Florida is usually the top state for retirees to relocate and technically it still is but right now, Florida is posing some interesting challenges for out-of-state seniors that want to call it home and seniors currently in-state that want to have no part of leaving. What has been noticed in the economy currently is that prices are skyrocketing….everywhere and Florida is no exception.
Home prices in the state are up by at least 6.1% from 2022, grocery prices are 1.8% higher, and inflation, in general, is showing a steady trend. The state where a good majority of seniors want to call home is becoming unsustainable financially and seniors are finding that their best option is to either leave the state or shift the way that they live which might not be the most ideal idea.
If you are a senior living in Florida, you may have concerns about how the stock market, the health of the economy, and the real estate market are affecting your financial situation. If you do, keep reading as we discuss the subtle yet steady financial crisis in Florida that many seniors are experiencing.
Florida Is Getting Pricey and Seniors Are Trying to Navigate These Changes
Florida has now been named the 9th most expensive state for those that want to retire in the state or that have already retired and are living in Florida. One of the biggest concerns for seniors is the impact of inflation which has quickly been altering the fixed incomes that many seniors have. There have also been spikes in interest rates and according to Bay News 9, the instability of social security is also making it more difficult for seniors to come to terms with how expensive the state is becoming.
During the pandemic, Florida had more citizens make the move to the state than Texas did which is already known as the second most popular destination for retirees or new movers. Florida, during that time, was the most popular destination, and among many of those that moved to the state, most had incomes in higher brackets which contributed to fluctuations in real estate availability.
Also, something that might be shocking is knowing the cities and states that made the “fastest to rise to inflation” list. If you were asked to make a guess at #1, you might assume San Francisco or Manhattan, but really, Miami, Florida (9.9%) is the #1 city that hit inflation the quickest, and believe it or not, Tampa (9.6%) was #2. Florida started off the list of cities to experience inflation at much quicker rates and what’s even more interesting is that no other state had two cities on the list within the top 10…only Florida. These are all reasons why seniors are considering making a move or at least making a big change and the thing is, they don’t want to have to do this, and they shouldn’t.
What Can Be Done?
Florida has long been a popular destination for retirees seeking a warm climate, vibrant communities, and an active lifestyle. However, the rising cost of living in the Sunshine State has become a significant concern for many seniors, especially for those that already call the state home and don’t want to entertain the idea of leaving. Seniors are finding it increasingly challenging to afford housing, healthcare, and other essential expenses and if you’re a Florida senior that falls in this category and are feeling financial strain, there are several strategies you can consider to help cope with the issue of being priced out of Florida.
Explore Affordable Housing Options
The high cost of housing is often a primary contributor to the financial burden on seniors. In fact, at least 80% of seniors in Florida that are renting, have been afraid of eviction. What you want to do is consider exploring affordable housing options such as senior-specific communities, subsidized housing, or cooperative housing programs. These alternatives can provide cost-effective living arrangements while still offering access to essential amenities and social activities. Keep in mind that “affordable” could simply mean downsizing as well or moving to more affordable areas of the state.
Downsize or Relocate
Just as we mentioned, simply moving or downsizing your space could be the answer to your questions. If your current housing situation is becoming unaffordable, downsizing or relocating to a more affordable area within Florida might be worth considering but you do want to keep in mind that the number of homes sold in the state has seen a significant decrease of about 35.4%.
This means that you need to be strategic about the areas you want to house hunt in. Also, consider moving into a condo or an apartment which, depending on your location may be less expensive, give you amenities added into the price, and reduce the maintenance that you would often have to commit to with a house. This won’t only help reduce housing costs but also free up financial resources for other essential needs.
Take Advantage of Government Programs
Many government programs and initiatives exist to assist seniors in managing their expenses. Look into programs such as the Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicare Savings Programs, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, among others. These programs can provide financial assistance, healthcare benefits, utility bill relief, and access to nutritious food among the rising prices of groceries in Florida.
Budgeting and Financial Planning
This one might go without saying but simply taking a proactive approach to budgeting and financial planning is crucial for seniors facing rising costs or anyone for that matter. Assess your income, expenses, and savings to gain a clear understanding of your financial situation. Make adjustments where necessary, such as reducing discretionary spending, limiting out-of-state vacations, finding cost-effective alternatives for services and products that you use daily or weekly, and exploring ways to increase your income through part-time work or utilizing your skills and hobbies.
Seniors, You Don’t Have to Be Priced Out of Florida
While the rising cost of living in Florida may present challenges for seniors, implementing these strategies can help mitigate financial strain and improve your overall quality of life and enjoyment. Remember to reach out to local resources, explore available benefits, and make informed decisions about your housing, healthcare, and financial choices. By taking proactive steps, you can find ways to remain in the Sunshine State while managing increasing expenses. Being priced out of Florida doesn’t have to become a reality if you stay aware and when you utilize the resources available to you as a senior.