If you’re thinking about relocating to Florida, let us assure you that you’re in for a great experience.
Florida has many perks, more than 25 in fact. However, these are the most notable ones that we could think of.
Years back, we made the choice to move to Florida, and oh, what a journey it has been!
From the year-round sunshine that brightens our mornings to the inviting beaches that are always just a short drive away, every day feels like a vacation here.
Not to mention the financial ease with no state income tax and lower property taxes, which has been a boon for us. At our age, we greatly appreciate the tax break.
Cities like Miami, Orlando, and Tampa, along with smaller cities like Siesta Key and Destin, contribute to Florida’s cultural richness and beauty, fueling our love for the state.
Through this blog, we aim to share our firsthand experiences and the myriad of perks that living in the Sunshine State has offered us.
Let’s unfold the Florida charm together!
27 Perks of Moving to Florida (in no particular order)
(1) Year-Round Sunshine
Florida is aptly named the Sunshine State due to its year-round sunny weather, boasting an average of 230 sunny days per year. That’s a lot of sun!
Florida is the perfect place for outdoor activities like golfing, walking, surfing, biking, and simply enjoying the sunshine.
Sunlight is known to boost vitamin D levels and improve mood—making Florida a happy and healthy place to live.
We recommend taking it easy and having a sunshine acclimation plan—especially if you are moving during the winter or from a cold-weather state.
Check out our sunshine acclimation guide here.
(2) A Beach Is Always 90 Minutes Away
Due to Florida’s unique geographical layout, no matter where you are in the state, you’re never more than 90 minutes away from a beach.
How awesome is that? Shirley and I love leaving our Clermont home and having choices.
We ask ourselves: Do we drive 70 minutes to Cocoa Beach for convenience or do we drive 30 minutes more to arrive at the beautiful Tampa area beaches like Clearwater?
Oh, and we can spend the day in the sand and be home for dinner. It’s the life.
The state is home to a whopping 663 miles of beaches, offering a seaside escape for every resident.
(3) No State Income Tax
Who doesn’t want more money? Well, one of the most significant financial perks of living in Florida is the lack of state income tax, allowing you to keep more of your hard-earned money.
When we lived in Illinois, for every $100,000 we earned, we had to give Uncle Sam in Illinois $5,500.
That’s a lot of money!!! Over 30 years, we paid Illinois
This can be a significant benefit for both working individuals and businesses operating in the state.
(4) Keep More Social Security Benefits
In Florida, Social Security benefits are not taxed at all.
This means retirees can enjoy their full Social Security income without worrying about state-level deductions, regardless of their total income or age.
And if you are thinking this is the case in every State, you’d be wrong.
AARP recently compiled data on the State tax laws in the U.S. and found that twelve states tax Social Security benefits to varying degrees: Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia.
States like Colorado and Connecticut offer exemptions or deductions based on age or income, while others, such as Kansas and New Mexico, provide full exemptions for residents below certain income thresholds.
(5) No Inheritance or Estate Tax
One thing we love about Florida is our ability to build generational wealth for our three kids and six grandkids.
In Florida, there is no state-level inheritance tax, meaning our beneficiaries are not taxed on the property or money they inherit once we pass on.
Additionally, Florida does not have an estate tax, often referred to as a “death tax,” which further eases the financial implications of inheriting property in the state.
(6) Lower Property Taxes
Florida’s property taxes rank relatively moderate nationwide, falling well below the highest rates seen in states like New Jersey and Illinois.
Average property taxes paid in Florida are $2143 according to research by Forbes.
Set at the county level, Florida’s property tax rates show some variability but generally offer a more favorable scenario compared to many Northern states.
If you are moving from a northern state with high average property taxes paid like New Jersey ($8797) or Connecticut ($6153), you’ll see big savings.
We recently wrote an article detailing everything you’d want to know about saving money by moving to Florida.
(7) People Will Visit You A Lot
Florida is the most visited state in the country, so you should expect visitors.
