How is Florida for retirement?
Florida is one of the best places to retire in the United States. Here is what you should know about retiring in Florida.
If you are mulling retiring in a tax-friendly state with good weather, you should consider moving to Florida. The Sunshine City is known for its long coastline of sandy beaches, and its sizable senior population. If you are looking to relocate to Florida, here is what to expect.
Florida is an attractive state to retire if you want to explore outdoor attractions, enjoy good weather, and still retain most of your money after taxes. The state does not impose income taxes on retirement incomes such as social security, pension, and retirement distributions from IRA, 401(k), and other retirement accounts.
Is Florida tax-friendly for retirees?
Florida is a tax-friendly state for retirees, and you won't pay state income taxes on your retirement distributions, pension income, and social security.
If you had accumulated retirement savings in your 401(k) or IRA before moving to Florida, you won’t pay state income taxes on any withdrawals from your retirement account. The state does not impose an estate tax or inheritance tax.
Florida imposes property taxes on homeowners, but the property tax rate is below the national average. The effective property tax rate in Florida is 0.83%, compared to the national average of 1.07%. Florida homeowners can also qualify for the state's homestead exemption, which exempts $25,000 of a property's assessed value from property taxes.
In some counties in Florida, seniors above 65 could qualify for an additional exemption of up to $50,000. Some municipalities may also exempt seniors with incomes below a certain threshold from paying property taxes.
Benefits of retiring in Florida
If you are planning to retire in the sunshine city, here are some benefits you can expect to get:
Florida has a friendly tax structure, and you get to keep most of your retirement income. Although you will pay federal income taxes on your retirement income, there is no state income tax in Florida. Hence, you won’t pay state income taxes on social security, pension, as well as IRA and 401(k) withdrawals. Also, the low property taxes and sales taxes make Florida appealing to seniors.
Lots of sunshine
Nicknamed the Sunshine City, you should expect to enjoy a considerable amount of sunshine nearly all year round. The state receives about 230 days of sunshine, and you can expect some sunshine even during the winter.
However, you should be wary of too much sunshine. Sunburns can cause uneven skin coloring, premature wrinkling, and sunspots. When you visit the beach, use a broad spectrum sunscreen and sit under an umbrella to avoid direct sun rays.
If your dream retirement is to walk along sandy beaches, Florida may be an attractive place to retire. The state boasts over 1,200 miles of coastline, and it has some of the most popular beaches. You can enjoy a gentle breeze on the soft white sandy beaches while spotting dolphins and sea turtles. You can also enjoy water sports, boating, and other top attractions.
Active Retirement Communities
If you move to Florida, you should expect lots of company from your age mates. Florida has a large senior population, and there are established active senior living communities. These communities only admit residents who are 55 or older, and they offer key amenities that seniors need in their daily life.
Some of the amenities you can find in senior living communities include massage therapists, laundry services, hospital care, beauty salons, and barbershops. Retirement communities also give you a strong sense of community.
Florida's year-round mild temperatures make it a good place to explore the outdoor scene. Apart from the sandy beaches, you can visit the Everglades National Park, dive at the Devil's Den Spring and watch the Flamingo Gardens. You can also enjoy the scenery at the Highlands Hammock State Park, Warm mineral Springs Park, or Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary. When you are not enjoying the sunny beaches, you can go hiking, swimming, running, surfing, or horse riding.
Best places to retire in Florida
Orland is a city in central Florida, and it is home to a dozen theme parks, water parks, and convention centers. The mild winter temperatures, entertainment options, and low cost of living make Orlando attractive to retirees.
If you want to explore the outdoors, you can visit Kelly Park, Blue Spring State Park, Wekiwa Springs State Park, art museums, and the Orlando Shakes. If you live near Walt Disney World or Universal Studios Florida, you can be sure that your grandchildren will be frequent visitors.
Jacksonville is one of Florida’s biggest cities, and it also ranks as one of the most affordable cities. The city is a popular destination for retirees looking to explore the outdoors like walking along the sandy beaches, fishing, or playing golf on the most scenic golf courses. You can also enjoy water sports and more than a dozen cultural attractions.
If you are looking for an upscale atmosphere with a shopping and dining experience, Sarasota offers just that. Located south of Tampa on the Gulf Coast, Sarasota offers waterfront homes and gated senior communities within a walking distance of the downtown. Residents can also sunbathe on the white sandy beaches, including in Siesta Key and Lido Key.
Fort Lauderdale is located on the Southeast coast of Florida, and it is a popular retirement destination due to the various outdoor attractions it offers. The city is set among waterways and canals, and you can decide to spend your days boating, kayaking, fishing, golfing, or sampling western dishes in the more than a dozen resorts and restaurants.