What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

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What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by VictoriaF »

As I am thinking about the rest of my life, all kinds of ideas pop up, and there is no better place to check them out than this Forum. This one is as follows.

During working years, most people live where their jobs are. During working years, most people spend much of their workdays in the office and commute, and they spend much of their weekends catching up with their sleep, families, chores, etc.

And then they retire and move to Florida. Why Florida? It's cheap (relatively), it's income-tax free, it's sunny and warm. And so, I suppose, there are many early retirees in Florida with their health still intact, money to spend, and time to do whatever they want. And so: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

What are a day, a week, a month in the life of an early active retiree in Florida like?

Victoria
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by Professor Emeritus »

members of our extended family have and sail boats, unlike the rich folk in Md who just own them
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by staythecourse »

Curious do early retirees actually move to florida?? Retirees do, but is there any data to support early retirees do as well?

The warm weather is not as big of a deal as folks are younger then usual retirees and don't think they care as much about four season weather (at least anymore then they did when they were young). If they are early retirees they likely have sound finances so don't know if no income tax for the state makes the big difference. My state tax is 5% and can't say a delta of 5% is enough for me to uproot my whole life to a different state.

Good luck.
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by dickenjb »

they go out to dinner at 5 pm
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by Andyrunner »

My parents are in their late 50s and moved down to Florida. My dad golfs 3-4 days a week. They also take 1-2 long vacations a year(3-4 weeks at a time).

Besides that, not to get political but they love conservitive politics so I believe they spend a lot of time listening to Rush L. and watching fox news.
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by The Wizard »

Interesting way of phrasing this question.
I owned a condo on Sanibel from 1988 till 1997 and even though I was not early retired then, I pretended to be at times.
The issue is the cold weather in New England from mid November thru mid April.
In Florida those months, you can continue to do many of the same outdoor activiies you do in the warm months up North.
I don't golf up here so I'm not likely to do it in Florida either. But bike-riding was something I did a lot of, along with exploring different natural sites in the state...
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by allsop »

My impression from reading blogs and forum post about early retirement is that they want economic "independence" (that is, not a salaried job). But when they achieve that they do not know what to spend their "independence" on, but XXX sound great.

Of course I'm sort of very, very, very slightly exhuming early retirement, so bear with me, in the stock sense, or nonsense.
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by The Wizard »

Another part of this question should be: what do those early retirees do when summer comes.
I've been to FL a lot in the summer and cope with the heat & humidity better than a lot of folks do, but it's an individual situation that should be addressed...
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by bgscms »

I recently downsized by house in Orlando and currently building a Villa in Viera in a 55 plus active community. I'll be commuting to work for the next 5 years and then golf, volunteer, and HAVE FUN! The weather is outstanding and Viera is a beautiful community. Many have come here for the Villages but I like the coast and a smaller community.
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by Ged »

My aunt said that they get up in the morning, look at their investments online, walk down to the beach to lie in the sun with their friends, and see who doesn't show up.
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by Mel Lindauer »

VictoriaF wrote:As I am thinking about the rest of my life, all kinds of ideas pop up, and there is no better place to check them out than this Forum. This one is as follows.

During working years, most people live where their jobs are. During working years, most people spend much of their workdays in the office and commute, and they spend much of their weekends catching up with their sleep, families, chores, etc.

And then they retire and move to Florida. Why Florida? It's cheap (relatively), it's income-tax free, it's sunny and warm. And so, I suppose, there are many early retirees in Florida with their health still intact, money to spend, and time to do whatever they want. And so: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

What are a day, a week, a month in the life of an early active retiree in Florida like?

Victoria
The answer is "anything we want, Victoria, including doing nothing when that feels right". Golf is big in Florida as is boating. Long walks on the beach are good for both the body and the mind. Read and/or write. Some folks like me end up with entirely new "careers" after retirement.

I've noticed how open and friendly Florida retires are. The ones who pulled up stakes and moved to Florida are usually outgoing adventurous folks who weren't afraid to leave their "safe cacoon" and circle of acquaintances, knowing they'd have fun and make new friends wherever they go. And being retired, everyone gets a clean slate. They are no longer CEOs or engineers, or doctors, or factory workers, so everyone's on equal footing and gets a fresh chance to prove that they're worth knowing or that they're just a jerk, regardless of what the did in their "previous life".

And I can't emphasize enough how seeing sunshine and clear blue skies almost every day, and not worrying whether it's going to snow tomorrow, does wonders for one's mental outlook and ability to plan ahead.

