Why Florida? Why not Florida?

When most people think of retirement living they think of Florida.  That is why Florida is on my list. What is so terrific about retiring in Florida? There are many things that Florida offers the retired person.  Florida is the farthest southeast state of the United States. Florida has the Atlantic Ocean on the east side and the Gulf of Mexico on the west side. Florida has one hundred miles of beaches.

 Orlando and Miami are popular tourist attractions. Disney World and other amusement parks are located in Orlando, Florida.  Miami is known for great beaches and hot nightlife.  There are so many cities in Florida that are ideal for retirement. Palm Coast, Bonita Springs, Punta Gordo, Palm Coast, Winter Haven and Ormond Beach are a few cities that attract retirees.  In this post, the third of my series, I will discuss Jacksonville Beach, Florida as the maybe spot for my retirement relocation.

Jacksonville Beach is a city that is located on the Atlantic coast, east of Jacksonville, Florida. Jacksonville Beach maintains it’s own municipal government separate from Jacksonville, Florida. Jacksonville Beach has its own city manager, city council and mayor. Jacksonville Beach is the largest town in the Jacksonville Beaches community. Anheuser Busch Brewery is located in Jacksonville, Florida. The Jacksonville airport is not a major hub. Which means flying to another airport to travel out of the country.

Jacksonville Beach, Florida meets a lot of my relocation must haves. Jacksonville Beach has great weather year round. However, the weather can be very humid and hot.  Florida is also known for having damaging hurricanes. Some of the hurricanes have required that the residents evacuate. If you own your home the mandated Flood Insurance is sky high and that is an expense that can hurt my pension dollars. Jacksonville Beach has been known to get hit with hurricanes every twenty to forty years. In 2016, Hurricane Mathew brought massive flooding to Jacksonville Beach. But I don’t think that I want to deal with hurricanes.  I like the idea of year-round warm weather and no snow. Florida, great weather but severe hurricanes.

A big draw to Florida for the retired is that Florida does not have state income tax. Florida will not tax my pension or Social Security. Florida property taxes are considered reasonable. There is no inheritance or estate taxes. Florida state sales tax is 6%, which is not a lot to me.  In New Jersey, where I live, the sales tax is much higher as well as New Jersey’s real estate tax.

The cost of living is less than average for the United States. I was able to find several three-bedroom three-bathroom apartments and house rentals in Jacksonville Beach with an average rent of $1200. This included washer/dryer, a pool, close to the beach, air-conditioning, dishwasher and at-least 1200 square feet. There were some rentals that cost more, but some were reasonable.  I’m comparing these rates to those of the city that I live in. It all depends on location and amenities.

Florida crime rate is one of the highest in the United States. Florida’s crime rate ranks forty-five out of the fifty states. But there are several cities in Florida where the crime rate is below the national average. Jacksonville Beach crime rate is higher than the national average. Low crime is one of my must-haves.  Of course the cities in Florida that have low crime rates aren’t the ones that I am interested in.

I have decided to eliminate Florida from the list.  Even though Florida offers many of my must-haves. The weather is nice all year, no snow, no tax on my pension, affordable living and many beaches.  I chose Jacksonville Beach, but the crime rate is too high.  Jacksonville Beach has hurricanes, massive flooding and a high crime rate. The heat is too hot; I would have to spend most of the day inside with the air conditioner. I will keep California and Delaware on the list.  

Make sure that you come back in two weeks to see what Georgia offers and to see how many of my must-haves Georgia has.

Thank You for stopping by.