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Old 04-17-2014, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,881,378 times
Reputation: 6715

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8to32characters View Post
At the time, I was driving a 2005 Audi A6, but that's beside the point.

There are a lots "hidden costs" associated with living in Florida, including insurance costs (auto/home), property taxes, and food (Publix, the only major grocery store chain in Florida, is a monopoly).

You would think that the warmest mainland state in the US would at least have cheap produce, right? Well, think again--produce is surprisingly expensive in Florida, and unless you shop at Whole Foods--which is even more expensive than Publix--the overall quality of produce is going to be low, too. Publix really leaves a lot to be desired.

Although you don't wanna listen to me, I will have you know that there are lots of "hidden savings" associated with living in California such as auto insurance (very low compared to Northeast & FL), utilities (rarely use heat/air), property taxes (dirt cheap largely due to Prop. 13), cable (no one watches TV in CA, especially since the weather is perpetually nice and encourages outdoor activity), and--last, but not least--food/produce (dirt cheap).

Oh, yeah--salaries are much higher/more proportional to COL in CA than in FL, too.

However, you choose to ignore me. Whatever, man--your loss.
Painting large states like California and Florida with broad brush strokes can be very misleading. You can spend $40,000 for a place in both states. Or $40,000,000. Or anything/everything in between. Although you'll tend to spend more/a lot more in most parts of California than in most parts of Florida. Our house here in Florida would - conservatively - cost 2-4 times as much in similarly nice parts of California. Then there's the tax issue. We save 5 figures a year in state income taxes as a result of living in Florida as opposed to California. Of course - the mileage of individual people will vary.

To deal with some of your other points. Most homeowners in California don't carry insurance against one of the state's major risks - earthquakes - because earthquake insurance is extremely expensive. If you're comparing a homeowner in Florida with windstorm coverage (windstorm coverage is required by most mortgage companies in Florida) with a homeowner in California without earthquake coverage (earthquake insurance apparently isn't required by most mortgage companies in California) - you're comparing apples and oranges.

Also - Florida has the Save Our Homes Amendment - comparable to Prop 13 in California. Both protect existing homeowners from large annual property tax increases - but neither protects a *new* homeowner from having to pay property taxes at the current tax rates/tax assessments (OTOH - Florida does offer some portability when you sell a house in Florida and move to a new house in Florida - don't know the story in California).

As a shopper - I don't find produce in general inexpensive anywhere these days. A lot of it has to with the drought in California - which has affected prices all over the country:

California drought to drive up food prices in the long term - San Jose Mercury News

When it comes to weather and utility bills - California is all over the place. On our last trip to Los Angeles - the highs were about 100 degrees the week before we arrived. Then lows in the 40's and highs in the 60's the week we were there. Definitely A/C and heating weather. And that's near the coast - where temperatures tend to be "moderate". Inland temps in California are often extreme (in terms of heat/cold). Just for example - the high in Sacramento today will be 85 (the average high in August is 90+). Which is A/C weather IMO. Of course - some people in California have had pretty low water bills recently as a result of drought/water rationing:

Sacramento council votes to enact severe water rationing - Water - The Sacramento Bee

I will agree 100% about one thing. Auto insurance in many parts of California is less expensive than auto insurance in many parts of Florida. Perhaps because the drivers in a place like Los Angeles are 100 times more polite than those in a place like Miami. Or maybe - because of the traffic jams - they can't drive fast enough to get into serious accidents . OTOH - once you get out of south Florida - auto insurance is priced pretty reasonably. We pay about $800/year for a 2010 Lexus for $250/$500 liability and all the bells and whistles (when we moved from south Florida to north Florida - our auto insurance bill was cut in half).

Overall - there are parts of California I'd probably enjoy living in. Then again - it would probably cost me at least double/triple to live in those places compared with my cost of living here. Not worth it for me. But the mileage of others may vary. Robyn
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Old 04-17-2014, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Spring Hill Florida
12,135 posts, read 13,221,587 times
Reputation: 6009
Publix a monopoly? I guess you never heard of Winn Dixie, Save-A-Lot, Aldi, Bravo, Goodings, Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, BJ's, Costco, Sams Club.





