Florida is largely considered to be the US’s premier retirement Mecca—and there are plenty of reasons why. In addition to throngs of retirees, Florida attracts seasonal tourists, college co-eds, and vacationing families—there to enjoy the beaches, the beautiful scenery, Disney theme parks, and more.
Florida is the perfect place to look for senior living communities for many different reasons. One is that in Florida, temperatures rarely drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit—even in the winter. With winters that feel like summer and summers that are full of sunshine and sea breezes, it’s easy to see why Florida seniors love their state. In fact, Florida has the largest number of people aged 65 or older in the whole country—making up over 23% of the state’s overall population.
It’s not difficult to move to Florida. In Florida, all you have to do to establish legal residency is to set yourself up in a permanent home and make a sworn statement with the Circuit Court in your county of residency. However, taxes in Florida are a mixed bag for retirees. In 2007, the state eliminated the “intangible tax” on certain types of investment income. But real estate is taxed at 100% of its assessed value, and sales taxes can be as high as 7.5% in some counties.
Still, there are some good things about Florida taxes for retirees. For example, if you’re a permanent resident of Florida, you qualify for a homestead exemption of up to $50,000—no matter your age—and in Florida, there is no inheritance tax or state income tax. In addition, retirement income is not taxed.
Perhaps because so many seniors move to Florida, communities there are more likely to cater to retirees and understand their needs. Senior housing in Florida is diverse and fulfills the needs of highly independent, active seniors; those who require more extensive medical care; and everyone in between. You can find well-maintained Florida senior communities in a range of areas, including Miami Beach, the Florida Keys, Tampa Bay, and Fort Lauderdale. Communities toward the center of the state tend to be less expensive and crowded than those located near the coast, with lower sales and property taxes.
Senior housing options range from assisted living and independent living communities to senior condo and apartment buildings, full-service nursing homes, and more. It’s common for Florida senior living communities to offer golf courses on-site—golf is big in Florida, possibly owing to the fact that with the weather, you can play 365 days a year. You can also find gourmet restaurants, fitness centers, and a range of planned activities.
In addition, you have plenty of options for recreation in Florida—from beach activities to boating and sailing, fishing the Gulf, hiking the Everglades, and more. There are major metropolitan areas full of cultural events, shopping, and entertainment—and there are picturesque beach towns offering art galleries, antique shops, and a slower pace of life. There’s also Disney World—making Florida an ideal place for grandchildren to visit.
With all the benefits to consider, it’s no wonder why so many people choose to retire in Florida. The state offers warmth and sunshine year-round, world-class golf and outdoor recreation, beautiful beaches, dynamic cities, and more. True, it may not be the cheapest place to retire of all the states in the country—but there are still some tax benefits to senior living in Florida. And with so many seniors choosing Florida as their place to retire, Florida senior living communities are second to none. Check out our listing of Florida senior housing options—and find the Florida community that feels like home.