What is Living In Florida Really Like

Here are 3 lists of what it’s like to live in Florida

  • The first list is what it’s like to live in Florida right after you first move there.
  • The second list is what it’s like after you lived in Florida awhile and start to learn what’s really like, compared to how we pictured it would be (often shaped by short vacations) before we moved.
  • The third list is what it’s like living in Florida after we have lived there many years, assuming you still live in the sunshine state because a surprising number move out. Enjoy…

The First List: 3 Months to 2-? Years (the honeymoon period)

  • You love living in Florida
  • It’s everything you thought it would be.
  • Being so close to the beach is fantastic.
  • You enjoy the Theme parks with less travel hassles and expense.
  • You get burnt by the stronger sun but learn to respect it. Those who don’t will age quicker and are heading toward their first surgery to have a chunk of skin carved off their body.
  • You learn that the weather is actually hotter and muggier for longer periods than you expected, but it’s all good because you don’t have to freeze or shovel snow.
  • If you have a pool, you use it and are glad you live in a pool-home.
  • You tell everyone you talk to back home how much you love living in Florida.
  • You regret not moving to Florida sooner.
  • You love exploring and finding new shops and restaurants in your new town.
  • You love the first visit back home, seeing family and old friends but you also love returning to your new home in Florida.
  • You do more of what you love doing outdoors such as golfing, biking or walking or maybe you took up something new like bird watching or looking for shells along the beach every morning.
  • Right now, living in Florida is similar to what it looks like on the Florida post cards or sales brochures.

florida move guide book cover and discription

Living in Florida Video One Young Woman’s Honest Opinions

This young lady has only been living in Florida a short time but it’s long enough for her to notice how different the state is.

The Second List: What is Living in Florida Really Like after just 4 months for some, up to 5 years for others?

  • You may either 1) just like but not love it 2) are on the fence 3) not that crazy about it anymore 4) absolutely hate it.
  • Regardless of where you are, from the thoughts above, you’ve been living in Florida long enough to realize it’s not exactly as you pictured it would be before the move. You’re becoming aware of the negatives of living in Florida that are never mentioned in the glossy promo brochures.
  • You visit the beach less than when you first moved down or have stopped going completely or absolutely despise it now.
  • You spend most of your time, most of the year, indoors to avoid sunburn and the hot muggy weather. If you work outside for a living you don’t have that option and may have had your first surgery to remove a chunk of skin from your cheek or the tip of your ear or nose.
  • You no longer have any desire to visit any theme parks regardless of the relentless commercials touting “Florida resident specials”.
  • You don’t use your pool anymore except when family or friends visit from where you used to call home. You now know the Florida sun will turn a pool into a thick pea-green soup in days if maintenance is not kept up with. Since you don’t use it, you regret every minute you spend maintaining it or every check you write for chemicals or to have someone else do it for you.
  • You don’t sound like a commercial for the Florida Chamber of Commerce anymore when you talk to the folks back home (you no longer pass on the “virus”).
  • All will have some regrets about moving to Florida. Could be just minor regrets or to the point where you feel you made a mistake. THOSE THAT HAD SOME DOUBTS ABOUT MOVING TO FLORIDA BEFORE MOVING WILL BE NOW BE ABSOLUTELY MISERABLE AT THIS POINT.
  • Travel back home for visits has become a real hassle so it becomes infrequent or stops. This is not true for people who are 1) “sixers” as described in the Florida Move Guide or 2) snowbirds.
  • At this point you are either in the group that has avoided or stopped doing things you loved outdoors altogether because of the hot muggy weather and will eventually leave the state (most people) or you still like it and may be someone who could live in Florida forever, or you’re stuck because there’s no way you can afford to move out.

No matter how much you like or hate Florida at this point, almost everyone will still love the 3 months or so of Florida’s winter weather when it’s merely warm.

The Third List: What is Living in Florida Really Like After Living in the State for Many Years?

