30 Pros and Cons of Living in Florida Right Now

Things To Know Before Moving To Florida

Are you wondering about the pros and cons of living in Florida?  If yes, then you have come to the right place.

Perhaps you are thinking about moving to Florida to escape the winter months of weather. Or, believe that retirement living in Florida would be satisfying and affordable.

On the other hand, you may want to take advantage of the state’s economic advantages. And, the robust economy.

Regardless of your specific situation. Let’s explore Florida’s pros and cons.

To answer an important question. Is Florida a good place to live?

Let’s get started…

30 Pros And Cons Of Living In Florida

The advantages and disadvantages of living in Florida include:

  • No state income taxes
  • Zero estate taxes
  • Reasonable cost of living
  • A large and robust economy
  • Diverse industry representation
  • Productive job market and business environment
  • Beautiful beaches
  • Lots of water sports
  • Plenty of sports on land
  • Top-notch professional sports teams
  • Many fun theme parks
  • Popular vacation destination
  • Lots of sunshine
  • Warm temperatures and no winter
  • Plenty of diversity
  • High summer heat and humidity
  • No change of seasons
  • Dangerous thunderstorms and lightning
  • Damaging tornadoes
  • Threat of hurricanes
  • Rapid population growth
  • Millions of tourists and snowbirds
  • Limited public transportation
  • Bad traffic and bad drivers
  • Higher crime rates
  • Expensive insurance costs
  • High sales taxes
  • Excessive government fees
  • Pesky bugs and insects
  • Lots of snakes and alligators

We will go through each of these Florida pros and cons in a moment. Then you will know exactly what it’s like living in Florida.

But first, let’s address the big question of the day head-on…

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Disclosure: At no cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Pros And Cons: Is Florida A Good Place To Live?

Yes. Florida is one of the best states to live in.

If you don’t believe me. Then follow the numbers.

Since Florida’s population is growing. And growing faster than almost any other state in the country.

And it’s easy to see why. Because of sunny weather, a robust economy, reasonable costs, and plenty of fun things to do. Thus, making Florida a great place to live.

But, the state is not for everyone. Since there are good reasons not to live in Florida.

The drawbacks include severe weather, heat, humidity, sales taxes, fees, and the negative effects of urbanization.

So next, let’s pull back the curtain on these details about Florida. Then you can decide for yourself. If Florida is a good place to live.

And when you’re ready. Check out all of Florida’s best cities and towns.

Since I’m an optimist. Let’s consider the good things about Florida living right now.

Thus, starting with the pros of moving to Florida

No State Income Taxes

The tax benefits of living in Florida are very good. Especially when comparing Florida to other popular retirement destinations.

So, state income taxes top my list of pros. Since it is one of the perks of living in Florida.

Specifically, Florida residents pay no state income taxes. And what makes this 1 of the best things about Florida?

Well, here is why I think so…

First, there are only a few affordable states in the U.S. without individual income tax requirements.

Second, investment taxes on intangible assets like stocks and bonds were also eliminated. The Florida government did so in 2007.

Thus, depending on how much money you make. And what state you are moving from. The income tax savings when living in Florida can be substantial.

Next, I have another tax benefit of living in Florida…

Zero Estate Taxes

One of the reasons Florida living is attractive to retirees. Especially those that have accumulated some wealth.

Is because Florida repealed estate taxes in 2004.

So for those that have built a nice nest egg. To live on in retirement.

Rest assured you can leave whatever is left over to your children. Without having to give up any for estate or inheritance taxes.

So, if tax savings are important to you. And a reason for your pending move to Florida. But you are still debating it.

Then don’t forget about residing in Tennessee. It is another state in the Southeast region of the U.S. with no income taxes.

As a result, make as much income as you want. And this state won’t charge an income tax on it!

Next up, another great thing about Florida. As we work our way through the pros.

And later, the cons…

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A family-friendly lifestyle in Florida

Reasonable Cost Of Living In Florida

What do I mean when I say Florida’s cost of living is reasonable? Well, I mean that living costs aren’t extremely high given how popular the state has become.

