Retire to Florida

 

My mom and dad retired to Florida in 1971 which was the year that I graduated from high school. On the same day that I left for college, Mom and Dad left to Florida in search of the first page in the next chapter of their lives. One moment I was a kid and they were watching out for me and they were in charge then the next thing you know they had packed a moving van and I packed my car and we were about to both head in different directions. 

It was a poignant moment in my life that I will never forget. Even now as I write this I can still see the shady driveway, smell the green grass and pachysandra, and feel the spotty sun struggling to get through the tall trees that surrounded our small brick home in New Jersey. 

I had never even visited Florida, and here was where my parents moving to? Why? Why Florida?

 

Dad worked hard his entire life and then when he retired he  worked hard at that too. By all measures he was as successful retiree. He never ran out of money or things to do. He and Mom traveled, fished, made lots of friends, and spent 25 years in healthy retirement. They chose Florida and never regretted their decision.

 



Should you choose Florida for your retirement? 

I of course, would say yes. Here are some reasons that Mom and Dad chose Florida and why they said YES!

 

  1. No income tax. Florida, along with six other states, does not tax your income.
  2. Weather. Mom had asthma and the northern winters were horrible for her.
  3. Fishing.  Dad fished about ten months a year in New Jersey, but he froze for at least four of those months. In Florida he fished every week.
  4. Affordability.  Dad was so proud of his low cost of living he carried a 3 by 5 index card in his wallet with his average property taxes, utility bills, and other monthly expenses.
  5. The Water. For dad it was the fishing, for mom it was the shells, the birds, the breezes, and all of this was around the water.
  6. The People.  If you have a special interest, there is a club here for you
  7. Visitors. If you retire to Florida, your friends from up North will visit you.  Be prepared!  You will not be lonely.
  8. The Golf.  There are more golf courses per capita in Florida than any where else in the world.
  9. The Attractions. Because Florida is such a big tourist state it has more than enough things to do: fine and casual dining, museums, theme parks, and  shopping galore
  10. Schools. It may seem off to want to retire where there are good universities, but universities are great engines for growth.
  11. Medical facilities.  Some of the finest medical services IN THE WORLD are in Florida.