Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

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debrajo61
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Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by debrajo61 » Sun Mar 29, 2020 10:59 am

Hello all, first hope everyone is safe during this trying time.

With time on my hands to do some research, and just returning from wintering in Florida and now sitting home n dreary dead midwest Illinois (no sun has shown since we returned ten days ago , which is typical for months during winter and personally I'm quite tired if after 60 years), we are now seriously considering a permanent move. IL has no bonus points we can think of at age 60.

We are both 60, healthy, retired federal govt with a combined pension of around $100,000k annually which we can easily live on presently. We have no debt and have approximately 2 million in assets which includes a paid off home valued at ~ $300,000 and both retirement and non retirement investments and cash on hand. Our two adult children are self sufficient thankfully, one in Colorado, with our 2 grandchildren, and one son, local to us. Our son and our few good friends and my husband's family (who he doesnt see much) are local, but other than our son (who has his own home, marriage, and life and is adamantthey do not want children(yes I know things could change)) we could leave it all behind. Both children have large enough homes for us to visit and there are always vrbos too.

We've spent the last four winters in Florida. Specifically, Anna Maria Island (not our vibe, too slow plus too expensiveto live), and St. Pete Beach and Treasure Island. We love both of these areas and the very laid back, unpretentious vibe, beaches, fests, farmers markets, etc. Very casual which we like.

We have not looked at property in the panhandle, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Dunedin, Redington Beach, Venice or similar but have visited all of these and are open to these. We want to be near a gulf coast beach, not necessarily on but within 20 minutes or so, and somewherethat has outdoor activities, markets, music, fests going on. Definitely not inland as in middle of state, the Villages, etc.

We have determined we are paying $3,600 over three months to leave our Illinois home empty while we are gone, plus approx $10,000 rent to go to Florida for 3 months annually. We understand this would be more a quality of life move (sun and outdoors does so much for mental health), not necessarily an investment. We are willing to spend up to $500,000 on a home, villa, condo (condo being least preferable option).
We are wondering if the market may drop in the coming year due to the current economic situation and give us a better buy. Yet to be seen....

For those of you who have taken this dive or looked into it, what are your pros, cons and lessons learned? Would you choose a 55+ community or no? What should be the biggest red flags we look for and questionsto ask? What areas do you recommend or not?

Again, any input or thoughts on this big change would be appreciated.

Olemiss540
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by Olemiss540 » Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:18 am

Consider if you could live in rentals for a few years trying different places and community. Fort Myers is nice and warm, but I am not sure about "culture" you mention. Worth a try and especially nice spring and fall.

Could you move into a storage unit and then check out different areas for 3 or 6 months at a time? Rental rates drop dramatically once you are out of the winter season.
I hold index funds because I do not overestimate my ability to pick stocks OR stock pickers.

emoore
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by emoore » Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:25 am

I'm not retired nor do I live in Florida but I have a good friend that does and I do visit him. My suggestion would be to stay for a couple of months in the summer and see if you can handle it. The humidity is oppressive. I grew up in the Chicago area and I know it's humid there. But the difference between Chicago and Florida (Sarasota) was huge to me.

aristotelian
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by aristotelian » Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:27 am

I would be worried about the hurricane risk. Better to vacation there during the worst winter months than live there permanently.

Topic Author
debrajo61
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by debrajo61 » Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:41 am

We have thought about the hot summers (winters are humid enough) but strangely, afew friends from IL who now live there say it's not much different than the midwest. This is a good idea.

We've also discussed storage and renting vrbos in different areas. And yes, hurricanes are always a threat so theres that.

jcpct
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by jcpct » Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:42 am

Hi,
We have also been considering purchasing property in Florida. We really like the Sarasota/Venice areas and those in between. House prices seem very high for what you get. No basement and very small lots with very close neighbors. Way too hot and humid in the summer. I would not move there full time. A few months in the winter would be nice to get away from the Northeast winters like you have been doing. You should definitely rent for awhile to get a feel for the area you decide you may want to live in. Best of luck in your search and keep us posted on your progress as I'm sure many others here are considering similar moves.

