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Florida Retirement

When most people think about where they want to retire, they consider Florida retirement. It's one of the most popular retirement destinations in the US. With its mild climate, sandy beaches and a golf season that lasts nearly 365 days a year, many retirees find florida retirement communities the ideal place to spend their golden years.

Since 1980, Floridas population has grown by an average of 873 residents a day. In fact, 23% of Floridas total population consists of people over the age of 60. The counties with the largest percentages of people age 65 and older are Charlotte (35%), Highlands (33%), Citrus (32%), and Sarasota (31%).

Florida is one of seven states that impose no individual income tax which is one of the many reasons why so many retirees choose to call Florida home.

Florida has 1300 miles of coastline, thousands of miles of rolling countryside and cities of every size. In the past, the only affordable choice for retirees was mobile home living. But with the steady influx of people wanting to retire here, developers have designed affordable alternatives like manufactured home communities that are set on a foundation and are virtually indistinguishable from on site built homes.

If you're considering Florida Retirement, consider these facts:

The Pros:

Homestead Exemption: Florida residents are entitled to property tax exemptions of up to $25,000 on the assessed value of owner-or dependent-occupied homesteads. An application must be filed with the County Property Appraiser between January and March of the tax year in order to receive these exemptions.

Climate: If you'd like to retire in Florida, you're going to love the weather. Winter temperatures range from an average of 51 degrees F in the north to 70 degrees F along the southern Atlantic coast. Average summer temperatures are a pretty much the same all over the state ranging in the mid-to-low 80s. Precipitation is about 50 inches annually, most of the rain occurs during the summer months. With a year-round semi-tropical climate, lots of sunshine, moderate rainfall, lots of fresh water lakes, 1300 miles of coastline, and NO snow and ice Florida is a great place to call home.

The Cons:

Homeowners Insurance : Although Florida is pretty well known for hurricanes, when you consider the size of Florida, (361 miles east to west and 447 miles north to south) and that it is the second largest state east of the Mississippi, the odds of a hurricane damaging your home is rather small but dont get me wrong, it is still a very real possibility. As a result, homeowners have a much higher insurance rate than other states. There was a bill just passed by the Florida legislature, however, that is supposed to lower the cost of insurance by as much as 20% but you will need to check the rates before you decide to buy.

Escalating Real Estate Prices: Florida experienced a huge growth in the median home price. According to FAR (Florida Association of Realtors), Floridas median sales price for existing homes in March 2008 was $198,900; a year ago, it was $239,000 which was a 17 percent decrease. But, in April 2003, the statewide median sales price for single-family homes was $151,900. Thats an increase of about 30.9 percent over the five-year-period, according to FAR records. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

One of the most popular retirement destinations in not just Florida but in the entire country is The Villages where you can play golf for free for the rest of you life. You can read more about it here: The Villages

If you are considering Florida Retirement, recently, Jacksonville was named by Money magazine as one of the top 35 large metro best areas to retire. The metro area covers an area of about 1120 square miles which makes it largest city when it comes to overall area in the lower 48.

To make Florida more affordable, many retirees are turning to Mobile Home Retirement Communities. These are scattered throughout Florida and many have quite a few of the same amenities as some of the larger site-built retirement communities.

If you are interested in an Active Adult Community, check out these pages:

Active Adult Communities in Florida - North

Active Adult Communities in Florida - Central

Active Adult Communities in Florida - South

If you shop around and do your homework, you can find Florida retirement living to be very comfortable and affordable.

Things to consider when thinking about Florida Retirement:

Median Home Price: $149,291

Personal Income Tax: No

Sales Tax: Yes
Florida levies a 6 percent sales tax.

Counties impose additional sales surtaxes in half-percent increments.

For vehicle and mobile home sales, the applicable surtax rate is that of the county where the vehicle will be registered.

Property Tax: Yes
Property, or ad valorem, taxation provides local government funding in Florida. The Property Tax Administration Program, or PTA, administers the assessment and collection of taxes on all real, personal and centrally assessed property.

If you purchase a home in Florida, the tax is based upon the just or fair market value of the property. Ad valorem taxes are assessed and collected annually by the county property appraiser.

A $25,000 homestead exemption is available to homeowners who meet certain requirements, mainly that the property is the taxpayer's primary residence. Additional exemptions are also available in several other taxpayer situations.

Inheritance and Estate Tax:
No Inheritance Tax and limited Florida Estate Tax related to Federal Estate Tax collection.

For More Information: Contact the Florida Department of Revenue Service Center website

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