Better State California or Florida?

Which is a Better State to Live In, Florida or California?

To find out, I did a state to state comparison of the differences between California and Florida on 10 quality of life factors.

I used factors that important to most of us such as a state’s healthcare quality and cost of living.

These factors have been measured and reported by reputable government and nonprofit sources.

Here’s a comparison of living in Florida vs California, based on these 10 quality of life factors.

  1. Cost of living
  2. Economy
  3. Taxes
  4. Health care quality
  5. Crime rates
  6. Education
  7. Weather
  8. Beaches
  9. Resident happiness
  10. Natural disasters

Our first quality of life comparison: The cost of living

people shopping farmers market

1) California Vs Florida Cost of Living

The cost of living in Florida is higher than it is in most US states according to public government reporting, including the US Census Bureau. The cost of living in California is the 2nd highest in the entire country. Only Hawaii is more expensive. So although Florida is an expensive place to live compared to most states, it still is less expensive than living in California.

Cost of Living Advantage: Florida.


2) California vs Florida Which has the Better Economy?

The majority of people reading this article are probably not independently wealthy. Most of you will probably have to find employment to pay your bills, or you’re retired counting on fixed income payments to pay your bills. So a good economy for those who need jobs and those who who are retired who may think they will never need another job (unfortunately this can change), may consider the state that offers better job opportunities, as the state with the best economy for them.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in California in October 2017 in Florida was 3.6%. This was the 16th lowest rate in the US. California’s unemployment rate was 4.9%, putting it in 41st place.

Better Economy Advantage: Florida

florida move guide book cover and discription

Next comparison: Taxes

3) California vs Florida on Taxes

According to the Tax Foundation, Florida’s combined state and local tax burden is 8.9%. This places Florida at the 34th highest rate out of the 50 states. So taxes take a lower bite out of your income in Florida than in most US states. California’s overall tax rate is estimated at 11% total making it the 6th highest of all US states. Florida also does not require citizens to file a personal income tax because it doesn’t collect one which makes it easier and cheaper for Florida residents at tax filing time. The higher your income, the more of an advantage living in Florida is when it comes to taxes.

Tax Advantage: Florida.


Next comparison: Health Care

hospital emergency entrance

4) California Vs Florida Health Care

According the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Florida’s healthcare quality is lower than most states, coming in with a #30 ranking out of 50 states. This is an improvement over much lower rankings in years past, so the state seems to be on the right track even though it’s still ranked lower than most states in the country. The quality of care in California is rated even lower than Florida at #42.

Better Health Care Quality Advantage: Florida.


Next comparison: Crime Rates

5) California Vs Florida Crime rate

How safe will you be as you walk along the beach or take a walk in your neighborhood? According to public reporting by the FBI, the overall crime rate in Florida makes it the 39th safest state in which to live. California has a higher crime rate overall that most other US states, but its 31rst place ranking puts it ahead of Florida.

Lower Crime Advantage: California.


Next comparison: Education

6) California vs Florida Education K-12

If you have school-age children, the education you kids will get from kindergarten through high school in both California and Florida will be below average according to the research center Education Week. The report does place Florida a few notches above California.

However, ratings of individual schools can vary widely by school district, and even within the same district. Ratings also vary greatly from one rating organization to the next. I recommend through before moving kids away from family, friends and schools until you consider the effects it may have as well as the chances of the move working out. Too many move to Florida only to move again after realizing it was a mistake.

Education advantage Florida


Next comparison: Weather…

7) California Vs Florida Weather

Many people think of California and Florida as both being warm and sunny. However, if you look at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data on humidity and days of sunshine, these two states do not have very similar weather. California has far more sunny days per year, and the humidity is far more likely to be in our human comfort range daily.

Better Weather Advantage: California.


Next comparison: Beaches

sunny day white sand beach

8)  California Vs Florida Beaches

Dr Beach has named more Florida beaches on his top 10 best beach’s list for both 2016 and 2017, than California beaches. Actually, Coronado Beach, San Diego, California is the only California beach named. Florida had multiple beaches named.

Better Beach Advantage: Florida.


Next comparison: Happiness


9) California Vs Florida Happiness

Despite all of the advantages in individual quality of life factors discussed above, more Californians report being happy with their lives and where they live, than do Floridians. More California residents said their state was the best to live in in a national Gallup poll in 2013, than Floridians answered that way about their state. When recent community well-being surveys were conducted by the same long time pollster, California easily bested Florida with positive responses. These polls were taken prior to the devastating hurricanes in Florida and wildfires in California.