While it may not be suitable for everyone, I feel as if I died and went to heaven.
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by an_asker »

VictoriaF wrote:As I am thinking about the rest of my life, all kinds of ideas pop up, and there is no better place to check them out than this Forum. This one is as follows.

During working years, most people live where their jobs are. During working years, most people spend much of their workdays in the office and commute, and they spend much of their weekends catching up with their sleep, families, chores, etc.

And then they retire and move to Florida. Why Florida? It's cheap (relatively), it's income-tax free, it's sunny and warm. And so, I suppose, there are many early retirees in Florida with their health still intact, money to spend, and time to do whatever they want. And so: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

What are a day, a week, a month in the life of an early active retiree in Florida like?

Victoria
There are non retirees here as well, still rats in the rat race, enjoying the cold fronts coming through in December when the temperature hits low 60s ... this week and the next. BTW, that is the low temperature, not high! ;-)
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by countdown »

Being a 'left coaster', I can't deal with the humidity in Florida, although it's beautiful.
There's always a small town near a state college on the west coast, which would provide lots of interesting things to do, or nothing at all, as you prefer.
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by VictoriaF »

Professor Emeritus wrote:members of our extended family have and sail boats, unlike the rich folk in Md who just own them
If I wanted to be a crew on someone boat, are there lessons?

Victoria
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by Diogenes »

Good question! Not to get anyone riled up but I think Florida is overrated and has become a stereotype that perhaps doesn't fit many people in their 40's and 50's here.

Other than tax issues, which can be handled by living elsewhere, there are many other places I would prefer. Having spent time there I could not imagine an air conditioned existence in the summer months, or the flat congested areas where retires group.

In quasi ER I have little desire to play golf 4 times per week as my main activity. Now my inlaws were of that generation and made the move from CT to North Carolina. He played golf 3 times per week on the same course with the same group, and was happy with that. 5 months of the year in an air conditioned house, great deal of time thinking about the next storm to hit the coast. But then that generation did not routinely travel.

It's a big world out there. This winter it is southern Thailand, back to Europe in the spring.

There are ways to have official residency in tax advantaged states without actually having to be there of course, Florida included.

D
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by VictoriaF »

staythecourse wrote:Curious do early retirees actually move to florida?? Retirees do, but is there any data to support early retirees do as well?

The warm weather is not as big of a deal as folks are younger then usual retirees and don't think they care as much about four season weather (at least anymore then they did when they were young). If they are early retirees they likely have sound finances so don't know if no income tax for the state makes the big difference. My state tax is 5% and can't say a delta of 5% is enough for me to uproot my whole life to a different state.

Good luck.
Sound finances probably produce sound taxable income, and 5% of sound income is sound money. No?

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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by VictoriaF »

The Wizard wrote:Interesting way of phrasing this question.
I owned a condo on Sanibel from 1988 till 1997 and even though I was not early retired then, I pretended to be at times.
The issue is the cold weather in New England from mid November thru mid April.
In Florida those months, you can continue to do many of the same outdoor activiies you do in the warm months up North.
I don't golf up here so I'm not likely to do it in Florida either. But bike-riding was something I did a lot of, along with exploring different natural sites in the state...
Did you actually live in Florida or you were coming there for the winter? I think there is a difference between the two, because if you come for a short period of time you are motivated to use your time efficiently and you are not that interested in becoming a part of the local community. When you live in a place, you are probably more concerned about building local connections and less in a hurry to see interesting sites.

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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by LFrugal »

they go out to dinner at 5 pm

Don't all good Bogleheads hit the half-price early birds in Florida?
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by VictoriaF »

The Wizard wrote:Another part of this question should be: what do those early retirees do when summer comes.
I've been to FL a lot in the summer and cope with the heat & humidity better than a lot of folks do, but it's an individual situation that should be addressed...
It's a good question. I am thinking of spending summers in Europe, but it's not so simple. Are "summers" several months or several weeks? How much would it cost to maintain an apartment in Florida and pay for prolonged stays elsewhere?

How bad the summers in Florida really are? Is it possible to be outdoors, e.g., from 6am to 9am?

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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by VictoriaF »

Mel Lindauer wrote:The answer is "anything we want, Victoria, including doing nothing when that feels right". Golf is big in Florida as is boating. Long walks on the beach are good for both the body and the mind. Read and/or write. Some folks like me end up with entirely new "careers" after retirement.