Because U.S News ranks Florida in the middle of the pack of all states. In their cost of living affordability rankings.

Sure, you can find less expensive states to live in.

For example, taking up residence in Oklahoma may be cheap. But the state might not have as much to offer.

But, it’s hard to generalize. Because Florida is so large.

Most importantly, your living expenses depend on where you move to in the state.

Here is what I mean…

Cost Of Living In Florida: Miami

is Florida a good place to live?Pin

For example, if you want to live in a waterfront condo enjoying the Miami lifestyle.

Then sure. Your costs are going to be high.

Because Investopedia ranks Miami as one of the most expensive cities to live in the United States.

The same can be said for living in Naples, Florida. A very popular retirement destination. Not far from Marco Island.

On the other hand, what about regular folks like you and me? Well, we can keep our costs low.

By choosing a more affordable location. Here’s an example of the diversity Florida living has to offer…

Cost Of Living In Florida: Rural North Region

Here is a comment from one of our readers, Ashley. She left her thoughts about the cost of living in Florida.

I found them very interesting. So, I want to share them with you…

“Rural North Florida Big is where I have lived most of my life. And I believe it should be sectioned from the Atlantic Coastal region, Central Florida, and South Florida.

The area boasts more diverse seasonal climates. Plus there are low property taxes combined with the lack of a state income tax.

Thus, it is an excellent Florida location for retirement living.

Furthermore, it’s also affordable before retirement. As long as you can sustain adequate employment.”

Also, I want to add that remote work has become a popular choice these days.

As a result, perhaps small towns in less populated areas will be a possibility. And represent the cheapest living options in Florida for you.

An Average Cost Of Living In Florida

So, there you have the other Florida cost of living extreme. Versus Miami. Specifically, the Big Bend Region in the Northwest part of the state.

And between these 2 examples. You can find everything in between. Such as the city of Jacksonville.

This makes the average cost of living in Florida. Well, average.

When compared to the rest of the United States.

Now, regardless of the pros and cons of Florida. Make sure you have your financial house in order before your move.

Here are a couple of tips for those of you relocating…

Mortgages & Credit Checks For Living In Florida

Do you need a mortgage for that new home in the Florida real estate market? Then be sure to shop online for the best interest rate.

And make sure you keep an eye on your credit score. Because you need a strong credit rating when seeking a mortgage.

Also, most new employers check your credit too. As part of their application process. So review your credit score for free using Credit Karma.

Speaking of new employers and jobs.

I have another one of the many reasons to move to Florida for you.

It is the economy, the business environment, and the job market. So, let’s explore these topics as the pros of living in Florida continue…

Large And Robust Economy

Florida’s economy is one of the largest in the country. It is right up there with “The Lone Star State”.

Because Texas also ranks favorably. As another business-friendly state in which to live.

Most noteworthy, if the state of Florida were a standalone nation. It would rank in the top 20 largest economies in the world!

Furthermore, the Florida economy is not just large. It is also diverse.

So, the state could be a good location. To set and achieve your business goals.

Diverse Industry Representation

Just look at some of the largest industries in the state:

  • Tourism
  • Financial services
  • Aerospace and aviation
  • Life sciences
  • Manufacturing
  • Agriculture

Even technology is starting to gain a foothold.

Furthermore, Florida’s unemployment rate typically runs below the national average. This is surprising given how much Florida’s economy relies on tourism.

Of course, tourism took a hard hit. From the global health crisis. And the travel restrictions that came with it.

But, those challenges? Well, they didn’t keep the state’s economy down for long.

Productive Job Market And Business Environment

When living in Florida and looking for a job. Or, wanting to start a business here.

It’s good to know there is a productive business climate in the state.

Including low corporate tax rates. Which rank in the bottom 10 tax rates for businesses across the country.

So, scrub up your resume. And make a good first impression with prospective Florida employers.

