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Old 09-18-2007, 06:17 PM
3,568 posts, read 2,987,400 times
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My wife and I are looking to move to Florida from Maine to retire in about 5 years' time. I'd like to hear from recent retirees who have already made a similar move. Specifically, I'm hoping to learn how much income it takes to do that. So assume one purchases a home in Vero Beach for around $250,000.00. No mortgage. What can that person expect to pay for property taxes, homeowner's insurance, car insurance, utilities? If the home is in a gated community what is the average HOA fee? Are there other recurring expenses to be anticipated (other than for food, medical care, clothing, etc)? This information will greatly facilitate our planning. Thank you in advance for your help.
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Old 09-18-2007, 08:56 PM
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
1,286 posts, read 2,478,233 times
Reputation: 1107
Default I hope that you find better answers than me


I am/was of the same mindset as you (planning to retire in just 3 years). I did a lot of my research, listened to the most informed on this forum, and visited areas of Florida that I might want to live. My hope was/is to purchase within a mile of the ocean on the eastern coast. The thought of moving to a tropical paradise and live well was foremost in my mind. The hurricanes of a couple of years ago changed everything.

Homeowners insurance is at least double for what you are probably paying now. You would not be a homesteader, and your property taxes will be considerably higher than the neighbor with the identical house across the street. Right now, much of Florida real estate is going through a market correction, but $250,000 is the price of a very basic home in Vero Beach. It surprised me, but count upon paying double the amount you pay for auto insurance than in Maine. HOA fees vary greatly with the age, amenities and location of the property.

There are so many unknowns in the Florida economy right now, that you may wish to wait for the "dust to settle" before making a commitment to buy. The best advice that I received was to rent first... there is a reason for the tremendous glut of properties in Florida today... a mistake in buying at the wrong time could consume a significant amount of your retirement savings. Good luck!
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Old 09-19-2007, 06:04 PM
3,568 posts, read 2,987,400 times
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Thanks, Retiredcoach. Renting sounds like a sensible thing to do. It'll give us the time to scout out the land, as it were, and see where we want to put down roots. Before I get there, however, I hope to have a pretty good idea what it's going to cost us to live in Florida. But you're right that everything is influx right now and it may be too early to make a projection 5 years down the road. I went on the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and they recommended a couple of books that I plan to get. I'll pass on any information I get that may be helpful to others.
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Old 09-19-2007, 09:07 PM
Location: Heartland Florida
9,321 posts, read 22,247,001 times
Reputation: 4858
Under the current system you would pay 5,000 a year for taxes and at least 1,500 for insurance. Also figure in an average of 200-300 a month for electric bills.
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Old 09-19-2007, 11:24 PM
Location: palm harbor
471 posts, read 1,443,907 times
Reputation: 237
We rent in the Tampa Bay area and live very comfortably on $48,000 a year.
Rent on an updated 2/2/1 villa is $1350-1400 a month including utilities and lawn care. It also includes free golf, tennis, swimming pools, and boating.
The key, I think, is we have no debt, and have enough savings that we can avoid taking on any unless something drastic happens.
The money we would have spent on a down payment, taxes, and insurance is also in savings-earning interest-and ready if we would decide to buy...... Something we find ourselves less interested in doing as we become more accustomed to more cash to spend and less financial burden of home mantenance.
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