Once we moved to Florida, we have found that we actually see friends more often than we did before because they love to vacation here.
And, since we live in Orlando, we get the double whammy of people coming in for Disney and central coastal beaches.
(8) Cruises Are Only a Drive Away
One of the biggest perks of living in the most vacationed at state in the country is that you also have close access to travel perks like cruise lines in your backyard.
Living in Orlando, we are only a few short hours drive to some of the biggest cruise ports in the country:
- Port Canaveral (Cape Canaveral)
- Port of Miami (Miami)
- Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale)
- Port Tampa Bay (Tampa)
Picture never having to worry about paying for flights, renting a car, or HAVING to take paid time off for cruises.
It’s quite common for Florida residents to take advantage of a three-day weekend by embarking on an exciting cruise to the beautiful Bahamas and then returning.
Living in Chicago, we were very tired once we finally got on the cruise ship after driving to the airport, parking, flying to Florida, renting a car, driving to the port, and getting on the ship.
Those days are over.
(9) The Best U.S. Beaches Outside of Hawaii Are in Florida
Florida beaches regularly top the lists of worldwide publications for best beaches in the U.S. and the world.
With nearly 30 million visitors per year, people are seeking out Florida beaches more than ever.
Trip Advisor recently ranked Siesta Key Beach in Florida’s Gulf Coast as the #2 beach in the United States with only Kaanapali Beach in Hawaii ranking above it.
Speaking from experience living in Florida, we think Siesta Key is the best beach in Florida. It has so much to do for sand lovers, surf seekers, and nature lovers like.
Siesta Key is a great beach destination that offers beautiful sandy beaches, shallow waters for kids, ample parking, and plenty of local restaurants.
(10) You Won’t Be Alone, Thousands of People Move to Florida
Florida is typically in the top one or two U.S. States for people moving in.
In 2022, Florida had an estimated population of 22.2 million, with nearly 444,500 people moving to the state, just like us.
Doing the math, it turns out around 1,218 people made Florida their new home each day.
So if you’re considering moving here, know that you’re definitely not alone in this journey!
(11) The Winters Are Sensational
It doesn’t matter where you live in Florida, the winter weather is sensational.
It’s warm 90% of the time whether you live in North, Central, or Southern Florida.
Sure, North Florida is a bit colder than Central and Southern Florida, but we are talking about a week here and there.
On average, winter in Florida is a perfect 75 to 85 degrees.
Check out the weather data below from weatherspark.com.
In Florida, the lowest temperatures seldom drop below 45 degrees, and even during the day, the highs rarely fall below 65 degrees.
This is the absolute coldest scenario in the most northern cities in Florida.
The only downside to winter in Florida is the oceans cool down, however the sand is still a ton of fun on warm days.
(12) If You Had Snow, You Won’t Anymore
See ya later snow shovels, winter boots, and snow tires—you won’t be needing them anymore.
It doesn’t snow in Florida very often, and if it does, it’s typically only in the northern areas and not even every year—we are taking about rare occurrences.
We moved to Orlando years ago and haven’t seen anything close to resembling snow since.
And coming from Chicago, that’s a huge relief. We love not having to snow blow or wear coats everywhere we go.
(13) The Professional Sports Culture is Growing
The college sports culture has always been amazing in Florida, but the professional sports culture has really started to pick up because of the success of local teams.
- The Tampa Bay Lightning recently won Stanley Cups in 2020 and 2021
- The Tampa Bay Rays have been competitive for years, having won at least 99 games in the last 2 of 3 years.
- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won a championship with Tom Brady
- The Miami Heat have recently gone to an NBA finals and are regular attendees of the NBA playoffs.
- The Miami Dolphins are coming to life with Tua and a deep receiving core and strong defense.
- Inter Miami recently signed a contract for the greatest soccer player to ever live—Lionel Messi.
- The Orlando Magic have had years of top five draft picks who are starting to make noise—especially with rookie of the year Paolo Banchero.
The list goes on and on, but you get the point.
