Florida attracts more and more new residents each year with its beautiful beaches, warm weather, and plenty of recreational activities. An added bonus for some is the lack of a state income tax, along with a diverse population and a decent food scene especially in some of the bigger cities like Miami.
Despite its reputation, Florida is not just a destination for retirees (although there are plenty of restaurants serving early bird specials for that crowd). Younger people are drawn to the relaxed lifestyle and homeownership opportunities.
While the thought of moving anywhere new can be daunting, we’re here to provide you with all the key facts you need to know before making your new home in Florida.
Why Move to Florida?
There are many great reasons to move to Florida, including:
- Diverse Culture – People from all over the world and a mix of cultures call Florida their home. You can find people who trace their heritage back to the original Seminole Tribe as well as descendants of the Spanish settlers who founded St. Augustine way back in the year 1565. Each culture brings their own flavor to the different parts of the state.
- Weather – With 200 sunny days a year, there’s almost no need for sweaters or winter coats in most parts of Florida. Although it can rain, especially from May-October, Floridians definitely benefit from the extra Vitamin D they get from spending so much time outdoors.
- Tax Benefits – Florida is famous for its 0% state income tax. Residents still have to pay federal taxes, of course, but people love the extra disposable income they may gain by moving to Florida.
- Beaches – Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world can be found in Florida. While the more popular beaches are found in the southern part of the state, you’re not really too far from a beach no matter where in Florida you are located.
How Much Does it Cost to Move to Florida?
The average cost of moving to Florida is $400 to $15000 and up.
Of course, the cost is dependent on where you are coming from and how much stuff you have, but the table below will help you start to plan your budget:
|Type of Service||1 Bedroom||2-3 Bedrooms||4-5 Bedrooms|
|DIY/Truck Rental||$400 – $2300||$750 – $4150||$1500 – $4900|
|Moving Container||$700 – $2800||$1100 – $4950||$2300 – $7800|
|Full Service||$1200 – $3800||$1700 – $8700||$3400 – $15200|
What are the Pros and Cons of Moving to Florida?
What’s the Cost of Living in Florida?
A family of four (2 working parents and 2 children) needs to earn approximately $100,000 to make ends meet in Florida.
While there are plenty of more affordable communities in Florida, some of the bigger and more popular cities are driving up the average cost of living across the state. Miami, for example, was ranked number two of the most expensive cities to live in the United States.
Homes across the state are selling for a median price of $407,000 and rents average between $1800-3000 depending on location.
Utility bills in Florida average 3% higher than the national average, with residents of most cities paying over $100 per month. Food costs are also going up statewide, with a typical grocery store bill increasing by 15% from 2020 to 2022.
It’s not all bad news, though, as transportation costs are lower than in other parts of the country. We’ve already mentioned the zero-income tax which is a boost to people’s bottom lines, and property taxes are also right around the national average, not too high and not too low.
Where are the Best Cities to Live in Florida?
Florida is a big state with tons of different cities, each offering its own unique flavor and opportunities. Whether you are already bound for a particular city or if you are open to choice, the following is a review of 10 of the most popular cities in different parts of the state:
Located in the Panhandle, Pensacola is home to a number of military bases. It has a small-town vibe and easy access to white-sand beaches on the Gulf Coast. The city’s schools are highly-ranked and it’s a great destination for a young family looking to settle down.
Jacksonville is Florida’s most populated city, located in the north of the state. With over 8 million people, there are plenty of diverse neighborhoods and lots of rich cultural opportunities. The cost of living in Jacksonville is lower than the state’s average.
If being near the beach is less important, then Tallahassee might be right for you. Home to Florida State University, the city has a college-town vibe with a fun-loving nightlife scene.
This central Florida city, perfect for those considering moving to Orlando, boasts way more than just Disney World (although that in itself is a huge draw to some, children and adults alike!). It also has a growing technology sector, good schools, and is an up-and-coming place for both retirees and young families.
5. St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg is in the western part of Florida, in the Tampa Bay area (but without the Tampa traffic). This city is known for its diversity and vibrant downtown area that hosts festivals and events throughout the year.
