Is Florida A Good Place to Live? (22 Pros and Cons)

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Essential Things To Know Before Moving To Florida

Is Florida a good place to live? That’s today’s question. So, let’s explore the answer and follow it up with all the supporting pros and cons of living in Florida.

Then you can decide if moving to “The Sunshine State” is the right choice.

Is Florida A Good Place To Live?

Florida living is excellent for anyone who loves sunshine, warm weather, and low taxes. Furthermore, residents benefit from the robust economy, abundant outdoor recreational options, and many other fun things to do throughout the state. However, the intense summer heat and risk of coastal hurricanes are drawbacks, but overall, Florida is a good place to live.

Next, let’s see how the answer to today’s big question aligns with the pros and cons.

Pros And Cons Of Living In Florida: Side By Side Comparison

Living in Florida ProsLiving in Florida Cons
1. Modest cost of living12. Summer heat & humidity
2. Vibrant economy13. Lack of weather seasons
3. Great tax breaks14. Risk of severe weather
4. Beautiful beaches15. Growing population
5. Outdoor recreation16. Tourists & snowbirds
6. Professional sports17. Limited public transit
7. Theme parks18. Bad drivers and traffic
8. A popular destination19. Crime rates and safety
9. Lots of sunshine20. Insurance is costly
10. No winter season21. High sales taxes and fees
11. Racial diversity22. Pesky bugs and wildlife
Table 1: Pros and Cons of Living or Retiring in Florida

Next, let’s review each of the pros and cons in greater detail.

Van on Florida beachPin

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

Pros Of Living In Florida

1. You Can Enjoy A Modest Cost Of Living In Florida

Florida’s cost of living runs near the national average (Source: MERIC). However, there are plenty of cheap areas to live within the state.

Related reading: Inexpensive places to live in Florida

If you are on a tight budget, consider the smaller towns in central Florida and the Big Bend Region in the northwest. For a comparatively affordable large city, consider Jacksonville.

On the other hand, look to Florida’s popular coastal areas if you seek a high-end lifestyle and the increased expenses that come with it. Several examples include:

2. Florida Has A Large, Robust, And Diverse Economy

Florida’s economy is one of the largest in the country. For example, if the state were a standalone nation, it would rank in the top 20 largest economies in the world!

The state’s economy is also diverse. Here are some of the industries doing business here:

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

Finally, Florida’s unemployment rate typically runs well below the national average. Thus, if you are ready and willing to work, you can find a job in Florida that fits your skills and interests.

Related reading: Is moving South right for you?

3. Florida Offers A Favorable Tax Environment

Florida is one of only nine states that does not charge an income tax. Furthermore, Florida does not have an estate tax.

Thus, depending on how much money you make, have, and where you are moving from, the tax benefits of living in Florida can be substantial.

Okay. That’s enough about work and money. Let’s move on to several recreational benefits of living in Florida.

4. Beautiful Beaches Are A Big Part Of The Florida Lifestyle

pros and cons of living in FloridaPin

Florida has fantastic, world-class beaches. The state boasts nearly 1,200 miles of coastline. Here’s a quick rundown of the state’s major beach areas.

Florida’s Western Shore on the Gulf of Mexico

Enjoy the sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico from Fort Myers Beach. Or any of the other great towns and cities in southwest Florida. Unfortunately, many of these places are still recovering from the devastating impact of Hurricane Ian.

Florida’s Eastern Coast on the Atlantic Ocean

The beaches on the state’s Eastern side are famous for water sports. Surfing is popular because of the giant waves coming off the Atlantic Ocean.

Florida’s Panhandle

The Panhandle stretches west into the Gulf of Mexico to Alabama and nearly reaches the southern “hospitality state” of Mississippi.

Anchored by Panama City and Pensacola, parts of the Panhandle’s shoreline are known as the Emerald Coast.

5. Lots Of Opportunities To Enjoy Recreational Sports In Florida

Florida’s outdoor recreational opportunities are vast. And because of the coastlines and beaches, water sports are prevalent. Examples include:

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

And be sure to consider snorkeling or scuba diving off the southern islands of the Florida Keys.

Florida boasts more golf courses than any other state in the country. Some people think of Palm Beach County as the state’s golf capital. The county 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.

Related reading: Moving to Florida versus Texas

6. Relocate To Florida For Top-Notch Professional Sports

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Florida has several pro sports teams to watch and follow.

There are two major league baseball teams:

  • Florida Marlins
  • Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Your favorite pro baseball team from the north may also hold spring training in Florida. It’s called the Cactus League. Teams from Toronto, New York, Boston, Minnesota, and others descend on the state each winter to get ready for their 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

Related reading: Pros and cons of South Carolina

7. Many Fun Theme Parks Are Located In Florida

benefits of living in FloridaPin

Florida has lots of theme parks to visit and enjoy. Walt Disney World Resort alone has six parks.

Some of the most popular attractions include:

  • Universal Studios
  • SeaWorld
  • Busch Gardens
  • LEGOLand

Relocate to Orlando, Florida, to be in the center of the state’s theme park universe.

8. Florida Is A Popular Vacation Destination

By moving to Florida, you will live in one of the most popular vacation destinations in the United States.

Thus, stay close to home by choosing a nearby place for your getaways. And easily entertain friends and family when they visit you and your new home in Florida.

9. Florida Has Lots Of Sunshine

Florida has an abundance of sunshine. They call it “The Sunshine State” for good reason.

Sunlight averages out to almost 8 hours of sunny skies every day. So, if you need to see the sun to feel your best, living in Florida might be the right choice!

10. Florida Has Warm Temperatures And No Winter Season

Florida is one of the warmest states in the country. The average daily temperature for the entire year is more than 70 degrees.