I've noticed how open and friendly Florida retires are. The ones who pulled up stakes and moved to Florida are usually outgoing adventurous folks who weren't afraid to leave their "safe cacoon" and circle of acquaintances, knowing they'd have fun and make new friends wherever they go. And being retired, everyone gets a clean slate. They are no longer CEOs or engineers, or doctors, or factory workers, so everyone's on equal footing and gets a fresh chance to prove that they're worth knowing or that they're just a jerk, regardless of what the did in their "previous life".

And I can't emphasize enough how seeing sunshine and clear blue skies almost every day, and not worrying whether it's going to snow tomorrow, does wonders for one's mental outlook and ability to plan ahead.

While it may not be suitable for everyone, I feel as if I died and went to heaven.
Hi Mel,

Are there groups of retirees that do other things than golf and boating? I'd be more interested in walking/hiking, (table) game clubs, learning some water sports. I appreciate that jerks don't do well in retirement however important and successful they were in their careers. But is there the flip side, is there boredom?

Perhaps, my real question is do people find enough intellectual stimulation?

Victoria
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by VictoriaF »

an_asker wrote:There are non retirees here as well, still rats in the rat race, enjoying the cold fronts coming through in December when the temperature hits low 60s ... this week and the next. BTW, that is the low temperature, not high! ;-)
Winter temperatures are great, I get it. I'd like to know what the life at these temperatures is like.

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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by VictoriaF »

Diogenes wrote:Good question! Not to get anyone riled up but I think Florida is overrated and has become a stereotype that perhaps doesn't fit many people in their 40's and 50's here.

Other than tax issues, which can be handled by living elsewhere, there are many other places I would prefer. Having spent time there I could not imagine an air conditioned existence in the summer months, or the flat congested areas where retires group.

In quasi ER I have little desire to play golf 4 times per week as my main activity. Now my inlaws were of that generation and made the move from CT to North Carolina. He played golf 3 times per week on the same course with the same group, and was happy with that. 5 months of the year in an air conditioned house, great deal of time thinking about the next storm to hit the coast. But then that generation did not routinely travel.

It's a big world out there. This winter it is southern Thailand, back to Europe in the spring.

There are ways to have official residency in tax advantaged states without actually having to be there of course, Florida included.

D
You see, Diogenes, I hold some of the same opinions you do, and I am trying to figure out if I am stereotyping or being diligent. I am not a golfer and I am not an air conditioner.

Victoria
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by Mel Lindauer »

VictoriaF wrote:
Professor Emeritus wrote:members of our extended family have and sail boats, unlike the rich folk in Md who just own them
If I wanted to be a crew on someone boat, are there lessons?

Victoria
Taylor's in Florida and he's a sailing instructor, Victoria. In fact, he was the American Sailing Association instructor of the year a while back. The sailing school has races every week, and Taylor would probably invite you to join his team for one of the weekend races.
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by VictoriaF »

Mel Lindauer wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
Professor Emeritus wrote:members of our extended family have and sail boats, unlike the rich folk in Md who just own them
If I wanted to be a crew on someone boat, are there lessons?

Victoria
Taylor's in Florida and he's a sailing instructor, Victoria. In fact, he was the American Sailing Association instructor of the year a while back. The sailing school has races every week, and Taylor would probably invite you to join his team for one of the weekend races.
This is a great idea! I should come to Florida for a week or so to take lessons with Taylor.

Thank you,
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by Mel Lindauer »

VictoriaF wrote:
Mel Lindauer wrote:The answer is "anything we want, Victoria, including doing nothing when that feels right". Golf is big in Florida as is boating. Long walks on the beach are good for both the body and the mind. Read and/or write. Some folks like me end up with entirely new "careers" after retirement.

I've noticed how open and friendly Florida retires are. The ones who pulled up stakes and moved to Florida are usually outgoing adventurous folks who weren't afraid to leave their "safe cacoon" and circle of acquaintances, knowing they'd have fun and make new friends wherever they go. And being retired, everyone gets a clean slate. They are no longer CEOs or engineers, or doctors, or factory workers, so everyone's on equal footing and gets a fresh chance to prove that they're worth knowing or that they're just a jerk, regardless of what the did in their "previous life".

And I can't emphasize enough how seeing sunshine and clear blue skies almost every day, and not worrying whether it's going to snow tomorrow, does wonders for one's mental outlook and ability to plan ahead.

While it may not be suitable for everyone, I feel as if I died and went to heaven.
Hi Mel,

Are there groups of retirees that do other things than golf and boating? I'd be more interested in walking/hiking, (table) game clubs, learning some water sports. I appreciate that jerks don't do well in retirement however important and successful they were in their careers. But is there the flip side, is there boredom?

Perhaps, my real question is do people find enough intellectual stimulation?

