Is It Expensive to Live in Florida?
Published February 28, 2022
Ah, the Sunshine State. With clear turquoise waters, blue skies, warm weather, Florida is undoubtedly the USA’s own slice of tropical paradise.
But if you’re planning to move to this southern state, you’re probably wondering, is it expensive to live in Florida? More importantly, can you afford to live in Florida?
To help you answer those questions and gauge how likely you are to fare in Florida economically, we’ve created this quick guide.
The Average Cost of Living in Florida
Despite being home to Disneyland and the country’s most gorgeous beaches, Florida is surprisingly an affordable place. A 2021 survey suggests that the average cost of living in Florida is at 100.3 – barely a few points higher than the national average of 100. This means that the state is pretty inexpensive for the average American.
However, you need to remember that there are over 400 cities, towns, and villages in Florida. All of which have diverse populations, geography, and economic status.
Major cities like Miami and Orlando may be more costly to live in. The same is also true for affluent communities like Palm Beach and Miromar Lakes. But if you look past beyond those millionaire’s playgrounds, there are a lot of places in Florida that might be more to your budget.
Typical Monthly Expenses
Like everywhere else, your monthly expenses in Florida really depend on your lifestyle. To give you an idea of how much your monthly budget should be, here are some estimates on the average living expenses in Florida:
Housing and Rent
This might come as a surprise to many but houses in Florida are relatively affordable. In fact, the state’s cost of housing index is at 99 – slightly lower than the national average. The state’s median home price is only $355,000 while the national average is $363,300.
Unfortunately, if you’re renting, apartment prices can be slightly higher than the national average. For instance, a two-bedroom apartment can set you back about $1,000 a month. In some places, it can even go as high as $1,700.
A 2019 study concluded that Florida has the second highest utility bills in the US. Data from the said study suggests that, on average, Floridians pay about $459.40 per month on utilities. This includes electricity, water, internet, cable television, trash/recycling, and natural gas.
One of the main reasons for such high utility costs is the weather in Florida. With temperatures ranging from 75°F to 87°F for most of the year, air conditioning units are a must.
Food and Groceries
As per the 2021 Cost of Living Survey cited above, the cost of food and groceries in Florida is slightly higher than in the rest of the country. Surveys show that, on average, the monthly food cost per person in the state is $364.25. For comparison, the nationwide average cost of food is $355.5 per person per month.
According to The Commonwealth Fund, Florida employees pay one of the country’s highest rates for health insurance. An average worker in the Sunshine State pays around $9,284 in premiums and other related deductibles. That’s about 16% of the state’s medium income. And even if you only opt for single coverage, it can still set you back around $1,811.
Over a quarter of Florida’s population owns a car. But there are also buses, rail, paratransit, and even vanpools.
As a popular tourist destination, Florida has so much to offer when it comes to recreational activities. An annual pass for state parks costs $60 for individuals and $120 for families (good for 8 people). Most beaches are also just a few minutes away and 90% of the state’s coastal access points are available to the public.
Florida is one of only a handful of states that does not impose a personal income tax. This is why the state has one of the lowest tax burdens in the country. You also won’t have to worry about estate or inheritance tax and intangibles tax (investments, bonds, etc.).
The state, however, imposes a 6% sales tax and use tax rate. Corporations and other businesses are also taxed at 5%. Local governments also collect taxes on properties.
So How Expensive Is It to Live in Florida?
Studies suggest that Floridians must earn at least $15.60 an hour to live comfortably. But the state’s minimum wage is only $11 an hour. So if you’re working a minimum wage, you’ll probably find it expensive to live in Florida.
To live comfortably, you can either look for a job that pays more than the state’s minimum wage or work 11 to 12 hours a day.
At the end of the day, how affordable living in Florida is depends on your income, lifestyle, and of course, your budgeting skills.
Thinking Of Moving To South Florida?
Contact our South Florida realtors today to explore real estate and discuss your funding options. Licensed realtors are ready to help you find homes that fit your budget in Miami, Boca Raton, and beyond. Curious about what’s availble? Search real estate on our website and contact us if you want to book a viewing.
About The Author
Judy Ponio is a professional writer and SEO specialist. She works hard to ensure her work uses accurate facts by cross checking reputable sources. She is the lead author for several prominent websites covering a variety of topics including law, health, nutrition, and more.