People Are Happier Here Advantage: California.


Next: Natural Disasters

10) California Vs Florida Natural Disasters

Florida homeowners pay the highest homeowners insurance rates in the country according to Insurance Business Magazine. Why? Because Florida homes face higher rates of catastrophe. California wasn’t on the list of ten states with the highest rates. Florida has a hurricane season that can include devastation and multiple evacuations every year. Florida also has wildfire and drought issues of its own.

Fewer Natural Disasters Advantage: California.


Living in California Vs Florida, Which is a Better Place to Live?

In the quality of life comparison above, Florida had more advantages, but surveys show that people living in California are happier overall.

The Bottom Line…

  • Both California and Florida are popular high growth states during better economic times, drawing new residents from other states that push home prices skyward.
  • Both states lose residents, bleed jobs and see real estate values plummet during recessions and tough economic times.
  • Both states are perceived to be “warm and sunny”, although there are far more possible days of sunshine and comfortable lower humidity levels in California. That could be why Californians may be more satisfied with where they live overall than Florida, despite Florida having slightly better quality of life ratings on financial matters.

I have researched and compared quality of life factors of all 50 states.

There is a strong association with high quality of life scores and resident satisfaction.

Both California and Florida rank lower than most states overall on quality of life factors (such as crime rates, healthcare, etc.) and resident satisfaction.

There are other states that you may be far happier living in, but aren’t even considering.

I’ve worked with lots of buyers moving from California to Florida.

Right after the move, most were happy with their move but that’s typical with people from all states during the first few years of the “Florida honeymoon”.

This changes for many as they realized what living in Florida is really like, compared to what they pictured it would be like.

Florida is not just like California, only cheaper.

Florida and California are two very different states with different climates that share a few similarities such as beaches and palm trees.

Do California Wildfires, Taxes, Droughts, Etc., Have You Thinking Of Moving? Perhaps to Florida?

There are some states that we ship a lot of Florida Move Guide books to, because there always seems to be a lot of people from those states thinking about making a change. New York State is one.

There are also other states that we rarely ever get an order from from. Utah is one of those.

For the first few years after the first edition of the book was first published in 2011, California was a state that we would get some orders from occasionally but the number was extremely small for its size.

After all, California is the most populated state in the US, yet very few people seemed interested in moving from there to Florida.  Then something changed.

When the not too long ago California drought hit, the number of orders from California didn’t change right away.

However, as the drought and the water use restrictions began to bite the citizens of the state, the orders started to flow in.

I suspect that may be the case again due to the recent wildfires and evacuations.

Additionally, I predict the the number of Californians thinking about moving from the state will be higher and the exodus will last longer this time.

Here’s a few reasons why…

  1. Wildfires, droughts, etc. in California Will Be the New Normal. Even California’s Governor Jerry Brown has been quoted as saying as much. Climate change produces winners and losers. If there will be more drought conditions and wildfires in California’s future than in the past, people who lose all of their possessions to fire or are continually forced to evacuate to save their lives will eventually decide there has got to be a better place to live.
  2. Someone will pay for the all of that wildfire damage. It may be the insurance companies now, but ultimately it will be California homeowners, if they stay. Large wildfires that burn 1000’s of homes and vehicles cost insurance companies a lot of money. As those larger bills to cover increasing damage come in, these companies are going to have to raise their rates. Or leave the state if they feel it has become to risky to insure. Higher homeowners insurance rates could make many California homes even more unaffordable. Leaving California could mean reducing or eliminating the risk of wildfires (and those evacuations) while also reducing their housing expense.
  3. The recent change to a $10,000 deduction limit of state and local taxes on federal tax returns. 

Good luck!

Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy”

  • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.

48 thoughts on “Better State California or Florida?”

  1. I bought a house in Homosassa, FL in December with a plan to retire there in a few years. I live in California, one of the most expensive, populated, and over-taxed states. Unless you are a multi-millionaire, retiring in CA is not an option. I have family in Florida who have lived there for years. So, before FL real estate continues to climb, I bought a house — with cash!! Something I could never do in California. And now I have rental income until the day I retire. I did not like reading the negative comments about Florida. So, I am simply going to make the best of my life once I get there. If I stayed in CA, I would need to work past 70. Moving to FL will allow me to retire at 62. I’ll take my chances in Florida. Wish me luck.

