel plans will be well accommodated.

Quality and Problem-Free Roads

Are you sick and tired of constantly dealing with potholes and other issues on the roads? If so, then you are going to love Florida. In fact, something can be said for the city and county crews in the state—they work hard to keep roads in good, smooth condition throughout the year. 

Also, since it stays warm in Florida most of the year, you do not have to worry about issues resulting from the freeze-thaw effect that occurs in other parts of the country, causing serious problems for roads.

Affordable Living

While it is true, you can always find multimillion-dollar mansions on the coast; this is not all that is offered in the state. Even the median cost does not provide a real reflection of prices for many communities since home prices can easily surge over $600K.

For example, in Daytona Beach, the median home price for a single-family home is under $170K, and the Gainesville market sits around the $210K mark. This is also the average price range in the St. Pete and Tampa metro areas. Even when the market is busy in these areas, you can see that the prices are still much lower than the costs in other communities around the state.

There Is Something for Everyone

When you begin thinking about moving to Florida, it is important to visit the state and see what it has to offer before you make a move. There are several vibes you can experience based on the location you choose. For example, the west and east coasts are extremely different from one another, along with the south’s metro areas compared to the more rural areas in the north.

You can also find stretches of rolling hills and hundreds of miles of shoreline with pristine white beaches you can explore. If you are feeling a bit adventurous, you can go to the Keys and settle down. This is a completely different experience than the one you would have while visiting Orlando.

More Than 300 Days of Sunshine

27 Pros and Cons of Retiring in Florida

A town in Florida recently set a world record for having two years of consecutive days of sunshine. Many communities in the state have more than 300 days of sunshine per year. This means there is plenty of warm weather for you to enjoy and experience when you are retired.

While this is definitely a pro, you also need to be proactive when it comes to being in the sun. Sunlight may cause your skin to become leathery as time passes, which can encourage the formation of brown, yellow, red, and gray spots. The most severe result of over-exposure to the sun is skin cancer development, and the risk increases with every sunburn you get.

Try to avoid being in the sun between the hours of 10 to 4 PM every day to avoid the most dangerous rays. It is also helpful if you use a broad-spectrum sunscreen. If you plan to go to the beach, try sitting under a tent or an umbrella to get some shade, as well.

Beautiful White Beaches

There is no other place in the world quite like Florida beaches. With a coastline that ranges more than 1,200 miles from the Gulf Coast all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, Florida beaches are known around the world for their gentle breezes, beautiful blue waters, and powdery white sand. The top-ranked beach in Florida, Sanibel Island, is known for its abundance of shells and calm shores.

If you decide to retire in Florida, you are going to love walking and playing in the sand with your grandchildren and exploring the historic 19th-century lighthouse on Sanibel Island. If you love the active life, then visiting Destin is a great option, where you can enjoy an array of water sports, dining, and shopping, all while getting to see sea turtles and dolphins.

Culture and Arts

The stunning scenery, beautiful beaches, and tropical climate have drawn people from all over the globe. This has resulted in Florida being a melting pot of cultures. From restaurants and concerts to galleries and art museums, you will enjoy a global experience while staying at home when you move to Florida.

Disney World

When you retire, you want to have fun and enjoy your Golden Years. One of the places in Florida where everyone feels like a kid is Disney World, which is located in Orlando, Florida. Each year, Disney World attracts millions of visitors and is a great place to take your grandchildren when they come to visit you. Who would not want to spend their Golden Years at the Happiest Place on Earth?

What is even better is that as a Florida resident, you get discounts going to Disney. You can add these to your senior discounts, and you will find paying a visit to the House of the Mouse is more affordable than you ever imagined.

Along with Disney World, there are an array of other amusement parks nearby, such as Universal Studios, Sea World, Busch Gardens, and others. This means if you are still a kid at heart, you will find plenty of things to occupy your time. Also, the grandkids will love to come and visit. 

