Florida, Retirement Journey

A Move to Florida?

coconut trees
Photo by Nextvoyage on Pexels.com

My husband and I have money meetings every Saturday morning to discuss our savings goals, plans for the year, etc.  Mostly we dream about the day my husband retires.  Today, instead of reflecting on the stock market losses, we started reflecting on our monthly expenses and how they would change if we moved to Florida.

We found this site that compares locations economically.  Here is how it came out.

Comparison Highlights:

– Overall, Northern Virginia is 48.0% more expensive than Sarasota, Florida
– Median Home Cost is the biggest factor in the cost of living difference.
– Median Home Cost is 108% more expensive in Northern Virginia.

Cost of Living Indexes Northern Virginia Florida Difference
Overall Index: Homeowner 152 102.7 48.0% less
Food & Groceries 114.1 106.5 7.1% less
Housing (Homeowner) 238.4 114.4 108.4% less
Income Taxes* (number reflective of what we will live on) $6,500 $0.00 $6,500 less
Home Price Average $515,000 $228,300 $286,700 (108.4% less)
Utilities 94.2 97.4 3.4% less
Transportation 127.6 90.0 40.4% less
Health 99.9 97.6 2.4% less
Sunny Days 199 257 58 more
Personal Property Tax 4.13 per $100 in value N/A 100% less
Miscellaneous – clothing, entertainment, etc. 114.2 101 13.1% less

100 = US Average. (Below 100 means cheaper than the US average. Above 100 means more expensive.)

Although Sarasota, FL is higher than the US average in most categories, it is lower than where we are living now.

Of course there are other factors that go into a move, but financially it appears that moving to Florida would  help our wallet. (The extra 58 days of sunshine doesn’t hurt either! 😉 )

And that’s a good thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Florida, Retirement

Mother Nature’s Apology and a Retirement Epiphany.

person spreading hands against sun
Pexels.com

After the polar vortex last week, this week has been a dream.  (Mother Nature – you are forgiven).  We’ve experienced sunshine and temps all the way up to 72 degrees.  Yesterday I started some 5K training on my 3 miler route and I felt amazing.

And then it happened.  My epiphany.  I NEED sunshine and warmth to feel good. Of course I’ve always known this, which is why I sit under a light therapy lamp every morning in the winter.  But this time the answer to my retirement housing conundrum came to me as clear as day.

I’ve been struggling with where I’m going to live in retirement.  My health and well being seem to improve with the sunshine.  Yesterday’s run (jog) solidified the answer.  I need to spend winters some place warm.  My pick? The gulf coast of Florida.  A single family home large enough to house family and friends.  There are two cities I already am familiar with and LOVE.   Of course I will need to research everything from taxes to healthcare before I dive into such a large investment.  My daughter lived in that area for over 3 years, so I will start with her insights.

I still want a place here in Virginia to be close to my family the other half of the year, and it has now become clear as to what kind of housing that will be.  Of course, in order for it to work, both homes will be have to be paid off before my husband retires.  I guess we shall see.

I’m happy to have a vision and a direction in which to move forward. It may not work out, but at least I have a clearer picture of how I want retirement to look.

Time to do some research.

If you live in Florida, please share your thoughts!