      • He could also lose everything in a California wildfire or earthquake. Nothing in life is promised. Gotta roll the dice and pray for the best. God bless.

        • They have wildfires in Florida too. They just lower the risk with controlled burns better than California. Florida has the highest risk from natural disasters of any state, that’s why the insurance rates are also the highest. If you have money, California beats Florida easily with the best weather, scenery that isn’t flat and boring like all of Florida. Florida is the poor mans California where you pay for the cheaper price with sweat from high humidity. Everyone loves both states for the first few years, but long term California is the better bet if you can afford it.

  2. Florida has the most beautiful weather, tropical paradies. Where else can you get this. Calif? where prices are crazy and the grounds are brown from drought and fire. I dont think so. Florida is the bomb!!

    • have you ever even been to California? I get that you are exaggerating, but there are several areas that there are no fires. I’m sure Florida is as beautiful as well.

  3. I have lived in Florida for the last 3 years, and I have to admit, it is simply paradise and heaven. I simply love Florida from all my heart. I am living in Palm Beach Garden. Everything is great over here. Also for children, in my opinion is a great place to be. I am a father of 5 children, and all of them simply like it here. I really can’t think of a single negative thing that I can say about living in Florida. I have some relatives that are living in New York, and once a year I do visit them for few days, and every time I visit NY, after few days staying in NY I have a depression. If I have to move from Florida, the only other place that I would like to live with my family is California. God bless you all!

  4. Julie.
    I have lived 4 years in Florida after spending 30 plus years in New Hampshire. Those 4 years were the happiest of my life. I had to move back to New Hampshire for family and then left again after a couple of years. I just can’t take the long cold winters. I then moved to San Diego and spent 4 years there. I hated it. The comfortable weather all year round is the only positive. I did work for the best company ever though. A great job and comfortable year round weather. But I was unhappy. I just never could get into the people, places and sights. I had been to Florida. Nothing else was going to make me happy again, until I could get back there. Now after 4 years, I tried to get a job in Florida and couldn’t get anyone interested. I accepted a position in Virginia Beach instead. At least it got me away from San Diego and back on the east coast. Now my employer from San Diego would like me to move back and resume my position. I don’t know what to do. Great job, financially and people I totally respect and enjoy but a city I dislike. My hopes was to eventually get back to Florida.

    And yes, to Anonymous who who asked if it was worth it to loose everything from a Hurricane. Absolutely. Certainly better than losing everything to fire.
    A dilema!! I don’t know what to do. Got any advice,

    • How could it be “absolutely” better to lose everything to a hurricane than a fire?

      So your choices are employed in Virginia Beach, employed with a “great” job and comfortable year round weather in San Diego, or jobless and broke in Florida?

      • Fire v hurricane v earthquake. I too would take the hurricane. Hurricane you can prepare for, fires sometimes running for your life. Experienced all.

    • My aunt died in a wildfire a year and a half ago. Very awful. Southern California. Sad but true. I’ve lived in California my entire 50 year life. It was great up until the late 90s or early 2000s. Now it’s horrid. The Cody of housing. Rent and housing is awful. Traffic. Wildfires. It’s not good.

  5. Florida is way better than California I live in palm beach(west) right now and it’s great nothing compares in California not too mention I bought a 2100 square foot house for 189,000 can you find that in California?

    • West Palm Beach is mostly a high crime dump and just like high crime dump areas anywhere including California, home prices are low because no one wants to live there. By the time you realize the mistake you made by buying in an area you knew nothing about, 2100 square foot homes in your neighborhood may only be worth 149,000.

      • REALLY?
        I have lived in both states in different cities long enough to give my opinion, and Florida is WAY BETTER than California. Florida has lower cost of living, lower taxes, everything is green, not dry like in CA. In CA for you to buy a house at $189,000 it would have to be in a very bad neighborhood, 300 years old and falling apart in pieces. Also, California is dirty, a giant desert, and people are nasty! Also… Moving from Florida with a salary of $33/hour and being offered $15/hour in CA, it really SUCKS!!!