Victoria
I think that's entirely up to each retiree, Victoria. What works for some might not be the right fit for others. I'd suggest renting for a year to get the full cycle wherever you're thinking about moving to permanently. You'll know after that if it's right for you or not.
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by englishgirl »

Not being an early retiree, I can't really tell you exactly. I can tell you that as I go about my day, and as my hours vary so I'm now actually out and about during the day on some days instead of being stuck in the office constantly, I *do* come across a lot of early retirees. So, I can tell you that I see people: jogging at 9 or 10 am (instead of 6 am), taking the 10am or 3pm yoga/exercise class, getting fit with their personal trainer at a decent hour of the day (again, instead of 6am), playing tennis, getting facials or manicures, or blowouts, volunteering for charities, going to social functions, lingering over lunch. And yes, I'm sure there are a lot of people out golfing, but I never golf so I never personally run into them!

I went to a barre-style exercise class today during the middle of the morning. It was mostly full of women in their 50's and 60's, with an occasional younger mom who obviously had packed the kids off to kindergarten or somewhere. [And me.] When I used to go to the 6am class, it was all obviously women with jobs to get to.

I think basically you do whatever you enjoyed before, but now you don't have to get up at a crazy hour to squeeze everything around work. One of the local universities runs a lecture program for retirees. Whether that's early or later retirees, I don't know. The local art museum just announced a massive expansion. There *is* culture and intellectual stimulation, but not necessarily in the golfing communities I think, although I've never lived in a golfing community so I'm probably wrong. But I do think that just looking for a low cost of living area is not going to suit you, Victoria. You need to be where there's a buzz of people, I think!

As for the summers, they're fine. I've been to DC in the summer, and it was way worse than FL.
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by VictoriaF »

Mel Lindauer wrote:I think that's entirely up to each retiree, Victoria. What works for some might not be the right fit for others. I'd suggest renting for a year to get the full cycle wherever you're thinking about moving to permanently. You'll know after that if it's right for you or not.
I'll probably stay in D.C. for another year or so and visit Florida a few times. If it clicks with me, I'll move there.

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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by an_asker »

VictoriaF wrote:
an_asker wrote:There are non retirees here as well, still rats in the rat race, enjoying the cold fronts coming through in December when the temperature hits low 60s ... this week and the next. BTW, that is the low temperature, not high! ;-)
Winter temperatures are great, I get it. I'd like to know what the life at these temperatures is like.

Victoria
I get you! :-)

Retirees would do what they wanted to do when they were in the rat race, but did not have time to do. It depends on the retiree - each one is different.

You could be a couch potato, you could go play tennis for four hours and golf for four hours each day, you could go to the beach, you could ... the possibilities are endless, but they depend on your interests, no? What do you enjoy doing? If you list your interests, we Floridians could better respond as to which you could do and which you would need to leave Florida for. For instance, if you want to climb even 1000 feet (or much higher) to train for mountaineering in the Alps, you will have to leave Florida's boundaries - the tallest mountain is less than 400 ft and the tallest building is about 700 ft. :oops:

Edited to add: Looks like Englishgirl said what I wanted to say ... and maybe slightly better!!
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by VictoriaF »

englishgirl wrote:Not being an early retiree, I can't really tell you exactly. I can tell you that as I go about my day, and as my hours vary so I'm now actually out and about during the day on some days instead of being stuck in the office constantly, I *do* come across a lot of early retirees. So, I can tell you that I see people: jogging at 9 or 10 am (instead of 6 am), taking the 10am or 3pm yoga/exercise class, getting fit with their personal trainer at a decent hour of the day (again, instead of 6am), playing tennis, getting facials or manicures, or blowouts, volunteering for charities, going to social functions, lingering over lunch. And yes, I'm sure there are a lot of people out golfing, but I never golf so I never personally run into them!

I went to a barre-style exercise class today during the middle of the morning. It was mostly full of women in their 50's and 60's, with an occasional younger mom who obviously had packed the kids off to kindergarten or somewhere. [And me.] When I used to go to the 6am class, it was all obviously women with jobs to get to.

I think basically you do whatever you enjoyed before, but now you don't have to get up at a crazy hour to squeeze everything around work. One of the local universities runs a lecture program for retirees. Whether that's early or later retirees, I don't know. The local art museum just announced a massive expansion. There *is* culture and intellectual stimulation, but not necessarily in the golfing communities I think, although I've never lived in a golfing community so I'm probably wrong. But I do think that just looking for a low cost of living area is not going to suit you, Victoria. You need to be where there's a buzz of people, I think!

