15 Warning Signs That Make Florida Less Appealing for Retirees

Congratulations, you have worked hard enough and are ready to retire. Let me guess, you are looking at the sandy beaches of Florida to spend your remaining years? It’s not a bad idea, but have you weighed the pros and cons? If not, give me some time to persuade you to avoid the Sunshine State as your next home.

1. Age Demographics

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Sure, you are moving to Florida to retire and enjoy a life of leisure in the sun, but are you ready to be surrounded by people much older than you? If you are lucky enough to retire at the young age of 55, you should be aware that Florida has a lot of other retirees who are much older at 75 plus. Do you want to live in a community with people much older than you? Are you not ready to play golf and pickleball with your 80-year-old neighbor? Keep the average age in mind when choosing a retirement community.

2. All the Wildlife

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For all of you Northerners moving down south to sunny Florida, you better be ready to learn how to catch snakes and scare off gators. Florida has many critters that others in the country do not know how to deal with. Add wild monkeys, iguanas, and beach rats to the mix, and you are dealing with some pretty gross pests. How can you relax on your patio, not knowing if a snake is curled up under your chair or a gator is lurking outside your front door?

3. They Will Tax You Somehow

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Sure, the no-state income tax sounds lovely for a future retiree, but the local taxes are where they get you. Combined local taxes add up to a little over 7%, a full percentage point higher than the northern states you are moving from. Florida will get their money somehow, despite them hiding under the veil of no income tax.

4. Get Ready to Sweat

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The downside to that year’s summer-like weather is the heat and humidity that come with it. You might not be used to it if you come from a climate with all four seasons, but Florida will have you sweating like a pig in the middle of February. Get ready to back a few shirts during the summer if you are out and about because that humidity will have you sweating through your shirt as soon as you step out that door.

5. Air Conditioning Will Be Your Best Friend

Smart thermometer for home.
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So you thought you would be outside enjoying the fresh air all year once you’ve settled in Florida. Wrong. The truth is during the summer and those sweaty months we talked about, you will become a hermit indoors, soaking in the cool air conditioning. You won’t want to go outside because the heat brings mosquitoes and other pesky insects. Crank up the A/C and watch from your window instead.

6. Hidden Costs

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There are a lot of factors you might not consider that will cost money to be a Florida resident. The summer air conditioning will cost a lot of money. Also, if you want a house with a pool, the upkeep on the pool will cost a pretty penny. Average maintenance on a pool can cost as much as $3,000 a year. Plus, you must check for those sneaky gators hiding in the deep end before jumping in.

7. Florida Will Age You Fast

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That hot sun 365 days a year can damage a person’s skin. Make sure you stock up on a lot of sunscreen because that sun can cause wrinkles and sun spots and make you look older than you are. You are still young and vibrant; make sure you also look that way!

8. Hurricanes

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One of the downsides to living in a tropical paradise is that sometimes Mother Nature decides to have other plans. You never know when or how hard the hurricanes can happen. Hurricane Irma came crashing into Florida in 2017 and caused over $50 billion in damages. A year prior, Hurricane Michael took several lives and caused $25 billion in damages. These are real tragedies that need to be factored into your retirement plan.

9. Insurance Premiums

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Because Florida is home to these natural disasters, residents must have insurance to protect their belongings. These premiums can be very costly. Some residents say they need help finding an insurance company to take the risk. This usually results in paying more out of pocket than usual.

10. Loneliness

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A lot of newer retirees agree that they get lonely when they relocate. It’s hard to leave your foundation of friends and families. Sure, the family will come to visit you, but life can become challenging, and flying all over the country can be a burden for some. If being close to your family is necessary, a big change like this could not be the best fit.

11. Floridians are Weird

Crazy man from Florida tries to set trap
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Yup, I said it. A lot of weird news stories and headlines come out of Florida. How many stories come out with a title that starts by saying, “Florida man does…” and ends with one of the wildest stories you have ever heard of? Maybe some of these residents have gotten too much sun. Think I am making this up? Google “Florida man…” and have a good laugh with your friends.

12. Costly Healthcare

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Florida has many world-renowned hospitals and patient facilities, but the prices can be higher than usual. Plus, patients in the higher age bracket come with different needs that can result in out-of-pocket fees. Medicare in Florida doesn’t cover vision, dental care, or long-term care. Factor these into your health insurance needs and see if it is right for you and your spouse.

13. Expensive Retirement Communities

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Those fancy retirement communities have everything you need to enjoy your golden years. Golf courses, tennis courts, group activities, and restaurants are some of the amenities of these luxurious developments. But you will pay a premium for this kind of luxury. Retirees should make sure they can afford this lifestyle before moving in.

14. Over Crowded

Thousands of people enjoying a Florida beach
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There is a reason you are looking at moving to Florida. Be prepared for large crowds because other people are also looking at Florida. The state is beautiful, so naturally, it is going to attract a lot of tourists. Soon, that quiet beach you love will be overcrowded with annoying, disrespectful tourists. How can you relax next to a kid blasting his music 6 feet away?

15. There Are Other Options

Map of other top rated states to live in with white sandy beaches
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I think many people, especially from the northern states, just fall into the pattern of retiring in Florida because that’s what you do. Have you ever considered other states? The Coastlines of North and South Carolina are just as pretty as Florida. Mississippi and Alabama have white sand beaches in their gulf. Out west, Utah and New Mexico have some of the most gorgeous landscapes you will ever see. All I’m saying is to look at your other options before you follow the other retirees to Florida and become a cliche.

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The post 15 Warning Signs That Make Florida Less Appealing for Retirees first appeared on Thrift My Life.

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The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.