  6. There is no way at all that you can compare California to Florida. I’ve lived in both states long enough just to be able to compare. Let’s not say that Florida is cheaper, let’s say: It is not that expensive.
    #1 – California is dry. I went from San Diego to San Francisco, East to West and any place in between… very dry. California is a huge desert!
    #2 – If you live near San Diego in cities like Wildomar, Temecula, Murrieta, etc… they are very humid, as in Florida and if you happen to live near San Francisco, or even Apple Valley or Acton, Temperature could go as low as 20F in Winter and 114F in summer. It never happens in Florida. Taxes are a lot higher! If you travel around Miami, Palm Coast, Orlando, etc… you will NEVER see those amount of homeless people under bridges as you see in California. Los Angeles alone has over 45,000 homeless people living in miserable conditions.
    #3 – You cannot prevent a hurricane; but you can prevent wildfires and California does nothing to prevent them.
    #4 – Florida is GREEN. Wherever you go, you will see lakes, green grass and Palm trees!
    #5 – Racism… YES, racism. Floridians welcome you and helpyou when you move! Californians, as soon as you say something that they don’t like, they will teel you: “Go back to Florida, then”…
    #6 – People think that because they get to live in nice neighborhoods, it makes them important and some even think that they are movie stars. People in Fla are a more humble!
    #7 – Driving… I’ve driven in both states for long periods of time. Florida is a lot safer. People drive like crazy in California. It scares me!
    #8 – Safety … I feel safer in Florida. I know it depends on the city you’re living in but for example in San Francisco it is very dangerous even leaving your car outside. There is more robbery and assassination in California than in Florida.

    • You are sooooo correct in your comparison. California is horrible! All you say IS TRUE!!!!!! And you MUST speak Spanish and wear a mask….even if you don’t rob old ladies! I’ve never lived anywhere else but I’m ready to go. Thanks for your words…..I’m not nuts! Linda

  7. These comparisons are good but they aren’t thorough. Florida is the sunshine state. It’s perfect if you love to boat, swim, spend hours at the beach and swat flies. I lived on the panhandle, the west coast and east coast of Florida. Loved it very much.
    California is more of a separate country than a state. I don’t hate LA but I don’t recommend it to anyone. Unless you already live here stay out. We rarely go to the beach. Time off means going to the desert. Jaw-dropping beautiful desert. We have mountains, skiing, hiking. We have Vegas. We have Palm Springs. There must be a thousand miles of hiking trails in Hollywood alone. We have forrest. Unlike any forests in the world. Yosemite, giant sequoias and the giant coastal redwoods. No one mentioned wine. You can spend days in wine country floating on the river. Back to the coast. Much of the coast isn’t beach at all. The mountains drop a thousand feet in into the sea. Big Sur, Carmel. I’ve never met anyone who visited San Francisco to complain about the lack of beaches. Cost? You could buy a 2,000 sq ft home for under $200,000 in California- the desert, the northern coast, even mountains. I don’t recommend it but you can. Most homes that size will cost you over a million bucks. CA is unlike any other place in the US. It’s completely independent in character. I will just mention the miles and miles of marijuana fields in northern California, it would blow most people’s minds. In 30 years I’ve tried leaving many times. After a few months I always return to So Cal. I do visit Florida often but it’s no longer home.

    • Craig, thanks for taking the time to add your valuable input.

      I agree, California is one of, if not the most, varied and beautiful states in the US. That’s just an opinion of course, not an established fact.

      However, my state to state comparisons use quality of life factors that are important to most people, and have actually been studied, quantified and reported by well known respected government and nonprofit organizations.

      So my comparisons are based on accepted facts such as crime data publicly reported by the FBI.

      I use these comparisons so people can see factual differences that can be compared “apples to apples” between states.

      Everyone has an opinion, but opinions can be easily disputed. However, disputing facts can make someone look foolish. Maybe I’m lucky because I’ve talked with 1000’s of buyers of 30+ years selling real estate, but I’ve learned that most people value facts over opinions when they trust the source of those facts.

      Much of what you stated in your comment is an opinion or a personal preference. For instance, you said…

      “It’s perfect if you love to boat, swim, spend hours at the beach and swat flies”
      “California is more of a separate country than a state”
      “Unless you already live here stay out”
      “We rarely go to the beach”
      “Time off means going to the desert”
      “Jaw-dropping beautiful desert”

      Don’t get me wrong, many readers will find the opinions you expressed on both Florida and California helpful.