As for the summers, they're fine. I've been to DC in the summer, and it was way worse than FL.
Thank you, Sarah!

I definitely need a buzz. Washington provides plenty of it, but now I am too busy to enjoy it. Upon retirement, I will spend some time in D.C. getting the buzz I was missing. As for Florida, I have to see it for myself, and I have to go to several places at different times. Right now, I am just interested in descriptions and opinions.

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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by shel »

I'm in Florida from December to middle April.

Lots of people play golf and tennis. Some have boats. I don't do any of that.

But there is the Life Long Learning center at Florida Atlantic Univ where you can take courses that don't stress you much and actually teach you something.

Lot and lots of plays, theater, restaurants , etc. (Maltz, Kravis center)

People come down and play the theaters that you thought died thirty years ago.

By the way I like the early bird specials.

Shel
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by VictoriaF »

an_asker wrote: For instance, if you want to climb even 1000 feet (or much higher) to train for mountaineering in the Alps, you will have to leave Florida's boundaries - the tallest mountain is less than 400 ft and the tallest building is about 700 ft. :oops:
But you can climb the same mountain or building many times {smile}. And there is Space Mountain in Disney.

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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by VictoriaF »

shel wrote:I'm in Florida from December to middle April.

Lots of people play golf and tennis. Some have boats. I don't do any of that.

But there is the Life Long Learning center at Florida Atlantic Univ where you can take courses that don't stress you much and actually teach you something.

Lot and lots of plays, theater, restaurants , etc. (Maltz, Kravis center)

People come down and play the theaters that you thought died thirty years ago.

By the way I like the early bird specials.

Shel
Thank you, I found Florida Atlantic University on the map. It's in Boca Raton.

Victoria
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by EternalOptimist »

VictoriaF wrote:
shel wrote:I'm in Florida from December to middle April.

Lots of people play golf and tennis. Some have boats. I don't do any of that.

But there is the Life Long Learning center at Florida Atlantic Univ where you can take courses that don't stress you much and actually teach you something.

Lot and lots of plays, theater, restaurants , etc. (Maltz, Kravis center)

People come down and play the theaters that you thought died thirty years ago.

By the way I like the early bird specials.

Shel
Thank you, I found Florida Atlantic University on the map. It's in Boca Raton.

Victoria

Victoria, my wife is retiring at the end of this year and we are thinking about Florida being maybe a permanent part of our future. To start, we've rented a condo in Sarasota for the month of Feb '14, we were there last spring and really liked it. I've been told by many to rent for like a year and see how it feels. I'm trying to look at the process as a total adventure without getting wrapped up in the 'finality' of it all. I suspect I will continue to do what I am doing now in retirement--lots of tennis, travel, eating out, shows, walking, volunteering, etc, etc. God luck!
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by Retread »

I didn't actually retire to Florida but came here from Western New York to accept a new job in my late 30's, and am when it became time to retire I stayed here. My time over the years has been consumed by yard work, training for triathlons, riding motorcycles, and now the little more sedentary pastime of travel and playing golf. In short, you can do anything you want all day long throughout the entire year without a job or weather being a consideration.
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Last edited by Retread on Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by Dulocracy »

To the tax issue: if you plan on owning, Florida has a very high property tax vs. other states. If you do not plan on owning, Florida is in the top 10 places to retire considering taxes. So is Georgia. More and more people are looking at Georgia instead of Florida for retirement. If you do look at Georgia, aside from the coastal area around Savannah (sailing, beaches, and all the stuff you have in Florida), there are two other areas I would recommend looking into.

If you like planned communities, Peachtree City is an entire community that started out as cow pastures in the 70's. There are miles and miles of golf cart paths. There are over 10,000 registered golf carts in the city. You can get anywhere by golf cart. Doctor, grocery store, bank: all accessible by golf cart. There is a performing arts center that has had people from Neil Sedaka to Styx in concert. Yes, there are even golf cart bridges over the larger roads so you do not have to cross them at lights.

