As we get older, we all begin thinking about where we want to spend our golden years. Some people choose to age at home, while others decide to move to a luxury retirement community, assisted living community, or independent living community. But if you choose to move, where should you move to?
According to a study from the National Association of Realtors, Florida was the number one state people moved to in 2022. Being the fastest growing state, Florida had an annual population increase of 1.9% within a year. In fact, this was the first time Florida’s population grew faster than any other state in the US since 1957.
US News & World Report ranked Sarasota and Naples, Florida #5 and #6 respectively for best places to live in the US in 2023-2024. Florida has also been rated the best state for retirees in 2023 based on cost of living, health care, taxes, affordability, quality of life, weather, and culture.
Should you choose Florida as your retirement destination? Let’s explore the benefits of living in Florida and why it could be a great place for you to pursue retirement options.
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1. There are plenty of social opportunities for seniors in Florida.
There are over 4.5 million people ages 65 and older living in Florida – over 20% of Florida’s entire population. This means there are millions of older adults to meet and befriend in Florida. From fitness classes to social groups, book clubs and pickleball leagues, you are bound to meet people with similar interests and stay social in Florida.
Research strongly suggests that socialization is essential for seniors’ physical, mental, and cognitive health. Staying social reduces isolation and depression, increases self-esteem, provides a sense of belonging, keeps the brain sharp, and helps seniors stay active. The benefits of staying social are endless for adults as they age.
Another advantage of Florida is the opportunity to stay social by living in a luxury retirement community or senior living community. Assisted living and independent living communities in Florida are the perfect places for seniors to meet and interact. Between sharing meals, playing cards, attending exercise classes, swimming at the pool, and going on outings, the chances to socialize with others are limitless.
In a study by the Mather Institute, 69% of older adults reported that moving to a senior living community improved their social wellness, and therefore, their overall health. And with nearly 1,800 senior living communities in Florida, there are plenty of great options to choose from to stay socially engaged.
2. Florida has many state tax benefits.
Many seniors choose to retire in Florida solely based on tax reasons. That is because Florida is one of the only states that does not tax social security, income, investments, pensions, 401(k)s, inheritances, or estates. With all this money saved on taxes, seniors in Florida can invest more into their living arrangements and put extra money toward enjoying life.
With the many tax benefits and relatively low cost of living, retiring in Florida is often a smart financial decision for seniors. Always be sure to consult a qualified elder law attorney to help with important financial decisions, including estate planning and long-term care arrangements.
3. No longer worry about harsh winters – Florida has amazing weather year-round!
Florida boasts about 230 days of sunshine per year and warm, subtropical weather year round. That means Florida residents do not have to deal with the hassle of harsh winters, snowy roads, icy walkways, plowing, or shoveling. Instead, they can spend more time outdoors enjoying nature and relaxing by the pool or beach all year long. Talk about paradise!
Sunny, warm weather also comes with many health benefits for seniors. Sunlight provides the body with Vitamin D, which supports seniors’ bone and muscle health and regulates the immune system and blood pressure. Studies have shown that sunlight can even kill harmful bacteria from inside the home.
Along with physical health benefits, exposure to the sun and warm weather has been proven to improve mental health. Researchers have found that more mental health issues occur during seasons with less sun exposure, and that days with more sun exposure resulted in better mental health overall. Sunlight also increases your serotonin levels, boosts your mood, and improves your quality of sleep – all factors that contribute to improved mental health.
At least one in four older adults experiences some sort of mental health challenge like anxiety or depression. With mental health struggles being so prevalent, living in a place like Florida with nice weather year round is a great way to help combat these issues.
So, while Florida residents enjoy a sunny, tropical lifestyle all year long, they can also feel good about the many health benefits they are getting, as well.
4. Florida is a great place for family members to visit.
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With all its tourist attractions, warm weather, and natural beauty, Florida is universally considered one of the most fun states to visit in the US.
In 2022, approximately 137.6 million tourists visited Florida, the largest number of tourists in the state’s history. One reason is that Florida has some of the top tourist attractions in the US and even the world. Family and friends from near and far love to visit their Florida relatives and experience these famous attractions while they are there.
The most notable tourist attraction in Florida is Walt Disney World Resort, located in Orlando. With four theme parks, two water parks, top-tier entertainment, and countless special events, Disney World offers fun for all ages, even older adults. No wonder it’s known as “The Happiest Place on Earth.”
But that’s not all – there are plenty of other tourist attractions to go around in Florida. Some highlights include Universal Studios in Orlando, South Beach in Miami, Busch Gardens in Tampa, Key West, and Everglades National Park in Homestead.
And If your visitors love experiencing natural beauty, don’t miss the abundance of public beaches on the 1,350 miles of coastline in Florida – the second longest coastline in the US behind Alaska. Some notable beaches include Siesta Key in Sarasota – voted the number 1 beach in the state – as well as Sanibel and Captiva Islands near Fort Myers, Anna Maria Island near Bradenton, and Clearwater and St. Petersburg Beach on Tampa Bay.
Grown children, grandchildren, young couples and more will happily travel from near and far to experience the one-of-a-kind attractions the Sunshine State has to offer. So why not have a home base in Florida that all your loved ones would love to visit?
5. Florida has high-quality senior health care
Because of the large senior population in Florida, the Sunshine State is home to excellent healthcare options, especially for older adults. Many top-rated specialists from around the world practice in Florida, including cardiologists, rheumatologists, neurologists and more. Whatever the health concern, there is sure to be a specialist located nearby in Florida.
For seniors with conditions such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, or Parkinson’s disease, there are plenty of specialized care options available. Luxury assisted living communities with memory care wings are prevalent in Florida, as are communities with staff members who are trained in Parkinson’s care.
Or if you are healthy and independent now, but want to have easy access to care for the future, one of the many Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) or independent living communities in Florida could be a smart choice for retirement, as well. Best of all, with housekeeping, chef-prepared meals, and numerous amenities, many of these places make you feel like you are living on a resort or cruise ship.
So if you are hesitant about finding specialized health care if you retire in Florida, don’t be! There are plenty of quality options right at your fingertips.
How do I choose the best retirement community in Florida?
So you’ve decided you’d like to live your later years in paradise and retire in Florida. Now what?
It’s time to decide what type of community you are looking for. Between 55+ retirement communities, CCRCs, independent or assisted living communities, memory care facilities and more, the choices seem endless.
Florida Senior Consulting can help you figure out your next step at no charge to you. Our local experts know all the senior living communities in the area, and will personally find you the best options based on your preferences. We’ll even accompany you on tours and help you with the moving process and beyond!
Looking for senior living for an aging parent but can’t be there in person? We’ll step in and help your loved one as if they were our own family member.
Discuss your next best steps with us for free. Call(800) 969-7176or visit FloridaSeniorConsulting.comfor more information about how you can live a life of luxury as you age in the Sunshine State!
Senior Living on Your Terms. The Choice Should Be Yours.