      Seeing facts from trusted well respected sources and reading the opinions of people who have lived in both states, can both play a part in helping people make better decisions. Actually, people probably find the opinions more entertaining. Thanks again for the comment and have a nice day.
      Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy”

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.
      • Is there a better state to relocate to or a better retirement lifestyle for you than moving to Florida? You’ll know after reading How to Retire Happier.
    • I also left California. I had to retire, was tired of the small town where I lived. A friend suggested beautiful Idaho. I made the move after looking in Arizona. Found a nice home, much cheaper than California. In fact, everything was cheaper. BUT where I lived racism was rampant, there was poor food quality in National Stores (Albertson’s bakery had over a hundred flies in the case. I pointed it out to the worker. She said it was normal. I called the health department. He said flies didn’t carry much disease, and it was fine) I decided to move to Arizona. On the way a family member suggested Cathedral City, near Palm Springs. I love it here. People are friendly. So many from all over. Yes, even see Florida license plates as well as New York, Wisconsin, Idaho, WA, OR, and Canada. Even have seen Alaska. Food is delicious and fresh. Not to mention in Idaho (not Boise) not a lot of very good restaurants. You have your pick in Southern California. My 15 years in Idaho were okay. But I noticed that Idahoans don’t care too much about how their homes look (not Boise) . So I am very happy to be back to my home State. Yes, expensive, but did I mention how friendly the people are. Customer service matters, and people are well trained whether fast food, grocery stores or auto repair. I am home, and glad to be here. I know why my great grand parents came and stayed.

  8. I live in California and I have never been to Florida. I think California is beautiful in my opinion but I can not compare it to Florida yet. If you are going to comparing these two states, please go there first to many cities there.

    • I lived in Texas, Florida(North & South Forida), California & New England, many years in ea state. I have concluded that California offers a better quality of life for the middle class than many these states, especially when compared to Texas & Florida which are both great states for billionaires and multi-millionaires. The middle class & the poor are the least of worries for the right-wing self-serving Texas & Florida politicians. Yes, no state taxes in Florida but it has super high property taxes, ridiculous! I moved back to Florida 2 years ago to assist a family member with an illness situation, & believe me if I could pack my bags today & get the hell out, I would move back to California in a heart beat! Texas its not even worth mentioning! Just like Florida, Texas does not invest in its infrastructure, education, health care, etc. & again just like Florida, the oligarchs in the state own the politicians. Look at the caos in Texas everytime thare is a natural disaster! All due to the lack of interest & lack of vision from politicians that run the state; their only interest is to make their rich campaign-donors happy! Got news for all these middle-class indivuduals that are leaving California to move to Texas & Florida, its not worth it!

      • Hello Mar G,
        Thank you for sharing your thoughts comparing California, Florida and Texas. However…

        On Education: This independent organization (and others) without political affiliations show both Florida and Texas provide a better quality education k-12 than California.

        On Healthcare: The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) rates the overall healthcare quality of all 3 states in the bottom 10, when compared to other states.

        Infrastructure: US News and World Report ranks Florida and Texas as having better infrastructure than California.

        I’m not sure if your comment was just purely opinion based or you have independent sources that show something different that you can share. Thank you for taking the time to comment.
        Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy” of Zeus Press Inc

        • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide. Avoid expensive mistakes.
  9. Ok this is so funny.
    I can’t speak for Californians. Never been in California so I can speak about it but I am sure I can speak about Florida.
    Yea sure Florida has gorgeous beaches and everything, like Sarasota for example but make sure they are not close to the public because of the flesh eating bacteria. Employment here is really bad. If you find a job that pays you $12. An hr please keep it. Take all the crap you can from your employees. They are rare. But if you are a doctor or something else you are ok.
    The employers here have the law in their favor. So if you planning to sue an employer because they fired you because you were taking care of your mom, make sure you have a good lawyer and evidence to back up your claim.
    This is part of the bible belt. If you are atheist, wiccan,hindi or you believe in the spaghetti monster Florida is not for you. If you are liberal or Democrat, Florida is not for you.
    I have been in different places and in Jacksonville is where I saw racism for the first time in my life .
    Yes we have Disneyland and Lego land. Good luck with that. Not everyone can afford to take their kids to it.
    Medical insurance? jajajaja. my ex went to the ER with a high fever . They send him home . I went back they send him some again with some antibiotics. Two days later they call me asking me for him because his lab came back with almost toxic shock syndrome. Great!!!
    Yes. Florida is not as expensive as California but looking at how much we get pay here in Bill’s, rent , car insurance vs wages I think is the same or worst.
    State taxes ,yea there is none which for me is very bad contrary to Connecticut where there is state tax , when I used to fill my tax returns I used to get two checks . Here you won’t get it and I don’t see no difference in the cost of living. Actually I think is worst.
    So in California you pay for a 1 bedroom apart what? $1500.?
    In here I pay $900 for a two bedroom apartment in the ghetto side of town. I don’t know if you think it’s bad or good.
    So between the flesh eating bacteria, the old folks that hates younger generations, the low wages, racism and religious but ,I think California is better.
    Oh and I forgot, if you are a woman victim of domestic violence dont come to Florida. Believe me when I tell you that no matter how much you want your kids to have a healthy life without their abusive parent, florida is a reunification state and they believe that the woman should stay with her abuser for the sake of the children.

