It’s easy to push retirement to the perimeter of our minds when life is busy with family, careers, commitments and other adult priorities. But it’s never wise to allow retirement to slip out of sight. Regardless of whether it looms sooner or later, you should consider how and where you’d like to spend it. Read on for our suggestions on choosing Florida as your retirement destination.
Let’s assume you want to be here, or that Florida is on your short list of potential locales. The lure is obvious if you hail from a colder climate. The Sunshine State’s year-round warmth and mild winters may make you forget that furnaces exist!
An established retirement-age population is another reason to consider Florida — but not in a staid way. Although Florida has long been a favorite retirement retreat, today’s active retires are reshaping “old” stereotypes. Golf, tennis, bocci ball, swimming, cycling and surfing are only a few of the popular activities, and many businesses and towns are retirement-friendly, with 55-plus communities and organizations. Retirees who enjoy working part-time will find numerous opportunities to do so.
Florida also offers a favorable financial climate. It’s one of only seven states that doesn’t levy a state income tax. That’s more money in your pocket come tax time.
Mine your networks
Think Florida might be right for your retirement plans? Start your research by contacting folks you know, such as that former co-worker who bought a Florida beach condo, or that former college roommate who got transferred to Orlando. A resident’s perspective should yield more helpful information than any hour of web-surfing. Plus, you’ll likely get pros and cons, some of which you’ll want to validate yourself. The varied info helps you make a balanced decision.
Do on-site reconnaissance
No matter how much great information you collect, nothing beats an in-person visit. If you already live here and are considering retiring elsewhere in the state, take a long weekend and go exploring. If you live out of state, plan a Florida vacation and do the same thing. But skip the theme parks and other typical visitor diversions. Your mission on this trip is to test-drive a community and its amenities, shopping, recreation, houses of worship, restaurants, services and health-care resources, among other things.
Try before you buy
If you’re targeting the Jacksonville or Central Florida areas, ICI Homes offers an unbeatable way to check out a potential retirement destination. Two of our most desirable communities — Plantation Bay Golf & Country Club in Ormond Beach and Amelia National Golf & Country Club in Fernandina Beach — offer Discovery Tours. These are three-day excursions that allow you to stay two nights on-site, and to sample all the amenities in a particular community. It’s an invaluable first-hand opportunity that could help you determine your retirement destination.
Ready to make your retirement move? ICI Homes is ready to help. Contact us here.