We practice law in southwest Florida, so we serve people in Naples, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and the surrounding areas. Without question, this is one of the best places to live in the entire country on many different levels, and it is a fantastic place to retire.
When you think about this area of Florida, the weather is probably going to come to mind first. The climate here is incredible, and you can enjoy the outdoors 12 months a year. If you like boating, swimming, fishing, and golf, you will feel as though you have arrived in paradise if you decide to retire here.
In addition to the outdoor activities, this is a relatively large metropolitan area when you add all of these communities together. As a result, there are countless great restaurants, shops, galleries, and cultural activities to explore.
Senior citizens are going to be concerned about living assistance and health care, and there are multiple hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living communities here in our area, and this adds to the appeal.
Cape Coral is a community that often flies under the radar if you are not particularly familiar with this area; but in fact, it is the largest city in Florida between Tampa and Miami in terms of land mass, and it has a population of over 150,000 residents. They say that Venice, Italy, is the city of canals, but in fact, Cape Coral has more miles of canals that any city on the planet.
The highly respected magazine and website Forbes published a list of its top 25 retirement destinations last year, and the results were quite interesting. Cape Coral came in at number eight, and this was the highest rank for any city in the state of Florida. In fact, the only other Florida city that made the list is also in our area. Port Charlotte was named as one of the top 25 retirement destinations by Forbes.
Cape Coral offers a certain flavor, and it is affordable, but Naples, Fort Myers, and the other cities in our area also have a great deal to offer.
Favorable Tax Laws
The quality of life in southwest Florida is a big part of the allure for retirees, but there are also some significant financial advantages to be realized if you decide to enjoy your golden years in our area.
Taxation is something to take very seriously when you retire if you intend to live on a fixed income. A lot of people who retire in Florida move from places like New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey, where taxes are extremely high.
Florida is one of the most favorable states to retire in from a tax perspective. There is no state income tax in the Sunshine State, and pensions, individual retirement account distributions and Social Security benefits are not taxed. Plus, the states that we mentioned up north have state-level estate taxes, but there is no state estate tax in Florida.
Property taxes are low in general, but there is a homestead exemption of up to $50,000, and some senior citizens are entitled to an additional homestead exemption of another $50,000. The state sales tax of six percent is low as compared to many other states, and food and prescription and nonprescription drugs are exempt from the Florida state sales tax.
When you add all of the benefits together, you can see why Florida has been a prime retirement destination for decades, and our area of Florida may be the best of the best.
Prepare for the Future
If you take the right steps along the way, you can enjoy a rewarding retirement in southwest Florida. However, planning is very important, because Social Security benefits are modest. People often assume that Social Security will take care of the bills, but this is really not the case in most instances if you understand all of the facts.
During the 2016 calendar year, the average Social Security benefit is just $1341 per month for a single applicant, and the average for a couple is $2212. Even people who qualify for the maximum benefit receive a relatively modest benefit of $2639 a month.
You also have to brace yourself for long-term care costs when you are planning for retirement, because most elders will need living assistance, and Medicare will not pay for it.
We can help if you would like to discuss your future with a licensed attorney. To schedule a consultation, you can call us at 239-225-7911. If you would prefer to get in touch with us through the Internet, send us a message through our contact page.