In The OFB 50 States Project, you the readers spill the beans about your state: the good, the bad, and the delicious. And thus provide “forever place” seekers (like yours truly) a useful resource in their search. We’d love to hear about your state! To be a part of this project, click here to fill out the form!
|Low State Taxes Ranking: 24Low Cost of Living Ranking: 25
State Economy Ranking: 47
|Average Temperatures (Tallahassee):
The Short of It
The state of Florida is brought to you by the following awesome OFB readers:
1) Jen S. // 2) Mrs. PoP // 3) Lizzy K. // 4) Kiley // 5) Sarah H.
What food best represents Florida?
- A fresh juicy orange 2, 3
- Gulf seafood 4
- Fresh fish 5
What song best represents Florida?
- Welcome to Miami – Will Smith 2
- Any Jimmy Buffett song 4
- Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffett 5
How does FL refer to a carbonated beverage drink?
- Coke 1
- Soda / Fanta / Coke / Perrier 2
- Soda or coke 3, 4
- Soda 5
If you could take a friend to one place in FL, where would it be?
- Sanibel Island 1
- Tie — beaches or Miami Zoo 2
- Siesta Key Beach 3, 4
- Key West 5
Siesta Key Beach (photo by Robert S. Donovan)
The Long of It
Biggest misconception about FL?
- That it’s all old people! Or that we’re rednecks. Florida is extremely diverse — where I grew up (in Clearwater, on the central west coast) are a lot of Northern transplants with a lot of Greek and Jewish heritage mixed in. I live in Jacksonville now, and it’s definitely more “southern.” I think Florida has a little bit to offer everyone culturally. 1
- That there’s anything uniform about it. South Florida is an entity unto its own and there’s a place for just about everyone here. On my run this morning I started in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, ran through some generic (not heavily Jewish) retirees, then passed through the Argentinian/Brazilian (blue collar area), passed through a more Reform Jewish community, and ended in one of the wealthiest zip codes in the country. All in the span of six miles on the beach. Pretty much whatever you want, there’s a pocket of it somewhere south of Lake O. Unless it’s snow. Or mountains. If you want those things, head to CO. 2
- It’s all like Orlando or Miami and beaches, beaches, beaches (but FYI — the beaches are the best part). The Panhandle is so different than the rest of the state. It’s like southern Georgia more than Florida. Only the part of the state north of Ocala is in the Deep South, and if you’re below Ocala, you get to say you grew up south of The South. But note, this is also different from saying you’re from South Florida, which means you’re from Miami or near Miami. 3
- That its all old people or crazy nightlife like Miami. Which really depends on which city you are in, there’s a good balance of young fresh towns and retirement communities. 4
Best aspect about living in FL?
- The weather! Especially in North Florida where I live. We get enough of a ‘winter’ (ie lows in the 30s/highs in the 60s) to get a break from the heat but still plenty of sunshiney beautiful days! 1
- People are happier when they get their daily dose of Vitamin D from the sun. And happy neighbors makes for a happy Mrs. PoP. But since this is a PF blog, the best part about FL is that it’s got a “choose your own adventure” approach to taxation. With no income tax, a very reasonable sales tax (ours is 6%), and generous property tax exemptions for residents, you get to choose how much taxes you pay based on how opulent of a lifestyle you want to lead. Live a frugal life in a modest house and you’ll pay very little in state taxes even if you’re banking $1mm from your blog. 2
- Sunshine! And you get really good at/used to driving in rain and don’t necessarily worry about hurricanes until you’re in the three day cone…and even then it’s like, “Ok, but where’s it really headed?” Also, we don’t pay state income taxes. 3
- Always being only two hours from the beach, wherever you are! 5
Worst aspect about living in FL?
- Traffic/tourism/snowbirds! 1
- Snowbirds and tourists are probably the worst part about being a FT resident down here, but it’s hard to complain about them since their taxes pay for all the tax breaks residents get. Not to mention their greatest sin is not knowing where they’re going or driving 20mph under the speed limit. It’s really not a bad thing to be forced to slow down or stop and smell the roses a little for 6 months every year. 2
- Summer traffic! 4
- It can feel like you’re breathing water during the summer. 5
Summarize your feelings about Florida in five words.
- Lots of diversity; great weather! 1
- Born elsewhere, FL now HOME. 2
- Sunshine on a cloudy day. 3
- Sandy. Sunny. Summer. Hot. Flat. 4
- Relaxing, entertaining, beach life, FTW! 5
Our Freaking Take
Here’s a clue on how we feel about Florida: we’ve vacationed in the state ever.single.year since we got married. That’s a pretty stellar track record, huh? Or we’re the boring people who find something they like on a menu and always order the same thing. In any case, Florida has never really crossed our minds as a “forever home” state because it’s our “vacation state.” But we’d be happy to change that. The state’s economy ain’t hot, but if the weather is, we’re willing to overlook that. The humidity might have been a dealbreaker for me a few years ago, but this California kid has adapted. All-in-all, pretty stellar reviews from our trusty OFB reviewers. And that means Florida makes our shortlist.
How did these answers line up with your perception of Florida? Have your thoughts on the state changed after reading this? Could you see it fitting your forever-place bill?