Florida has consistently been the top destination for retirees in the U.S. Every year, more than 150,000 retirees move to Sunshine State — primarily because of its retiree-friendly environment.
1. No Taxes
While large corporations will usually move their holdings off-shore to a tax haven in the Bermudas to avoid hefty taxes, you can do the same by simply moving to Florida. The state won’t tax your pensions or your income if you prefer to continue working. Spending your last 5-10 years working in Florida can also give your 401k a big boost, so consider moving before you retire. Even if you want to start a small business upon retirement, your income won’t be taxed (unless you do it through a corporation).
Of course, you’ll still need reliable small business accounting services to deal with sales tax and the usual business-related paperwork. If you’re planning on buying a home, seniors also get tax exemptions on homes below $250,000. When the time comes, your kids won’t have problems with their inheritance, as the state doesn’t count inherited property or belongings as taxable income.
2. Property Prices
Property prices in Florida are some of the least expensive in the nation. You can buy a 2-bedroom house for around $150,000, and 3-bedroom houses can go for around $200,000. Property prices can even go further down if you opt to move into more rural parts of the state — however, even places like Tampa and Venice will usually have houses below $300,000. If you’re renting, expect to pay around $700 for an apartment — but expect to pay a little extra if you want a place in Miami.
3. Warm Weather
Hundreds of thousands of snowbirds or winter tourists visit Florida every year. While a large part of visitors come from other states, a good number of Canadians stay to weather out the cold. The state’s warm weather is a big draw for seniors suffering from aching joints. There’s hardly any cold to stimulate or aggravate the pain — and the warm weather allows seniors to move about all-year-round.
A sedentary life often leads to faster deterioration of bones and musculature. The warm weather of Florida can prevent joint pains from even occurring by providing a conducive environment for physical activity.
4. Senior-Centric Healthcare
When it comes to seniors, Florida is the best place for healthcare. Seniors comprise more than 20 percent of the state’s population. Hospitals, clinics, and medical facilities have transformed and evolved to cater to the senior population — whether it’s on various research and treatments for senior ailments and conditions or simple accessibility for individuals with mobility issues.
There is no lack of hospital beds as the state has more than 300 hospitals and 600 clinics. Most facilities are designed to be senior-centric and most staff are familiar — if not well-trained — to handle most senior problems and issues. The state is also home to more than 80,000 licensed physicians and 180,000 registered nurses, so lack of capable personnel is never an issue.
5. Outdoor Activities
Whether by land or sea, there’s no lack of activities in the Sunshine State. Florida has some of the finest parks in the nation, and seniors can avail of lifetime passes for just $80. If you want to take to the ocean, the Key West is a popular destination. Florida seniors can enjoy a myriad of outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, or kayaking. If you’re the more adventurous type, you can try your hand at diving or snorkeling.
The state has more than 1,200 golf courses for golfing enthusiasts. Most courses will have special rates for seniors, and you’ll never run out of green, even if you visit a different golf course every week. Staying active has been linked to healthier living and better mental health.
6. A Thriving Nightlife
Florida is a melting pot of people and cultures. A quick tour of the various restaurants and bars and bars in the state will clearly reveal the diversity in food, drinks, and even music. You can find delicacies from all over the world, or you can stay local and dine on fresh seafood. While restaurants and bars will cater to the younger crowd during spring break, the majority of their customers are still resident seniors. Most establishments will have policies and practices that cater to their older patrons and seniors will usually have preferred treatment over others.
While the lack of taxes might be Florida’s biggest draw — other factors seal the deal. The state is one of the most retiree-friendly states in the nation when it comes to healthcare, property prices, activities, establishments, and institutions.