    Electricity in here is expensive. I pay 180. A month and I am always working. I have one child there is no need for such a high bill.
    And please don’t talk about unemployment.
    I just can’t stop. Crime here ??
    Dont go outside if you are a woman especially in Jacksonville. You may get rape.
    Get you facts straight!!

  10. California is much better then Florida
    I own a nice house in Orange County,ca and a very good condo in Boca Raton,fl. So I am spending 6 months in Cali and 3 months in Florida December throw beginning
    Of March
    I don’t see a big difference in cost of living in between those two states
    The only benefit is that in Florida you don’t have a state taxes. But you paying more in property taxes
    Do it is really depends on your earning etc. there is no point to compare those two states for other things. Crime rate is high in both. Amount of problems probably gonna be equal. So it is really depends what you like and what you can afford
    While I can voice on both places I still like California better. More choices etc. but I still enjoy winters n Boca

  11. I love them both LA and Florida and the bottom line is if you have money you could have the best life in either state

  12. Ok, people, here is my opinion about California. My wife and I moved to California from Columbia SC. I’ve never been to Cali before and thought it will be sunny and warm all year round here, bettrer than in SC. Man, was I wrong. Now I hate California and thank God we are moving to Orlando Florida in a couple months. People say sunny California :0) Sunny California my ass. We live in Santa Maria, Santa Barbara county, most of the mornings here are foggy ans cloudy, no sun in the mornings. Its a GIANT minus for me because I love to seethe sun rise in the mornings. In the evenings there are no stars in the sky, most of the time, and again because of the foggy weather. I like to see stars in the sky. And the most shocking California experience for me was the fact that the Pacific Ocean is VERY VERY VERY cold. Nobody told me about that, no movie told me about that either. Im very dissappointed. I like to go swimming, but the ocean even on the hottest summer days is very COLD. Its another BIG NO NO for me. The Atlantic Ocean is warm. And one more thing that I dont like about California is that there are no thunders and lightnings. It’s a very very very rare occasion. No rains, no thunder, no lightning, no rainbows…. California sucks, no way I’m going to come here ever again, let alone living here. My favorite part of the US is the east coast period. Thank you guys for reaing my post. Sorry for my typoes and mistakes. Im originaly from Europe.

    • Fog is always a problem if you live near the California/Oregon/Washington coast. Just move a few miles inland and you’ll have sunny weather. I grew up on the other side of the San Francisco bay and had great weather. I left California for better opportunities 30 years ago and never looked back.

  13. California is the armpit of America. Home to egoists, smog, panhandlers, yoga gluten-free non gmo organic obsessed finatics, everything is overpriced and everyone thinks they are a movie star. Lived there for 3 months and hated it. The Southwest is humble and beautiful

    • Somebody got more than one type of burn in Cali. Wow.

      I love living in California. Far more freedom and people minding their own business than in the Bible Belt. God, I DO NOT miss the bible-thumping South!

      Cops only bug you in California if you’re actually doing something illegal. The state protects employees from predatory employers, which is a reason some companies leave. If you work over 8 hrs a day, employers have to pay you time and a half for all work past the initial 8 hours unless you’re salaried.

      In California you also get paid medical leave from the state after you run out of PTO for FMLA leave (paternity/maternity leave, illness, or to care for a loved one).

      I also had a friend who was laid off. In addition to being on unemployment, the state had a program that helped pay her mortgage until she found a job. So she didn’t have to lose her house b/c of a layoff.

      Yes, living in a state that has your back is so awful.