Athens, GA is a great place to retire despite (and because) it is a college town. The University of Georgia, Georgia's flagship university, is not in Atlanta. The oldest public college in the nation, it was established in Athens precisely to keep students away from anywhere with people. As the city has grown, it is amazing how separate the communities are for those who are college students and those who are "true adults." My mother purchased her retirement home there. Why a college town? The Georgia Museum has new exhibits through all the time, in addition to owning a great number of original works (including Picasso copper plates). They frequently have new exhibits. There is also a performing arts center where you can see symphonies from around the world. World class ballet, as well. If you like olympic level gymnastics, the college gym team is one of the top in the nation, and many of the organizations on campus put on brilliant performances (such as the men's glee club). If arts are your thing, this is a wonderful place to live. Further, it is easy to find neighborhoods that are college student free (not that there is anything wrong with college students, but that retirees like my mother prefer not to have college parties next door. Of course, there are concerts in Athens as well, as it has a healthy music scene. If you did want to go to a bar that is not filled with college students, the Globe is where many professors go, but you do have to go to the part of the city that has college students to get there. (There are a few others as well). Oh, and cuisine is wonderful there. More than just the chain restaurants, there are a lot of good quality restaurants that are very reasonably priced. There are also some very good farm-to-table restaurants in town.

Actually, I will add a third location if you prefer peace and quiet. St. Simon's Island is one of the most beautiful places on earth. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Simons,_Georgia

While Atlanta is also a popular place to retire these days (apparently), I would not recommend it because of the horrible traffic. (I happen to live Atlanta, so I am not just being mean.)

I post the above not to be contrary, but because you asked about what to do in Florida, and these locations have special things to offer a retiree that they may not get in other places. That is, I think the city is more important than the state in determining where to live in later years. Georgia has a good, warm climate, and the cities above have something to offer that would appeal to different people who may not find what they are looking for in Florida. For the record, I also really like going to Florida, so I am not knocking it.
I'm not a financial professional. Post is info only & not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists with reader. Scrutinize my ideas as if you spoke with a guy at a bar. I may be wrong.
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by Sidney »

shel wrote:People come down and play the theaters that you thought died thirty years ago.
the people or the theaters?
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by Mel Lindauer »

VictoriaF wrote:
englishgirl wrote:Not being an early retiree, I can't really tell you exactly. I can tell you that as I go about my day, and as my hours vary so I'm now actually out and about during the day on some days instead of being stuck in the office constantly, I *do* come across a lot of early retirees. So, I can tell you that I see people: jogging at 9 or 10 am (instead of 6 am), taking the 10am or 3pm yoga/exercise class, getting fit with their personal trainer at a decent hour of the day (again, instead of 6am), playing tennis, getting facials or manicures, or blowouts, volunteering for charities, going to social functions, lingering over lunch. And yes, I'm sure there are a lot of people out golfing, but I never golf so I never personally run into them!

I went to a barre-style exercise class today during the middle of the morning. It was mostly full of women in their 50's and 60's, with an occasional younger mom who obviously had packed the kids off to kindergarten or somewhere. [And me.] When I used to go to the 6am class, it was all obviously women with jobs to get to.

I think basically you do whatever you enjoyed before, but now you don't have to get up at a crazy hour to squeeze everything around work. One of the local universities runs a lecture program for retirees. Whether that's early or later retirees, I don't know. The local art museum just announced a massive expansion. There *is* culture and intellectual stimulation, but not necessarily in the golfing communities I think, although I've never lived in a golfing community so I'm probably wrong. But I do think that just looking for a low cost of living area is not going to suit you, Victoria. You need to be where there's a buzz of people, I think!

As for the summers, they're fine. I've been to DC in the summer, and it was way worse than FL.
Thank you, Sarah!

I definitely need a buzz. Washington provides plenty of it, but now I am too busy to enjoy it. Upon retirement, I will spend some time in D.C. getting the buzz I was missing. As for Florida, I have to see it for myself, and I have to go to several places at different times. Right now, I am just interested in descriptions and opinions.

Victoria
If you need a buzz, Victoria, Miami and Sarasota might be worth checking out (Miami for a huge and continuing buzz and Sarasota for a more moderate buzz).
Best Regards - Mel | | Semper Fi
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by Dutch »

I heard reports of large outbreaks of "social diseases" in Florida retirement communities. So, obviously folks stay busy, which is a comforting thought.
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by G12 »

VictoriaF wrote:Sound finances probably produce sound taxable income, and 5% of sound income is sound money. No?

Victoria
Being that I grind my teeth over 6% state of GA income tax I would say your take is correct, especially if it is an almost virtual flat tax on income. Now if someone was 62 or older they would receive significant exemptions, over $130k on investment and retirement income if MFJ at 65. See sources of tax revenue below.

http://taxfoundation.org/article/where- ... -revenue-0

Another thing is property insurance could be significantly higher in FL if in a wind or sinkhole area. A sister in southern LA pays 3x more for HO insurance than we do in the ATL area on similar valued houses and we have better coverage.