Topic Author
debrajo61
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by debrajo61 » Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:48 am

Thank you, we've done several winters and love it. Despite the high market high at this time, homes are flying off the market still. We do need to visit during summer, we would be trading several gloomy months of cold snowy yuck for humid hot months so not sure which is worse. Good luck to you also.

Dave55
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by Dave55 » Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:51 am

My brother and his wife moved to Venice FL. They had friends there, looked around for a month and bought a house. They love it. I visited in September - it is brutally hot and humid in summers there. The winters are very pleasant though. Otherwise lots of amenities and beautiful beaches.

Dave

smitcat
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by smitcat » Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:57 am

debrajo61 wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 10:59 am
Hello all, first hope everyone is safe during this trying time.

With time on my hands to do some research, and just returning from wintering in Florida and now sitting home n dreary dead midwest Illinois (no sun has shown since we returned ten days ago , which is typical for months during winter and personally I'm quite tired if after 60 years), we are now seriously considering a permanent move. IL has no bonus points we can think of at age 60.

We are both 60, healthy, retired federal govt with a combined pension of around $100,000k annually which we can easily live on presently. We have no debt and have approximately 2 million in assets which includes a paid off home valued at ~ $300,000 and both retirement and non retirement investments and cash on hand. Our two adult children are self sufficient thankfully, one in Colorado, with our 2 grandchildren, and one son, local to us. Our son and our few good friends and my husband's family (who he doesnt see much) are local, but other than our son (who has his own home, marriage, and life and is adamantthey do not want children(yes I know things could change)) we could leave it all behind. Both children have large enough homes for us to visit and there are always vrbos too.

We've spent the last four winters in Florida. Specifically, Anna Maria Island (not our vibe, too slow plus too expensiveto live), and St. Pete Beach and Treasure Island. We love both of these areas and the very laid back, unpretentious vibe, beaches, fests, farmers markets, etc. Very casual which we like.

We have not looked at property in the panhandle, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Dunedin, Redington Beach, Venice or similar but have visited all of these and are open to these. We want to be near a gulf coast beach, not necessarily on but within 20 minutes or so, and somewherethat has outdoor activities, markets, music, fests going on. Definitely not inland as in middle of state, the Villages, etc.

We have determined we are paying $3,600 over three months to leave our Illinois home empty while we are gone, plus approx $10,000 rent to go to Florida for 3 months annually. We understand this would be more a quality of life move (sun and outdoors does so much for mental health), not necessarily an investment. We are willing to spend up to $500,000 on a home, villa, condo (condo being least preferable option).
We are wondering if the market may drop in the coming year due to the current economic situation and give us a better buy. Yet to be seen....

For those of you who have taken this dive or looked into it, what are your pros, cons and lessons learned? Would you choose a 55+ community or no? What should be the biggest red flags we look for and questionsto ask? What areas do you recommend or not?

Again, any input or thoughts on this big change would be appreciated.
"For those of you who have taken this dive or looked into it, what are your pros, cons and lessons learned?"
Once you narrow down your area choices I would research these items for better clarity:
- Hurricanes , use the SLOSH Map2 to review potential flooding outcomes by various strength storms (interactive)
- Use Hurricane forecast maps to see the relative likelihood of storm strengths and frequency (areas in Fl. vary greatly)
- Use Weatherspark site to access year round weather details
- Sink Holes , use current sink hole target maps
- Check the maps for local red tide areas each season , avoid those areas
- Review home selected for age/construction and how that plays into insurance costs
- Review local area medical services available and their ratings
- Review crime rate in local area , this usually is a very local issue
Last edited by smitcat on Sun Mar 29, 2020 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jebmke
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by jebmke » Sun Mar 29, 2020 12:01 pm

debrajo61 wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:41 am
We have thought about the hot summers (winters are humid enough) but strangely, afew friends from IL who now live there say it's not much different than the midwest. This is a good idea.