  •  If Florida isn’t right for you, you will know it at this point. Finances and other issues may dictate whether you will actually be able to do anything about it like moving out of the state just like millions of people before you. For instance, is the home or condo you own worth far more, or far less than when you bought it?
  • If you’ve lived in Florida long enough to go through a recession and a bad hurricane season and still like the place, congratulations. You’ve experienced the worst but still feel the pros outweigh the cons. You’ll live in Florida until you die a happy old prune.

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.


32 thoughts on “What is Living In Florida Really Like”

  1. How are the people in Florida? I’m a very shy person and I’m worried they are going to be rude and stuck up and preppy like, I’m moving there this summer after living in CT for 15 years this ought to be interesting.

    • There’s mean and nice people everywhere, it’s something you can’t control. Though by the way you talk they’ll know your not from there. “Ought” haha cute, trust me they catch on quick. I lived in nc my whole life and when I moved to Florida they knew I wasn’t from there.

    • You will hate it! Florida is no longer the united states, if you like clowns, imature stupid people then florida is the place for you, everyone especially in orlando are ghetto is pretty much a second new jersey in there, if you know spanish maybe you’ll like it, but most people in there are shady tacky and ghetto, rude, and love to stick their noses in other people’s business, the city of orlando hates the poor and homeless, the cops instead of stoping real crime, theyre more interested in pulling over people for ‘minor traffic violations’ is a police state, jobs are exploitative and pay penauts, on the labor and non labor professional level. Is a good city for tourist but not for those livibg there.

    • Expensive, expensive, expensive. Florida, just recently, has the least affordable rentals (anywhere). Jobs – slave labor, discrimination right in your face, not an employee friendly state AT ALL, no employee protections whatsoever. Traffic (in Central Florida) is a nightmare – you could drive from east to west in Connecticut quicker than it takes to drive 10-20 miles here. Crime is everywhere, home invasions, carjackings even in the best of neighborhoods. Doctors take forever to get an appointment with (they never answer the phone-voicemail and then call a patient back a couple of days later) or they drag diagnosis out for a long time – 1 1/2 years later now going to Boston worse off because screwing around with docs here. Not a friendly place to any great degree, stay away from HOA’s if you purchase a home, communities can be likened to Stepford communities. The heat is oppressive starting in April through Nov-Dec (you don’t even want to be outside).

  2. I lived in Florida all my life and I’ve visited up north, I gotta say I have a love and hate for Florida. Yeah I will admit, theres alot of scumbag people , and things do get old like the beach but what I learned is it’s better than living somewhere that nobody knows about, and we do have the beach all year, it’s hot but I learned to deal with it, really not much to complain about.

  3. I live in Florida my parents moved us here when I was 5. As an adult I moved up to the mountains of NC for a couple of years ( and lived with in laws most of that time ) and ended up moving back. I moved back mainly because living in the mountains of NC sucked on many levels. And rest of my family was still back in Florida.
    There is more to do in Florida than there was in the mountains of NC. Most of the stuff listed above is true. People who move here for the first 5 years are touristy beach goers decorating their homes in sea shells and shopping at Bealls every weekend. I however have not tired of going to Theme parks. That’s probably the only upside about the state, besides not having state tax.
    The cost of living here is a lot lower than most states up north so if you come down you get stuck financially and can’t afford to move back. You get paid $25K a year here for the same job up north you’d get $35K. I work in Real estate and am suppose to promote moving to Florida but honestly I wouldn’t recommend moving here unless you absolutely had too…. though from what I’ve seen there is worst places to live. (mounts of NC) haha

  4. There are people that will never be happy anywhere they live! I moved to Dunedin Florida 38 years ago ,from Illinois, my 3 kids were born and raised here and I am so happy and proud to live in a beautiful state where people save up their money so they can vacation here. I have only visted Ill once and never plan on going back. Love Florida…Love the South.