Quote:
Originally Posted by 8to32characters View Post
At the time, I was driving a 2005 Audi A6, but that's beside the point.

There are a lots "hidden costs" associated with living in Florida, including insurance costs (auto/home), property taxes, and food (Publix, the only major grocery store chain in Florida, is a monopoly).

You would think that the warmest mainland state in the US would at least have cheap produce, right? Well, think again--produce is surprisingly expensive in Florida, and unless you shop at Whole Foods--which is even more expensive than Publix--the overall quality of produce is going to be low, too. Publix really leaves a lot to be desired.

Although you don't wanna listen to me, I will have you know that there are lots of "hidden savings" associated with living in California such as auto insurance (very low compared to Northeast & FL), utilities (rarely use heat/air), property taxes (dirt cheap largely due to Prop. 13), cable (no one watches TV in CA, especially since the weather is perpetually nice and encourages outdoor activity), and--last, but not least--food/produce (dirt cheap).

Oh, yeah--salaries are much higher/more proportional to COL in CA than in FL, too.

However, you choose to ignore me. Whatever, man--your loss.
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Old 04-17-2014, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,881,378 times
Reputation: 6715
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spring Hillian View Post
Publix a monopoly? I guess you never heard of Winn Dixie, Save-A-Lot, Aldi, Bravo, Goodings, Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, BJ's, Costco, Sams Club.
We have Fresh Market and Trader Joe's is opening in a couple of months. Robyn
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
11,145 posts, read 14,084,660 times
Reputation: 7074
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8to32characters View Post
At the time, I was driving a 2005 Audi A6, but that's beside the point.

There are a lots "hidden costs" associated with living in Florida, including insurance costs (auto/home), property taxes, and food (Publix, the only major grocery store chain in Florida, is a monopoly).

You would think that the warmest mainland state in the US would at least have cheap produce, right? Well, think again--produce is surprisingly expensive in Florida, and unless you shop at Whole Foods--which is even more expensive than Publix--the overall quality of produce is going to be low, too. Publix really leaves a lot to be desired.

Although you don't wanna listen to me, I will have you know that there are lots of "hidden savings" associated with living in California such as auto insurance (very low compared to Northeast & FL), utilities (rarely use heat/air), property taxes (dirt cheap largely due to Prop. 13), cable (no one watches TV in CA, especially since the weather is perpetually nice and encourages outdoor activity), and--last, but not least--food/produce (dirt cheap).

Oh, yeah--salaries are much higher/more proportional to COL in CA than in FL, too.

However, you choose to ignore me. Whatever, man--your loss.
All of those savings are piddly compared to the astronomical cost of housing in CA though. And I don't like the climate of coastal CA. It's too chilly for me. I need serious heat in the summer. Also, my body is in pretty good shape, so I don't need to be running or biking. I prefer working out in a gym anyway. I can't stand bikers or runners hogging the road. It should be illegal IMO.

IMO, coastal CA is not an option unless someone doesn't mind renting until they're in their 40's, or is already wealthy. Personally, I want to buy a home by my early/mid 30's. Impossible in coastal CA, so please stop recommending it to the average person on City-Data forums.

Currently, I'm complaining about living in Fairfield County, CT -- one of the most expensive areas in the nation for housing. Yet, you're recommending CA, where I would get paid LESS, but pay MORE for housing. Really??
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:14 AM
 
