Moving to Florida Pros Cons of moving and living in Florida Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:14:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Best Places to Retire in 2015 in the US   Recently updated ! 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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The Safest Towns to Live in Florida Sat, 15 Nov 2014 19:17:06 +0000 Florida’s High Crime Rate

Ranking all states by crime rate, with #1 having the best crime rate and #50 having the worst, Florida is ranked #45, according to So if you’re moving from any of the 44 states with less crime, you’re moving to a state with a higher crime rate. Why is this important? Because I’ve talked with 1000’s of buyers since first becoming licensed in the real estate business in 1986, and not one buyer even said they wanted to move to an area with a high crime rate. In fact, many were moving precisely because they wanted to move their family to a safer area.

So why would anybody from those 44 states with a lower crime rate, ever move to a state with a higher crime rate like Florida, if they wouldn’t do that in there home state? Because in their home state they know where most of the crime happens and where the safer areas are. Also, most people aren’t aware just how high Florida’s crime rate is.

Florida Crime Myths and Mythinformation

Lets take 3 Florida towns that many people may be considering a move to, Sarasota, Gainesville and St Augustine. Each of these towns has a substantially higher crime rate than the Florida Florida as a whole, and Florida has more crime than 44 other states.

Lets take a hypothetical situation where a buyer from out of state is looking at places to live in one of these 3 towns. The out of state buyer has not researched crime rates or is there because of a “faulty” best place list. While looking at a home, the out of state buyer asks the agent, “is this in a safe area?”

Here’s just 2 possible answers:

  1. “Yes this is a safe area. I live here. My kids go to the schools here and we’ve never had a problem”.
  2. “Florida has a higher crime rate than the US average, and this town has a higher rate than the Florida average.”

Answer #2 states facts, but probably would not result in a sale and commission for the agent, a worse outcome for her, but this answer may lead to the buyer looking at homes in safer towns and a possible better outcome for them.

Answer #1 is what I call a mythinformation. It may be factual in that the agent may indeed live in that area, her kids may go to the schools and they may not ever have had a problem, but what if the towns crime rate is among the highest in the US?

  • If you were the out of state buyer, which answer would help you make the best decision for your family?
  • Which kind of answer do you think you’re more likely to get?
  • If an out of state buyer purchases a home in a higher crime town based upon an agent’s “safe” answer, can the buyer sue the agent (and real estate company) if he or a member of his family becomes a victim of a crime, after moving in?

How We Choose Our “Best Places”

A buyer can protect themselves and their family by learning a towns crime rate before they even consider looking there. All of our 2015 choices for any best place 2015 list, will be at least as safe as the Florida average crime rate. Most of our choices are far safer than the Florida’s average crime rate and are among the safest you’ll find in Florida. As a buyer in your home town, you wouldn’t want to move to a high crime area. We’re sure that’s the case when you move to Florida too. You’ll probably want a place that’s at least as safe, if not safer, than where you’re moving from.

And Guess What, There are Safer Places to Live in Florida

Even though Florida has a high average crime rate, there still are a few very low crime rate places left. It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for either. We’ve identified beach towns, small towns, affordable towns, walkable towns, towns near golf, all with lower crime rates. There are safe alternatives to Sarasota, Gainsville, St Augustine and all the other towns with high crime rates. If two places are similar, why choose the one with a much higher crime rate?

Florida Crime Rate FAQ’s

Q) “I live in New York City, how bad can crime in Florida cities be”, or “all big towns have high issues”

A) Mythinformation! Today, New York City has a lower rate of crime than all of Florida’s major cities like Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, St Petersburg and Miami. New York City has a lower crime rate than Sarasota, Gainesville and St Augustine and lots of other Florida towns. So yes, Florida cities are worse than New York, and no, not all large cities in the US have terrible crime rates.

Q) You’re site’s best places lists now disqualifies towns because of high crime rates. “I’m trying to sell homes in a safe area in a town with a high crime rate, it’s unfair not to choose a town because part of it has a crime problem.

A) It’s unfair to towns with low crime rates, and to buyers, to rate places as if crime rates don’t matter, because they do. There are homes for sale for $1 in Detroit? Why don’t they sell? You show me a town with crime rate that is going up, and I’ll show you a town where real estate prices are going to head south.

Buyers, I strongly urge you to check the crime rate of any area before even looking there. You’ll make better decisions if you use facts and statistics over Mythinformation. You can find crimes rates listed on many websites online. You can learn the rate of where you now live, and anywhere you are thinking of moving, for comparison at (not a government run site). At the top of the site there’s a search box. You can put a town name in and hit search. When the town info comes up, click the “crime rate” tab. Hey, check our picks to see the low crime rate for yourself.

Want to make sure moving to Florida is right for your family?

The Safest Places to Live in Florida

The Best Safe Places to Live Near the Beach in Florida in 2015

The Best Safe Places to Retire in Florida in 2015

The Best Safe Places to Live in Florida in 2015

The Best Safe Places for Golfers to Live in 2015

The Best Places to Live Cheap and Safe in Florida in 2015

The Most Walkable Safe Towns in Florida

The Best Safe Small Towns in Florida



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