  14. What great article, Ron. Thanks for taking the time to put together such a fact filled and interesting read. It is hard to choose between these 2 states when merely thinking subjectively, however, your objective article made it easy to sway ones opinion. Both states are wonderfully beautiful and horrifically disgusting depending on which part/area of the state you looking at – just like anywhere in the world, right?! 🙂

    Your 3rd subject regarding taxes is what has really been weighing on our families mind as of late. I have moved 2 companies out of CA in the last year to Nevada, while keeping 3 companies active in FL. FL is a much more business friendly state than CA. Ironically, every single employee stayed with said companies and happily relocated. The (CA) FTB is worse than the IRS and that is saying something! haha

    We still have our properties on Catalina Island, Balboa Island, Corona Del Mar, and Pelican Hill but we have, now, put these assets into a trust for the kids and stopped offering these wonderful homes to people who would like to VRBO them as a short term rentals due to the constant “projected” tax bills from the FTB which make zero sense. It is really sad what the state of CA has turned into since the 90’s purely on policy. There is no wonder CA sets the record for people leaving, relocating businesses, and retiring to other states. We still “live” in CA on paper, but I have a feeling this will be changing in the near future. We won’t permanently relocate, but on paper we sure are.

    If you have the means, both states are wonderful to live, work and play. But on paper, its best to make FL your “primary” residence. CA will squeeze every dime out of every tax payer of every tax bracket, nobody is safe. Unfortunately, the people that can’t move things on paper are always forced to pick up the enormous shortfall of a failed government. You can “tax the rich” all you want, you’re just not going to get much for very long since most people will go where they are treated best. As a side note, we voluntarily pay double the required taxes in Croatia since the money isn’t thrown down a pointless rathole of broken promises, failed roads, failed schools, or high speed rail systems that will never exist.

    Cheers to a great article, Ron. Loved the read, hated facing such fact filled realities. 🙂 Thank you again!

    • How do u make Florida your primary residency on paper? Live there during winter months then come back to California in the summer?

      • If you have real estate in California rented or any income in Ca or a second residence , you owe CA state income tax . Be very careful , you would have to sever all ties in order to be tax exempt

  15. Yes, earthquakes and wildfires affect like 3 people a year in CA. While hurricanes thousands in FL. You get what you pay for friends.

    • Really? Only 3 people per year are affected by fires in California. Let’s not go with people downtown SF peeing right on the street, right on the sidewalks as people shop or try to. CA housing is out of sight as is their
      taxes. Water, you’re almost out of fresh water, you can’t even water your lawn. Here in Naples, Florida we have
      a Hurricane maybe once every 10 years….I made it through Irma no problem what so ever. If you’re talking Hurricanes lets go to New Orleans, or Tx or Alabama…..not just Florida. We are able to turn our Air Conditioning off 5 months out of the year, gorgeous beaches, great food and we don’t have tent cities. I love the fact that our Gov has kept our state open during this Covid thing. He’s one of the few in the country with common sense besides TX. Spend some time here in the Naples area, Daniel, stop cheating yourself out of something so great
      as the state.

    • Earthquakes and wildfires affect only three people per year in California?! You’re hilarious. Try tens of thousands.

  16. Lived in Florida eight years, near the villages, in fact I worked there, loved it, a beautiful place. But it was hot and humid, but you learn to live in air at all times, everywhere you go there is air conditioning. Prices were right, except for home insurance. People were friendly , as most were from somewhere else. Beaches were close as was Disney and other parks. Lots of elderly people and lots of true Floridians . We then moved to Chicago area for a couple of years, loved it as we were from Michigan originally. Then we moved to San Diego county, Carlsbad to be exact, fabulous, lots of nice family people, beautiful homes, three miles to the beach. Bike paths on every road, lots of people ride bikes here. Mountains, trails, and many beautiful places to visit, Lake Tahoe, absolutely beautiful! The weather is great almost always. Wished we had more rain and a little thunder now and then, our biggest threat is fire and secondly earth quakes, I’ve been here 16 years and fires in the distance and a few shakes. The only thing I find negative is the housing cost, they are totally crazy’s and the gas prices, because there are so many taxes added. And the water bills can be crazy , mostly from watering your lawn. Where I live the people are way more polite on the highway then in Michigan, no one is flipping you off and they actually slow down to let you in. I have loved all four states that I’ve lived in, something good about all and sometimes I really miss snow, but we have that here also , a two hour drive to big bear and wa la, you have snow, and lots of snow in mammoth and Tahoe.