    • Hello Luanne,
      Thanks for sharing your “living in Florida” experience. Numerous studies and polls show that a high percentage of people who move to Florida eventually discover that Florida isn’t right for them and move out, often right back to the same town they moved from. However, we believe that moving to the right place in Florida can increase the chances of a successful Florida relocation, but of course it can not guarantee a positive experience like yours. Dunedin is on more than one of our best places to live in Florida lists and is a good choice for many different reasons. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
      Ron Stack

      • 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 lived in south Texas for sixteen years, and can speak of really hot heat and high humidity. Florida is hot there is not sugar coating that fact. Its the tropics people get over it. You do acclimatize to it if you get out of your homes once in a while, and try to see the real beauty that Florida has to offer.

      • Hello Ray,
        Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I respectfully disagree. People DO NOT get acclimated to hot humid weather 9 months a year, any more than they got acclimated to the cold weather just 3 months a year, where they moved from. People are in their homes all the time in Florida because that’s where the AC is, because they’re not acclimated. Snakes, lizards, alligators, mosquitoes and rats are acclimated and love Florida. Ever wonder where all those people who are selling in Florida, are moving and why? They’re moving to where it’s cooler because we’re human beings, and we’re acclimated to the temperature we set our thermostat to. And it’s all within about a 10 degree range.
        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.
  5. I moved 6 months ago from NY- and even tho i thought i would get a great job and food / renting would be cheaper, i absolutely love it!! My kids love it.. we def will not live the life we lived in NY making a lot of money…but im willing to give that up for some sun! 3 months of winter?? October is already getting cooler and its march and its 75 degrees…i think the warm weather lasts throughout most of the year…the very hot months will prob be around 3 months or so…i am still not tired of the beach or the pool…You get to enjoy, bbqs, beach, pool, and time outside with family more throughout the year not 3 months of summer a year like NY…I cant say what the future holds – but i have no plans to go back not even to visit!! im afraid they wont let me come back… 🙂 You def have to plan plan plan and save save save…and get ready to spend spend spend…and enjoy and love life again…and i am one of those that say i should of come sooner and i am so happy i don’t deal with the NYC trains and the snow!!! We chose to change our lives to live happier…it was a huge step and i am very happy we took that chance…

    • 6 Months? You “think” the “warm” weather lasts most of the year?
      You think the really hot weather only lasts 3 months?

      You are in for a rude awakening! For 9 months a year or 12 months some years it will be unbearable to be outside and you’ll be inside hiding from the burning sun listening to your ac burning up electricity and running up huge electric bills.

      You’re still not tired of the beach or pool after just 6 months?

      Nobody is after just 6 months. Wait until you go through a few summers all year long and then tell people what you know, not what you predict. Check out your neighbors, they aren’t using their pool anymore are they and you won’t be either after you live through a few all year long hot “summers”. The ones who use the pool or go to the beach for years in Florida look 20 years older from wrinkles and sagging skin. You’ll be back in NY in 3-5 years, if you last that long. If not, you’ll look like just another senior in Florida, long before you’re 60!

      “I’ve lived in Florida for 6 months and let me tell you what its like”
      Haven’t even lived in Florida a whole year and they think they’re an expert. Just like a New Yorker

      • Give yourself 3-5 years in Florida before coming to conclusions. We have owned 18 years. There are many things I like but a ton of things I find oppressive as compared to New Jersey. And it is not the heat. If I lived in South Florida it would be different but we came to Central Florida because of family.

        • What you find oppressive, I find liberating from Central Florida. I’m from Southern Cali. Lived there for 30 years. Now, that’s oppressive. If you don’t appear to think a certain way, then you’re an outcast. Lived in Jersey as well for several years and found that almost as oppressive. I think everyone should be happy. Perhaps it is time to make that move back to Jersey where you will be happier.

  6. The weather is nice and the people are friendly. Finding a job is very hard since they don’t advertise jobs in the paper like most states plus when you do find a job don’t expect to be paid like other states, pay is a lot lower. The food prices are higher here as well. Moved here 8 months ago and definitely not what expected so probably moving back from where lived before.

