Retirement Benefits in Florida: If your primary reason for retiring to Florida is to enjoy its beautiful beaches, wave goodbye to snow, and pay state income taxes, you will be disappointed.
You can have as lively, busy, or leisurely a time as you want—all in the same day—in metro locations, rural rolling hills, metropolitan centres, and 55+ resort-style communities.
You’ll also retire with wonderful company. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2022, people 65 years of age or older accounted for approximately 22% of Florida’s 22 million population.
Money Talks News CEO and founder Stacy Johnson states, “I would never consider being anywhere else. I’ve lived in Florida for 20 years.” “I adore the closeness to the beach, the bike lanes, and the masses of amiable people who are my age but don’t know it!”
Retirement Benefits in Florida
Here are a few of the lesser-known factors that draw retirees to Florida.
1. Discounts on major attractions
Get into world-class theme parks and other attractions for a lot less money than visitors do. Additionally, you will not have to pay as much for hotels as visitors do.
Residents of Florida are eligible for discounted admission to Disney World, Universal Studios, Gastorland, and Disney Cruises.
Additionally, you can benefit from annual passes to SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, Legoland, and other sites.Senior discounts for one or two days as well as annual passes are available at the Kennedy Space Centre (image).
2. Nature exploration
In addition to the state’s 825 miles of white sand beaches, you may experience Florida’s natural splendour by kayaking through glistening springs or between islands, sailing, snorkelling, or hiking on the state’s more than 5,000 miles of trails.
Explore the 1.5 million acres of Everglades National Park (seen above) to see panthers, alligators, and manatees. You can also go fishing, boating, hiking, camping, and sightseeing on a guided tram tour. Six days a year, the park offers free entrance, annual pass packages, and savings for seniors.
3. Golf courses
Get birdies on more than 1,300 courses that are dispersed around this year-round golfer’s paradise.
Seniors and locals can often receive discounts on courses, but you’ll need to verify with each one. Golf courses are a common amenity in 55+ communities. For instance, fifty golf courses are available to members of The Villages retirement community in Central Florida, and there are no greens fees.
The Players Championship is held annually at the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, one of the most prestigious golf courses in the world.
4. Professional athletics
A big team’s home is seldom far from Florida sports fans, and most of them offer group and loyalty discount programmes that let you get game tickets at a reduced price. Senior groups and clubs are able to organise fan outings that frequently come with food packages and ticket reductions.
Three major league sports teams are based in the state: the Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in NFL football; the Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays in MLB baseball; the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic in NBA basketball; the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning in NHL hockey; and the Inter Miami and Orlando City in Major League Soccer.
The Florida Grapefruit League spring training season features 15 MLB teams. Furthermore, you can watch players rehearse and play in more relaxed conditions than during regular season.
5. Culture and the arts
Florida has more than 400 museums covering a wide range of subjects, including state history, eclectic and specialty collections, art in various forms, and the life and times of Ernest Hemingway, who can be honoured at his home in Key West (shown) or by experiencing the history of Naval Aviation in Pensacola. Here you can search for them by city, area, or type of museum.
Pop artists such as Taylor Swift tour Florida, but you can also take in chamber music from Jacksonville Beach to Miami, Latin music, choral ensembles, symphony orchestras from Jacksonville to St. Petersburg and South Florida, and much more.
Whether you’re in the mood for a cheap eat or a budget-busting treat, staying true to the classics or trying something new, there are plenty of ways to fall in love with Florida’s flavours.
Key lime pie, Cuban sandwiches, and conch fritters are some of the classic delicacies.
Fresh seafood options, Southern comfort, Caribbean and Latin American flavours are all complemented by the state’s wealth of natural resources, historic history, and diverse population.
Remember to include in your diet fresh produce grown in Florida, such as tomatoes, bell peppers, oranges, grapefruits, and strawberries.
Although there aren’t always deals in Florida, if you retire there, your money will probably go a little farther.
A Florida home with an elderly owner makes about $50,000 per year, according to the state. In Orlando, Jacksonville, and Tampa, for instance, that’s more than enough to get by, according to GOBankingRates.
According to a Council for Community & Economic Research survey, median home expenses in Florida are somewhat higher than the national average, even though you can still find affordable housing there. Utilities, transportation, and medical expenses are less expensive, though.
When summing up the costs of electricity, natural gas, petrol and heating oil, WalletHub’s analysis revealed that Florida is among the states with the lowest energy consumption. And that’s even though the U.S. Energy Information Administration ranks Florida as the third-highest state for air conditioning use.
8. Sales tax benefits
The main tourism organisation of the Sunshine State, Visit Florida, estimates that the ratio of visitors to residents is about 6 to 1. Additionally, they contribute significantly to the state’s sales taxes, which helps to prevent residents’ tax burden from rising.
Although Florida has a 6% overall state sales tax, several counties impose an additional 1% to 1.5% surtax. However, according to the Tax Foundation, the total sales tax rates in nearly half of the states are greater.
In order to prepare for hurricane season, summertime outdoor activities and sports, and the purchase of back-to-school apparel, accessories, footwear, and supplies, Florida citizens are granted sales tax breaks. In addition, there are breaks for storm-resistant windows, garage doors, gas stoves and equipment.
9. Reduced real estate taxes
Property tax rates have an impact on everyone, whether you own or rent.
WalletHub and Rocket Mortgage’s rankings show Florida has lower property tax rates than half of all states.
Property owners or their dependents can receive a homestead exemption of up to $50,000 on the assessed value of their property. The assessed value of a property with the homestead exemption under Florida’s “Save Our Homes Benefit” cannot grow more than 3% a year, regardless of market fluctuations.
10. Well-being and health
Florida offers convenient access to healthcare thanks to its more than 200 hospitals and 57,000 doctors.
The Florida Department of Elder Affairs offers home and community-based services to seniors at risk of being placed in long-term care facilities. Ageing Outlook, a digital publication from the department, offers tools and advice.
U.S. News & World Reports ranked 101 Florida hospitals in terms of geriatric care. Based on patient satisfaction, staffing levels, survival rates, and other factors, the Jacksonville location of the Mayo Clinic was rated as the best in the state.