We've also discussed storage and renting vrbos in different areas. And yes, hurricanes are always a threat so theres that.
I have lived in Florida and Mid-Atlantic. The heat of the summers is not that different. What is different is the length of the summer. Of course you get it back on the flip side. The winters are milder and shorter. The bugs are bigger in Florida and there are more snakes, some venomous.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

Jazzysoon
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by Jazzysoon » Sun Mar 29, 2020 12:04 pm

I've been going to Venice area last few winters and have had similar thoughts about staying longer/making it permanent. When it gets to mid 80's and constant sun in early March, makes it hard to do physical activities late morning to late afternoon. I can't imagine what the summers are like and have talked to many people that are trying convince me to make the jump. Those being more honest say the summers are becoming more brutal and longer - plan May - Oct for heat... I'm going to stay as renter for now perhaps just extend it to 4-5 months. I still enjoy the late spring/summer fall in Upper Midwest. I'm in state north of you. I do feel similar to you re: the dreary'ness of our winters, there is a reason they call the Venice area the Suncoast

fourwheelcycle
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by fourwheelcycle » Sun Mar 29, 2020 12:33 pm

We have condo-vacationed for a week each spring on the beach at Anna Maria Island since our children were young, and now with our adult children and our grandchildren. Now that we are older we aim for the northern end of the island where we can do a long, quiet bicycle ride each day. We love the getaway, but I would not want to live there year-round. I think we will stay in New England, in the small town where we have lived for 44 years, near our children and grandchildren and our favorite, well-worn New England vacations.

We have friends who have retired to Florida and I have definitely fantasized about it. The Gulf Coast is the place to be, with gentler waves and gentler water for boating and fishing, plus you get those wonderful sunsets. My ideal would be a home on the mainland, not on an island with crazy on/off traffic during the tourist season. I'd love to have a modest size but well-built house with a street in the front yard and a dock on the water in the back yard. North of Tampa, away from big-time traffic, near one of the "springs" would be nice.

GmanJeff
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by GmanJeff » Sun Mar 29, 2020 12:41 pm

You might consider having a second, part-time home there. A condo, while your least preferred option, can give you a lock-and-leave option you can enjoy during the more pleasant weather as a snowbird. While travelling back and forth twice annually may not be ideal, it's an approach taken by many who want the mild winters but not the very hot summer months.

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backofbeyond
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by backofbeyond » Sun Mar 29, 2020 12:44 pm

I live in Fort Walton Beach, work on Eglin AFB, which is in the panhandle. Been here off and on for 12 years.

Pros: Beaches are the best in the world....no really. I've lived ALL over the world and nowhere is there better beaches. White sand, turquoise shallows into the deep blue. Very reasonable prices for renting and buying. $500k would buy you a really nice house...too big for two peeps if you ask me. I'm paying $1600 rent per month for a 4 bedroom house and pool, landlord hasn't increased the rent in 5 years. Grocery food is very cheap, especially vegetable. Nice shopping and IMAX is 30 mins down the road in Destin.

Cons: Besides the beach, not much to do. Biggest cities nearby are Panama City and Pensacola. Not much to do there either. Most of the people in our area are military, so they are here for 3 or 4 years and then go on to their next tour. Along the beach lots of small tourist bars and nice places to eat, go inland only 5 miles and you hit lower Alabama (ok 25 miles to Alabama) but 5 miles in is a whole different culture. Still relatively safe, but low income and without the sea breeze, very warm. We do have a nice airport, but it's small and for almost anywhere but NY and DC you have to fly to Atlanta for some type of connection. Any concerts you have to go to PC or Pen.