Tampa is right at the center of the bustling Tampa Bay area. It’s home to football’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is known for its active professional sports scene. Tampa is currently experiencing a growing job market and it also has a wide range of locally-owned restaurants.
7. Fort Myers
Fort Myers is located on the Gulf Coast, a central location that makes it easy to travel to Orland, Miami and lots of other areas of the state. While it’s a small town with less than 100,000 residents, Fort Myers has a diverse community with a lot of ex-pats and opportunities to explore other cultures.
A popular destination for retirees and tourists, Sarasota is known for its world-class beaches (such as Siesta Key) and outdoor activities. Because of its small size and growing popularity, housing purchase and rental prices are a bit higher than in other cities.
9. Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale is a family-oriented city with a developing job market and is a great choice for young families and professionals. Over 40,000 residents of Fort Lauderdale actually live on the water, on one of the many inland waterways that have given the city the nickname the Venice of America.
Of course, this list would not be complete without Miami. Although its population is only half that of Jacksonville, Miami is probably the most well-known city in Florida. Its large metropolitan area offers lots of cultural and recreational activities for both tourists and residents. The city is also known for its Spanish-speaking culture with a large population of Colombian, Cuban, and Mexican immigrants.
How is the Job Market in Florida?
The job market is strong in Florida, especially as compared to the rest of the country. Since December 2020, unemployment in the state has been lower than the national unemployment rate.
The state’s largest employer is supermarket chain Publix, but there are also many jobs in the state’s various theme parks as well as with cruise lines.
Because of the favorable tax conditions, Florida is an attractive place for many companies and there are growing opportunities in industries including aviation, cleantech, defense, manufacturing and high tech.
What is Florida Most Known for?
As the only state that borders both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, Florida is famous for its beaches. Floridians love to take advantage of the sea for everything from water sports to fishing to sunbathing.
There is no shortage of outdoor activities in the state, but there are also plenty of museums and other cultural attractions.
- Florida also hosts a number of annual festivals including:
- Miami International Film Festival
- Sarasota Film Festival
- Art Basel Miami Beach
- The South Beach Wine and Food Festival
- Tampa Bay Blues Festival serve to show off the state’s diverse musical and culinary talents.
Of course, there is also the Kennedy Space Center where NASA missions are launched. Tourists and residents flock to the center to learn about the space program, and the lucky ones get to watch real live rocket launches. Theme park enthusiasts love Florida as it is home to Walt Disney World, Epcot Center, Universal Studios and more.
What are the Best Schools and Universities in Florida?
The top universities in Florida include University of Miami, University of Florida, and Florida State University. U of Miami and U of Florida are also ranked in the top 100 universities in the United States at 49 and 54 respectively. Florida was also ranked by US News & World Report as the number one state for higher education from 2017-2021.
The top performing school districts for school age children are among the best in the country, but there is a fairly wide gap between the “good” school districts and the ones with lower performance. The state government has expressed a commitment to working to improve educational standards in the state.
What is a comfortable salary in Florida? Can I live on $80k?
A family of 4 needs to earn an average of $100,000 per year before taxes to make ends meet. Of course, this number can vary greatly depending on where exactly one lives and what one’s standard of living is. In some areas of the state, especially as a single person or a retiree, $80,000 would afford you a fantastic lifestyle.
Is it worthwhile to move to Florida?
If you love sunny weather and can live with the fear of hurricanes or alligators, Florida may just be the place for you! Although the cost of living in major cities like Miami can be more expensive, there are many parts of Florida that offer more affordable housing making it very worthwhile to move there.
What are the benefits of moving to Florida?
People are drawn to Florida because of the sunshine, tax savings, and relatively affordable housing opportunities.
How much does it cost to move to Florida?
Moving to Florida will cost different amounts depending on your point of origin and the amount of belongings you intend to take with you. Our moving cost calculator can help you figure out estimated costs.
So…Will Florida be Your New Home?
What could be bad about waking up to sunny skies and a beach view most days of the year? Of course, it’s not all fun and games and there’s a serious side to Florida as well with high-ranking universities and job opportunities in a range of industries.
All that’s left is for you to choose the city that best suits your needs and find the best out of state movers to help you get there.