16 Reasons Retirees Should Avoid Florida (Not Because of Too Much Sunshine)

Steve Cummings

Florida retiree

When you hear “retirement,” does your mind instantly wander to sunny Florida, with its endless beaches and warm winters? 

Well, hold that thought!

Before you start packing your sunscreen and flip-flops, we have some insider info that might make you reconsider. 

From unexpected financial pitfalls to some rather surprising lifestyle adjustments, we're exploring 13 reasons why retirees might want to think twice about making the Sunshine State their forever home.

1. High Humidity Leading to Health Issues

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Florida's high humidity isn't just about feeling sticky. It can be bad for your health, especially as you age.

The heavy air makes it harder to breathe, the dampness of the air is leading to problems like asthma or worsening arthritis due s, mold loves humid conditions, which isn't great if you're allergic or have respiratory issues. So, while the warmth might sound nice, the air itself can be a real challenge.

2. Lots of Sweating

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Florida is known for being sunny and warm most of the year, but it has some complications. Since Florida is surrounded by water with lakes, oceans, rivers, and ponds, the heat creates a lot of humidity, and that just means lots of sweating. Many people do not like to sweat. It feels icky, you get sticky, and you need to shower more often. So, if you are opposed to being sweaty all the time, you may want to find a drier climate like Arizona. 

3. Risk of Natural Disasters, Especially Hurricanes

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Living in Florida means you're more likely to face hurricanes. These powerful storms can be scary and cause a lot of damage to homes and communities.

Every year, from June to November, there's a chance that a hurricane could hit, forcing you to evacuate or deal with repairs afterward.

It's not just about the storm itself but also about preparing for it and cleaning up after it, which can be challenging, especially for retirees.

4. High Homeowner's Insurance Premiums

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Because Florida has a high risk of hurricanes, insurance companies charge more for homeowner's insurance to cover potential damages. Hurricane insurance adds to that, making Florida the highest homeowner's insurance in the nation. The two largest private insurance companies, Castle Key and Amica, have applied to raise their premiums by over 50%

With many insurance companies already leaving the state, it is hard to see prices decreasing with less competition. Insurance companies are also being hit by natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and hail storms.

This means if you own a home in Florida, you'll likely pay a lot more for insurance than elsewhere.It's like paying extra every month just in case something terrible happens. For retirees on a fixed income, this additional cost can make a living in Florida more expensive than expected.

5. Overcrowded Senior Living Facilities

Old Man stressed looking at computer seeing bills.
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Florida is a popular spot for retirees, meaning many people want to live in senior living facilities. Because so many people want to move there, these places can get crowded.

When a place is overcrowded, it might not be as comfortable or as enjoyable as you'd hope. You might have to wait longer for help or activities, which can feel busy instead of relaxing and peaceful.

6. No State Income Tax, But Other Hidden Costs

Tax breaks
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Florida doesn't have a state income tax, which sounds great at first. However, the state makes up for it in other ways that can still hit your wallet. Sales taxes, property taxes, and fees can add up quickly.

So, while you might save money on income tax, you could end up paying more for everyday things or owning a home. It's like saving on one hand but spending more on the other.

7. Potential for Isolation From Family

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Moving to Florida can mean being far away from your family. If your kids and grandkids live in another state, you might not see them as often. This distance can make you feel lonely, especially during holidays or special family moments.

Sure, phone calls and video chats help. But they're not the same as being there in person. Being apart from family can be challenging, making Florida not so sunny.

8. Intense Competition for Healthcare Services

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In Florida, many retirees mean many people need doctors and healthcare.

Because so many people want to see the best doctors or get help quickly, it can be hard to get appointments. You might have to wait longer than you'd like for medical care.

This competition for healthcare services can be stressful, especially if you have health issues that require regular attention.

9. Wildlife and Pest Related Concerns

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Florida is home to lots of wildlife, including some you might not want to meet, like alligators, snakes, and giant bugs. These animals can sometimes wander into places where people live. For example, many homeowners sometimes find alligators relaxing in their pools. 

Also, pests like mosquitoes and ants are common because it's so warm. Dealing with these creatures can be a hassle. You might need to take extra steps to keep them out of your home, which can be annoying and sometimes costly.

10. High Traffic and Accident Rates

Driver man looking on wrecked car in car accident. Man regrets about fixing car after auto crash.
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Florida has many cars on the road, which means traffic can get really heavy, especially in big cities or during tourist season. With so many vehicles, accidents happen more often than we'd like.

This can make driving stressful and sometimes dangerous. Whether going to the store or going to the beach, you might find yourself stuck in traffic or worrying about road safety.

11. Florida is Weird

Florida Weird
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Have you heard of the Florida Man? Many people have heard about the weird things that happen in the state of Florida. It is true that Florida is a weird place with some strange people. If you ever want to find a weird story, just look up your birthday and type in The Florida Man, and there will be a nice weird story to read about. 

If you want to stay away from the weirdness that accompanies living in Florida, you may want to find a different place to live. 

12. Limited Cultural and Recreational Activities for Seniors

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In some parts of Florida, there might not be many things for seniors to do.

While beaches and parks are great, you might miss having more variety, like museums, concerts, or fun and interesting classes for older adults.

This can make it boring if you're looking for new hobbies or ways to meet people. It's like wanting more flavors of ice cream but only finding vanilla.

13. Seasonal Crowds Impacting Daily Life

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Florida is a popular spot for tourists, especially in the winter when it's cold elsewhere. This means lots of visitors can flood the area, making places crowded.

You might find longer lines at the grocery store, more traffic on the roads, and packed beaches and restaurants.

It's like your quiet neighborhood turns into a busy city for a few months every year, which can make everyday life a bit harder.

14. Swimming Pools Are Expensive

Swimming pools
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Living in sunny Florida, one of the best amenities is the swimming pool, but who knew of the high costs and maintenance required to keep it going? You imagine escaping the heat, watching your grandkids play, and enjoying that Florida life. Did you know that, on average, a 14- 28-foot swimming pool costs around $180 per month? It could cost up to $3,000-$5,000 annually with repairs and constant maintenance. So, you have to consider not getting a pool to save a bit of money. 

15. Rising Cost of Living

The cost of living is the amount of money needed to cover basic things like food, a place to live, and other daily needs.

Lately, this cost has increased, meaning people must spend more money than before to live the same way. It's like going to the store and noticing that everything from bread to milk costs more than it used to.

This makes it harder for everyone to manage their budgets and save money.

16. Environmental Concerns, Including Red Tide

Red Tide
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In Florida, there's a problem called red tide. It's a type of algae that grows in the water, harming fish and animals and even making people feel sick.

Besides red tide, other environmental worries like pollution and losing natural areas to buildings exist.

So, if you are in Florida, you have to be careful about where you swim and the seafood you eat.

Florida is Great, But Beware of the Issues

South Miami Beach
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Florida is one of the most beautiful states in the U.S., with its sunny weather and gorgeous beaches. But like any other place, it has its challenges, too. So, before you pack your bags and move to the Sunshine State, you must be aware of these issues so you can prepare and adjust accordingly.

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