21,142 posts, read 30,256,425 times
Reputation: 19514
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spring Hillian View Post
Publix a monopoly? I guess you never heard of Winn Dixie, Save-A-Lot, Aldi, Bravo, Goodings, Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, BJ's, Costco, Sams Club.
Walmart, BJ's, Costco and Sam's Club are warehouse discount stores. Aldi and Save-A-Lot are discount groceries with limited selections and locations. Bravo is quite limited in locations and is a specialty Hispanic-oriented grocery store. Whole Foods has limited locations as well and is obviously geared toward a certain demographic.
Goodings went out of business several years ago. That leaves Winn-Dixie which is really the only competition for Publix in the traditional grocery store segment which is much more competitive in other states for some reason. Publix has over 700 stores in Florida while Winn-Dixie currently has around 200. Missing from the list is Sweetbay which was purchased by BI-LO (Winn-Dixie's parent company) and will be converting 75 Sweetbay stores to Winn-Dixie which will certainly give more presence and competition to Publix.
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Spring Hill Florida
12,135 posts, read 13,221,587 times
Reputation: 6009
You want to call them "discount" stores, fine with me. Walmart has the same brands I could by in Publix at a higher price. i.e. Klondike ice cream bars. Nearly $5 in Publix, not quite $3 in walmart. They have the same fruits and veggies in walmart but since they are not sorted and wrapped into individual packages they cost less. We shop our local green grocers for fruit and veggies anyway. Most of the meat we use (and we use little red meats) comes from a butcher. So,if you are dumb enough to pay more at Publix for the same brands of groceries as elsewhere, go for it. We do like some of the BOGO offers though. Its been years since I lived in Orlando but I know there is at least one Gooding's store in the Orlando metro area.

Regardless, Publix is not a monopoly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
Walmart, BJ's, Costco and Sam's Club are warehouse discount stores. Aldi and Save-A-Lot are discount groceries with limited selections and locations. Bravo is quite limited in locations and is a specialty Hispanic-oriented grocery store. Whole Foods has limited locations as well and is obviously geared toward a certain demographic.
Goodings went out of business several years ago. That leaves Winn-Dixie which is really the only competition for Publix in the traditional grocery store segment which is much more competitive in other states for some reason. Publix has over 700 stores in Florida while Winn-Dixie currently has around 200. Missing from the list is Sweetbay which was purchased by BI-LO (Winn-Dixie's parent company) and will be converting 75 Sweetbay stores to Winn-Dixie which will certainly give more presence and competition to Publix.
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:57 AM
 
10,575 posts, read 10,814,879 times
Reputation: 5224
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
Walmart, BJ's, Costco and Sam's Club are warehouse discount stores. .
Wal-mart most certainly is not. They are in the fact largest grocer in the country: http://www.businessinsider.com/walma...et-2011-2?op=1

The others like BJs, Sams and Costco are in fact in warehouses and require memberships. Wal-mart is giving grocery stores everywhere a run for their money. They match Publix's BOGO program last year and did so even with their lower prices.

On top of that, they are partnering with Wild Oats to bring a whole new lines of organics to their store which will be comparable in pricing to their conventional items.

Watch Out Whole Foods? Walmart Aims To Drive Down Organic Prices With New Cheaper Line - Forbes
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:54 PM
 
1,640 posts, read 2,040,200 times
Reputation: 2539
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spring Hillian View Post
Publix a monopoly? I guess you never heard of Winn Dixie, Save-A-Lot, Aldi, Bravo, Goodings, Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, BJ's, Costco, Sams Club.
I prefer healthy/organic/clean eating, so I never, ever shop for groceries at any of those wholesalers/warehouse clubs/big box discount retailers listed, since most of those stores (i.e., Wal-Mart, Costco, Sam's Club, etc.) primarily sell packaged/processed foods in bulk. Furthermore, I don't buy in bulk because my income affords me the ability not to, so again, no reason.

However, if I need to buy packaged goods (e.g., coffee, bottled water, etc.) or household supplies (e.g., paper towels, toilet paper, etc.), I go to Target.

IME, most people in Florida have a strong preference for Wal-Mart over Target, even in the wealthier areas (e.g., Boca), because of generally lower salaries, hence less disposable income overall as Kyle mentioned. I will have you know that no one I know in SoCal or the Phoenix area shops at Wal-Mart over Target!

Winn Dixie stores, at least in South Florida, were few and far between, mostly due to the majority of their Florida stores having shuttered as they simply couldn't compete with behemoth Publix. I haven't shopped at a Winn Dixie store in years, but I've heard they haven't changed much over the past ten years or so--poor/very limited customer service, old/antiquated-looking, dimly lit, poorly designed, poor overall selection, etc. Simply stated, Winn Dixie has never altered their business model and, therefore, is unable to compete with other major grocers.