If you are like me, you need all the help you can get with that resume. I like to use MyPerfectResume to get it just right.

You can learn more about MyPerfectResume here.

Let’s move on to some of the coolest things about Florida living. Because life in Florida isn’t all about not paying state taxes or work. Not in the least.

Because living In Florida means tons of recreational options. And plenty of fun things to do.

So, let’s go through a few of them.

Beautiful Beaches

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Florida boasts nearly 1,200 miles of coastline. Making it home to many world-class beaches.

On the Western shore. Enjoy the sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico from Fort Myers Beach. Or, one of the other great towns and cities in southwest Florida.

On the Eastern side of the state. The beaches are even more popular for water sports.

Especially surfing. Because of the bigger waves from the Atlantic Ocean.

And don’t forget about the beaches in the Florida Panhandle.

They stretch west into the Gulf of Mexico. In the area known as the Emerald Coast.

Nearly reaching across to the southern “hospitality state” of Mississippi.

Leading us to another one of the benefits of living in Florida: outdoor sports…

Because if you like fun things to do. And you like being outdoors.

Then this may be the state for you!

Lots Of Water Sports

Sports and outdoor activities are numerous. And because of the abundant coastlines. Water activities are popular.

Just think about these examples:

  • Yachting
  • Sailing
  • Diving
  • Swimming
  • Surfing
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Snorkeling
  • Fishing

If your sport can be done in or around water. Then it is likely popular in Florida.

Be sure to consider snorkeling or scuba diving off the southern islands of the Florida Keys. It is an amazing and special place to visit. When living in Florida.

On the other hand, are you a land lover like me? Well, there is no need to feel left out.

Plenty Of Sports On Land

Because golf, tennis, and strolling on the beaches are also popular outdoor activities in the state.

Especially for the avid golfer. It’s hard to find more options than what Florida has to offer.

Since this state boasts more golf courses than any other state in the country.

Some people think of Palm Beach County as the state’s golf capital. Because it has more golf courses than any other county in the United States.

Next, if you prefer enjoying sports from the comfort of your couch or the thrill of the stadium. Then you won’t be disappointed after moving to Florida…

Top-Notch Professional Sports Teams

Because there are numerous pro sports teams to watch and follow.

For example…

There are two major league baseball teams:

  • Florida Marlins
  • Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Your favorite pro baseball team from up north may also hold spring training in Florida. It’s called the Cactus League.

When teams from Toronto, New York, Boston, and Minnesota just to name a few. Descend on the state to get ready for the regular season.

Two teams from the National Basketball Association:

  • Miami Heat
  • Orlando Magic

Three professional football teams:

  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Miami Dolphins
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers

And finally, two teams in the National Hockey League:

  • Florida Panthers
  • Tampa Bay Lightning

Still in need of more entertainment options?

Then here is another interesting thing about Florida. Another one of the state’s advantages.

Because the numerous theme parks add to the good reasons to live in Florida.

Many Fun Theme Parks

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There are so many theme parks and amusement parks in Florida. Walt Disney World Resort alone has 6 parks.

Then don’t forget other popular attractions. Such as:

  • Universal Studios
  • SeaWorld
  • Busch Gardens
  • LEGOLand

Oh my. Fun for the whole family.

It can be found at any one of the many theme parks in Orlando, Florida.

Popular Vacation Destination

By choosing to move to your favorite living destination in Florida. You will be selecting one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world in which to live.

This is a great advantage for leading a relaxed lifestyle. Also, for entertaining friends and relatives from where you have moved.

Since they will look forward to a trip to see you. And hopefully prevent you from becoming homesick.

Okay. Have I saved the best things about Florida for last? I don’t know.

You can decide. If this next group is your favorite of all the pros and cons of living in Florida…

Lots Of Sunshine

There is no question the state has abundant sunshine.

And the weather plays a big part in the state’s popularity. It’s called “The Sunshine State” for a reason.

