Retirement

10 reasons why retiring in Florida might be the worst decision and where to retire instead 

Retiring in Florida was a dream, but due to its popularity, law changes, housing prices, and much more, the Sunshine State is now one of the potentially worst places for retirees. Here are all the reasons why you should avoid Florida and replace it with some of the rising places for retirees. 

Expensive homes 

Home prices in Florida skyrocketed due to high demand. According to Statista, housing prices increased by 22.7% from the previous year as of the third quarter of 2022. Unless you are among the minority of seniors with hefty bank accounts, Florida might be unaffordable. 

Home insurance costs

Florida prides itself on sunny, warm weather throughout the year. However, Florida home insurance is quite costly due to potential natural disasters. Bankrate reported that annual home insurance in the Sunshine State is nearly $2000 for a home worth $250,000. That’s way below the national average of $1,428. 

Natural disasters 

Forty percent of all hurricanes in the States occur in Florida. The Sunshine State also experiences a vast number of tornadoes, wildfires, and floods. Hurricanes are highly dangerous and costly disasters, and they occur between June 1 and November 30. Due to high temperatures, this is also when the highest number of wildfires occurs. 

Medical care costs

Medical care costs for fixed-income people can be more expensive in Florida. Reports from 2019 were already alarming, showing that 78 percent of Floridians were highly concerned about the future. The February 2024 report from Newsweek reminded that Florida has not yet expanded Medicaid and hasn’t taken advantage of federal funding. Changes will likely happen when the expansion of Medicaid gets on the ballot in 2026. 

Retirement communities are pretty pricey 

Some retirees need to opt for senior living options, which are not only pricey but also have a long waiting list. Some retirement communities also charge significant maintenance fees, security, and other services. The waiting lists have spread across the state, which could only cause the costs to continue rising. 

Florida’s population is among the oldest 

Retiring already comes with a dose of anxiety known as post-retirement syndrome. Florida is the fifth oldest in the U.S., and being surrounded by seniors can make them fearful about their health. This is especially noticeable in people who left their homes and loved ones and went from routine and homes filled with life and memories to unknown, eerily quiet places filled with seniors. 

The humidity and your health 

Florida temperatures, especially humidity, could lead a person to spend more time inside than outside. High humidity can cause dehydration, allergy-like symptoms, inadequate sleep quality, worsened asthma, and inflamed skin conditions. It can also contribute to troubles in your home, including mold, insect infestation, and damage to your furniture and appliances.

Beaches can become tiring 

Spending every day on the beach can become monotonous if you can’t afford other activities, like golfing, visiting museums, or playing cards. Additionally, spending too much time in the sun can increase your vitamin D, but it also causes heat exhaustion, risks of sun exposure, and other health-related problems. 

Isolation and loneliness 

You might feel overwhelmed and lonely if your family is far from Florida and cannot afford to live in a retirement community. Around  50% of individuals aged over 60 are at risk of social isolation, and when you’re no longer the hub of family and friends, it can lead to health problems. This is not a Florida problem but an issue for many retirees in the U.S. Yet, Florida is home to millions of out-of-state retirees, which is why it needed to be mentioned. 

Florida is overcrowded 

Florida’s population growth is still strong, and the fastest-growing state faces adverse effects. One of the most populous states in the U.S. also has more than 120 million tourists every year, leading to traffic jams. According to Neufeld, Kleinberg, and Pinkiert, six out of our country’s ten most dangerous roadways are in Florida. 

Where to retire instead of Florida 

According to Real Estate News, Pennsylvania city Harrisburg was voted the best for retirees. The second best was Reading, while the third was Lancaster, all in Pennsylvania. Apart from this state, Ohio became increasingly popular for those nearing retirement. 

Pennsylvania and Ohio instead of Florida 

A 2023 Bankrate report says the Buckeye State ranks the fourth best place to retire. The report cites high affordability, well-being, culture, and diversity. Out of the 50 best suburbs to retire, 12 were found in Ohio. 

More states to consider 

Colorado, Virginia, Delaware, Wyoming, Montana, and New Hampshire also performed well in reports aimed at future retirees. The main priorities were affordability, healthcare costs, taxes, and physical and mental health boosts. Additionally, these states are not tourist hot spots like many places in Florida, and many offer better living conditions for less. 

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