Aldi and Save-A-Lot are discount retailers that aren't even remotely on the same playing field as your typical grocery stores such as Publix, Safeway, Kroger, Stop & Shop, etc. I wouldn't shop at those stores for all the tea in China, and quite frankly, I don't think I've ever lived in a neighborhood with an Aldi or Save-A-Lot in my life.

I've never even heard of Bravo, and I lived in Florida for 12 years, so it can't be that popular.

I will admit that I forgot about The Fresh Market, a grocery store I wish we had more of out West, but we have Sprouts, whose quality and prices are superior, IMO.

Oh, yeah--no frequent shopper/club card-types of programs at Publix either.
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:59 PM
 
21,142 posts, read 30,256,425 times
Reputation: 19514
Quote:
Originally Posted by chopchop0 View Post
Wal-mart most certainly is not. They are in the fact largest grocer in the country: Here's How Walmart Became The #1 Grocery Store In The Country - Business Insider

The others like BJs, Sams and Costco are in fact in warehouses and require memberships. Wal-mart is giving grocery stores everywhere a run for their money. They match Publix's BOGO program last year and did so even with their lower prices.

On top of that, they are partnering with Wild Oats to bring a whole new lines of organics to their store which will be comparable in pricing to their conventional items.

Watch Out Whole Foods? Walmart Aims To Drive Down Organic Prices With New Cheaper Line - Forbes
Walmart is not a grocery store and not sure where anyone would become confused by that fact as grocery stores don't stock clothing, tires and other completely unrelated non-food merchandise. In terms of the Wild Oats partnership, whatever. They can't get the basics down in terms of keeping stores clean and stocked in their current state.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:09 PM
 
1,640 posts, read 2,040,200 times
Reputation: 2539
Quote:
Originally Posted by nep321 View Post
All of those savings are piddly compared to the astronomical cost of housing in CA though. And I don't like the climate of coastal CA. It's too chilly for me. I need serious heat in the summer. Also, my body is in pretty good shape, so I don't need to be running or biking. I prefer working out in a gym anyway. I can't stand bikers or runners hogging the road. It should be illegal IMO.

IMO, coastal CA is not an option unless someone doesn't mind renting until they're in their 40's, or is already wealthy. Personally, I want to buy a home by my early/mid 30's. Impossible in coastal CA, so please stop recommending it to the average person on City-Data forums.

Currently, I'm complaining about living in Fairfield County, CT -- one of the most expensive areas in the nation for housing. Yet, you're recommending CA, where I would get paid LESS, but pay MORE for housing. Really??
Well, if you wanna be a complacent office drone for the rest of your life, then by all means, be my guest and move to Florida.

Just know that in Florida, you'll get paid way, way less than what you're making in Connecticut; COL won't be dramatically less, despite what you think; and you certainly won't secure a position before you relocate (thanks to the state's highly transient nature).

Even after you move to Florida, it still may take you a long time to find a gainful employment because you'll face significant competition from professionals in your field with many more years of experience for only a handful of positions. Don't forget, lots of people in their 50's and early 60's retire from their jobs "up North" and move to Florida to work a part-time, but in many cases full-time job to transition into retirement. My parents considered doing this a number of years as well as many of their cousins, friends, etc. Believe or not, that's where a significant amount of competition for employment in Florida is derived.

Moreover, you probably attended a school no one in Florida has ever even heard of--another strike. FWIW, most recruiters and hiring managers in Florida are uneducated and have never heard of schools in smaller/regional schools in different parts of the state, let alone smaller/regional schools in other states--I've seen it time and time again.

Also, there aren't accounting jobs galore in Florida like there are in California, Texas, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts--states with stronger, more diversified economies. I don't know what type of accountant you are, but there are tons and tons of CPA's in South Florida, as accounting services among health care and legal services are among the top fields for professionals down there because there of very limited corporate opportunities due to a very small corporate presence in that area (i.e., few corporate HQ's, regional offices, etc.). I think that from a career standpoint, moving to Florida would be like shooting yourself in the foot.
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