Moving to Florida Pros & Cons of Retiring or Living in Florida Wed, 21 Jan 2015 14:36:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Best Cities to Live in Florida 2015 Thu, 11 Dec 2014 17:07:50 +0000 Some people moving to Florida won’t consider any place other than a large city. The following list’s are for you. The only cities eligible for consideration for the following lists are places with a population of at least 200,000. I’ve made a few lists based upon city of miami in floridadifferent criteria. For instance, you may be single, childless and your main priority in choosing a large city in Florida is finding work. We have a list for you, but our research shows that many of Florida’s small and mid-sized cities may offer a better chance of employment. They may have fewer jobs than a large city available overall, but they also have fewer applicants per open position so your chances are better.

If you’re retiring and don’t much care about job availability or school rankings, we have a list for you too. Again, the amenities that you’re moving to a larger city for can be found in smaller cities with far less crime. Many of these smaller cities and towns are located just outside a major city and may be a far better retirement alternative than one of Florida’s major cities.

We also list the major cities by crime rate. Florida’s crime rate is higher than the national average. In fact, crime in Florida is more of a problem than in all but a handful of other states. This list may be of interest to everyone from young and single to seniors. Be advised that just because a major city in Florida tops our list by crime rate, it doesn’t mean it’s safe. Your chance of becoming a victim in any of Florida’s major cities are still higher than being in New York, NY.

Best Cities to live in Florida for Employment

#1 Jacksonville

Jacksonville’s per capita income is lower than the national average.

#2 St Petersburg

#3 Tampa

#4 Orlando

Best Cities to Live in Florida by Cost of Living

#1 St Petersburg

Florida’s cost of living in higher than the national average, but St Petersburg’s cost of living is lower than Florida’s. St Petersburg’s median home sale price is about $160,000 which means half the homes sell for less than that.

#2 Tampa

#3 Orlando

#4 Jacksonville

Best Cities to Live in Florida by Crime Rate

#1 Hialeah

Hialeah’s violent crime rate and property crime is higher that the national average, but it’s the only city in Florida with a population over 200,000 with a crime rate is lower than Florida’s average rate.

#2 Jacksonville

#3 Tampa

#4 St Petersburg

Best Cities to Live in Florida for Better School Districts

Quality of education in Florida can vary wildly, even within the same district. This list is just for an overall quick comparison. You actually have to pick a neighborhood, then see how schools for that area rank.

#1 Orlando

See Living in Orlando Florida Pro and Con Videos

#2 St Petersburg

#3 Jacksonville

#4 Tampa

Best Cities to Retire in Florida

Chosen with an emphasis on amenities and safety, although we are not saying they are safe..

#1 Hialeah

#2 Tampa

#3 Jacksonville

Best Cities to Live in Florida Overall

#1 Tampa

See Living in Tampa Florida Pro and Con Videos

#2 Jacksonville

See Living in Jacksonville Florida Pro and Con Videos

Please note: This list only includes only cities with over 200,000 people. In our opinion, this is not a “best of the best” but a list of the least worse. There are far better places to live in Florida and many of them are located just outside of these large cities. You can find them here.

Do you have something to add? If so, please leave a comment below and share your thoughts with other readers.

The real question is should you be moving to Florida at all?


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Best Places to Retire in 2015 in the US 5 Sat, 22 Nov 2014 19:55:19 +0000 This post is different than what I normally write for this blog because it’s not totally focused on Florida. In this post I’ll be taking a look at three recent “best places to retire” lists that use very good criteria to base their choices on. Too many retirement lists use flawed criteria or perpetuate old tired myths. One recent “best places to retire” list did not even take crime or safety into consideration at all. Retirees do not want to live in high crime areas. No one does.

Many best places to retire lists give too much weight to hot weather. One list cited “the hotter the better” as a criteria. Using thatbison-buffalo logic, a desert that regularly reaches 120 degrees would be the ideal place to retire. Start building those retirement condos in the hottest African country for all the American retirees that will be flocking there. If you believe global warming is real and “the hotter the better”, then invest in a retirement home in a location where there’s hope of daily 140 degree weather in the future. Anyone who read the Florida Move Guide knows that weather is one of the biggest reasons retirees move to Florida, and it’s also one of the biggest reasons they move out.

Money Magazine’s best places to retire list that was published in October 2014 uses criteria from the National Institute on Retirement Security. Money Mag apparently felt that economic security was the #1 concern of people retiring today. They know a thing or two about money matters so I feel it’s a good list for people considering a move for retirement. No city or town in Florida made Money’s list.

The nonprofit Milken Institute’s thorough report on the best places for successful aging used 84 different factors. Wow. Just of some of the factors were health, wellness, crime rates, weather, economic conditions, housing, transportation, affordability and social engagement. I especially respect this list because Milken is a non-partisan nonprofit and the report is so comprehensive. No Florida city or town scored high enough to be anywhere near the top of the list in this report. In fact, Florida’s cities and towns take up a disproportionate share of the bottom of the list.

Finally, put out an excellent best states to retire list. Similar to the Milken study, Bankrate used actual quality of life data to see how US states compared. Well-being, cost of living, health care quality, tax burden, violent and property crime rates, humidity and sunshine were the factors they used. Florida was rated as the #39th best state to retire in.

Bottom line? If you use myths, mythinformation and flawed data like “the hotter the better” or don’t consider crime, you can still create a list of the best places to retire that will have Florida cities and towns at the top. Lists that use actual quality of life data from trusted government and non-partisan nonprofit agencies without an agenda, show that Florida’s quality of life factors are poor when compared with other states. What type of list would you rather use when considering where to move your life to?

The Best Places to Retire in 2015 in the US

Please note: In my new book “How to Retire Happier” (available on this site Dec. 2014) will include a list of the best places to retire in the US, complete with the odds of successfully retiring in each state. The list in the book will include a factor that isn’t used on any of these list but I think it’s probably the most important of all. The books list is different than the one below.

The towns and cities below made the top spots on Money Magazine and/or the Milken report, and are located in one of the top states from the list.

#1 Sioux Falls, South Dakota

This town is the only one that made both Money’s and Milken’s list and is in the #1 state to retire according to This town and state scores very high in all quality of life factors. It doesn’t hurt that the state doesn’t collect a personal income tax.

See a Video about South Dakota

See Florida vs South Dakota

The following towns made Money’s or Milken’s list and are located in one of the top 5 states according to

Rapid City, SD

Provo-Orem, UT

See a Video about Provo, Utah

Salt Lake City, UT

Cheyenne, WY

See a Video about Wyoming

Casper, WY

Bismark, ND

Quick Q&A


A. Read the “Florida Move Guide” before you move your life a 1000 miles to someplace “warm”.

Money Magazine List  / list  /  Milken Institute Report


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