Furthermore, there is no traditional winter season. During Florida’s winter, the temperatures remain mild. There’s no snow to shovel, icy sidewalks, or slippery roads to navigate.

So, leave the snow shovel behind, soak up the sun, and enjoy all the nice weather this state offers.

11. There Is Plenty Of Diversity In Florida

Florida is racially diverse. As reported by U.S. News, the state is ranked in the top 10 of all states for diversity.

Okay. That concludes all the good stuff about Florida. However, it’s time for a reality check since there are a few reasons not to move to Florida in the first place. Let’s go through those reasons next.

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

Cons Of Living In Florida

12. High Summer Heat & Humidity Take A Toll On Florida’s Residents

Florida summers are hot. You can expect temperatures well into the 90s from June through August.

Rainfall is plentiful, keeping things lush and green. However, the high temperatures and rainfall combine for extreme humidity.

Thus, Florida’s “real feel” temperatures often rise into the 100s.

Related reading: Consider Lakeland, Florida

13. Florida’s Weather Lacks Seasonal Variation

Florida does not experience the traditional changing of seasons that northern states are known for. So, if you like the chill of fall, colorful turning leaves, a white Christmas, and a spring thaw, you won’t experience those weather variations after moving here.

14. Severe Weather Is A REAL Thing In Florida

Florida’s frequent thunderstorms can be severe, and they produce lightning.

The state is sometimes called the lightning capital of the world. More people die from lightning strikes here annually than any other state in the country.

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

The state’s tornados can and do occur all year round. However, they are not usually as severe as tornados in other regions of the country.

Finally, Florida historically has been hit by the most hurricanes in the United States.

These deadly storms should be given the respect they deserve. So, plan accordingly when considering your move to Florida. Many people have to evacuate their homes annually because of the threat of hurricanes.

Related reading: Discover Cape Coral, Florida

15. Florida’s Popularity Has A Price: A Rising Population

Florida’s popularity has led to population growth.

U.S. Census data shows Florida is one of the most populated states. And it continues to take on many new residents each year.

People are moving to Florida to escape cold winter climates, higher living costs, and significant state tax burdens. As a result, many retirees have flocked here, along with working-age adults seeking to take advantage of everything Florida has to offer.

16. There Are Millions Of Tourists And Seasonal Residents In Florida

is Florida a good place to live?Pin

Florida gets lots of tourists and has many part-time residents.

The influx of visitors makes the state feel more crowded and congested in popular areas during the peak season. The transient population may not appeal to full-time residents who call any Florida city their home.

So, if Florida droves of visitors get on your nerves, choose your location within the state wisely.

17. Florida Has Limited Public Transportation Options

Florida’s major urban population centers have seen significant growth. However, there has been minimal emphasis on developing public transportation systems.

As a result, public transit is lacking outside of the state’s largest cities. Even the big cities do not have the best options for getting around. In these metro areas, you will primarily find fixed-route bus systems.

So, to get where you want to go when you want to get there, owning a car in Florida is a wise choice.

Related reading: Exploring the Miami, Florida lifestyle

18. There Are Lousy Drivers And Bad Traffic In Florida

Many parts of Florida are known for heavy traffic congestion and bad drivers.

The driving conditions have deteriorated because of urbanization, population growth, tourists, and many senior citizens on the roads. As a result of all of these factors, the state frequently ranks high for the most car accidents in the country.

19. Higher Crime Rates And Lower Personal Safety Scores

Florida ranks near the bottom of all states for personal safety, according to a study done by WalletHub. The analysis considered a wide variety of factors.

Note that higher-than-average crime rates mainly center around the larger cities. For example, Miami-Dade County has one of the highest crime rates in the state. On the other hand, many rural areas are relatively crime-free.

Related reading: Moving to Florida versus Arizona

20. Florida Residents Incure Costly Insurance Rates

disadvantages include insurance costsPin

After moving to Florida, you should plan on paying more for insurance.

Tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning strikes, and traffic accidents all factor into higher home, auto, and life insurance rates.

Related reading: Review of Florida’s best cities and towns

21. Florida Residents Incur High Sales Taxes And Excessive Government Fees

Florida doesn’t charge an income tax, but the state has to have a means to fund government services. They do so through high sales taxes and other fees.

You can plan on paying a sales tax of more than 7% applied to the cost of your purchases.

The state also collects money from fees and other hidden taxes. For example, be ready to pay high gas taxes at the pump and to register and license your vehicle.

Every little bit counts when balancing your budget because these taxes and fees can add up quickly.

Related reading: The best states to Live in

The Sunshine StatePin

22. Pesky Bugs, Insects, Snakes, And Alligators Love Living In Florida

Florida has plenty of bugs and insects. Mosquitoes, ants, bees, wasps, and biting midges top the list. They flourish in the state’s heat and humidity.

Beware of snakes. The state has more than 40 different snake species. Fortunately, only a few are venomous. Regardless, watch where you step.

Finally, Florida’s alligator population is believed to be about 1 million strong.

Alligators aren’t known to be aggressive toward humans. However, there are alligator bites and attacks yearly despite the low odds of a dangerous encounter.

Okay. That’s all I have for today. It’s time to wrap up the benefits and drawbacks of living in Florida.

Pros And Cons Of Living In Florida – A Good Place To Live?

Hopefully, today’s pros and cons about Florida living have helped you sort out some vital questions, including:

  1. Is Florida a good place to live?
  2. Should I move to Florida?
  3. What is living in Florida like?

Now, you can decide whether or not moving to Florida is the right choice for you.

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.

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.

Pinterest pin: Florida is family friendlyPin
A family-friendly lifestyle in Florida

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