With its beaches, attractions and warm seasons, it’s no secret that Florida is a desired place to live. In fact, more than 300,000 people are moving to the Sunshine State each year — which is more than 900 people per day.
And state economists expect the trend to continue, with Florida’s population projected to reach 22 million by 2022. So if you’re one of those planning a move to Florida, we’ve provided tips to help you prepare for life in the Sunshine State.
Preparing your taxes
Florida does not have a state income tax, which is a big benefit — and a contributing factor to its ranking as the 13th best state to live in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. But sales tax is 6% and the gas tax is one of the 10 highest in the country.
If you’re wondering how much your property tax will be, we recommend this useful calculator. While every homeowner’s tax situation varies, you may want to consider finding an attorney or a tax accountant upon making the move.
Preparing for the weather
The hurricane season in Florida runs from June 1 to November 30. No matter where you are within the state — even cities further inland — you can experience severe weather from a hurricane. If you haven’t had to deal with hurricanes previously, you’ll want to make sure to prepare properly by doing the following:
- Keep a hurricane kit in your home that includes:
- Canned goods
- Determine whether you live in a mandatory evacuation zone and map out an evacuation route and plan for your family — pets included.
- Consider purchasing storm shutters in addition to flood insurance for your home.
Getting around town
Florida’s public transportation varies by city, but residents generally get around by car, bus or bike. The Florida Turnpike and some highways are toll roads, so you’ll likely want to set up a SunPass account to make getting around easier.
Additionally, Brightline (operated by Virgin Trains USA) is an express, inter-city rail system in South Florida with stops in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. (Discussions are under way to connect to Orlando and Tampa as well.)
Florida is known around the world as one of the top travel destinations. In fact, Florida tourists have been visiting in record numbers, which is great for the local economy. However, it can make traffic challenging to navigate — especially with so many out-of-towners driving unfamiliar roads. Keep that in mind when you’re driving around town and try to be patient.
On the other hand, a big benefit of living in a state with a big tourist draw is the Florida resident discounts offered by many of the attractions in the Orlando area.
What to wear
When you think of Florida, you probably imagine year-round warm temperatures — and depending on the part of the state, you might be right. But if you live in the northern region, you shouldn’t ditch your winter coat just yet. You likely won’t need it as frequently, but it can get chilly in the winter months.
When it comes to the summer months in the Sunshine State, no area is immune to the heat and humidity (though the sea breeze on the coasts does offer a nice reprieve). Make sure you have clothes that are light and breathable — and don’t forget your sandals! Most importantly, wear sunscreen at all times. Even when it’s cloudy, those pesky UV rays are still doing their job.
Need moving or storage services in Florida?
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