In 2022, Florida took the top spot on RetirementLiving’s Best States for Retirement. All because of its abundance of recreational opportunities, senior communities, and residents over age 65. Retirees love it here, citing the low taxes, lower cost of living, and excellent golf weather as reasons for retiring in the Sunshine State.
Of course, those are just some of the many reasons people retire to Florida. Below, we’ll explore a few more in-depth.
No State Income Tax
Florida is one of seven states that doesn’t tax your income. For retirees, this means you won’t need to pay state taxes on your social security income—or any other income earned in the state. Considering other states levy income taxes ranging from 1% to 13.30%, the savings by moving to Florida for retirement can be substantial.
Low Property Taxes
Whether retirees purchase their own home, rent, or join a 55+ community, the lower property taxes help keep the cost of living down in Florida. Each county sets its own property tax rate, ranging from 0.53% of assessed home value in Walton County to 1.28% in DeSoto County. The average Florida property tax rate is 0.89%, making it 24th on the list of states with the lowest property taxes. Depending on where you’re moving from, you could save thousands of dollars per year from the lower property tax rates.
Florida also offers homeowners a homestead exemption to help lower property tax bills. An up to $50,000 exemption is applied to the first $50,000 of your property’s assessed value. For example, if your Floridian home is assessed at $200,000, you’d only owe property taxes on $150,000.
Capped Property Tax Assessments
Florida’s 3% Save Our Homes Cap (SOH) helps keep property taxes more manageable and predictable for retirees with homestead-exempt properties. This assessment limit restricts how much your property taxes can increase year over year. The assessed value of a property with a homestead exemption cannot increase more than 3% each year or the change in the Consumer Price Index, whichever is lower. This is a huge benefit to retirees with fixed income, knowing you cannot have a large unexpected tax burden in the future.
This cap is especially relevant since the recent run of inflation that’s been happening across the USA. With home values increasing dramatically, a Florida retiree does not have to worry about those increases impacting their property assessment and tax burden.
Excellent Year-Round Weather
Florida is called the Sunshine State for a reason. Floridians experience an average of 237 days of sunshine per year and an average of 0 inches of snow per year. And, seven months per year, Florida has high temperatures ranging from 70 to 85°F, so retirees enjoy plenty of perfect days for leisure activities like golf, boating, and hiking.
Plenty of retirees who move to Florida, either full-time or just for the winter, do so to flee icy, snowy weather in their home state. Move here, and you won’t need to worry about driving or slipping on ice which is a real danger in your later years of life.
Abundance of Activities
Retirees have no trouble keeping busy thanks to Florida’s warm climate and abundance of opportunities. They spend their days going to the beach, snorkeling, hiking, playing tennis and golf, shopping, visiting museums, sailing, and enjoying everything the state of Florida has to offer.
To give you an idea of the opportunities that await, Florida is home to:
- 8,436 miles of coastline with 663 miles of beaches
- 11,000 miles of rivers, streams, and waterways
- 800,000 acres of state park land
- 189 official beaches
- 500+ museums
- 1,250 golf courses
- Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, Legoland, and Sea World
- Two MLB, two NBA, three NFL, two NHL, and two MLS teams
Recreational opportunities in Florida keep retirees busy and give families something to do when visiting. Your Florida home can become a fun vacation destination for your loved ones.
Lots of Housing Options at All Price Points
A variety of housing options attract retirees to Florida. Condos in 55+ communities. Townhomes in a downtown metropolitan area. Standalone beachfront properties. You can find it in Florida. Florida’s also filled with houses that fit everyone’s budget, from cheap fixer-uppers to really expensive estates.
Given the abundance of options, sifting through them all can be overwhelming. That’s where a realtor comes in. Local realtors who know Florida’s market, such as the team at SquareFootHomes, we can help guide you along as you search for the perfect retirement home.
Plenty of 55+ Communities
In Florida, you’ll find hundreds of 55+ retirement communities. Retirees are drawn to the resort-style amenities like restaurants, spas, golf courses, pool houses, rec centers, private beaches, and organized group activities. Not to mention the ample opportunities to meet similarly-aged couples and singles. Purchasing a home or condo in a 55+ or HOA community means less maintenance too, so if you move to one, you can leave your lawnmower behind.
To find 55+ communities with homes or condos for sale in Florida, type “55+ Community” into our Home Search Tool.
According to the 21st Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of Workers, the majority of Americans (57 percent) plan to continue working after retirement. Florida’s strong economy and job market offer plenty of job opportunities for retirees looking to work full or part-time. Countless theme parks, museums, school districts, shops, and businesses employ retired adults. And, of course, you won’t need to pay state income tax on anything you earn.
Let Us Help You Retire to Florida
If Florida sounds like the right fit for your retirement years, reach out to one of the realtors here at SquareFootHomes. We represent buyers and sellers in South Florida. We know the market and the area, so whether you’re conducting your home search from as far away as California or as close by as Florida, we’ll meet your needs throughout the entire home-buying process.