(14) There Are Great Veteran State Bills
Florida is an amazing place to live if you are a military veteran. We’ve written extensively about the benefits of being a U.S. veteran in Florida.
Here are just some of the great bills and programs that have been passed to make life better for our military heroes:
- Collegiate Purple Star Campuses Program: Supports military families in higher education.
- Pathway for Military Combat Medics Act: Offers nursing education credits to military medics.
- Office of Veteran Licensure Services: Assists with healthcare licensure for veterans.
- Veterans Dental Care Grant Program: Provides dental care services to veterans.
- Veteran Overmedication and Suicide Prevention Act: Focuses on improving healthcare for veterans by studying suicide and drug overdose cases.
- Restoring Earned Veterans Benefits Act: Enables automatic reinstatement of veterans’ benefits after active duty.
Did you know that Wallethub.com recently ranked 3 Florida cities in the top 10 for U.S. Veterans to live in America across all major cities?
Check it out below.
Thank you for your service—we owe so much to you.
(15) We Have Amazing National Parks
Nature lover? Well then Florida is an amazing place for you.
In fact, in our recent blog on the best places in Florida to see nature, we showed that Florida has incredible hiking, biking, and swimming.
Florida is home to three primary national parks: Everglades National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, and Biscayne National Park.
In addition, Florida is home to National Preserves and Seashores.
|Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve
|Dry Tortugas National Park
|Canaveral National Seashore
|Gulf Islands National Seashore
|Biscayne National Park
|Big Cypress National Preserve
|Everglades National Park
While Florida doesn’t have quite the natural wonder of California—boasting 9 national parks—it’s national parks are still breathtaking and worth exploring.
And, the Everglades National Park is truly unique. No other national park in the United States looks like the Everglades.
(16) The Appalachian Mountains Are a Short Drive Away
The Appalachian Mountains are incredible and CLOSE to Florida.
Stretching over 2,000 miles from Newfoundland in Canada to Alabama in the United States, the Appalachian Mountains proudly claim the title of being the only mountains in the world that run along the entire eastern coast of the United States.
While Florida is known for being a flat state, mountains await you in the Appalachians, which begin in North Georgia and are easily accessible by car.
Our close friends live north of Atlanta, and we love driving up to meet them, renting a cabin in the Smoke Mountains to see nature, hike, and get a taste of elevation.
Unfortunately Florida doesn’t have any mountains.
How far are the Appalachians from Florida (by car)?
- North Florida (Jacksonville) – 6 hrs 50 mins
- Central Florida (Orlando) – 8 hrs
- South Florida (Miami) – 11 hrs 30 mins
(17) Disney World is Cool for Kids and Adults
Look, we all know kids love Disney Worlds—it’s not secret.
With over 278 unique experiences and counting, there is no shortage of fun awaiting you.
However, Disney can also be really cool for adults when you live in Florida.
We live west of Orlando and love going to Epcot at night for a few drinks and eats around the world.
We don’t feel the need to do any rides or activities, we just walk and enjoy the sights and sounds without the tourists stresses of maximizing every day at the parks.
We also love a night out at Disney Springs with great shopping, delicious food, and great live music.
Our favorite time of year is the annual events held at Epcot in the summer and fall. We love the Food & Wine Festival and International Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot.
The EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival is an annual event at Disney World featuring vibrant flower displays, character topiaries, seasonal food, and live entertainment.
(18) Business Owners Have Lower Corporate Taxes
As business owners in Florida, we understand firsthand the impacts of corporate taxes. And we LOVE Florida in this area.
When compared to other states, Florida’s corporate income tax rate of 5.5% is relatively low. This is significantly more advantageous than states like New Jersey(11.5%), Minnesota and Illinois, with rates exceeding 9%, Pennsylvania (8.99%), California (8.84%), and Maryland (8.25%).
This lower tax rate can translate into considerable savings for businesses, enhancing their profitability and providing more resources for investment and growth.
