Florida’s subtropical climate draws millions of visitors each year. It’s almost never very cold, and no part of the state is too far from the beach. With its theme parks, golf courses, sunshine, and exotic animals, it’s no wonder that everyone wants to live in Florida!
Florida is also a hugely popular destination for retirees. It has no state income tax, a low cost of living, and its large population of retirees means that there are lots of recreational activities for seniors.
Before you take the Florida plunge, here are the things to consider before you decide to move to Florida.
According to the 2014 Census projections, Florida is the third most populous state in the United States, putting it ahead of New York but behind California and Texas.
Currently, almost 21 million people live in the Sunshine State, and its annual growth rate of 1.8% is above the national average. Most of the population increase is due to people moving to Florida from other states.
Pros of Moving to Florida
No State Income Tax
Florida has no state income tax. Also, rates for sales and property taxes are very low, which makes life in the Sunshine State very desirable. With a thriving economy, you’ll likely feel an improvement in your financial situation.
It won’t be long at all until you’re moving into that beachside dream home.
It goes without saying that Florida’s weather is one of the top reasons to move to Florida. With average winter temperatures ranging between the 60s and 70s, It’s no wonder the state becomes the envy of the nation during bitter cold winter months.
There’s no shortage of Florida sunshine to brighten up your day. And while the summers get toasty and humid, we think it’s a pretty good tradeoff for not having to endure cold winter weather.
An international hub, Florida is home to such a diverse range of cultures. It’s apparent in the cuisine available, various cultural festivals throughout the year, and even the attractions, like museums and performing arts centers, that have diverse exhibits and performances.
If you’ve wanted to travel the world, why not think about moving to Florida instead. The culture is just as abundant, and the sun is always shining.
Florida’s housing market is booming. If you’ve ever been considering moving to Florida, now might be the time to pull the trigger. New homes are popping up all over the state.
While some may be a little spendy depending on your budget, the Sunshine State has options for everyone.
If that beachfront home is a bit out of reach, there are plenty of new single-family homes and condos, as well as thousands of rental apartments in Florida, that will fit any budget and lifestyle.
Several Florida-based craft breweries have achieved a national reach with their micro-brew beers. Florida Rambler offers an extensive guide to local breweries throughout Florida, so you can find your new favorite in no time.
Forget those chalky, watery lagers pumped out by the mega-distributors. Florida craft brews will please a range of palettes with flavors and ingredients inspired by the tropics.
When it comes to food specifically, Florida has the advantage of sun-drenched local produce and access to fresh catches from the Gulf and Atlantic shores.
Florida’s food game is a serious contender for resident foodies and culinary curious travelers and will give you yet another reason to move to Florida.
In fact, there are various organizations throughout the state which host their own food and wine festivals.
In addition to amazing fresh and local produce, travelers and tourism heavily influenced the culinary competition in Florida. Because of this, Florida residents benefit from resort-worthy dining year-round.
When you consider moving to Florida, keep in mind that the gorgeous subtropical weather means there is ample opportunity for parties, festivals, farmer’s markets, parades, weddings, receptions, and various other outdoor events all year long.
Balmy breezy spring weather is when most outdoor events are planned. Florida Rambler has a list of amazing events you can attend when you’re living in Florida.
One of the most iconic amusement parks worldwide is located right in the heart of Florida.
Especially if you have children (or are a child at heart), having Disney in your backyard is pretty darn cool. Where else can you see the characters come to life right before your eyes?
Sure, it’s a very touristy location, but being a local gives you the flexibility to hit the park during the off-season. Plus, you won’t have to cram everything into one trip.
Best Beaches in America
If you’re still asking yourself if moving to Florida is a good idea you should check out the beaches. When the hot summer sun becomes too much for you, there is no shortage of beaches and pools to take a dip in.
Bust out those bikinis and flip-flops. Get out those shades. If you’re considering moving to Florida, know that South Florida is home to some of the best beaches in the country.
Cons of Moving to Florida
It’s Too Hot
According to currentresults.com, Florida ranks as the warmest state year-round, with an average temperature of 70.7.
If you enjoy cranking the air conditioner and stocking up on shorts and tank tops, look no further than the Sunshine State.
Traffic Is Terrible
In Central Florida, the main highway is I-4. It goes from Daytona Beach on the East Coast, through Orlando, and ends in Tampa on the West Coast. It is the main road to access the theme parks.
Traffic is very congested, and when there is an accident (and there are plenty), traffic can come to a standstill for hours.
Florida Is Heavily Populated
Florida is the third most populous state in the U.S., according to the United States Census Bureau. Florida’s estimated population of nearly 21 million includes some 4.2 million residents 65 and older.
That’s up from 3.3 million seniors in the 2010 U.S. Census. And they expected the upcoming 2020 census to count 4.5 million Floridians 65-plus. By 2030, they expected the number of seniors in the Sunshine State to crack 6 million.
A greater number of people equal heavier traffic as well as crowding, partly due to the influx of seasonal residents.
More isn’t always merrier — in the season it means spending an hour on the highway on your way home from work, dealing with long lines at grocery stores, and being late to that appointment because you couldn’t find a parking spot.
Hurricanes and Other Natural Disasters
Florida is known for its natural disasters, like hurricanes and sinkholes. Hurricanes can be deadly, and repairing storm damage done to a home or business could cost a lot.
Hurricanes can knock out electrical grids in neighborhoods. Since sewage systems run on electricity, during a hurricane one has to conserve water all while sitting in the dark, with no internet or cable access.
Dangerous Animals Are Everywhere
Spend just a few minutes exploring Florida’s wilderness and you are bound to run into an alligator, a python, or even a shark. Dangerous animals and insects are everywhere in the state, which can really put a damper on outdoor fun.
Try pitching a tent in the woods while an enormous snake is watching your every move, or when a swarm of Zika-ridden mosquitoes is following you.
The Seasons don’t Change
If you’re expecting to watch leaves change color while shopping for jackets and scarves in Florida, you’ve got another thing coming. Florida is close to the equator, so warm temperatures year-round also mean that the seasons don’t change.
Sure, it’s not sweltering hot in December, but those looking for a white Christmas might want to spend it somewhere other than Florida.