So the long and short, fairly boring if you don't love the beach or deep sea fishing.
The question isn't at what age I want to retire, it is at what income. - George Foreman

Hockey10
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by Hockey10 » Sun Mar 29, 2020 1:06 pm

fourwheelcycle wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 12:33 pm
My ideal would be a home on the mainland, not on an island with crazy on/off traffic during the tourist season. I'd love to have a modest size but well-built house with a street in the front yard and a dock on the water in the back yard. North of Tampa, away from big-time traffic, near one of the "springs" would be nice.
This sounds like the neighborhood where my in-laws own a home not too far from Tarpon Springs. We have visited several times between Nov - Apr, but have never been there between May - Oct. From Nov - Apr, the weather is perfect in my opinion (at least compared to what I am used to up north). In the OP's price range, you can get a 3br, 2 bath home on the water there.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sun Mar 29, 2020 1:27 pm

If one is willing to put a few miles between their home and any coastal waters around Florida, home prices reflect that distance, much more home for less $$$.

I'm surprised that native Floridians have not evolved gills, pulling oxygen out of the humid air. :D

Right now I'd sitting in my garage where my trusty thermometer says 83 degrees, smoking a Rocky Patel stogie, drinking a cold frosty beer, listening to music.

Around here you get up early to do anything physical, then slow down as the temp increases.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

Sailorgirl
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by Sailorgirl » Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:29 pm

I have been an east coast resident for 25 years now. The summers are hotter and longer than ever before. Homes are expensive and updating an older home (roof, windows, and doors including garage) can run you $70-100. That’s is before you even begin to touch the inside. Real estate taxes are high. If I were to sell my current home (Market Value 600k) the new purchaser would pay twice what I pay in RE taxes or about $10k. Sales tax in my county is 7%. Homeowners/Hurricane Insurance is upward of $3000. Dependent on how far you are from the coast ( There is a dividing line) and the age of your roof.

To me the best choice is too have a summer home in your home state within a few hours of your friends and grandchildren. Then rent a home in Florida for 6 months and a day over the winter season November 1 to May 2. This allows you to claim residency yet avoid the costs and hassles of a 60+ person during the hot extremely humid hurricane season.

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debrajo61
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by debrajo61 » Sat May 30, 2020 9:33 am

GmanJeff wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 12:41 pm
You might consider having a second, part-time home there. A condo, while your least preferred option, can give you a lock-and-leave option you can enjoy during the more pleasant weather as a snowbird. While travelling back and forth twice annually may not be ideal, it's an approach taken by many who want the mild winters but not the very hot summer months.
We are now angling thos direction but so much to learn, and oh my, HOA fees are in the $600 month range for nice properties not ON but within a few minutes drive of the beaches. They are FLYING off the market at high prices with multiple offers currently.
We are confused so may do nothing at this point.

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debrajo61
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by debrajo61 » Sat May 30, 2020 9:37 am

Sailorgirl wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:29 pm
I have been an east coast resident for 25 years now. The summers are hotter and longer than ever before. Homes are expensive and updating an older home (roof, windows, and doors including garage) can run you $70-100. That’s is before you even begin to touch the inside. Real estate taxes are high. If I were to sell my current home (Market Value 600k) the new purchaser would pay twice what I pay in RE taxes or about $10k. Sales tax in my county is 7%. Homeowners/Hurricane Insurance is upward of $3000. Dependent on how far you are from the coast ( There is a dividing line) and the age of your roof.

To me the best choice is too have a summer home in your home state within a few hours of your friends and grandchildren. Then rent a home in Florida for 6 months and a day over the winter season November 1 to May 2. This allows you to claim residency yet avoid the costs and hassles of a 60+ person during the hot extremely humid hurricane season.
Finding a good rental is almost impossible. May change with covid, but then the flip side prices will rise for rent in anything worthwhile. Plus I cannot envision moving physically every winter, even from something small.

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beyou
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by beyou » Sat May 30, 2020 9:52 am

With global warming, your current home may be warm enough soon. Warmest winter I can recall in years, here in NY. Have family in FL on both coasts, and I can’t stand visiting them even for a short period from May to Oct. OTOH, I don’t mind our winters, will mind them even less when retired and no longer commuting. YMMV.

mathwhiz
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by mathwhiz » Sat May 30, 2020 4:35 pm

Here are a few places that haven't been discussed you might think about. Marco Island south of Naples has a large beach condo market with reasonable valuations and when you are not using your condo some places allow you to rent them out weekly or monthly. There is still seasonable demand in the hot summer for vacation condos near the beach. You could recoup some of your costs. It's a nice island with all the basics, Publix, restaurants, doctors, etc.