Because Florida averages about 2,800 hours of sunlight per year. That’s almost 8 hours a day on average.

So, if you need to see the sun to feel your best. Then living in Florida just might be the answer for you!

Warm Temperatures & No Winter

Furthermore, Florida is the warmest of all states. With an average daily temperature of about 71 degrees.

Just think about it. Most of the outdoor activities I just mentioned can continue year-round.

Finally, since we are talking about the weather. One of the reasons moving to Florida has become so popular is the lack of a traditional winter season.

During this time, the temperatures remain mild. There’s no snow to shovel. And no icy sidewalks or slippery roads to navigate.

So, leave the snow shovel behind. Soak up the sun. Enjoy the palm trees. And all the abundant outdoor activities this state offers.

Plenty Of Diversity

When it comes to moving someplace new. There is always a little fear inside of us related to fitting into a new environment.

Well, the good news is this state ranks well for ethnic and racial diversity. Where a recent study found Florida to be the 3rd most diverse state in the U.S.

Okay. That concludes all the good stuff about Florida. But, it’s time for a reality check.

Since there are a few reasons not to move to Florida. So, let’s go through the cons of living in Florida next…

5 reasons not to move to FloridaPin
The cons of living in Florida

And you may have guessed. I’m not done with the weather…

Because living in Florida means extreme weather. And it can hit in several different ways in the state.

Unfortunately, this is one of the bad things about Florida.

So, let’s discuss these points. Starting with the heat…

High Summer Heat & Humidity

Because summers are hot in this state. You can expect temperatures well into the 90s from June through August.

Rainfall is plentiful keeping things lush and green. But put the high temperatures and rainfall together. And they combine for high humidity levels.

This results in the “real feel” temperatures rising into the 100s in many parts of Florida during the summer.

So, be prepared. As high heat and humidity are normal here.

And, the combination can be quite oppressive. Especially for anyone relocating from a northern climate.

No Change Of Seasons

One of the few downsides to not having to deal with winter. Is that there are no traditional changing seasons to enjoy in Florida.

So, if you are someone who likes the chill of fall. The turning leaves. A cold and white Christmas. Followed by a spring thaw and the melting snow.

Then, moving to Florida, may not be for you.

Dangerous Thunderstorms And Lightning

As I just mentioned, it rains a lot. And thunderstorms can be severe.

Those thunderstorms produce lightning. And more people die from lightning strikes in the state each year. Than any other state in the country.

As a result, some people refer to Florida as the lightning capital of the world.

But here’s another weather disadvantage of living in Florida…

Damaging Tornadoes

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Florida produces the 3rd most tornadoes of any state in the nation.

But unlike in the Midwest, where tornado activity occurs mainly in the spring and fall seasons. Florida tornadoes can and do occur all year-round.

On the other hand, these weather events are not as severe and deadly here.

Versus other places in the Midwestern United States. Located in the heart of tornado alley.

For example, those who decide to call Iowa home. Or, Texas for that matter. Severe and deadly tornadoes are a fact of life in these places.

Finally, there’s one more weather event that must be mentioned. One of the worst things about Florida.

This is definitely one of the drawbacks of the state…

Threat Of Hurricanes

Hurricanes are severe tropical storms that form over warm ocean waters. And the peak season for these storms runs from June through November in Florida.

Historically, the state has had the most hurricanes in the country.

With nearly twice as many recorded hurricanes in history. When comparing Florida versus Texas, the next most hurricane-prone state in the nation.

These deadly storms should be given the respect they deserve. So, plan accordingly when considering moving to Florida.

Now, switching gears…

Here is another group of bad things about living in Florida. They relate to the negative effects of urbanization in the state.

In other words, the Sunshine States’ popularity has come at a price. Let’s discuss…

Rapid Population Growth

It starts with population growth.

Because recent U.S. census data shows that based on population, Florida is one of the largest states. And it continues to take on a significant number of new residents each year.

This trend is consistent with migration data. That shows people are moving south and west in the United States.