The Cost of Living

The cost of living in Florida is considered right on par with the national average. If you retire here, it is 99.5, compared to the 100 standard that is the baseline in the U.S. What this means is that the cost of goods and services in Florida will make it easier for you to stretch your money further in many circumstances.

Keep in mind that specialized items will always cost more, which can be challenging for some retirees. However, generally speaking, you can expect a relatively comfortable life even if you have a moderate income.

You Never Have to Shovel Snow

Florida is essentially a snow-free state. If snow happens to fall, it will never be so deep that you have to shovel it. If you are coming from the north, this is likely a hugely appealing factor that will encourage you to go ahead and pull the trigger. As a retiree, the last thing you probably want to deal with is handling cold weather, snow, and ice. In Florida, this is a non-issue.

Southern Charm

While Florida may not be the first state you think of when imagining southern hospitality, it is still in the south and the residents are more than capable of laying on that southern charm. Along with meeting friendly people all over the state, you will find this is a place where men still open doors for women, and the “neighbor helping neighbor” philosophy is alive and well. 

Just remember, with all this southern charm, you should never take advantage of a Floridian. They are here to help with anything you need but expect the same from people nearby. 

Cons of Retiring in Florida

If you are not careful, living in Florida can be expensive. Considering all the costs and other potential downsides of this state is important before making a move.

Full of Scammers

Florida is ranked at the top of the list when it comes to fraud. There are about 1,000 reports of fraud per every 100K residents. Some of the top incidents include debt collection, imposter scams, and identity theft. Some scammers will take on several disguises to target you several times if they believe you are susceptible to falling for a pitch.

The average loss for fraud in Florida is only about $429. However, this increases to approximately $1,100 per incident for individuals who are over the age of 80.

27 Pros and Cons of Retiring in Florida

A High-Crime State

Some of the most dangerous cities in the country are located in Florida. Each year, there are more than 1,100 murders per 100K people. Another issue is gang activity.

Even though Florida has been the top state for retirees for the past decade, it has been declining in popularity for a few years. If it will remain the retirement haven, it is still something that only time will tell, especially with issues related to crime growing across the state.

Pests That May Impact Your Home’s Value

In Florida, termites are a huge issue for homeowners. In fact, four of the top 15 cities for termite issues are found in Florida, including Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, and Orlando. A top reason why these pests are such a problem is that there is no true winter season.

Also, many of the homes are made of wood. This means investing in a termite prevention program as soon as you move in is a smart move. While this is true, it is also expensive, costing as much as $5,000 depending on your home’s size.

Another pest issue is rats. You must put preventative controls in place to keep rats away. The most common places to see rats include the palm trees, the beach, and on your roof.

Global Warming’s Impact on the Coastline

When do you plan to retire to Florida? Depending on the impact of climate change, living close to the coast could present some unique challenges that may be expensive to deal with. 

As the glaciers start to melt and water levels across the globe rise, there could be problems. For example, if you live in a flat area of the state that is just above sea level, it means your home may be more susceptible to wave damage, flash flooding, and high tides.

While some cities in Florida are working to find a solution or protection plan for these issues, some have not yet decided to face the situation. This means you may live here for a while, only to have to move away again soon after that.

The disadvantage here is not supposed to be a commentary on the climate patterns and how they are changing. Instead, it is a serious consideration you need to keep in mind. If the sea levels continue to rise, there could be problems in the future.

Some Communities Have Lost Their Appeal and Charm

The main complaint about many Florida cities is that they use control zoning as a part of their overall growth strategy. This means there are countless strip malls offering businesses with commercial locations to use.

Some counties can be part of a single city, too, even when several smaller towns are making up the area. This disadvantage may lead to the same retail outlets and restaurants repeating their business on the same street. With multiple Starbucks per street, the charm is virtually nonexistent.