Ranked fourth in the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index, Florida’s tax system is highly competitive and business-friendly, showcasing its advantageous environment for economic growth.
Moreover, unlike states like Nevada, Ohio, Texas, and Washington, which impose gross receipts taxes, or Delaware, Oregon, and Tennessee, which have both corporate income and gross receipts taxes, Florida maintains a simpler, single-rate corporate tax system.
(19) You Can Be Active Every Day of the Year
Once we moved to Florida, we immediately noticed a huge impact to our daily activity.
We were finally living in a place that we enjoy the outdoors all twelve months. Living in Illinois meant we were cooped up five months each year which limited our activity quite a bit.
Now, we have perfect year-round weather to walk and bike.
Nearly every town in Florida has great outdoor access whether it be a beach, hiking/biking trail, or neighborhood sidewalks for a morning walk.
We choose to live in Clermont, FL which has the amazing coast-to-coast South Lake Trail, Lake Louisa State Park, 11 beautiful connected lakes with beaches, and stunning 300 foot hills.
(20) We Have One of the Best Job Outlooks in the Country
Florida has been a hot-streak when it comes to adding jobs.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Florida ranked 5th in the country in 2023 with a 2.8% job growth rate.
|Nov 2022 (thousands)
|Nov 2023 (thousands)
|Over-the-year percent change (%)
Not only is Florida creating tons of jobs, but our state is performing well in other categories like job opportunities, average starting salary, and job satisfaction.
There’s more, Florida ranks high amongst other states with a low unemployment rate and a balanced average workweek length.
With Florida’s booming job market and ranking as a top state for employment growth, it’s clear that the Sunshine State has evolved far beyond its old moniker of ‘God’s Waiting Room,’ now bustling with career opportunities and vibrant economic activity
(21) It’s Beautiful Here All Year-Round
We’ve lived in some beautiful places and Florida ranks near the top.
I’ve always found Florida incredibly beautiful, what with its breathtaking beaches and crystal-clear waters, stunning sunsets and the lush tropical greenery that seems to be everywhere – it’s just a paradise year-round!
There are few places where you can relax on a white sand beach, with palm trees at your back, and amazing sunsets with expansive colors – pinks, oranges, blues, and even some cool purples – it’s just awesome to see.
Whenever we visit our family in the midwest during winter months when everything is brown, beige, and dead, we realize just how green Florida is year-round.
Once our fly touches back down in Orlando, we are once again surrounded by life: blue lakes, lush vegetation, and sunsets so gorgeous they look painted in the sky.
I mean look at this gorgeous scenery in the middle of winter in Florida…
(22) We Have Amazing Big Cities: Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville
Tampa, Orlando, Miami, and Jacksonville are all fun in their own right.
Tampa is known for it’s world-class beaches, but there is so much more to it. We love Tampa Heights, the city’s oldest suburb, is a foodie haven with trendy markets and riverside dining and Ybor City, the historic Latin quarter, is perfect for experiencing Tampa’s Cuban heritage and vibrant nightlife.
I know we said it’s more than the beaches…but we love making the stop!!!
Orlando isn’t just about theme parks. In Orlando, you can explore neighborhoods like Park Lake Highland for its stunning city views and vibrant cultural scene, or check out Baldwin Park’s picturesque walking paths and community vibe.
Miami, oh Miami – it’s so much more than South Beach. In Miami, you’ll find the stylish Miami Design District with its chic shops and dining, the artsy Wynwood neighborhood filled with galleries and street art, and the vibrant Cuban culture of Little Havana. We LOVE Coral Gable!!! It offers scenic beauty, while Coconut Grove is perfect for a relaxed, romantic vibe.
And Jacksonville, believe it or not—it’s Florida’s biggest city. Don’t miss the chance to explore its hidden gems like the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum with its collection of original manuscripts, Chamblin’s Uptown for book lovers, the historic Treaty Oak, the Historic Mandarin neighborhood, and the nature-filled Timucuan Ecological & Historical Preserve.
