Best city in FL to retire in and why?

viper88

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I am sick of the midwestern winters! I am not digging the State of IL and all the taxes either. I don't mind paying my fair share of taxes but I want to see what I am getting. I can tell you it's not much in Chicago. Nothing but politicians getting fat on the backs of tax payers. Not to mention the crime.

People are abandoning IL at a record pace. Illinois is broke. There will never be enough taxes to make up for it. It a ponzi scheme. When the music stops a lot of people will not ave chairs. Not to mention the Chicago pension funds have been mismanaged for decades and are unsustainable. The only real solution is filing for bankruptcy or pension reform. Neither will happen because the politicians and Judges rely on the pensions themselves. They will never cut their own throats.

I noticed a lot of Jeepers are from FL. Any suggestions for areas to retire in FL? Still too early for retirement but need to give it some serious thought.

Gulf or East Coast?

Pros and cons?

Would love to be on the water.

Only visited Miami, the South Beach area and the Keys. Great restaurants and beaches in the South Beach area. I loved all of it. Something to be said about flip flops and shorts year around!

The Miami South Beach area has a lot of condos on the water and is appealing but I wonder if the real-estate there is in a bubble? Some people tell me all the beach front condos are inflated due to huge influxes of wealth escaping South America?

I love the Keys. Key West was so relaxed. Weather is great when it's not hurricane season. The other downside may be all the tourist if you actually live there? And of course cost.

I have friends who live on the Gulf side in the Tampa area. They live there because they are military. They said they would consider the Gulf side further south. I believe Sarasota was mentioned?

Suggestions for the East Coast?

What about hurricanes and storms? How often? How is flood insurance? Originally I planned on buying, about a $500K-$600K budget. I am considering renting first now. Someone else recommended renting full time because of hurricanes? How do you deal with hurricanes?

How about health care on either coast?

Advice?
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cosine

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i'm kinda in the same boat with you in knowing what part of fl to live in.(as one state of a couple that i'm looking at.) not to retire (at least 13 more years to go ) but to move out of ny due to the cold winters, taxes, cost of living and the b.s. that is going on here. i could stick around but looking at options. also i have to see if there's any opening to transfer to a post office.

what i do know is fl is very tax friendly for retire folks, cost of living is cheaper. hurricane, i've been in 1 and chased out of 4 or 5. so thats a concern for me along with the high heat, and vacationers. i'd be interested in looking in the gulf side near the pan handle more to the center bordering ga area.
 
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viper88

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i'm kinda in the same boat with you in knowing what part of fl to live in.(as one state of a couple that i'm looking at.) not to retire (at least 13 more years to go ) but to move out of ny due to the cold winters, taxes, cost of living and the b.s. that is going on here. i could stick around but looking at options. also i have to see if there's any opening to transfer to a post office.

what i do know is fl is very tax friendly for retire folks, cost of living is cheaper. hurricane, i've been in 1 and chased out of 4 or 5. so thats a concern for me along with the high heat, and vacationers. i'd be interested in looking in the gulf side near the pan handle more to the center bordering ga area.
Downtown Chicago is getting out of hand. Everyone tells me FL is a lot more affordable. I need to visit FL more. Try out different areas on both coast. Research the reality of storms, sink holes, and hurricanes. I am definitely open to input.
 

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I am originally from Florida and have lived in every part of it. Florida is really multiple distinct states within a state. South Florida is very multi-cultural, Central Florida is a mixture of transplants and agriculture and Disney. North Florida and West Florida are more southern (Georgia/Alabamaish), this is also the only areas where you will see a semblance of seasons/some cool weather. Lot of the decision depends on job, personality (politics, hobbies, etc). If you want City life and Ocean: West Coast I would look at Fort Myers or St Petersburg (Sarasota is ok but I like St Pete better).
East Coast I would look at West Palm, Daytona Beach, St Augustine or Jacksonville. I really like St Augustine but Jacksonville is a big city without feeling like a big city (very spread out) and that is where I will probably retire.
Panhandle - Panama City and Destin are very nice. If you are trying to get away from people Appalachicola is pretty sweet.
Hurricanes are a fact of life in Florida especially at the beach. That is why you have insurance. There is no "safe" place that being said I lived there off and on for over 30 years and have only ever received minor damage (limbs in the yard, some stuff blown around). Jacksonville has a pretty good record as storms tend to only glance the sides. One note on hurricane insurance, it does not cover floods/surge. Example: if your house is wet/flooded because of hole in roof, broken window, etc. That is covered. If the storm surge floods your house and there is no other damage that would be flood damage/be a separate insurance.
Good luck with your decision.
 
