Retiring in Florida? Here’s How To Make The Most of It

Florida is becoming a hotbed for retirees across the country. The population of retired folk is expected to reach 4.5 million by 2020, and that number is only going up. It’s not hard to see why, either. Florida has more sun, lower taxes, and enough sandy beaches to last a lifetime. The perfect state for relaxing, Florida enjoys a pleasant tropical climate all year round. With so many benefits to retiring in The Sunshine State, you’ll need to do some planning to really make the most of it.

Relax Responsibly

What’s the first word that comes to mind when people mention retirement? That’s right, relaxation. With white sandy beaches covering more than two-thirds of Florida’s perimeter, you’re rarely more than an hour drive from the nearest beach. That means sun-tanning, napping on the sand, or taking a dip in the warm ocean water can be daily activities. And if sitting around on the beach isn’t your thing, Florida also has a plethora of fishing spots from which to choose.

Reinvigorate an Active Lifestyle

Relaxing is well-deserved amongst the retirement community. But what many don’t realize about Florida retirees is that they are an active bunch. What begins as a relaxing day on the beach may transform into long walks and exploring new terrains. If hiking sounds enticing, know that Florida is home to many national parks. Including:

  • Everglades National Park
  • Big Cypress National Preserve
  • Dry Tortugas National Park
  • Biscayne National Park
  • Canaveral National Seashore

Apart from hiking, there’s snorkeling, festive dancing, workshops, and plenty of local art festivals to keep you on your feet and moving.

Make Friends Fast

Because of the increasing retirement population, there will be plenty of like-minded people around to share a drink with. The local Floridians are known to be a cheerful, talkative bunch who are more than happy to direct newbies to must-see sites.

Splurge a Little!

By now, you’ve worked hard for the greater half of your life. It’s time to live a little and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Maybe there’s a new suit or dress you’ve had your eye on for a while. Or maybe there’s a luxury car over at that Audi dealer near Lake Butler. Maybe you want to enjoy the open water, and make your first Tommy’s boat purchase. Wherever your partiality lies, now is the time to treat yourself. You deserve it.

Do What the Tourists Do

Florida has a flourishing tourist economy for good reason. There are plenty of attractions to keep you engaged for years to come. To name a few:

  • Kennedy Space Center – Where Americans were first launched into space, this historical museum is open to visitors for daytime exploration or the chance to train like an astronaut.
  • Miami – Feel the excitement and energy-filled streets of downtown Miami.
  • Art Deco Historic District – Enjoy a beautiful setting for walking the streets during the day and at night. Here, there are plenty of restaurants on beachfront properties to explore.
  • Walt Disney World and Magic Kingdom Park – Feel like a kid again amongst all the delight and excitement. This is a perfect place to visit when the family comes to town.

Housing in Florida

Those coming to Florida from out of state always have the same tough question to answer. Should you sell your house once you move? Many new Floridians choose to stay year-round during their retirement. For them, selling makes sense. With plenty of small towns to choose from, housing can be found relatively cheap in Florida.

Dive into Florida’s Rich History

History buffs are gladly welcomed in Florida. With such a rich history to explore, you’ll never find yourself too far from a historical site. A few to consider:

  • Castillo de San Marcos – This national monument was once the largest masonry fort in the United States. It went through many government occupancies, including the Spanish Empire, Britain, and the U.S.
  • St. Augustine – Not only is this city home to Castillo de San Marcos, but also the oldest wooden classroom, the Fountain of Youth, and plenty of pirate treasure to keep you occupied.
  • Key West – The U.S.’s most southern city and home of roaming chickens, six-toed cats, and Ernest Hemingway’s former residence.

What Are You Waiting For?

Whether you enjoy relaxing under the sun or a day full of activities, Florida has it all. With warm, tropical climates all year round and plenty of national parks to keep one’s mind and body occupied, retiring here makes sense.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.