Fun beaches, city views and affordable condos...South Florida could be our retirement spot.
Retiring in South Florida is an idea we had after a recent trip. Mr. Rover and I had recently gone to Panama City, Panama to check out the city and real estate. Panama City was high on our list as a retirement destination so off we went. Unfortunately, once we arrived, we realized there were a few deal breakers for us regarding retiring there.
One thing we really did love was the beautiful highrise buildings in the city and the amazing views that came with them. So it got us thinking...what about retiring in South Florida? There are tons of highrises that offer incredible views, a thriving multicultural scene and beaches galore.
So, I got to researching because that’s what I do. I’ll overdose on research, staying up late to look at every Realtor.com listing, reading local forums and finding every article about the topic I can. Mr. Rover sometimes thinks I neglect him at these times but a girl has to do what a girl has to do!
Anyway, back to Florida. I just knew this would be our place. There were plenty of options within our price range and surprisingly, around the same price that we could get in Panama City. So, I booked a trip. The main areas we looked at were between Hollywood Beach and Aventura.
These are the three areas that we searched for properties. The Hollywood Beach area has a vibe all it’s own. When driving down Ocean Drive, you’ll see towering buildings on both sides of the street. There’s a lot of traffic and city blocks of buildings, asphalt and cars. If you want to take a stroll, the beach is it. But, that’s the whole point. If you live by the beach, that’s your track.
A lot of condos are located west of Ocean Drive and you have to cross the causeway to get there. This means if you purchased on the West side, walking to the beach is not possible. You’ll have to get in a car. On the other hand, your surroundings will be a bit more calm. Many of the places have grounds where you can walk along the causeway and therefore still enjoy the water. But still, the sidewalks in front of the buildings were empty. No one was out walking.
Once we hit Aventura, we could see a difference. It has many high rise buildings but the surroundings feel a lot more suburban. There are walking paths where people were out walking, biking and skating. There were a lot more trees and grass giving it a more homey feel.
I really liked both areas but Mr. Rover wasn’t sold. And one thing I agree with him on is this is an area where we would definitely need a car. And worse yet is the amount of traffic. It wasn’t bad around Aventura (mind you, this was a weekend) but trying to go to the beach and find parking was a hassle.
Top 5 Things We Love about South Florida
Top 4 Things We Don't Like about South Florida
There is a three-tiered living coral reef off the coast of Fort Lauderdale and 75 artificial reefs!
Things You Should Know about Retiring in a High rise in South Florida
There are a few important things to consider when considering retiring in South Florida in a high-rise condo. Whether you're in Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale or Miami, these considerations apply State-wide.
The Hollywood Beach Boardwalk is nearly 2.5 miles long!
Fort Lauderdale Cost of Living Chart
Data from Numbeo and Zillow
Cost of Living Rank
38th out of 517
1 Bdr Apartment in City
$1800 per month
1 Bdr Apartment Outside City
$1400 per month
Median Home Price
Meal for Two, Mid-Range
For us, retiring in South Florida in a high-rise condo isn’t in the cards. I’m more for it but Mr. Rover wants more of a small, beachy town feel. So we continue on our journey to find our paradise. But, it could be something you would love. For those craving the activities provided by a larger city, this area may be somewhere to consider.
However, if you're craving to live in a destination outside of the U.S., Panama City, Panama could be the prefect spot!
Quick Facts about South Florida
9,340,000 (entire area from Fort Lauderdale to Miami)
Long, hot and wet summers. Pop up showers in the afternoon occure most days. Winters are short, humid, windy and clear. Average temps are from 61°F and 89°F
FL is rated as very tax friendly. No State taxes, Social Security income in not taxed. Withdrawals from retirement accouts are not taxed. Public and private pension income is not taxed and wages are taxed at normal rates.