To escape cold winter climates, higher living costs, and large state tax burdens. Typical of many states in the northeast as well as Illinois in the midwest.

As a result, many retirees have flocked here. And lots of working-age adults too. To take advantage of everything Florida has to offer.

Millions Of Tourists And Snowbirds

Then there are tourists. And part-time residents.

Making the state feel even more crowded and congested during the peak season. Especially in the most popular regions.

This transient population may not appeal to full-time residents. That call a popular Florida city their home.

So, if these types of people bother you. Choose your location to live in Florida wisely. Or, select another state.

Limited Public Transportation Options

Much of the state has been growing into major urban population centers. However, there has been very little emphasis placed on developing public transportation systems.

Because outside of the largest cities, public transportation is not the greatest.

And even the big cities do not have the best options for getting around. You will primarily find bus systems.

So, to get exactly where you want to go. And get there when you want to. Owning a car is a requirement.

Unless your Florida lifestyle allows for living, working, and recreating in a confined area.

Finally, even tourists normally choose to rent a car. After arriving in Florida.

Bad Traffic And Bad Drivers

So, what do urbanization, population growth, lots of tourists and visitors, and limited public transportation mean?

It means heavy and congested traffic on the roads. Also, Floridians are also known to be bad drivers.

Thrown in the fact that Florida has attracted many seniors for retirement living. As a result, you will find plenty of 70, 80, and even 90-year-olds on the roads.

Not that the older crowd intentionally drives poorly. But as we age our reflexes slow. And our eyesight diminishes.

As a result of all of these factors, the state frequently ranks high for the most car accidents in the country.

Higher Crime Rates

Next, there is a higher average crime rate across the state versus the rest of the United States. But it is mainly focused in and around the larger cities.

For example, Miami-Dade County has one of the highest crime rates in the state. On the other hand, many areas are relatively crime-free.

So, once again. Choose your location within the state wisely.

Here’s yet another reason you may regret moving to Florida…

Expensive Insurance Costs

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If you have been reading carefully, you may have already made this conclusion.  Because tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning strikes, and traffic accidents can only mean 1 thing.

That is a high cost for insurance.

So, plan on paying more to insure your property. No matter what nice city in Florida you choose to live in.

And another thing that might make you think living in Florida sucks…

High Sales Taxes

While not having to pay individual income taxes saves you money in Florida. And corporate tax rates are some of the lowest in the country.

On the other hand, this state dings residents for sales tax.

So, realize the combined average state and local sales tax rate is high. Coming in at more than 7%.

Although the rate is not in the top 20 of all states in the nation. It is still high.

For comparison, Tennessee has the highest average sales taxes in the country. At 9.5%.

And even in an overall low-cost state like Kansas. Residents still rack up almost 8% sale tax on their purchases.

Excessive Government Fees

Also, some other state fees may be more than you are used to. Little things like the cost to renew your driver’s license.

Or, registering your vehicle. Even filling up at the pump with a high per gallon gas tax.

So, it is important to understand. These fees sometimes fly under most people’s radar. However, they can add up quickly when living in Florida.

You may want to try these tips to lower your costs…

Ways To Save And Manage Money When Living In Florida

If some of the high costs in Florida don’t fit your budget. Here are a couple of suggestions to tighten up your finances.

For both saving money. And managing your money.

The best thing? These tips work no matter where you choose to live.

Save Money Living In Florida

First of all, you can save money on your grocery bill by shopping for the best deals and sale-priced items.

Furthermore, my wife and I also use the cashback app Rakuten. And receive rebates on everything we buy online.

Rakuten works anywhere you decide to live. But why not make it even less expensive to live in Florida?

You can learn more about Rakuten here. And for a limited time, Rakuten offers $10 cash, just for signing up and making your first purchase.

So, doing these things can make the cost of living in Florida a little more affordable.

Manage Your Money Better When Living In Florida

Finally, you can manage your total financial picture with Personal Capital. It pulls all of your investments, budget, and spending together in one place online.