Port Charlotte area around Rotonda is near the beach and has good values with golf if that is your thing. Make sure to look at flood zones carefully. I like Charlotte County as it is much less population than Sarasota and Lee to the north and south but still within reasonable driving distance for the bigger airports and hospitals if needed.

Babcock Ranch is a new "green" development powered by solar which is interesting and has a lot of new homes at reasonable prices.

Lakewood Ranch is a more established development east of Sarasota and Bradenton that is very nice and upscale.

Also, on the east coast, I really really really like the St. Augustine area. A lot of interesting history and historical sites. Beautiful beaches. Near Mayo Clinic for major medical if needed. Also, northeast Florida is much less prone to hurricanes historically than other areas of Florida as far as catastrophic direct hits. Any part of the state can experience tropical storm winds or Category 1 with side swipes or near misses but as far as a Major Cat 3, 4, 5 direct hit, it has never happened in historical records in this part of the state the coast north of Cape Canaveral.

smitcat
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by smitcat » Sat May 30, 2020 7:01 pm

mathwhiz wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 4:35 pm
Here are a few places that haven't been discussed you might think about. Marco Island south of Naples has a large beach condo market with reasonable valuations and when you are not using your condo some places allow you to rent them out weekly or monthly. There is still seasonable demand in the hot summer for vacation condos near the beach. You could recoup some of your costs. It's a nice island with all the basics, Publix, restaurants, doctors, etc.

Port Charlotte area around Rotonda is near the beach and has good values with golf if that is your thing. Make sure to look at flood zones carefully. I like Charlotte County as it is much less population than Sarasota and Lee to the north and south but still within reasonable driving distance for the bigger airports and hospitals if needed.

Babcock Ranch is a new "green" development powered by solar which is interesting and has a lot of new homes at reasonable prices.

Lakewood Ranch is a more established development east of Sarasota and Bradenton that is very nice and upscale.

Also, on the east coast, I really really really like the St. Augustine area. A lot of interesting history and historical sites. Beautiful beaches. Near Mayo Clinic for major medical if needed. Also, northeast Florida is much less prone to hurricanes historically than other areas of Florida as far as catastrophic direct hits. Any part of the state can experience tropical storm winds or Category 1 with side swipes or near misses but as far as a Major Cat 3, 4, 5 direct hit, it has never happened in historical records in this part of the state the coast north of Cape Canaveral.
"Also, northeast Florida is much less prone to hurricanes historically than other areas of Florida as far as catastrophic direct hits. Any part of the state can experience tropical storm winds or Category 1 with side swipes or near misses but as far as a Major Cat 3, 4, 5 direct hit, it has never happened in historical records in this part of the state the coast north of Cape Canaveral."
Agreed - but the area less likely to ever see a major storm starts a bit lower then Cape Canaveral.
More details here:
ttps://www.noaa.gov/stories/what-are-chances-h ... it-my-home

Unwinder
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by Unwinder » Sat May 30, 2020 7:05 pm

debrajo61 wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 10:59 am
Hello all, first hope everyone is safe during this trying time.

With time on my hands to do some research, and just returning from wintering in Florida and now sitting home n dreary dead midwest Illinois (no sun has shown since we returned ten days ago , which is typical for months during winter and personally I'm quite tired if after 60 years), we are now seriously considering a permanent move. IL has no bonus points we can think of at age 60.

We are both 60, healthy, retired federal govt with a combined pension of around $100,000k annually which we can easily live on presently. We have no debt and have approximately 2 million in assets which includes a paid off home valued at ~ $300,000 and both retirement and non retirement investments and cash on hand. Our two adult children are self sufficient thankfully, one in Colorado, with our 2 grandchildren, and one son, local to us. Our son and our few good friends and my husband's family (who he doesnt see much) are local, but other than our son (who has his own home, marriage, and life and is adamantthey do not want children(yes I know things could change)) we could leave it all behind. Both children have large enough homes for us to visit and there are always vrbos too.