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viper88

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I am originally from Florida and have lived in every part of it. Florida is really multiple distinct states within a state. South Florida is very multi-cultural, Central Florida is a mixture of transplants and agriculture and Disney. North Florida and West Florida are more southern (Georgia/Alabamaish), this is also the only areas where you will see a semblance of seasons/some cool weather. Lot of the decision depends on job, personality (politics, hobbies, etc). If you want City life and Ocean: West Coast I would look at Fort Myers or St Petersburg (Sarasota is ok but I like St Pete better).
East Coast I would look at West Palm, Daytona Beach, St Augustine or Jacksonville. I really like St Augustine but Jacksonville is a big city without feeling like a big city (very spread out) and that is where I will probably retire.
Panhandle - Panama City and Destin are very nice. If you are trying to get away from people Appalachicola is pretty sweet.
Hurricanes are a fact of life in Florida especially at the beach. That is why you have insurance. There is no "safe" place that being said I lived there off and on for over 30 years and have only ever received minor damage (limbs in the yard, some stuff blown around). Jacksonville has a pretty good record as storms tend to only glance the sides. One note on hurricane insurance, it does not cover floods/surge. Example: if your house is wet/flooded because of hole in roof, broken window, etc. That is covered. If the storm surge floods your house and there is no other damage that would be flood damage/be a separate insurance.
Good luck with your decision.
I appreciate all the info! Definitely want city life and Ocean. I will check out Fort Myers and St Petersburg the next visit. You didn't mention Miami. Any thoughts?

Thanks again!
 

JDaPP

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Not a fan of Miami. Too many tourists, too congested, takes too long to drive anywhere else, and I think they are the only ones who require smog/vehicle checks (could be wrong on that one). In all fairness I also probably have some residual dislike from when I was a kid and it was dirty, and crime /drug ridden.
 

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The Tampa area is great because you have many things around, it still get's cool enough in the winter to give you a break, and you can up to Ocala for wheeling. However, I think if I was retiring and looking at FL for tax purposes - I'd go to the pan handle. My uncle retired to Tallahassee and it is beautiful up there - some hills, less people, etc. As for flood insurance, it is only required if you live in a designated flood zone, in which case it is expensive, but if you aren't in a flood zone, it's cheap (but not really needed).
 
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viper88

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Not a fan of Miami. Too many tourists, too congested, takes too long to drive anywhere else, and I think they are the only ones who require smog/vehicle checks (could be wrong on that one). In all fairness I also probably have some residual dislike from when I was a kid and it was dirty, and crime /drug ridden.
Sounds a lot like Chicago but with MUCH nicer weather. I was in South Beach over Christmas one year. I still get a kick from seeing palm trees and wearing shorts on Christmas!
 

Sting_NC_USA

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viper88

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The Tampa area is great because you have many things around, it still get's cool enough in the winter to give you a break, and you can up to Ocala for wheeling. However, I think if I was retiring and looking at FL for tax purposes - I'd go to the pan handle. My uncle retired to Tallahassee and it is beautiful up there - some hills, less people, etc. As for flood insurance, it is only required if you live in a designated flood zone, in which case it is expensive, but if you aren't in a flood zone, it's cheap (but not really needed).
I need to learn the ropes. I have only visited FL in the winters to escape -0 temps, ice and slush. I need visit in the summer when the heat, humidity, bugs are at full boil. How do you find out if a location is a designated flood zone? Ask insurance agents or real estate agents?
 
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viper88

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It would be nice to have a fishing boat and enclosed pool. I saw some really appealing homes with enclosed pools on canals that go out to the gulf in the Sarasota, Venice areas. Any idea if those areas are high risk for flood, storms, hurricanes? I was thinking? How bad can the storms in that area be if those pools are enclosed with glass? I really am a newbie as far as FL. lol
 
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viper88

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Plan is to start retirement at a young age! I guess it's all relative though? 50 is old if your 30. It's not so bad if your 65. lol.
 

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Plan is to start retirement at a young age! I guess it's all relative though? 50 is old if your 30. It's not so bad if your 65. lol.
This is the source of the reference. A Seinfeld episode that cracks me up ever time!

 

JDaPP

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Definitely go in August to where ever you want to live. That is when it will be at it's worst for bugs and thunderstorms. As far as risk for hurricane all of the state is pretty equal. If you name a city on the water it has been hit by a hurricane sometime in it's history. Hurricanes are only dangerous if you try to sit through it rather than leave when they tell you to. Every year they improve the construction standards so unless you are hit dead on it is usually repairable damage.

Some thoughts on worrying about hurricanes, I personally know more people that have had their houses burned down by fires in California than people who have lost their homes in a hurricane. Not saying that to be flippant about the situation but I would pick the area you like, get the insurance quote and then go from there. If you can afford the insurance than rock on and enjoy your pool and your boat (I am willing to bet it will all still be cheaper than Chicago).
Final thought, for the love of God don't move to Florida and then tell us how much better it was in Illinois or complain about the heat in August (that is what the AC, beer and pool are for ;-)
 
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