Florida’s sunny beaches and warm winters have long drawn retirees who spent their working years in colder states. Considering retiring in the Sunshine State? Here’s what you need to know.
As the cost of living continues to rise across the country (and globe), many pre-retirees are looking for ways to make their retirement savings stretch further. Some of which are relocating to more affordable destinations to spend their golden years.
Florida is known for retirement. It is a mecca for seniors in search of rest, relaxation, white sandy beaches, and luxury retirement. It has been this way for years, and the truth is, its reputation is well earned. In fact, a recent study just named Florida the best place to retire in 2022. The state topped the ranking of culture and diversity. If you’re looking for retirement-age friends, you’ll have a good chance of finding them in this state where 21 percent of the population is age 65 and older.
Since APO Financial has experienced Fiduciary advisors located in our Florida Palm Beach Gardens office location (and have helped hundreds or retirees and pre-retirees plan for their Florida retirement), we decided to share three key things to know about the state before you chart your course to the Southeastern US.
1. Florida Has No State Income Tax.
Despite the cost of living is going up in Florida (the cost of typical grocery items, like baked goods, meats and produce, rose 15 percent between 2020 and 2022), there are still perks to having no income tax, which helps make Florida rank 18 out of 50 for affordability.
This can be a significant benefit for retirees, as it means that their retirement income will not be subject to state taxes. This can help retirees stretch their retirement savings further and potentially enjoy a higher standard of living.
2. Affordable Housing is a Mixed Bag
Due to its popularity, many assume it will be easier (and cheaper) to buy a property in Florida. However, Florida is one of the most expensive states for housing, and Miami is the least affordable city in the country, according to a report. High demand, short supply, increased migration trends since the pandemic and exploding mortgage rates, make for a pricey combination.
According to Zillow, a typical Florida home is valued at $406,426, a whopping 22.4% annual increase. To put this in context, the national average home value is $357,544, a 12.3% annual increase.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Florida has a large number of retirement communities and assisted living facilities that are much easier on the wallet for retirees. Florida is home to many retirement communities and assisted living facilities, which can provide retirees with access to a wide range of services, amenities, and social activities. Many of these communities are specifically geared towards retirees and can offer specialized care for those with specific health needs.
3. Healthcare Quality is a Mixed Bag
Retiring in Florida brings easy access to world-renowned high-quality health services and medical care. The high concentration of seniors in the state has led some of the world’s best geriatric professionals to Florida, giving seniors some of the best medical care in the world.
However, WalletHub ranked Florida as the #37 best state for healthcare, and the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ)—within the United States Department of Health—currently ranks Florida average at best in this regard (compared to all other states). Rounding out the bunch, U.S. News & World Report assigns a ranking of 25 to Florida healthcare.
Despite these not-so-stellar rankings, high-quality hospitals do in fact exist in the state. The Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic—consistently ranked as top hospitals in the United States—have locations in Florida. For quick reference, here’s a recent list of Florida’s top-ranked hospitals. Just be sure to factor in HSAs, long-term care insurance and healthcare insurance/Medicare coverage into your retirement strategy.
As you can see from the above list, weather, affordability and lifestyle (to name a few) were once a big selling point for Florida retirees, but now that advantage comes with its fair share of financial burdens. If like millions of other Americans you have your eyes set on retiring in the Sunshine State, there are many ways to help make your money last throughout your golden years…
Important Retirement Strategies for Every State
Whether you choose to retire in Florida, Colorado or any other state, there are ways to help grow your nest egg with the right strategies in place. Here are just a few from APO Financial:
Social Security plays a crucial role in retirement planning, but many people don’t realize that the age at which you start receiving benefits can greatly impact the amount you receive each month.
Workers planning for their retirement should be aware that retirement benefits depend on age at retirement. If a worker begins receiving benefits before his/her normal (or full) retirement age, the worker will receive a reduced benefit. A worker can choose to retire as early as age 62, but doing so may result in a reduction of as much as 30 percent.
Starting to receive benefits after normal retirement age may result in larger benefits. With delayed retirement credits, a person can receive his or her largest benefit by retiring at age 70. Waiting beyond age 70 will not increase your benefits. It’s important to consider when you plan on starting to receive benefits and factor that into your overall retirement plan.
Many people focus on saving for retirement through 401(k)s and IRAs, but don’t consider the impact of taxes on their savings. Traditional 401(k)s and IRAs offer tax benefits now, but withdrawals in retirement are taxed as ordinary income. On the other hand, Roth 401(k)s and Roth IRAs are taxed now, but withdrawals in retirement are tax-free. It’s important to consider the long-term tax implications of different savings options and develop a strategy that works best for your specific situation.
The good news for Floridians is that because there is no state income tax in Florida, retirement income is tax exempt. Here is other great information on Florida taxes for retirees:
- Florida has no state income tax.
- No state taxes on pension income & income from an IRA or 401K.
- No state taxes on Social Security.
- In Florida there is no inheritance tax or estate tax.
Long-term care is often overlooked in retirement planning, but it’s an important consideration. The cost of long-term care can be significant, and it’s not always covered by traditional health insurance or Medicare.
In Florida, the median annual cost of care for a private room in a nursing center is $100,375; $89,297 for semi-private room (Genworth Cost of Care Survey). The median annual cost for care for a private room in an assisted living facility is $48,000 (Genworth Cost of Care Survey).
Long-term care insurance can help cover these costs, but it’s important to research different options and consider the cost and coverage before making a decision. Additionally, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place for how to pay for long-term care if you do need it.
Overall, retirement planning is a complex process, and there are many factors to consider when retiring in Florida.
It’s important to educate yourself on different options, create a plan and stick to it, and review and adjust your plan as needed. It’s also a good idea to consult a financial advisor to help you navigate the process and ensure that you’re on track to reach your retirement goals.
At APO Financial, we believe retirement isn’t a destination that should be taken lightly. Arriving there without the proper planning often leads to disastrous results. As fiduciaries, we work to help protect you against many of the risks you may face as you get older, such as losing a spouse or even becoming incapacitated.
We’ll help you look at the money you’ve saved and create a way to distribute and/or invest it so that you have the most money to live on year by year while paying the lowest amount of taxes possible. Our goal is to ensure you never run out of money, no matter how long you live, or where you live.
Contact us here today to set up a complimentary strategy session.
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