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Florida Is Losing Its Retirees – Why Are They Leaving?

Source: Reddit/ NPR

Florida was previously regarded as one of the best places for people to rest after years of work. But things are changing fast. 

Lots of retirees are fleeing the Sunshine State. But why? Social analysts have answers for us.  

Will it surprise you to hear that Florida is the top state where people are moving to? For many reasons, one of which was their pro-business stance during the Covid-19 pandemic, more people have moved to Florida in the past few years than any other state in the country.  

Among the states who have lost residents to the sunshine state, New York tops the list. Over 91,000 people fled the state for Florida in 2021. In the same year, Florida received over 674,000 new residents from other parts of the country.  

As Florida receives new residents from other states, retirees are having a tough time. Most of the immigrants are wealthy and remote workers who are coming into the state with lots of money to spend on buying new homes. This has led to an increase in home prices. 

With more people coming in ready to spend more on new homes, sellers have taken advantage of the opportunity to jack up their prices. Also, the arrival of new residents has increased the demand for new homes and, as a result, jacked up their prices.  

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There is a gap between the financial power of many remote workers who are moving into the state and fixed-income earners who have lived there for a long time. This difference has made it almost impossible for these fixed-income earners to compete for homes on retirement.  

In five years, the average price of Florida single-family houses has jumped by 60%. In 2018, the median cost of a home was $250,000; now, it has increased to over $400,000. This new price is way beyond the reach of seniors who retired from fixed-income salaries and had planned to live independently in a retirement home.  

As the option of buying retirement homes became less favorable, senior living options became the next best choice. They are also the priority option for retirees and seniors who don’t want to live alone. These, too, have been affected by higher demands. Their waiting lists now have up to 600 people at a time. 

Florida is going through worse inflation than most other states due to the rising costs of housing. Residents have had to survive under 9 percent inflation which has affected the cost of almost everything. In the housing sector, costs of building materials have risen to alarming levels as well as the wages of construction workers. This environment isn’t the right one for retirees.  

Retirees are also leaving because of rising insurance costs. Dutch Mendenhall explains how rising inflation is especially bad news for retirees. “Higher auto and home insurance along with a 7% sales tax on already high-inflation goods can put a strain on retirement income,” he started.  

Florida, even with its friendly weather and nice beaches, has lost its status as a dream location for retirement. Sequin, Washington, Linden, Michigan, and Limestone County, Alabama, were the favorite destinations for Florida retirees. Limestone County especially shares the warmth of Florida’s weather and the lakeside views but with much lower taxes and cost of living. 

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Kate Row
Written By Kate Row

Kate is a writer from San Diego. She studied English and Psychology at Northern Arizona University. Since graduating, she has discovered her passion for writing engaging and topical content. In her free time, she enjoys spending time at the beach, going to concerts, reading, and traveling as much as possible.

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