Snowbirds equal Florida birds. Or, at least, they used to. A Charlotte County, Florida, resident spoke his mind about why retirees are leaving Florida, and people flooded the comments section with their not-so-great Florida experiences.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
1: Climate Woes
Contrary to popular belief, Florida’s “climate is not conducive to fun in the sun,” argues the Charlotte County resident. His reasoning? There’s blistering heat in the summer and destructive hurricanes in the fall.
2: That’s Not All
The same Charlotte County local explains that while the months between October and April have “quite nice” weather, that’s when snowbirds flock down to Florida. It makes “transportation and daily living less than desirable,” they say. And while snowbirds might not mind the crowds compared to cold northern winters, snowbird-turned-Florida retirees may end up resenting it.
3: Be Rich
Retirees who don’t have a large nest egg may find themselves struggling financially by remaining in Florida. The original forum poster says property taxes are around $7,000 for a 2,000 square foot home, homeowners and auto insurance is “crazy high,” and a conservative family of two can expect to pay over $100 for water.
4: Bad Politics
While one’s perception of the political side of Florida will depend on their leanings, according to a local, “A succession of Fascist Republican governors, senators, and congressmen over the past 10 years” have made Florida unrecognizable.
5: Don’t Bug Me
Excessive bugs are another reason why Florida retirees are leaving their state. Love bug season is particularly brutal, with cars getting squashed through them as they drive through the mating insects.
A fourth-generation native Floridian says the Sunshine State “isn’t the same place I grew up in during the 50s and 60s.” The reason? “Developers have turned it into something ugly.”
7: Spot On
A sixth-generation Floridian agrees wholeheartedly about what an eyesore Florida has become, believing Florida is no longer the “bread basket” of the Eastern USA. “Now, we have condos on the beaches, cookie-cutter housing subdivisions everywhere, crowded roads, increased taxes, and Mickey Mouse living in what used to be a cow pasture.”
8: Don’t Get Me Started
The sixth-generation Floridian rants about the water situation in Florida. “It is either spring, sulfur, or iron,” they say. They feel disheartened about where their state is at. “We never wanted Florida to become another New York.”
9: It’s Obvious
A Florida native who chose to retire in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee says all the reasons people listed are why they chose to move. They specifically mention the mountains not having “ridiculous humidity” and the people in Tennessee being friendly. “Old Florida was awesome, and I’m glad I got to experience it, but old Florida has left the building, never to return.”
10: Danger Lurks
A South Florida transplant says they regret their move to Florida. They cite the crime being “very high” and “car theft has gone up” as reasons for wanting to move, along with “no consideration” about the poor and snowbirds acting entitled.
11: Saved by the HOA
An investor said that about two years ago, they were trying to purchase an Airbnb property in Cocoa Beach. However, the Homeowners Associations (HOAs) were making it nearly impossible, so they dropped it. Fast forward to recently, and the investor has been getting calls non-stop from realtors, saying the HOAs have relaxed their rules.
The investor says there’s no way they’d ever buy a property in Florida now, and they predict the situation will only get more dire, given Florida’s high property tax and insurance.
12: Septic Field
Florida’s ecology has been violated, says a frustrated environmentalist about their state. They describe Florida as being “a large septic field of sorts,” with not enough flowing water and excessive pollution. They say, “Add the effects of climate change on seawater levels, composition, and temperature, and you have injury to fisheries, coastlines, more intense hurricanes, and all the resultant destruction of habitat, human and other.”
13: Hold Your Breath
A Florida transplant says Florida has been going downhill since they moved there ten years ago. “We find ourselves holding our breaths every year during the homeowners’ insurance renewal process.” They say it’s not uncommon for people to experience a 50% or more increase.
14: DeSantis Blues
Several commenters cited Governor Ron DeSantis as a reason for retirees to flee Florida. One person believes he’s “a silly, evil man who has no business governing anything.” Another accused him of having a “greed and church agenda.”
The Other Side
A Florida retiree says they love living in Florida. Sure, they say, the summers are hot. But they question, “How are yours cold?” They also argue that snowbirds are nice and traffic isn’t that bad unless you’re driving between Boca Raton and Miami.
Although it may seem to Floridians that retirees are leaving their state in droves, data shows that Florida is one of the top states that people are moving to.
Floridians may have noticed an uptick in Californians moving there, for California is one of the states that Americans are leaving the most, along with New York, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.
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