So, if you need to fine-tune your finances. And tighten up your budget before the big move to Florida.

Personal Capital is a great tool to do so. Best of all it’s free to sign up and use.

You can learn more about Personal Capital here.

Okay. A few more reasons not to move to Florida. And they have nothing to do with your finances!

This next group is all about the pesky and possible dangerous wildlife that also likes living in Florida. Mostly due to the beautiful forests, flora, and fauna that is here to be enjoyed by all.

The Sunshine StatePin

As a result, if you do not like sharing the outdoors with the bugs and critters that come with it.

Then Florida living may not be for you.

In some ways, the wildlife is similar to the great state of Arkansas. At least when it comes to insects and snakes. But not the alligators!

Let’s discuss…

Pesky Bugs And Insects

Because of all the water, heat, and humidity in Florida. There are plenty of insects. And big ones at that.

Mosquitoes, ants, bees, wasps, and biting midges are plentiful in the state. Just to name a few.

Lots Of Snakes And Alligators

Then moving up the food chain. Beware of snakes.

Because more than 40 different snake species call the state home.

Fortunately, only several are venomous. Regardless, watch where you step.

Finally, don’t forget about the alligators. They are everywhere in Florida.

And the Alligator population is believed to be about 1 million strong. That’s one of the more interesting things about Florida. For sure!

Fortunately, alligators aren’t known to be aggressive toward humans.

But there are alligator bites and attacks every year. Even though the odds of a dangerous encounter are low.

Okay. It’s time to wrap up the benefits and drawbacks of living in Florida…

Summary: 30 Pros And Cons Of Living In Florida

The Sunshine State has a lot to offer anyone interested in the pros and cons of moving to Florida.

But, it is important to do your homework.

As a result, I’m sure you will live happily here or anywhere for many years. No matter what you decide.

For reference, here is a summary of the pros and cons of living in Florida.

Specifically, the state is known for these good things and not so good things too:

  • No state income taxes
  • Zero estate taxes
  • Reasonable cost of living
  • A large and robust economy
  • Diverse industry representation
  • Productive job market and business environment
  • Beautiful beaches
  • Lots of water sports
  • Plenty of sports on land
  • Top-notch professional sports teams
  • Many fun theme parks
  • Popular vacation destination
  • Lots of sunshine
  • Warm temperatures and no winter
  • Plenty of diversity
  • High summer heat and humidity
  • No change of seasons
  • Dangerous thunderstorms and lightning
  • Damaging tornadoes
  • Threat of hurricanes
  • Rapid population growth
  • Millions of tourists and snowbirds
  • Limited public transportation
  • Bad traffic and bad drivers
  • Higher crime rates
  • Expensive insurance costs
  • High sales taxes
  • Excessive government fees
  • Pesky bugs and insects
  • Lots of snakes and alligators

If the question, should I move to Florida has been on your mind. Hopefully, these facts about Florida will help you sort it all out.

So now you can decide for yourself. If Florida is a good place to live.

More Reading About Living In Florida And Beyond

Here are some related articles you might enjoy…

All of our articles on the best places for living your life.

Not so sure about Florida living? Then check out our tips about each state.

Finally, here’s an article about a popular city in Florida. That so many people love.

My Favorite Financial Resources For Living In Florida

I mentioned several money-saving tools, apps, and resources throughout the article. They are summarized here for your convenience.

Best of all, they are free to sign up and use. Also, they work from anywhere.

So, choose a great place to live. And, make the most of your money.

Credit Karma for monitoring your credit
Rakuten for saving on all of your online purchases
Make a good impression with MyPerfectResume
Personal Capital for managing your total financial picture
conclusions about where to livePin

Author Bio: Tom Scott founded the consulting and coaching firm Dividends Diversify, LLC. He leverages his expertise and decades of experience in goal setting, relocation assistance, and investing for long-term wealth to help clients reach their full potential.

The Pros And Cons Of Living In Florida