If you’re thinking about a quiet retirement life in Florida, you’re not the only one. According to the United States Census Bureau, the Sunshine State’s population of people over 65 years makes up 20.5% of its overall. But for all the reasons that make Florida a popular retirement destination, there are also less than stellar points for the contrary.

Here is a list of things you should consider before making the big move — the good and the bad.

What’s Good

Named aptly, the Sunshine State’s warm weather is one of its most prominent selling points. Even during colder months, Florida’s temperatures only seldomly go lower than 50 degrees. Couple this with the many beaches known to the rest of the world because of movies and you can imagine one beautiful sunset after another for your golden years. Florida’s west and east coasts also face the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean respectively. This means there’s variety in its beaches, too.

Another convincing reason for retiring in Florida is the community that is made up of other retirees. As mentioned above, one-fifth of the state’s residents are from similar eras and probably share some of the same interests as you. Many of the businesses in well-known retirement areas are also geared towards retirees. There are many opportunities for volunteer work, as well.

One of the less known reasons Florida is ideal for retirement is its tax policies. The state does not levy taxes on Social Security benefits, pensions, IRAs, 401k, and other income sources for retirees. The state doesn’t have inheritance or estate tax, either. This means retirees can maximize their income here.

Speaking of money, homes are relatively cheaper in Florida. Many of the more popular locations in the state offer house prices lower than the national median.

If you’re looking to invest, many firms help manage retirement funds like Rezny Wealth Management, Inc. The headquarters of this wealth management firm is in Fort Myers.

What’s Bad

thunderstorm

Surprise! It’s not all sunshine in the sunshine state. In fact, Florida is the lightning capital of the US because of its many intense thunderstorms. In 2018, seven of the 20 fatalities from lightning happened in Florida according to data by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Florida is often at the center of hurricanes, as well. Its hurricane season spans from June to November. Because of these risks, insurance coverage in Florida can be both complicated and expensive. Especially because flood insurance is not always included in most policies.

Another thing to remember about the sun is that it isn’t always good for you. Frequent exposure to hot sunshine, especially between 10 AM to 4 PM, can make skin leathery and age faster. In severe cases, too much sun can cause sun spots and even skin cancer.

Many fraudsters are trying to capitalize on the fact that Florida is a retirement hub. According to the Federal Trade Commission, Florida ranked first with the most number of scams reported in 2017 with 208,443 reports of fraud. A considerable number of these incidents had elderly victims.

Aside from avoiding scammers, you should definitely also steer clear of alligators. Florida is home to around one fourth of US alligators. These alligators can be seen basically anywhere near water – even golf courses. And they do attack people. Termites and rats are also among Florida’s pests. And they are not only an inconvenience, they can be expensive to get rid of.

It is understandable why many would like to spend their retirement in Florida. But in order to make a more informed decision where to live out the rest of your life, you should also see the cons. Hopefully, this article helps you in that regard. Happy retirement!

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