15 Not-So-Obvious Reasons To Retire in Florida

RETIREMENT - RETIREMENT PLANNING
Don’t pack up and move before deciding whether Florida is right for you.
Updated May 8, 2024
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Florida is a popular destination for retirees, which is why it may be on your list of potential places to move to when you’re done working.

But why is Florida seen as such a great stress-free retirement spot? Some answers may be more obvious, while others are little-known facts for retirees to consider.

Check out this list to see if any of these reasons appeal to you as you decide where to move when you retire.

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The weather is great

DisobeyArt/Adobe couple having fun inside car

Sure, weather may be one of the most obvious reasons to move to Florida, but there’s a reason it’s a popular choice.

You may have health issues that aren’t as serious in warmer weather, or maybe you just want to ditch the snow shovel. Whatever your reason, a warmer spot could be a good option to avoid the cold.

It’s tax-friendly for retirees

oneinchpunch/Adobe couple spending time at beach

You don’t want to worry about taxes when you’re on a fixed income, and Florida could help your bottom line.

Florida doesn’t have a state income tax, and it doesn’t tax withdrawals from your retirement accounts. You also don’t have to pay taxes on Social Security or pension fund payments.

Housing is affordable

Michael Moloney/Adobe real estate in bonita springs

Housing prices have risen in certain Florida destinations in recent years, but overall, you can still afford a home in Florida.

The median sale price for a home in Florida was $407,700 in February, according to real estate website Redfin, making it slightly more affordable than the median price for the U.S. The national median sale price for the same period was $411,887.

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It caters to retirees

XaMaps/Adobe vibrant couple in blissful dance

Florida has been taking in retirees for decades and knows how to cater to an older demographic.

You may find programs, events, or classes specifically for retirees, as well as restaurants and shops with senior benefits for older customers.

You can even move to communities specifically for older residents who are retired like you are.

Plenty of beaches to enjoy

icholakov/Adobe senior couple walk on beach

Retirement means you can have some time to sit back and relax without dealing with the typical daily grind of work.

Enjoy some relaxing time on the beach with one of Florida's many options. After all, the state has the second-most miles of coastline to enjoy, with a chilly Alaska topping the list.

You can partake in outdoor activities

Lisa F. Young/Adobe safe senior cyclists

You don’t have to sit at the beach all day to enjoy Florida's natural beauty. Several options are available for those who want to be more active in nature.

The state has national and state parks, hiking trails, and a variety of water sports to enjoy if you want to have some extra time out in the sunny weather of the Sunshine State.

Florida’s health care knows how to handle retirees

bernardbodo/Adobe female doctor examining a patient

It could be challenging to find a doctor who understands the needs of older Americans when they retire, but Florida has you covered.

The state has plenty of retirees and, therefore, plenty of doctors who know how to care for older patients and issues that can arise after you retire.

World-renowned attractions to visit

russell102/Adobe cinderella castle with 50th medallion

Florida has some amazing attractions that are sure to attract you and any guests who want to visit you when you retire.

Orlando, for example, is home to Disney World and Universal Studios. Daytona hosts the Daytona 500 race each year. And if those don’t rev your engine, you can always check out cities like Miami or Key West.

Florida doesn’t tax lottery winnings

David L/peopleimages.com/Adobe senior woman talking

You may enjoy playing the lottery now and then when you’re retired. That could work well if you live in the Sunshine State.

Florida is one of eight states that doesn’t tax lottery winnings. You can have fun with your winnings without worrying about the state collecting taxes on your windfall.

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You have different housing choices

oldmn/Adobe atlantic coast of south florida

Perhaps you want to downsize from your current home to a smaller single-family home, or you want something in a condo building instead. You could even get a bigger house for guests who plan to visit.

Florida has plenty of those options for you to choose from, so you won’t be limited by the type of home you want or the price, as you can find several options.

You can find other retirees

Adriana/Adobe group of smiling seniors

It may be a bit lonely if you’re retired but live in a city without many other retirees.

You won’t have that issue in Florida. The state has plenty of retirees, so you’ll be able to meet other retirees to build friendships, share similar interests, or talk about common issues.

Traveling to and from the state is convenient

jovannig/Adobe cruise ships docked in port

You may want to invite friends and family to visit you at your new home in Florida, or perhaps you want to travel more now that you have the time to do so.

Florida has several major airports to help you and your guests easily get in and out of the state. There are also ports for cruises if you need to get away.

You have many entertainment options

Monkey Business/Adobe seniors attending art class

Florida is rich in art and entertainment. The state has art museums and galleries. You can also find different genres of music at venues across the state. There are also community events for you to enjoy when you have more time during retirement.

You’ll always find something to do

geewhiz/Adobe walking on the white sand

Retirement means your days can be filled with anything you want, which can be a bit daunting if you don’t know where to start.

The good news is that you can find plenty of options depending on your interests. You may find something to do outside or entertainment to enjoy inside. There are a wide variety of restaurants to try and beaches to visit, so you’ll never run out of things to do.

It could be cheaper than your current location

Astarot/Adobe pensioner sitting at home

Florida’s cost of living is a little higher than the national average, but it could be better than where you’re living now.

Residents of high-cost-of-living areas like New York and New Jersey may find Florida more appealing than where they live now because their dollars can go further on costs like housing, groceries, or utilities.

Bottom line

csfotoimages/Adobe retired couple at siesta key beach

Florida can be a good option if you want to retire early, save money when you stop working, or spend time around other retirees.

Talk to a financial advisor about how much you’ve saved and if you can afford a move to Florida. You’ll also want to create an estimated retirement budget so you can factor in how much you expect to spend during your retirement.

You also may want to travel to Florida and check out different cities to see which one fits your needs before you move.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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