Thousands of people continue to move in and out of Florida each month, maintaining its status as one of the top relocation destinations in the U.S. The state’s appeal stems from its wide range of attractions, from iconic beaches and world-class snorkeling spots to its consistently warm weather. Before taking the plunge and moving, it’s crucial to evaluate the cost of living in the area you’re interested in to see if it aligns with your budget.
Living in Florida also comes with the benefit of immense cultural diversity. The state is home to a blend of age groups, religious backgrounds, and ethnicities, offering a rich tapestry of community life. For sports enthusiasts, Florida hosts several professional teams across major leagues including the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. Regardless of your favorite sport, you’re likely to find a team that captures your interest.
As for financial considerations, the average cost of living in Florida generally falls below the U.S. average, although this can vary depending on the specific region or city you’re eyeing. Given that the cost of living can fluctuate between cities like Miami and smaller towns, it’s important to conduct a detailed assessment of all potential expenses. Doing so will help you make an informed decision about whether Florida is the best fit for your lifestyle and budget.
What Is the Florida Cost of Living Index
The cost of living in Florida hovers around the national average, being just slightly above it by less than 1%. However, it’s important to note that this average can be deceptive, as the cost of living can vary widely depending on the specific area in Florida you’re considering. While some smaller towns and cities offer living costs that are considerably below the U.S. average, metropolitan areas like Miami can be much more expensive. Overall, when compared to many other cities in the U.S., Florida often comes out as a more affordable option on average.
Cost of Living in Florida in USD
The average home price in Florida was approximately $392,262,, while the median monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment stood at $1,500. These figures can vary significantly depending on the region, with areas like Miami and Tampa generally having higher living costs compared to smaller towns and cities.
Internet and Utility Expenses
The average monthly utility bill in the U.S. was about $157, covering essentials like water, electricity, and gas. Some households also include internet and cell phone services in this calculation, which can affect the total cost.
As for internet, the average cost for a plan offering 60 Mbps speed and unlimited data was approximately $77.87 per month.
Cost of Transportation
An adult in Florida spends about $5 113 in transportation costs annually according to MIT’s living wage calculator. Florida has many transportation options including buses, trains, and taxis. If you choose to use these and not purchase a vehicle, you will pay $1740 annually.
Here’s a table of registration and driver fees you can expect to pay in Florida.
|Original Class E Learner License||$48.00|
|Commercial Driver License||$75.00|
|Renewal School Board Commercial Driver License||$48.00|
|Hardship Hearing Fee||$12.00|
|DUI Program Fee||$15.00|
To register a motorcycle in Florida costs $10.00. Registering an automobile ranges from $14.50-$32.50 depending on the weight of the vehicle. Heavy trucks above 5000lbs range from $60.75-$1322, depending on the weight.
Vehicle prices are going up in the US and have led to a 45% increase in price since June 2020. Most used vehicles average at a price of around $15 000, depending on the make, odometer, and year.
Groceries / Cost of Food
A mid-range restaurant’s three-course meal for 2 costs roughly $65.00. A 0.33L bottle costs $5.00 and a soft drink costs $1.85. Here’s a table of the prices of some common grocery items and their prices in Orlando, Florida. Here are some common grocery items and restaurants and their prices.
|Loaf of White Bread (500g)||$2.84|
|Chicken Fillet (1kg)||$9.11|
|White Rice (1kg)||$4.21|
|Ground Beef (1kg)||$12.34|
|Head of Lettuce||$1.91|
How Much is a Coke in Florida?
The price of a 2L Coke in Miami, Florida is $2.87.
The cost for a steak dinner in Florida ranged from about $20 to $60, depending on the restaurant. For instance, a steak dinner at Mastro’s Steakhouse would set you back around $40. The average price for a burger in Florida was about $2.47.
Eateries like Thee Burger Spot, with a 5-star rating, offered burgers for around $6.00, while 109 Burger Joint, rated 4.5 stars, had burgers priced at $13.00. When it comes to pizza, a large cheese pizza in Florida could range from $7.25 to $15.
The cost for a pair of Levi’s jeans was approximately $38.39, a dress from H&M was around $29.43, and a pair of mid-range Nike shoes would set you back about $78.41.
The average monthly cost for preschool or kindergarten was about $884, while annual care for an infant in a child care center averaged around $8,376. Mississippi was noted for having the least expensive child care, costing approximately $5,436 annually.
On the other end of the spectrum, Massachusetts was the most expensive state for child care, with an annual cost of around $20,913.
Rent in Florida
The cost of rent in Florida was notably influenced by the specific city in which you chose to reside. For instance, average apartment rental prices in Orlando stood at approximately $1,611 per month, while in Miami, the figure was around $1,915.
In terms of house rentals, a 3-bedroom house in Miami could cost you about $3,800 per month, compared to around $2,250 in Tampa. For a 1-bedroom apartment, the median price was roughly $1,399.
The cost of entertainment in Florida offered a range of options to fit different budgets. Common gym memberships were available starting at as low as $10 per month. For those interested in skateboarding, Florida boasts a variety of popular skate parks with parking fees around $6.
A trip to Disney World would set you back about $179 per day, per person. Other attractions included a visit to the Miami Zoo for $32.00 or the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral for $78.15. Potter’s Wax Museum in St. Augustine had an admission fee of approximately $19.41.
