So your eyes are set on Florida—the subtropical paradise and home to endless gorgeous beaches. Who wouldn’t want to live in a place that makes you feel like you’re on vacation every single day?
Still, moving to Florida is a big deal. And you’ll have a ton of decisions to make before and after you move there.
But don’t worry. We’ll help you unpack all the relocation info you need—including Florida’s pros and cons, cost of living, schools, jobs, places to live and things to do—so you can make confident decisions all along the way.
Bust out that suntan lotion and let’s get started!
Why Are People Moving to Florida?
Here are the primary reasons people moved to Florida:
- Retirement (39%)
- Job (23%)
- Lifestyle (21%)
- Family (17%)3
Pros and Cons of Moving to Florida
If you can’t quite decide whether Florida is right for you, try comparing the pros and cons of moving there to see if any outweigh the others.
- No state income tax
- 825 miles of sandy beaches4
- Warm and sunny weather
- World-class amusement parks
- Scorching heat and humidity
- Hurricanes and rainfall
- Flat landscape (if you like hills)
- Bugs, gators and snakes—oh my!
What Do I Need to Do When Moving to Florida?
Okay, now let’s cover some of the basic relocation info you need to know when moving to Florida.
Know the Climate
If you’re moving from a cooler region to Florida, you might want a heads up on the typical climate. Sure, Florida is known as a sunny beach destination. But living there can be hotter and rainier than you might think.
- Temperatures: Florida has a mostly humid subtropical climate—with temperatures generally ranging between 60–80º F.5 Summers can feel extremely hot. But at least you can cool off in the ocean!
- Rainfall: While Florida does get plenty of rain, the odds are still in your favor. On average, it’s not raining 70% of the time—that’s over 250 days to play in the sun.6
- Seasons: Florida really only has two seasons—wet and dry. The wet season typically kicks off in May, while the dry season starts in October. Usually only the northern parts of Florida can get cold enough to see some light snow in winter.
- Hurricanes: Not to scare you, but hurricanes are a thing in Florida. Hurricane season runs from June through November.7 So flooding and crazy windstorms can occur. But there are live weather services available to help keep you advised and safe.
Know the Taxes
One of the best perks of living in Florida is that it has zero state income tax!8 Still, Florida does have a state sales tax rate, but it’s only ranked as the 22nd highest in the country for total sales tax.9
Find expert agents to help you buy your home.
The downside is that Florida has one of the highest taxes in the country on cellphone use, alcohol and gas.10
Moving to a new state can sometimes complicate your taxes. If you want help knowing exactly how moving to Florida will impact your taxes, connect with one of our trusted tax advisors.
Know the Cost of Living
Okay, the next best thing to do is to get familiar with the cost of living in Florida. Relocating can impact your budget big time! So make sure you can afford changes in living expenses like housing, utilities, food and health care.
If you already have some Florida cities in mind where you’d like to live, use our cost of living calculator to instantly compare average expenses between your current city and your potential new city.
Choose a City
After you identify some Florida cities you can afford, it’s time to pick one! Don’t worry—there are a ton of great options when it comes to finding a dream location in Florida.
For inspiration, research and compare lists on the best places to live in Florida to see which city stands out to you most.
Next, let’s look at jobs. Good news! The Florida economy is looking healthy—in fact, in the summer of 2021, Florida saw one of the largest job gains in the country!11
If you don’t already have a gig lined up, you can find jobs in Florida using online job boards like LinkedIn and Indeed. Who knows, this may be your chance to find your dream job!
Now, if you’re an entrepreneur and plan to start or expand a business in Florida, make sure to register your company with the state and county. This is a must whether your business is at home or online.
If you’re moving with kiddos, finding the best school districts in Florida is probably on the top of your list. Try using online tools like GreatSchools that rate and compare different schools in any area to help you pick the right one for junior.
Fun fact: Many schools in Florida teach our Foundations in Personal Finance curriculum—also available for homeschooling—which teaches your teen how to handle money the right way so they can pay cash for their car and graduate debt-free.
Let’s say you have a general idea of where you’d like to live in Florida. Now what? Unless you’ll be renting for a while, your next step is to find your Florida home!
Just make sure you can afford the area. Here’s a snapshot of what housing prices are like in Florida:
Florida Median Housing Prices
For help finding a house in Florida that’s within your budget, work with an agent who knows the area like the back of their hand. For a quick and easy way to find the best real estate agents in Florida, try our Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program. We only recommend agents who meet Ramsey’s high standards for excellence.
Update License and Registration
Now, let’s not forget your car (or van, or motorcycle or bus?). Whatever it is you’ll be driving in Florida, you’ll need to go through the annoying hassle of getting a new driver's license and vehicle registration—same as moving anywhere else. Visit the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website (basically Florida’s DMV) to punch that off your moving checklist.
What Is There to Do in Florida?
Here are some of the exciting adventures you have waiting for you in Florida:
- Walt Disney World® Resort (four world-class theme parks in Orlando)
- Universal Orlando Resort (three theme parks and home of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter)
- SeaWorld Orlando
- LEGOLAND® Florida Resort (just outside of Orlando and Tampa)
- Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
- Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (east coast)
- Gatorland (central Florida)
- Everglades National Park (southern tip of Florida)
- Swamp airboat rides
- Bioluminescent (glowing water) kayaking
You get the idea—there are thousands of things to do all over Florida! Now go have some fun!
How Much Should I Save Before Moving to Florida?
If your moving cost estimates start sounding too high, tighten up your budget and search for the cheapest ways to move out of state.
Is Florida the Right Move for You?
If the pros outweigh the cons for you, then go for it! But if you want to follow what we teach at Ramsey, make sure you can afford the cost of living before you move—especially by making sure your monthly housing payments will be no more than 25% of your monthly take-home pay.
If you’re getting a mortgage, that 25% limit includes principal, interest, property taxes, home insurance, private mortgage insurance (PMI) and don’t forget to consider homeowners association (HOA) fees. Use our mortgage calculator to enter your down payment amount and try out different home prices within your budget.
If you want a mortgage you can pay off fast, talk to the home loan specialists we trust at Churchill Mortgage about getting a 15-year fixed-rate conventional loan. Any other type of mortgage will cost you so much more in extra interest and fees and keep you in debt for decades.
Find a Florida Real Estate Agent
If you’re ready to move to Florida, the next step on your relocation journey is to find a real estate agent. For a fast and easy way to find Florida agents we trust, try our Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program. We only recommend agents who are on a mission to help you crush your relocation goals.