13 Reasons Florida Is Actually the Worst Place To Retire

Florida may not offer the dreamy, sunshine-soaked retirement you expect.
Updated May 8, 2024
Fact checked
Senior couple at Siesta key beach

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Millions of people dream of retiring to Florida to enjoy the warm weather in a state known for catering to older residents.

But Florida might not be the best place to spend your golden years.

So, before you retire and make plans to head south, here are some reasons why Florida might be the worst place to retire.

If you’re over 50, take advantage of massive travel discounts and trip-planning resources

Over 50 and love traveling? Join AARP today — because if you’re not a member, you could be missing out on huge travel perks. When you start your membership today, you can get discounts on hotels and resorts, airfare, cruises, car rentals, and more.

How to become a member today:

  • Go here, select your free gift, and click “Join Today”
  • Create your account (important!) by answering a few simple questions
  • Start enjoying your discounts and perks!

An AARP membership not only unlocks discounts that could save you hundreds on your next trip, but you’ll also have access to deals on vacation packages, guided tours, and exclusive content to help plan your next getaway.

Important: Start your membership by creating an account here and filling in all of the information (do not skip this step!). Doing so will allow you to take up to 25% off your AARP membership, making it just $12 per year with auto-renewal.

Become an AARP member now

Hurricanes are a threat

Satoshi Kina/Adobe hurricane flood in las olas blvd

Florida is prone to extreme weather, especially tropical storms and hurricanes. These storms can damage your property and cause major inconveniences. 

Hurricane season lasts for several months, so make sure you are prepared for this reality before settling in Florida.

Other natural risks loom large

SANGUN/Adobe destructed road due to flood

Residents may be well aware of hurricanes, but there are other natural risks that can affect your home in Florida.

The state has plenty of low-level coastal areas that are prone to flooding, and there are also issues with sinkholes.

Home insurance costs are high

Vitalii Vodolazskyi/Adobe house insurance form at table

Largely because of storms, Florida home insurance costs can be high.

In recent years, some home insurance companies have left the state while others have hiked rates.

According to a Bankrate study, the average cost to insure your home in Florida is $1,981 per year for a $250,000 property. That compares to a national average price of $1,428.

Insurance reform legislation hopes to lower those costs, but time will tell whether it succeeds.

Earn a $250 travel bonus with this incredible card

There's a credit card that's making waves with its amazing bonus and benefits. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card has no annual fee and you can earn 25,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

You can earn additional points just by using this card for your everyday purchases — unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases. The 25,000 bonus points can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel or dining purchases.

If you want to travel and dine out more, the Travel Rewards card can help you get where you want to go.

The best part? There's no annual fee.

Click here to apply now.

Housing is getting more expensive

Andy Dean/Adobe for sale sign outside new house

In recent years, Florida has become one of the most popular destinations for people seeking to move. That trend has sent home values higher.

The average home value in Florida is $391,213, according to real estate website Zillow. That compares to the average U.S. home value of $346,048.

Taxes might be higher than you think

fizkes/Adobe senior woman stressed while working

Florida famously has no income tax. But that doesn’t mean you won’t pay taxes.

Florida has a 6% state sales tax, and local sales taxes can reach 2%. Plus, the state has relatively high property tax rates.

The state is full of retirees

Salsabila Ariadina/Adobe active senior people at yoga class

The median age of Florida residents is 42.2, placing it fifth among states with the oldest populations. That might be good if you're a retiree who wants to be around plenty of other retirees.

However, some seniors might be less thrilled about being surrounded by many older faces. If you prefer to live with people of all age groups, consider another state.

Your family probably isn’t there

Marko/Adobe senior man video calling on tablet

Some people dream of a retirement where they spend more time with family. But will your grandkids and other family members move to Florida with you?

It may be difficult to see family members as often as you would like if they live thousands of miles away. Plus, the cost of airline tickets or gas for road trips could eat into your retirement savings.

You might end up moving again

twinsterphoto/Adobe senior couple standing outside new house

Many people view Florida as paradise. But others who move to the state end up disappointed.

In fact, many retirees from northern states who relocate to Florida and decide they don’t like it move up to North Carolina. The trend is so well-established that people use the term “half-back” to refer to retirees who make such a move.

The beach can get boring

SnowElf/Adobe senior couple enjoying sunset at beach

It may sound lovely to retire and sit on the beach all day. But as with anything else, doing the same thing day after day can get boring.

Retirees who want to enjoy a variety of activities might want to consider retiring somewhere other than Florida. Museums, cultural institutions, or educational organizations may be harder to find in Florida than in some other states.

Earn cash back on everyday purchases with this rare account

Want to earn cash back on your everyday purchases without using a credit card? With the Discover®️ Cashback Debit Checking account (member FDIC), you can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month!1

With no credit check to apply and no monthly fees to worry about, you can earn nearly passive income on purchases you’re making anyway — up to an extra $360 a year!

This rare checking account has other great perks too, like access to your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay, no minimum deposit or monthly balance requirements, over 60K fee-free ATMs, and the ability to add cash to your account at Walmart stores nationwide.

Don’t leave money on the table — it only takes minutes to apply and it won’t impact your credit score.

Apply for a Discover Cashback Checking account today

Too much time in the sun can be unhealthy

Syda Productions/Adobe senior woman wearing hat on beach

Florida is famously known as the Sunshine State. But too much time in the sun can damage your skin and lead to various health issues.

So, if you move here, add a line in your budget for plenty of sunscreen.

Roads are congested and expensive

toa555/Adobe senior woman driving car on street

The influx of residents to the state has also brought many cars to Florida roads, making it difficult to get around larger cities or coastal areas that can only be accessed by one road.

Florida’s Turnpike System might offer some relief from traffic, but you will pay for the privilege of driving on these roads. Such toll costs can weigh on your retirement budget.

You might end up inside more often than you think

Rido/Adobe senior man lost in thoughts

Florida temperatures — along with the humidity — can be unbearable in the summer months. And conditions often turn stormy.

That means you might be indoors more often than you think.

Florida has a relatively high cost of living

triocean/Adobe senior woman counting savings at home

Florida’s cost of living might be higher than you think. According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, the state had a cost of living index score of 101 in the third quarter of 2023.

That puts Florida in the top half of all states when it comes to cost of living. In the South, only Virginia is more expensive.

So, before retiring to Florida, make sure your nest egg is large enough to handle expenses — or be ready to look for ways to supplement your income.

Bottom line

nadezhda1906/Adobe senior woman enjoying at tropical beach

Whether you plan to retire early or later in life, don’t automatically assume that Florida is your best landing spot.

Instead, carefully weigh the potential pros and cons of a move to Florida. Avoid letting visions of endlessly sunny days cloud your judgment about whether this state is the right place to spend retirement.

Lucrative, Flat-Rate Cash Rewards


Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Current Offer

$200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee


Rewards Rate

Earn 2% cash rewards on purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

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.

Want to learn how to make an extra $200?

Get proven ways to earn extra cash from your phone, computer, & more with Extra.

You will receive emails from FinanceBuzz.com. Unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy

  • Vetted side hustles
  • Exclusive offers to save money daily
  • Expert tips to help manage and escape debt