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Sunny beaches, warm weather, and pleasant winters draw those who have spent their working years in colder climates. A large percentage of Florida’s population is 60 and over due to many snowbirds that head to the Sunshine state to spend their Golden years soaking in the sunshine.
Florida has no state taxes, lower-priced housing options close to beaches and waterfront, and the year-round ability to spend time doing your favorite outdoor activities. In fact, while you are researching this fantastic idea, 1000 other seniors have decided to pack up and go.
So, is this the best place to spend your retirement? Well, let me share some of the pros and cons of planning your retirement in Florida.
How much money do you need to retire comfortably in Florida?
According to the Annuity Expert, you should have at least $175,000 saved to retire comfortably in Florida. The numbers were estimated in 2019, with the average mortgage being $1503.00 and rent being about $1,175.00. Added to this number is the average spending of a couple is about $2000.00 a month.
While Florida does not have state taxes, which save you money, it does have federal taxes, which average between 12% and 24%.
Expect to pay more for your homeowner’s insurance; 2 to 5% of your homeowner’s cost will go toward insuring your home against hurricane damage. Even with all that considered, Florida is inexpensive compared to other places as a retirement home.
Florida’s Tax laws
Florida is considered one of the most Tax-Friendly states for retirees, which can mean a lower cost of living. One of the main reasons is Florida does not charge state taxes, and property taxes are generally lower too.
An important part to consider is that not everyone can benefit from these perks. You must be a Florida state resident. To prove this, you must have records showing you spend at least half of the year or 183 days living in this Sunshine state and state auditors take their role seriously.
To prove your residency, keep a careful diary. Make sure you register to vote, get a library card, have a Florida bank account, and shop locally. Auditors will look at all this and more to ensure that you are really living in Florida.
Weather in Florida
Florida, most times of the year, has beautiful warm weather. People find that summers tend to be a little too hot and humid. It is also home to hurricanes. Living in the Panhandle area surpasses everywhere else in the United States for hurricanes.
Recent large hurricanes include 2017 Hurricane Irma, which killed 87 people, and 2004 Hurricane Charley, costing 16 billion in repairs.
The deadliest Florida Hurricane was in 1928, the Okeechobee Hurricane. Over 2,500 people died, many drowning, and it is called one of the strongest hurricanes to hit land. Florida receives 40% of the hurricanes that hit the United States.
Another phenomenon caused by a combination of things, including temperature, is Florida’s red tide. The red tide causes respiratory irritation, diarrhea, and other symptoms in people and kills fish and other aquatic life in the Gulf of Mexico.
In 2018, it was one of the worst red tide events, causing thousands of people to be ill and killing marine animals and some land-dwelling mammals, including pets. This phenomenon can happen in late summer and early fall and will reoccur.
The Florida coastal waters and inland lakes are home to many animals and bugs because there are no winters.
An alligator in your backyard? Well, it is not an unusual site in Florida. Just make sure you protect your little fido. Along with these creatures, panthers and pythons thrive in the warm climate. Aside from that, lizards and tiny Chameleons work their way onto porches!
Florida can still be a fantastic place for a snowbird to retire; the year-round activities and warm weather of the Sunshine State are appealing and many individuals aged sixty and older happily call Florida their home.
If you need help figuring out your retirement, our North Star Senior Advisors are eager to help you find the perfect senior community in Florida!