Everywhere you turn newspapers, magazines, and other websites are relishing in the fact that Florida is no longer growing as fast as it once was. In fact, most data indicates that Florida's population actually shrank last year.
While this may be true right now, its most likely a temporary blip in Florida's long history as the king of all retirement destinations. In fact, one of the only parts of Florida that had a population increase was The Villages, home of Florida's most popular retirement community.
Here are three reasons why Florida will ultimately retain its title as the king of all retirement destinations, no matter what happens in the next few years:
Population decrease equals less congestion
One of the biggest complaints about Florida in recent years, especially in heavily populated metro areas like Jacksonville, Miami, and Orlando was that these places were simply getting too crowded and no longer conducive to retirees looking for a slower pace of life. With the declines in population, however slight, it leads to an ease of the congestion some of these areas have experienced.
Plenty of inventory and great bargains
With lower demand from new buyers and a net decrease in population comes a surplus of inventory which drives home prices lower. If you are looking for a bargain, there are plenty of them in Florida right now. In a recent article at TopRetirements.com, 6 Florida cities made the list of 20 Most Affordable and Best Places to Retire. These cities include Fort Myers (1), St. Petersburg (2), Tampa (5), Clearwater (7), Pensacola (14), and Tallahassee (17).
I just have to laugh when I see Best Place to Retire lists that include retirement destinations in places like Oregon, Montana, and Michigan. Now don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are beautiful places in these states and there are probably times of the year when the weather is beautiful. But call me from Oregon in January and let me know if you're still happy about your decision.
Of course, choosing a place to retire is a very personal decision and everyone is looking for certain things. But pace of life, great weather, and getting the most bang for the buck have always been important considerations to retirees, and that is not likely to change over the long run no matter what the immediate future holds.