  17. I lived in Port Orange, Florida for 4 years and Palm Springs, California for about 15 years. Both states have their pros and cons.
    I am contemplating a move back to Florida as my son is attending Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and My daughter just cannot do this COVID thing anymore in California. She also misses her friends in Florida. Although, at the time of this writing California will open soon, I’m not really sure things will ever really be back to normal for quite some time. I flew into Florida last January and I couldn’t even tell in some places that there even was a pandemic.

    I have read a lot of the comments here and I can say from experience that a lot of it is pure opinion.
    There is good and bad in both states. So I guess I will give my opinion. Again its just my opinion.

    My opinion California: I do prefer California’s dry Mediterranean climate over the Florida humidity. California has less worries of dangerous snakes, alligators and biting bugs galore. I was diagnosed with over 100 no-see-um bug bites in one of my trips out to Florida because I was throwing the football at dusk with the kids down the street. I never get bit in California. Why do they call Florida the sunshine state when in fact it rains almost every week? Sometimes it rains for 10 days straight. California at least where I live seldom rains. The only time I get wet in California is when I get hit with a lawn sprinkler. I do not miss power washing the home and sidewalks every year to get the slime off. We do not do this in Southern California. Also what about that reclaim water in Florida? My god it does not smell that good. My lawn here in California is watered with fresh water therefore, I can feel more comfortable having a garden. I went through Hurricane Matthew and Irma in Florida- I will take a earthquake and a fire at the same time over these dangerous storms. I like that I can shut off the AC for a couple three to four months out here, where in Florida at least where I was it was mostly on the whole year.

    My opinion Florida: Its so hard to beat the warm Atlantic ocean. California beaches may have the waves but the Pacific is cold as hell. I love being able to be close to the ocean. I’m 2 hours away from the ocean in California. I enjoyed not having to file state tax in Florida. There’s much more variety of things to do in Florida VS here in the desert of California. I miss traveling 7 minutes sitting on the deck and eating a grouper sandwich while watching the ocean. I cant even find grouper here in Palm Springs. The overall affordability of the homes in Florida is incredible. My home out here in California goes for 700K. In Florida I can get a mansion for that. I work for the government and I can comfortably say there is too many rules in California. Too many businesses have left California. Taxes are also ridiculous in California. It just seems to me that my money went further in Florida.
    I felt less stressed in Florida and I’m not sure why that was. I miss Wawa coffee in Florida. California does not have anything like that. The AM/PM shops here are garbage!

    I really do not have a favorite State but I would like anyone reading this to pray for me because I really do not know that I will be all that happy moving back to Florida. Hopefully I am wrong.

  18. I live in FL and spend a majority of my vacation time in California. To compare the two is like comparing an apple with an orange. I live in Orlando and most of us who’ve been here a while are tired and angry of the 100,000,000+ tourists who come here, thinking we ALL are here to wait on them. Old folks – forget about it – the Villages is the #1 place in FL for STDs! Orlando and it’s surrounding areas to the south of the city have turned into Puerto Rico 2.0 – and not the nice parts. Sure, no income tax but I pay almost $8,000/yr in Property Taxes and they go up EVERY YEAR. No cultural opportunities (unless you count Puerto Rican / Haitian island music here) exist (no museums, historical places of interest)… traffic – horrendous. Mass Transit? Non existent. People’s mood / attitude: angry, low wages and over worked. Government? Orange County is heavily democratic & liberal – same w/Miami, Gainesville, parts of Tampa Bay and Tallahassee, but everyone else: Bible Belt conservatives.
    I find most of the small town in California to be charming; clean, happier folks (all that wine). Decent mass transit – I was in SLO and was SHOCKED there was a train to LA & beyond. Nature is the premium – not a beach fan but I am a cool clear blue sky and damp / foggy person so coastal CA and the Sierras are my favorite. Quality of life and you get what you pay for – California all day. I can’t move to Cali fast enough. I’ve spent 3/4 of my life in Fl and as of today, I’m over it!

  19. I hope that everyone that has left negative comments about Florida just stays where they are. Please, stay away from our state. We love it and there are more than enough people who feel the same, so if you don’t, stay the heck away. No worries. We’ll all be the better for it.

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