Cost of Living in Florida

A photo of a Florida beach at sun rise. There are several palm trees in and around the beach. Some buildings and a road can be seen on the far left.

Thousands of people move in and out of Florida each month. Florida has many beautiful attractions and is one of the top vacation destinations in the US. This is because of its beaches, snorkeling, and warm weather. Before deciding to move anywhere, it’s always important to decide how much it will cost to live there and if it fits into your budget.

Another benefit of living in Florida is the cultural diversity. There are plenty of people from every age, religion, and background. Florida has some of the best and most entertaining sports teams to watch. No matter what sport you’re into, you will find a team to watch.

The average cost of living in Florida is less than the US average, but it does depend on which area you wish to move to. This article provides a detailed breakdown of all costs that need to be considered when moving to Florida. It will allow you to decide if Florida is the best place for you.

What Is the Florida Cost of Living Index

Florida isn’t even 1% higher than the national average. There is a range depending on what area of Florida you live. On average, it costs less to live in Florida than most cities in the US.

Cost of Living in Florida in USD

The average home price in Florida is around $382 000, and the median monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1500.

Internet and Utility Expenses

The average monthly cost for a utility bill in the US is $157 for utilities including water, electricity, and gas. Certain households will include internet and cell phone services in their utility bill. The amount that you use these services will reflect your utility bill price.

For 60mbps of internet speed and unlimited data, it costs around $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
Knowledge Retest$10.00
Skill Retest$20.00
Identification Cards$25.00
D-6 Suspension$60.00
Disqualification$75.00
Revocations$75.00
Hardship Hearing Fee$12.00
DUI Program Fee$15.00
Interlock Fee$12.00

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.

A woman in a white shirt pushes a shopping cart through the fruit and vegetable aisle of a supermarket.

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.

ItemPrice
Milk (1L)$0.92
Loaf of White Bread (500g)$2.84
Chicken Fillet (1kg)$9.11
White Rice (1kg)$4.21
Cheese (1kg)$10.15
Ground Beef (1kg)$12.34
Apples (1kg)$3.82
Head of Lettuce$1.91
Potato (1kg)$2.40

How Much is a Coke in Florida? 

The price of a 2L Coke in Miami, Florida is $2.03.

Dining Out

A steak dinner in Florida can cost anywhere from $20-60, depending on the restaurant. A steak dinner at Mastro’s Steakhouse costs about $40.

The average price of a burger in Florida is $2.47. Thee Burger Spot is rated 5 stars and has burgers priced at $6:00. 109 Burger Joint is rated 4.5 stars and costs $13.00 for a burger.

A large cheese pizza ranges from $7.25 to $15 in Florida. 

Clothing Cost 

A pair of Levis jeans cost about $38.39, and a dress from H&M costs about $29.43. A pair of mid-range Nike shoes cost $78.41.

Childcare Cost

Preschool or Kindergarten costs about $884 monthly. The average cost of care for an infant is $8376 annually in a child care center. Mississippi has the cheapest child care at $5436 a year. Massachusetts is the most expensive at $20 913 a year.

Rent in Florida

Depending on which city you decide to live in, rent prices will vary. Orlando’s average apartment rental prices are $1611 per month, where it is around $1915 in Miami.

A 3-bedroom house in Miami is $3800 per month, whereas Tampa is around $2250. A 1-bedroom median price is about $1399.

Entertainment Cost

Common gym memberships start at as low as $10 per month. Florida is known for many popular skate parks that cost around $6 to park at. Visit Disney World for $179 per day, per person.

Visit the Miami zoo for $32.00 or the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral for $78.15. Potter’s Wax Museum in St.Augustine costs $19.41.

A male doctor, dressed in a white uniform, holds a stethoscope in his hand

Healthcare Cost

The healthcare costs for an adult living in Florida are $2792 annually or $232 a month. For a four-person family, it would be about $9249 annually or $770 a month.

Health insurance costs vary depending on factors such as personal health, medication costs, and personal health insurance. 

Sample Budget

Rent will cost about $1200 monthly. The average person spends about $300 a month on food and $100 on entertainment expenses. Another $100 can be added for a telephone bill. Vehicle insurance will be about $200. The average person can expect to spend $1900 per month living in Florida living at the average levels. However you can expect to pay more or less for some of these expenses depending on where you live specifically in Florida.

Real Estate Prices in Florida

As inventory goes down, prices of houses are continuously increasing. The median home value in Florida is $328 576 as of October 2021, which is shown here. In the last 5 years, these numbers have raised by 69% and 24% in the last year. 

The average time it takes to receive a sales contract after being listed is 12 days. Landlords have been increasing rent as immigration into Florida increases. This is due to the popular job market and the fact that there is no state income tax. 

Rent prices in the three metropolitan areas have increased by about 27% every year. Freddie Mac’s house index report shows that home prices in Florida have increased by over 156% since October 2000. 

How Much Does a House Cost in Florida?

The median price of a house in Florida is $382 000.

Florida Taxes

Here are the different taxes in Florida and how they apply to goods and services.

Income Tax

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. 

VAT Tax

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.

Retirement Tax

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.

Related: The Ultimate Checklist for Moving to Florida

The Average Income in Florida

The average household income in Florida is $57 435 in 2020. The individual income is about $27 936.

Immigration Costs 

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.

A photo showing five rolls of $100 bills

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?

Two adults who are both working and have two children will pay about $86,475 annually on expenses. This is according to Living Wage Calculator and includes schooling, groceries, rent, and vehicle expenses.

Wrap Up

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.

Related: 19 Cheapest Places to Live in Florida