We've spent the last four winters in Florida. Specifically, Anna Maria Island (not our vibe, too slow plus too expensiveto live), and St. Pete Beach and Treasure Island. We love both of these areas and the very laid back, unpretentious vibe, beaches, fests, farmers markets, etc. Very casual which we like.

We have not looked at property in the panhandle, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Dunedin, Redington Beach, Venice or similar but have visited all of these and are open to these. We want to be near a gulf coast beach, not necessarily on but within 20 minutes or so, and somewherethat has outdoor activities, markets, music, fests going on. Definitely not inland as in middle of state, the Villages, etc.

We have determined we are paying $3,600 over three months to leave our Illinois home empty while we are gone, plus approx $10,000 rent to go to Florida for 3 months annually. We understand this would be more a quality of life move (sun and outdoors does so much for mental health), not necessarily an investment. We are willing to spend up to $500,000 on a home, villa, condo (condo being least preferable option).
We are wondering if the market may drop in the coming year due to the current economic situation and give us a better buy. Yet to be seen....

For those of you who have taken this dive or looked into it, what are your pros, cons and lessons learned? Would you choose a 55+ community or no? What should be the biggest red flags we look for and questionsto ask? What areas do you recommend or not?

Again, any input or thoughts on this big change would be appreciated.
I'm all for moving to Florida whether you're retired or not. Cheaper prices for just about everything, lower taxes, etc. For the Gulf Coast area I really like Gulf Breeze and Pensacola, although the area around Destin is nice too.

jebmke
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by jebmke » Sat May 30, 2020 7:45 pm

backofbeyond wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 12:44 pm
I live in Fort Walton Beach, work on Eglin AFB, which is in the panhandle. Been here off and on for 12 years.

Pros: Beaches are the best in the world....no really. I've lived ALL over the world and nowhere is there better beaches. White sand, turquoise shallows into the deep blue. Very reasonable prices for renting and buying. $500k would buy you a really nice house...too big for two peeps if you ask me. I'm paying $1600 rent per month for a 4 bedroom house and pool, landlord hasn't increased the rent in 5 years. Grocery food is very cheap, especially vegetable. Nice shopping and IMAX is 30 mins down the road in Destin.

Cons: Besides the beach, not much to do. Biggest cities nearby are Panama City and Pensacola. Not much to do there either. Most of the people in our area are military, so they are here for 3 or 4 years and then go on to their next tour. Along the beach lots of small tourist bars and nice places to eat, go inland only 5 miles and you hit lower Alabama (ok 25 miles to Alabama) but 5 miles in is a whole different culture. Still relatively safe, but low income and without the sea breeze, very warm. We do have a nice airport, but it's small and for almost anywhere but NY and DC you have to fly to Atlanta for some type of connection. Any concerts you have to go to PC or Pen.

So the long and short, fairly boring if you don't love the beach or deep sea fishing.
I grew up on the panhandle. You're right, once you get off the beaches, it is a lot of wilderness. Some great wilderness areas though but you need to invest in a good pair of snakeproof boots and be willing to endure a lot of insect bites. the bugs are epic
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

Gill
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by Gill » Sat May 30, 2020 8:05 pm

Sailorgirl wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:29 pm
To me the best choice is too have a summer home in your home state within a few hours of your friends and grandchildren. Then rent a home in Florida for 6 months and a day over the winter season November 1 to May 2. This allows you to claim residency yet avoid the costs and hassles of a 60+ person during the hot extremely humid hurricane season.
There’s a bit more involved in having Florida and your original home state recognize you as a Florida resident. Simply renting a place in Florida for six months is not enough.
Gill
Cost basis is redundant. One has a basis in an investment | One advises and gives advice | One should follow the principle of investing one's principal

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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by bltn » Sat May 30, 2020 8:42 pm

Look at Walton County in the panhandle. Between Panama City Beach and Destin. You can get closer to the Gulf for a better price there. In our neighborhood of small homes which includes one street of beach front lots, our yearly hoa fee just went up to 695.00!!

