10 Florida Expenses That Cost Way Too Much

NEWS & TRENDING - RETIREMENT NEWS
There are a lot of things to love about living in Florida, but the above-average cost of these items isn't among them.
Updated May 8, 2024
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Whether you've recently retired to Florida or you're a lifelong resident, you know there is plenty to enjoy about life in the Sunshine State.

However, Florida’s above-average cost of living can take a toll on your ability to keep more money in your bank account. That is especially true when it comes to these 10 crucial costs.

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Homeownership

oldmn/Adobe atlantic coast of south florida

Housing costs in Florida are above the nationwide average. The average cost of a house in Florida is $392,306, according to the most recent data from Zillow. That’s nearly $50,000 higher than the national average of $347,716.

It’s also notably higher than the average cost of a house in the neighboring states of Georgia ($321,821) and Alabama ($221,490). So, if you are thinking of spending your golden years in Florida, housing is one area where you might struggle to stretch your retirement savings.

Rent

mandritoiu/Adobe aerial panorama of tampa florida

Homeowners aren’t the only ones paying above-average prices for the roof over their heads.

While the cost of rent is lower now than it was last year, the median expense remains $2,500 a month in Florida, according to Zillow. That is 20% above the national average.

Electricity

JJ Gouin/Adobe duplex light switch

Luckily for warm-weather lovers, there isn’t much chance of snow in Florida. But all that sunshine and heat can take a toll on your budget, especially if you spend most of your time inside with the air conditioner running.

Per data compiled by SoFi, Floridians pay an average of $130 per month on electricity alone, according to a SoFi analysis of data.

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Homeowners insurance

Antony Weerut/Adobe coin stack with house model

The cost of homeowners insurance in Florida is dramatically higher than in other parts of the country.

You can expect to spend an average of $6,000 on homeowners insurance in Florida per year. That is much higher than the national average of $1,700.

Some say the higher insurance costs are a result of devastating hurricanes and tropical storms. However, the Insurance Information Institute says Florida’s high costs are the result of widespread fraud and litigation.

Car insurance

Natee Meepian/Adobe signing car insurance

If you plan to own and operate a car in Florida, you will need automobile insurance, which costs more on average in Florida than in other states.

Expect to pay an average of $1,308 for the minimum required amount of insurance (77% higher than the national average) or $3,950 for full coverage (55% higher than the national average), according to Bankrate.

Health insurance premiums

Jon Anders Wiken/Adobe medicare health insurance card

On top of paying more for homeowners and car insurance, Floridians also pay more in health insurance premiums.

Per data from Forbes, households with employer-supported insurance pay an average annual premium of $7,258 for family coverage — the highest in the nation.

Medigap insurance plans

Drazen/Adobe senior couple signing a contract

Medigap health insurance plans cover gaps in traditional Medicare coverage. Thanks in large part to its popularity among retirees, Florida has a high percentage of individuals on Medicare.

The demand for Medigap coverage in Florida means residents often pay above-average prices for a policy.

Gas

New Africa/Adobe woman refueling car

After a rapid price increase at Florida’s pumps in March, the average cost of gas in the state dropped to $3.52 per gallon in early April, a few cents below the national average. However, in February, Florida’s gas prices were among the 10 highest in the country.

In other words, depending on the month, Florida’s gas prices can be among the highest in the nation, or they can be perfectly average. The fluctuating prices can make it hard to budget for transportation in Florida.

Groceries

JackF/Adobe woman picks ripe bananas at grocery supermarket

woman picks ripe bananas at grocery supermarket

Individual Floridians spend an average of $287.27 per week on groceries, while Florida households with children spend around $341.40 per week on groceries, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures from earlier this year. That makes Florida’s groceries the fifth-priciest in the nation.

The situation is even worse if you live in Miami. The city surpasses the country’s other major metro areas — including New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco — to take the top spot as the most expensive city to buy groceries.

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Golf

sculpies/Adobe golfer ready to make shot

In fairness to Florida, golfing doesn’t necessarily cost more on average in the state compared to everywhere else. But Florida has more than 1,000 golf courses, and you could spend a minimum of $35 to $50 to book a round, with top-tier courses costing well over $100.

But there’s good news for Florida residents who love to golf but hate wasting money: Florida residents often get discounted fees compared to out-of-state players, which should help you save money.

Bottom line

Nancy Pauwels/Adobe fort lauderdale florida

Whether you dream of a stress-free retirement in Florida or want to move to the state at a younger age, beware of some of the higher costs in the Sunshine State.

With a little forethought and some careful math, your life in Florida can still be sunshine and rainbows.

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Author Details

Michelle Smith Michelle Smith has spent a decade writing for and about small businesses. She specializes in all things finance and has written for publications like G2 and SmallBizDaily. When she's not writing for work at her desk, you can usually find her writing for pleasure near large bodies of water.

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