I find people either really like FL or don't. The panhandle area is not all that different than ATL in the summer although it can be more humid, really dependent on how much rain is occurring in ATL. People of average health shouldn't have an issue being outdoors at 10AM unless the heat index is really bad on a given day. Other than some one off summer FL fishing trips that friends prefer to take at that time of year my wife and I strongly prefer winter trips to FL.
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by Mel Lindauer »

Dulocracy wrote:To the tax issue: if you plan on owning, Florida has a very high property tax vs. other states. If you do not plan on owning, Florida is in the top 10 places to retire considering taxes.
Sorry, but the statement about the Florida property taxes simply isn't true when compared to some other areas. For example, at one time I owned a home in suburban Philadelphia and one in Florida. Each home had a market value of a bit over $400k. The property taxes on the PA home were ~$10k whereas the FL taxes on a home of equal value were less than $3k. Florida has a Homestead law that offers Florida residents protection against rapid tax increases (maximum increase cannot exceed 3% or the cost of living, whichever is LESS). Now, the PA taxes on the property I sold continue to rise rapidly, while my FL property taxes are still a bit less than $3k.
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by swimirvine »

I'm young but hoping to retire early. I think some people retire early when they're financially independent and then actually continue to work but in the job they've always wanted (probably one which pays a lot less ... or nothing at all). You hear stories about Ph.D's that after working for Boeing for 30 years are now teaching HS physics ... not because they have to, but because they want to. I met a guy in Napa that worked for IBM for 20 years and retired at 45 or 50, moved to Napa and started a tour company. He loved wine and teaching people about wine. He told me he owned about 20k bottles of wine.

I see my retirement as being a little different. I'm hoping to retire around age 60 and have enough money to stay retired. My wife and I would like to travel for a few years and maybe not even keep a residence in the states during that time. Once we're tired of that, see our nest deteriorating too quickly or if we're physically unable to keep traveling, we'd settle down in the U.S. again and then I'd probably look for locums tenens positions. I'm a physician and we can sign up to cover for solo docs going on vacation for a week or two at a time. I say this because I love my job and the only reason I won't keep working forever is because of the limited vacation/travel time available to a full time doc.
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by Mel Lindauer »

swimirvine wrote:I'm young but hoping to retire early. I think some people retire early when they're financially independent and then actually continue to work but in the job they've always wanted (probably one which pays a lot less ... or nothing at all). You hear stories about Ph.D's that after working for Boeing for 30 years are now teaching HS physics ... not because they have to, but because they want to. I met a guy in Napa that worked for IBM for 20 years and retired at 45 or 50, moved to Napa and started a tour company. He loved wine and teaching people about wine. He told me he owned about 20k bottles of wine.

I see my retirement as being a little different. I'm hoping to retire around age 60 and have enough money to stay retired. My wife and I would like to travel for a few years and maybe not even keep a residence in the states during that time. Once we're tired of that, see our nest deteriorating too quickly or if we're physically unable to keep traveling, we'd settle down in the U.S. again and then I'd probably look for locums tenens positions. I'm a physician and we can sign up to cover for solo docs going on vacation for a week or two at a time. I say this because I love my job and the only reason I won't keep working forever is because of the limited vacation/travel time available to a full time doc.
Obviously travel is a big part of many retires lives since they now have time to take extended trips, rather than having to squeeze in much shorter trips because of their limited vacation time and the limitations imposed because of children still living at home.

I have friends doing 100-day round the world cruises and I'm booked for a 22-day river cruise in France. So retirement offers this kind of freedom.

Living in Florida near the cruise ports allows Florida retirees to take advantage of last-minute super cruise deals offered to Florida residents.
Best Regards - Mel | | Semper Fi
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by Peter Foley »

Victoria

Not to hijack your thread, but instead of thinking about what retirees do, perhaps one should think about what makes early retirees [in Florida and elsewhere] happy. If you can combine that with living in Florida, or if Florida contributes to that happiness, more power to Floridians. What follows is a paragraph from early draft on "life in retirement" that I wrote as part of the first chapter in the Boglehead's Guide to Retirement Planning. Bolles and Nelson Wrote What Color is your Parachute in Retirement and were the inspiration for this section of the first chapter.
Happiness is a fairly universal goal. Bolles and Nelson also examine happiness in retirement and describe approaches to happiness, pleasure, engagement and meaning, based on the scientific studies of Martin Seligman. Paraphrasing from their book:

