11 Reasons You Don't Want to Retire in Florida

An overabundance of boomers, critters, sweat and weirdness. Welcome to the dark side of the Sunshine State.

A vintage motor vehicle is parked on the brick paved streets of the historic Old Southeast Neighborhood in Saint Petersburg, Florida.
(Image credit: Getty Images )

As retirement approaches and the punch of the coming polar vortex is conjuring dreams of warmer temperatures and a lost shaker of salt, you have Florida on your mind. After all, it’s the quintessential post-working world existence, so we're told. But is it right for you?

Before you take the Florida plunge, let us offer some earnest advice: Try before you buy. Spend some serious leisure time in the Sunshine State. Just be sure to skip the hotel and instead rent an Airbnb in a residential area you’re interested in, or park that RV you just bought in an RV-friendly place in Florida. Introduce yourself to the neighbors, shop and dine locally, and observe the rhythms of life. Stay a few days – or, better, a few weeks – and, as the realities of Florida living sink in, you might not like what you see.

To that end, we took a serious look at the downsides of retiring in Florida. Here’s some of what we found.

Bob Niedt
Online Editor, Kiplinger.com

Bob is a Senior Online Editor at Kiplinger.com. He has more than 40 years of experience in online, print and visual journalism. Bob has worked as an award-winning writer and editor in the Washington, D.C., market as well as at news organizations in New York, Michigan and California. Bob joined Kiplinger in 2016, bringing a wealth of expertise covering retail, entertainment, and money-saving trends and topics. He was one of the first journalists at a daily news organization to aggressively cover retail as a specialty, and has been lauded in the retail industry for his expertise. Bob has also been an adjunct and associate professor of print, online and visual journalism at Syracuse University and Ithaca College. He has a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a bachelor’s degree in communications and theater from Hope College.