The Likelihood of Powerful Storms

While Florida is not the only state that must deal with hurricanes each year, this peninsula sits where the Caribbean and Atlantic converge. This means the probability of strikes from the west and east is high.

Virtually everyone living in the state can experience these storms with the most common tracks. This means you must pay more for insurance coverage if you decide to buy a home. You will likely have to purchase flood insurance, as well, to protect all your other assets. The hurricanes that come to this state can cause serious devastation, so factoring this into your move is essential.

Scary Animals and Annoying Pests

Florida alligators are so big and bold that they may come after smaller pets. Some have even attacked small children, like the report of a two-year-old building a sandcastle while spending time at a Disney resort. The alligator attacked and dragged the child into the lagoon. During the hunt for the offending alligator, six were captured.

If you move to this area, you need to be prepared and aware of where alligators live. You should take warning signs and warnings from officials of alligators, snakes, and other dangerous wildlife seriously when living here.

Another serious issue in the state is mosquitoes. You will find several reports of dengue fever and the Zika virus in Florida that come from bites. While there are insect control programs in the state, this is not a guarantee that you will not be exposed to these pests.

Traffic Congestion

Over 20 million people live in Florida full-time. Along with the full-time residents, over 80 million tourists visit the state per year, as well. This means, at times, traffic in your community may be difficult to navigate. If you cannot use public transportation or walk where you need to go, it is necessary to add plenty of additional time for your trip to ensure you get there on time.

Regardless of if you go out to a restaurant, want to go shopping, or follow up on a certain event or activity in a metro area in the state, you may have to deal with bumper-to-bumper traffic, even later in the day. This is why many seniors choose to live in a retirement community. 

With these locations, you have everything you need within a short walk. This is something you should think about, especially since some people’s cognitive abilities decline as they age.

Below Average Access to Medical Care for Retirees

Many believe that since Florida is called home by such a large population of seniors, it would provide exceptional medical care for this demographic. 

Unfortunately, the truth of the healthcare system in Florida is that it is actually below average when talking about factors like checkups, cancer treatments, and patient care. It is also considered below average for anyone trying to balance and manage a chronic disease or those who require assisted living or nursing home care.

It would help if you were sure to carefully evaluate the care options you have before you retire. This is especially important if you need something special to maintain your health.

Finding the Right Retirement Community Can Be Challenging

Finding the right place to live in Florida can be challenging, especially if you are looking for a secluded location. If you want some additional privacy when living here, you may need to do further research. There are many retirement communities in the area, along with many people. 

As a result, you may find that it feels a bit busy and crowded no matter where you go. You have to be careful when picking your home because if you do not fit well with the group, you can feel lonely even when around many other people.

Putting in a Pool Can Be Costly

When you move to Florida, there is a good chance you will want to put in a pool to beat the heat. However, you will have to pay—a lot—when it comes to maintenance and management. 

On average, it will cost you around $177 per week to maintain the standard 14 by 28-foot pool. You will also spend hundreds—or more—on regular repairs for leaking plumbing components and torn pool liners. If you want a pool heater, tack on another $100 to $600.

Final Thoughts

Now that you see all the pros and cons of living in Florida during your retirement years, you can decide if this is where you want to go. If you decide this is where you want to live, you should take some steps to prepare for the move. After all, if you are moving from a different part of the country, this is a huge change and an even bigger decision – be sure to consider carefully. 

For example, take the time to look through your current expenses and figure out what you are spending monthly. If you decide to move into a senior living facility, you may eliminate many of these costs since the facilities are considered all-inclusive. Once you understand how much it costs to live in Florida, you will better know if this is the right place to enjoy your senior years.



Hey there, my name is Anja, I’ve seen and supported my mom’s incredible transformation in her fifties. Seeing how my mom “awakened” and took full control over her life really impressed me. I got inspired and started dreaming about how we could inspire more people, especially women, to open up and create a second life for themselves. That’s how the idea of aginggreatly.com came to life…

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