  7. We moved here from Syracuse NY and are moving out west near our daughter next Spring. While the mild weather is nice in the Winter, the ten months of oppressive heat, and we found VERY high cost of most everything, is prohibitive. We can live cheaper in the inland empire in California, areas away from the big cities. The beaches are pretty, people are people no matter where you go, no less rude, no more. My only con is while I respect religion, I am more spiritual myself, the constant talk of it gets tiring. It is very hard to find good doctors here. My advice, unless you are quite well off, move elsewhere or stay put. With tons of rain for months, where “The Sunshine State” came from is beyond me. The threat of hurricane damage is very real as well.

  8. I’ve been living in Tampa, Florida for about 15 years now(Since 2005). Despite the good memories I’ve had, Florida and Tampa is not all that. Traffic is horrible and people be driving real crazy like they have never drove a car in their life. The weather is always bipolar, so if you love bipolar weather, Tampa is the place for you. It rains more than anything else, so you’ll be inside most of the time. From June to November, it’s non stop rain and humidity all summer and some of the fall. Finding a job down here is utterly ridiculous. I applied for so many jobs, and only had one summer job that only lasted 8 weeks, and since then it was hard for me to find a job, even if it was part time. I applied for wal-mart over four times and everytime I would go to wal-mart, I stay seeing brand new employees that I have never seen before. Which says alot about the job market, The school system in florida is terrible. They make hugh school take these standardized tests as requirements just to graduate from high school ,which is beyond me. You can be a honor roll student your whole life up to your senior year and still not graduate because of the results of a petty standardized test. On top of that, the schools don’t teach kids valuable life skills in high school but yet teach subjects like algebra, that you’re not gonna use when you’re older in life. Don’t even get me started on sports and the music. If you play basketball and you trying to play in the NBA, good luck trying to make it out of Tampa. Because Tampa only supports football players and baseball players, especially at the high school and college level. And for college, unless you’re going to school for nursing or anything in the medical field, you are wasting your time in college and better off getting a job to save you some money. Especially for up and coming rappers/musicians, You will get no support from Tampa, no matter how much you beg people yo support your music and craft. The people will switch up on you, as soon as you blow up, yet they were never there on your come up as a rapper/singer/producer and they will just make up lies just to have clout. Overall, Tampa Florida is not all that. I’ve lost a whole lot of friends down here, by them showing their true colors and I just want to start a new life somewhere else. And, definitely, there’s a lot of nosey people that stay in your business and a lot of toxic people that likes to start drama just for attention. That’s why I’m planning on moving out of Florida as a whole and move to another state, like colorado. I’m young too and I just wanna experience life somewhere else and not be tied down to one place, like Tampa. I know way too many people that live in Tampa(Especially ones who were born and raised there), are just so use to Tampa, that’s all they know. And Moving out of Florida to Colorado is my main goal for 2021, because Tampa has nothing else to offer me as a individual and a person, for my growth, my music and my journey in this thing called life

  9. Florida for 21 years. Gulf of Mexico is a polluted toilet bowl but “looks nice”. Govt. hides everything!!! Pollution, corruption, massive meth/heroin/homeless problem. 9 mos. torturous humidity. I love the gators, birds, lizards and wildlife. Love all the tourist attractions. Love all the swimming pools. Unless ur rich, don’t move to Southwest FL. We have rich people and those that serve them. Also, everywhere you go, there’s a white haired zombie who can’t drive.