Florida Big Cities by Size
- Miami: Around 454,000 residents
- Tampa: Approximately 384,000 residents
- Orlando: Roughly 307,000 residents
- Jacksonville: About 949,000 residents
(23) We Have Amazing Small Cities: Naples, Siesta Key, Palm Coast, Destin
I absolutely love exploring Florida’s small cities; each one has its own unique charm.
In Naples, I’m always mesmerized by the laid-back/posh lifestyle, the incredible dining options, and the chic shopping experiences, especially along Fifth Avenue South.
When I visit Siesta Key, the powdery white sand and the serene waters make it the perfect spot for unwinding. It’s our favorite beach in the state.
Palm Coast, which we think is one of the best hidden gems in Florida has scenic bike trails and nature preserves, and a super cute European inspired shopping area.
Destin never fails to impress with its beautiful white beaches and back porch restaurants lining the ocean. Not to mention, the fishing is tremendous. It truly lives up to its reputation as “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.”
(24) Our Higher Education Ranks 1st
Florida’s ranking as the #1 state for college affordability by U.S. News is truly remarkable.
Looking at the tuition rates of various universities across the state, it’s clear why.
For example, the University of West Florida in Pensacola offers in-state tuition at just $6,360, while Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton is even more affordable at $4,879.
Other universities like the University of North Florida in Jacksonville and Florida State University in Tallahassee maintain similar low tuition rates, all under $7,000 for in-state students.
This affordability extends across the state, from the University of Central Florida in Orlando to Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers.
For anyone considering higher education, moving to Florida could mean receiving a quality education without the burden of excessive debt, as evidenced by my daughter-in-law’s experience at the University of Central Florida, where she completed her degree debt-free.
(25) People are happy here
Florida was recently ranked as the 8th happiness state in the United States.
Sure, there are 7 states ranked above Florida, but Florida was the only state to make the list in the southern half of the United States—outside of California and Hawaii.
The ranking was based on factors like physical and emotional wellbeing, positive community engagement, and work environment.
These factors appear to be grounded in quality research as evident by the 2021 study out of University of Castilla.
We can speak from experience—we feel much happier in Florida—happier than anywhere else we’ve lived.
(26) People are connected here with Friends
We have made more friends here in a short period of time than any place we’ve lived.
And it’s not just us, research backs it up.
In a data analysis from the New York Times using data collection from the American Economic Association, they found Florida was a very connected state.
If you look at the map below, you can see how connected Floridians are to one another compared to all the surrounding states of the south.
(27) Florida is the Hub for Space Exploration
If you’ve ever looked up at night at stars and wanted to learn more, well Florida has the Space Coast.
Florida’s Space Coast, centered around the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) near Cape Canaveral, is a hub for space exploration. Situated on the east coast of the state, it’s the heart of U.S. spaceflight operations.
Visitors and residents can immerse themselves in the rich history of space exploration at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, where they can experience interactive exhibits, see historic spacecraft, and even meet astronauts.
There is a mix of modern space exploration sites like SpaceX and Blue Origin with regularly scheduled rocket launches as well as the museums to celebrate NASA’s historic milestones such as the Apollo moon missions.
We love this area because the space enthusiasts get their fill and with the KSC located on the Atlantic Ocean—beaches are a short drive away for the sand lovers.
Reflecting on our move to Florida, it’s been an incredible journey filled with benefits that have improved our lives in ways we never imagined.
From enjoying in the year-round sunshine that lifts our spirits every morning to the endless enjoyment of Florida’s stunning beaches, life here feels like an endless vacation.
The financial advantages, like the absence of state income tax and lower property taxes, have been a significant relief for us, especially at this stage in our lives.
We’re constantly impressed by the culture and beauty of cities like Miami, Orlando, and Tampa, not to mention the charming smaller cities like Siesta Key and Destin.
Our decision to share our experiences through this blog is to show how good life can be in the Sunshine State.
Maybe your next adventure involves exploring and celebrating the Florida charm, a place that’s not just a destination, but a wonderful way to live.