Florida is the second most popular State in the US for retirees and as a result so much in Florida is geared to meet the demands of the baby boomers.  If you’re looking for a perfect place to retire to where you can speak English, enjoy fantastic weather and associate with likeminded and similarly aged people, perhaps you should be thinking about retiring to live abroad in Florida.

The State has so much going for it, it’s affordably accessible from the UK too – but there are downsides to consider such as the cost of healthcare and the visa requirements placed on those hoping to live in America.  In this article we’ll examine the realities of retiring to live abroad in Florida.

The easiest way for a British retiree to get the best out of their retirement in Florida is to not worry about applying for permanent residence status.  To do so you either need American relatives or you need to purchase a qualifying interest in a business in the US for example.  Instead, those Britons who enjoy their retirement in Florida most, do so for 6 months of the year.  You can get permission to reside in your property in Florida for 90 days or up to 6 months in some cases, meaning you can avoid the harsh British autumn and winter and bask in the Floridian sunshine before returning to the UK for the best parts of the year.  I.e., the lush springtime and the green and pleasant British summer.

As stated, Florida is the second most popular place in America with retirees – from all nationalities!  The wealthiest of the Americans favour locations such as the Gulf Coast where property prices have been pushed up.  But thanks to the credit crunch and the record numbers of repossessions as well as the weak dollar, buying property in America anywhere in Florida is far cheaper today than it was just a couple of years ago.  This is excellent news for retirees.

Other positive news from the property sector is that depending on where you buy in the state you can benefit from a strong rental demand.  So, if you buy a home in a popular area you can reside in it for three months perhaps and then let it out the rest of the year to earn a decent rental income.  Average yields top 5% meaning you can even earn some income in retirement.

The fact that Florida is so popular with retirees means that you will be living in communities with people of a similar age.  This can have benefits such as the fact that there are any clubs and associations for retirees, there are plenty of golf courses, social clubs, recreational activities and many businesses offer significant discounts for seniors.

Florida is about a 9 hour flight from the UK which is a bit of a pain – but flights are direct from major UK airports and there are often bargains available with the package tour operators.  The other downside of retiring to live abroad in Florida is the cost of healthcare.  The availability and standard of care is second to none – but the cost is prohibitively exorbitant meaning that you will have to factor in health insurance when working out your cost of living in America.

With up to 350 days of sunshine a year, incredibly sophisticated infrastructure, a wealth of first world amenities and attractive real estate prices, what’s not to love about Florida!  If it sounds like your ideal retirement destination, do some research into visas and permissions to reside in the State, ensure you’re buying property in a zone where you can rent it out and enjoy an income from it, factor in flight costs and health insurance when determining your cost of income – and then take an extended vacation in the Sunshine State and see if it could feel like home.