Pleasure is the immediate positive reinforcement you get from doing something you like. Its duration is usually short, lasting as long as the activity itself. Enjoying a good meal, tasting a fine wine or hitting a good golf shot, are three examples of positive reinforcement resulting in very short term pleasure. Engagement is the happiness that results from losing yourself in something you are doing. The positive reinforcement often does not come until after you have finished. Engagement involves effort on your behalf to successfully overcome some challenge and it is likely that that additional reinforcement imprints the feeling of the experience more strongly and gives the resulting happiness a longer duration. Meaning is an approach to happiness that results from using your abilities in service to something larger than yourself. Common examples of service include actions done on behalf of family, friends, your community or a host of social or religious causes. The positive feedback from these pursuits is often amplified by the recognition of your efforts by others. This type of reinforcement can last a lifetime.
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by pryan »

VictoriaF wrote:
Professor Emeritus wrote:members of our extended family have and sail boats, unlike the rich folk in Md who just own them
If I wanted to be a crew on someone boat, are there lessons?

Victoria
There is a very competitive Dragon Boat community in The Villages. Check it out.
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by Taylor Larimore »

What are a day, a week, a month in the life of an early active retiree in Florida like?
Victoria:

I am a retiree living in Miami, Florida.

Today (Friday), I drove 20 miles north to Hollywood where I rented an electric bicycle (2 hours for $15) and had a hot-dog on the boardwalk. The 3 mile beach was filled with swimmers and sun-bathers. The temperature is about 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tomorrow morning (Saturday) I am registered to go sailboat racing on beautiful Biscayne Bay.

Sunday I plan to attend Art Basel.

This is what it is like for an active retiree.

Come to Miami and you can crew on my (rental) boat.

Best wishes.
Taylor
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by Dulocracy »

Mel Lindauer wrote:
Dulocracy wrote:To the tax issue: if you plan on owning, Florida has a very high property tax vs. other states. If you do not plan on owning, Florida is in the top 10 places to retire considering taxes.
Sorry, but the statement about the Florida property taxes simply isn't true when compared to some other areas. For example, at one time I owned a home in suburban Philadelphia and one in Florida. Each home had a market value of a bit over $400k. The property taxes on the PA home were ~$10k whereas the FL taxes on a home of equal value were less than $3k. Florida has a Homestead law that offers Florida residents protection against rapid tax increases (maximum increase cannot exceed 3% or the cost of living, whichever is LESS). Now, the PA taxes on the property I sold continue to rise rapidly, while my FL property taxes are still a bit less than $3k.
Mel, let me rephrase. My wife is from New York, where property taxes are so high you need a mortgage to pay the taxes as well. I SHOULD have said, compared to the taxes of other top 10 states to retire (such as Georgia), Florida has high property taxes. (My reference for this is the article that I read maybe 2 weeks ago when trying to get information to convince my in-laws to move to Georgia. Unfortunately, I do not know where that article is anymore.) While taxes will differ from rural and urban areas from state to state, Florida has higher property taxes overall than Georgia. Georgia has income tax. I was throwing one bit of information out that is an important consideration, but I should have been more detailed. That was more of a side note to information about locales that I thought might be helpful to the overall question.
I'm not a financial professional. Post is info only & not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists with reader. Scrutinize my ideas as if you spoke with a guy at a bar. I may be wrong.
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by midareff »

We drove over to fort myers this afternoon for art and music night downtown. Joes Crab Shack was great for dinner ..... heading out for music soon.
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by montanagirl »

I think my husband (who is retired) would like to move to Arizona but that would put us 1000 miles from his kids. Yet he likes seeing various family members who are mostly here or nearby. When I ask him, wouldn't you missing seeing (and helping) your kids? and he just shrugs.

Anyway, I gotta ask, don't people miss their families?
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by RadAudit »

VictoriaF wrote:
Professor Emeritus wrote:members of our extended family have and sail boats, unlike the rich folk in Md who just own them
If I wanted to be a crew on someone boat, are there lessons?

Victoria
I would assume yacht clubs in FL are similar to those around here. Most (all) have weekly "fun races" that they use as recruiting events. Show up in a cute outfit and carry a 12 pack of beer and they'll find room on a boat for you.

If you show some ability - as in, you don't fall off the boat too easily - and interest, they'll teach you to crew. The key is showing up once you commit to crew on a boat that races. And, yes most clubs have lessons for newbies.
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Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Post by orlandoman »

Been living in Orlando since 1977, retired since 2008.

Some activities have already been mentioned, in addition:
- I purchase an annual State Park pass every year, wife & I travel FL visiting them
- Look at http://www.myfairsandfestivals.com/ & find events to visit any anywhere, we visit art shows in various cities in FL
- Go to http://www.meetup.com/ & find groups that match your interest anywhere

Always something to do!
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