I must say coming to California 15 years ago from Philly I felt the same way. But I wanted to see how Florida (my birth state) stacked up. So last year I flew to Miami and did a grand tour. Best surprise was the gas mileage my rental car got - because Florida is so flat, I later realized. Worst part was the unmanned toll booths, when you don't have change. Lots of older folks - I've never overheard so many WWII stories in public places. A few weeks in FL and you'll feel like you were actually at the Battle of the Bulge.Mel Lindauer wrote:Hi Victoria:
FWIW, my experience doesn't match up with that of protagonist on two major fronts.
First, for a while, I owned properties in both PA and FL with equal value. My PA real estate taxes were more than 3x higher than my Florida RE taxes (they're now 4x higher, but I don't have to pay them because I sold the PA property). Tourism pays the lion's share of Florida taxes, not the residents.
Secondly, even though I live right across the street from the ocean, my insurance is about the same as it was in PA.
Not having to pay a state income tax in FL was a nice bonus, too.
But the major factor for me was waking up each day, knowing that the sun would be shining nearly every day, that I'd see clear blue skys with puffy white clouds instead of grey smog, and I knew that I wouldn't have to deal with cold, snow and ice. I can't tell you how great that makes one feel on an ongoing basis. Not to mention the low cost of casual clothing like shorts, casual shirts and flip flops or sandals and not having to have summer and winter wardrobes.
Bottom Line: I feel like I died and went to heaven when I moved to Florida.
For a retiree who likes ocean activities (boating, the beach) I'd pick Florida. For a younger person working in Tech/Finance etc., or who likes cooler/mountain activities (hiking, biking, skiing), I'd pick CA. Philly if you really, really like cheesesteaks. No places it perfect - are you more annoyed by state taxes or palmetto bugs?