I m amused by all the people who warn about the summer heat. I dont know about downstate Illinois, but I always thought the summers in St Louis were pretty hot. I didn t hear people fussing about the heat there. A year after moving to Florida the summer weather won t bother you.

I would avoid senior living facilities. And I would try to find a home in a non rental neighborhood. Your home in a non rental area will feel less touristy.

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Mel Lindauer
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by Mel Lindauer » Sun May 31, 2020 12:45 am

Gill wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 8:05 pm
Sailorgirl wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:29 pm
To me the best choice is too have a summer home in your home state within a few hours of your friends and grandchildren. Then rent a home in Florida for 6 months and a day over the winter season November 1 to May 2. This allows you to claim residency yet avoid the costs and hassles of a 60+ person during the hot extremely humid hurricane season.
There’s a bit more involved in having Florida and your original home state recognize you as a Florida resident. Simply renting a place in Florida for six months is not enough.
Gill
Yes, there's a laundry list from which you'll need three. Can't remember them all, but they include:
A Florida driver's license (just exchange your old state's license for a new Florida license and you're good to go).
A voter registration card (register to vote in Florida).
A car registered and insured in Florida.
Homesteading your home gives your protection against increases in assessed value of more than 3% or the cost of living, whichever is LOWER. And also you get some homestead exemptions, depending on your age and income, among others.
Best Regards - Mel | | Semper Fi

HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Sun May 31, 2020 12:52 am

St. George Island is my favorite place in the United States.

barberakb
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by barberakb » Sun May 31, 2020 2:53 am

Have you gone there in the summer? The heat/humidity kills it for me. I like FL except for the summer. Its brutal.
Was there for 3 years and dont plan on going back.

mathwhiz
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by mathwhiz » Sun May 31, 2020 9:40 am

Yes, some states such as New York are very aggressive at investigating seasonal residents who say they live in Florida 6 months +1. They will demand utility bills, flight records, medical records for doctor appointments to prove you actually live in Florida.

I think being in Florida 6 months +1 day and another state 5 months and 29 days is a little too cute and would prefer a more defensible margin of error. It would be safer to commit to Florida for 8-9 months and just leave for the hottest months (June to September).
Mel Lindauer wrote:
Sun May 31, 2020 12:45 am
Gill wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 8:05 pm
Sailorgirl wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:29 pm
To me the best choice is too have a summer home in your home state within a few hours of your friends and grandchildren. Then rent a home in Florida for 6 months and a day over the winter season November 1 to May 2. This allows you to claim residency yet avoid the costs and hassles of a 60+ person during the hot extremely humid hurricane season.
There’s a bit more involved in having Florida and your original home state recognize you as a Florida resident. Simply renting a place in Florida for six months is not enough.
Gill
Yes, there's a laundry list from which you'll need three. Can't remember them all, but they include:
A Florida driver's license (just exchange your old state's license for a new Florida license and you're good to go).
A voter registration card (register to vote in Florida).
A car registered and insured in Florida.
Homesteading your home gives your protection against increases in assessed value of more than 3% or the cost of living, whichever is LOWER. And also you get some homestead exemptions, depending on your age and income, among others.


bayview
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by bayview » Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:12 am

"Least Safest"? :shock:

Well, for us grammar Nazis, I guess. :oops:
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri

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F150HD
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by F150HD » Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:09 pm

bayview wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:12 am
"Least Safest"? :shock:

Well, for us grammar Nazis, I guess. :oops:
Hay, I didun't wrote that thar artikle. :beer

bayview
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Re: Pros/Cons on Retiring to Florida Gulf Coast & Recommended Areas Input Please

Post by bayview » Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:26 pm

F150HD wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:09 pm
bayview wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:12 am
"Least Safest"? :shock:

Well, for us grammar Nazis, I guess. :oops:
Hay, I didun't wrote that thar artikle. :beer
:D :sharebeer

I did realize that (it’s written that way on the linked CBS video.)
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri

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