Healthcare costs for an adult living in Florida averaged around $2,792 annually or $232 per month. For a four-person family, the estimated annual healthcare cost was approximately $9,249, or $770 per month.
It’s important to note that health insurance costs can vary widely depending on a variety of factors, including personal health conditions, the cost of medications, and the specifics of one’s health insurance plan.
A sample budget for living in Florida might look something like this: Rent could be around $1,200 per month, while the average person might spend approximately $300 a month on food. Entertainment expenses could average about $100 per month, and another $100 could go toward a telephone bill.
Vehicle insurance might cost you about $200 monthly. Adding it all up, the average person could expect to spend around $1,900 per month living in Florida at average levels. It’s crucial to remember that these numbers can fluctuate, especially depending on the specific area of Florida where you reside.
Real Estate Prices in Florida
The real estate market in Florida was characterized by rising prices, influenced by decreasing inventory. The median home value at that time was approximately $328,576, and these numbers had increased by 69% over the last five years and 24% within the past year.
Typically, it took around 12 days to receive a sales contract after a property was listed. The rental market was also heating up, with landlords raising rents due to increased immigration into the state, which was attracted by a strong job market and the absence of state income tax.
Rental prices in the three major metropolitan areas were seeing an annual increase of about 27%. According to Freddie Mac’s housing index report, home prices in Florida had surged by over 156% since October 2000.
How Much Does a House Cost in Florida?
The median price of a house in Florida is $410,000.
Here are the different taxes in Florida and how they apply to goods and services.
Florida does not charge any income tax. That means that no money is taken off paychecks or retirement income.
The state’s sales tax rate is 6% or 7.08% if you include the local tax rate.
Florida’s sales tax is 6% but depends on the city and jurisdictions. All sellers of tangible goods or properties must register to pay sales tax. These include leases, licenses, and rentals.
Real Estate and Property Tax
Florida property taxes are slightly below the national average, at 0.83%. A typical homeowner pays $2035 annually in property tax. A property appraisal is the first step in the process. This involves placing a value on real estate.
Property tax rates apply to the assessed value rather than the appraisal value of a property.
Goods and Service Tax
Florida’s sales tax is rate is 6% with a few exceptions. 4% on amusement machine receipts, and 5.5% on the lease of commercial real property. There is also 6.95% on electricity.
Since there is no state income tax in Florida, retirement income is not included. This makes Florida a very retirement-friendly place.
Inheritance Laws in Florida
There are no state taxes related to inheritance in Florida. There are no inheritance taxes or estate taxes under Florida law. However, final individual state and federal tax income returns are due on the tax day following an individual’s death.
A federal estate tax return is due nine months after an individual’s death. Federal trust income tax return is due April 15th following an individual’s death. An employee identification number must be acquired for estates as they are not considered their entities.
Wills in Florida are only considered valid if signed with 2 witnesses present. This names an executor, who handles the disbursement of property listed as part of the estate. This includes clearly labeled recipients for each piece of property.
When the decedent passes away, the individual under the possession of the valid must file it with the local court ten days after the death. If someone passes away without a will in Florida, intestate succession laws decide who has legal rights to the contents.
A surviving spouse of a decadent has the most rights to an intestate estate according to Florida’s inheritance law. If there are no surviving children, they will receive the entire estate. If there are children, then half goes to them and a half to the spouse.
The Average Income in Florida
The average household income in Florida is $88,267 in 2023. The individual income is about $35,216.
Immigrations laws in Florida decide who can come into the country and how long they can stay. A green card or permanent resident card provides the right to permanent residency in the United States.
A family-based green card is $1760 for an applicant living in the United States and $1200 for those not living in the US. Vaccination, translation services, and document fees must also be considered.
There are a few different types of green cards, including the family-based green card. This is for families who already have a US citizen in their family so they can get the non-residents working toward their residence cards.
An employment-based green card is dependent on the industry, skill level, and specialty. A diversity lottery green card randomly selects 50 000 people each year to be selected.
Can I Use USD in Florida?
The official currency in Florida is the US dollar.
How Much Cash Can I Bring Into Florida?
There is a limit of $10 000 dollars cash before you have to declare things to US customs.
How Much Do You Need to Retire in Florida?
Retirement expenses cost roughly $1 million. This is nearly $64 000 more than the average nationwide. The high retirement costs are due to the high average life expectancy rate in the state. 65-year-olds are expected to live on average another 20 years.
Florida already has 3.5 million residents over 65. Since there are no state taxes on social security benefits, pensions, IRA’s, and retirement income, it is a great place for retirement.
How Much to Live in Florida Comfortably?
According to the Living Wage Calculator, two adults who are both working and have two children would need approximately $86,475 annually to cover expenses comfortably in Florida. These expenses include schooling, groceries, rent, and vehicle costs.
Florida is a very intriguing place to reside. The year-round-nice weather and attractions make it a very nice place to live. The lower average cost of living combined with no state tax makes it hard not to want to live here. The beaches and entertainment make it understandable why so many people wish to move here.
Now that you’ve considered all of the different expenses and seen how they fit your budget, you can make an informed decision for yourself.