  10. I moved to Palm Coast 3 years ago on the recommendation of a good friend. Worst place I ever lived in and that’s saying a lot from a person that came from NY and then Connecticut. First, the weather is hot for a long period of time and the humidity is unbearable. This summer (2020) was brutal, just look up highest temperatures in palm coast on the weather station. Second is the city of Palm coast, no major shopping stores here, if you want a selection of clothing, furniture, autos or even electronics you have to go to Daytona or St Augustine. Property taxes are on the rise. Mine increased by $1200.00 in three years. Your water bill will astound you, there is an irrigation fee even if you use a well. Electricity is as high as many other states. You pay a mosquito spraying fee that seems to to do nothing. You will constantly be doing repairs as the heat takes a toll on everything. Buy a 12 year old home and expect to replace your AC because it’s always running, . You pay high repair bills, lawn maintenance fees, every thing is costly. Permits are required for everything and the fee is high. The town has strict codes but they don’t seem to enforce them, shed set back has a minimum requirement from property lines but that rule is always violated. Code says no boats in a yard but just look around, they are all over. Home construction is rampant and they don’t have the infrastructure to accommodate the influx of people and traffic. To finish, medical care just sucks. Doctors don’t have the balls to write a prescription and most of them couldn’t make it anyplace else. Think twice about coming here, lots of hidden costs

    • It’s common for people move to Florida only to discover it was a mistake for them, then move out. Moving is extremely expensive but it’s great for real estate agents when you have to sell and buy homes every time you relocate. Tip: People who sell and move out of Florida when home prices are higher, leave the state a little less angry than if they try to sell after the Florida housing bubble pops. That’s if they can still afford to sell and move at all. It can be impossible to sell when owing more on a mortgage than the house is worth.

      It may be too late for you, but every negative you mentioned in your comment plus much more, is covered in my Florida Move Guide. The book also explains how to reduce or eliminate the negatives of living in Florida where possible. The good news is that unlike some states, when property values crash in Florida, it will reduce your tax bill. The bad news is you have to lose a ton of net worth to save a little on your tax bill.

      Thanks for sharing your experience.
      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. Avoid expensive mistakes.
    • We have many of the same problems in Volusia County unincorporated, South of you. I am so sorry to hear that.

  11. I have mixed feelings about Florida. My parents and I have both done things that we would not have been able to in our home State of New Jersey. Both had jobs in a high-rise condo. I went back to college and got clinical laboratory credentials. I previously worked in industry (I have advanced degrees). However, truly, Florida is filled with a bunch of people from a bunch of different places that quite honestly can’t stand each other. Very few natives. Also, coming from New Jersey, the politics here are horrible. Also, the hypocrisy here is horrible. We are not snowbirds. We also could never give up our home in New Jersey. Yes, not having snow is nice, the heat, humidity, etc. does not bother me, we do have a pool that I swim in for distance, but there is not the same excitement here at the beach as we have at the Shore. The Wildwoods are better than any theme park that Florida has to offer. Being house poor which is a struggle is better than having no place else to go. I have not made any friends here in the 18 years we have owned our house. Also, there are too many renters, and a lot of them are not vetted at all. We have had to call the police several times. A lot would need to change here to say I was perfectly happy being in Florida. I am proud of my New Jersey identity. I am also from the very Southern part of the State with the Southernmost highway, Route 47. Pretty much the edge of nowhere but I still miss it.

    • Florida politics horrible? Desantis is a great governor! NJ politics are bottom of the barrel.

      • Yep. Disaffected l’s (who’ve turned their states into places they could no longer live in) now want to turn Florida into that too. When DeSantis has maintained freedoms, ended the vaxx mandates etc.

        Friendly note to l’s griping about FL: Please stay in NJ/NY/CA. We don’t want FL ruined like Colorado.

        • “Ruin” Florida? Dude your state was horrible 36 years ago. Go somewhere and see for yourself, this place is ridiculous.

  12. I moved to Florida 2 weeks ago from Central Ohio and I really regret it. This place is the worst, from the horrible traffic, to the heat and people. Never loved Ohio so much in my entire life. You have to pay for everything here.

  13. I move to Florida from MD reason being is because I don’t like snow. I would say stay away from Miami and Ft lauderdale, so many drugs going on and the traffic is bad. People in Florida suck, I move because of weather I’d rather live is humid place than cold places. I would suggest to visit and do your research before you move.

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