Need advice about Florida

by Dave
(Campbell, CA)

After living in Calif, for 53 years. I have finally had it with the politics of this state.

I’m 76, single straight male and living in Silicon Valley (San Jose) among mostly young and wealthy tech and social media workers. I’m neither young nor wealthy. As most of you have heard, many other folks are leaving here and other states with the same politics, and heading for Texas and Florida and a few others.

I was stationed in Tampa and Ft Walton in the mid ‘60s and loved it. I am strongly considering Sarasota, Fl. I took several exploratory visits there recently and liked it.

So I would like to hear from others in Florida who have made the transition to Florida. How long have you been there, has it been better or worse than you expected, have you found a good social life with other seniors, what’s the best and worst things you have discovered, and any other advice from your experience.

This is of course a BIG step, and probably non reversible. And I must either make it quickly while my health is still fairly good, or I may not be able to in the future.

I am comfortable but unhappy. Any words of caution or encouragement would be appreciated.

Comments for Need advice about Florida

Click here to add your own comments

Sunshine State
by: Floridagal

Dave in Campbell, CA....join the community by clicking "Friendship Here" and get in touch with me.

I'll be happy to share my Florida experience and answer any questions.

i need advice from you!!
by: ellen

I'm not sure what to tell you about Florida. I have been considering it, too. I'm in NY and it's convenient.

My friends love Florida; they are in 55+ communities.

I lived in California 20 years and had to return to NY to tend to sick parents.

Now, when I want to go back, there are fires, COVID and people leaving. Real estate is as high as ever, and not going down. Houses are over-priced. But mostly, for me the fear is the fires.

How have the fires effected you?
I don't think Florida can compare with Ca. for beauty, though.

Please tell me your thoughts.


Florida for Retirees
by: Goldie

Florida is a haven for retirees. It all depends on what is important to you.

We had to find a place that would sustain our income thru retirement. We were fortunate to purchase a home in 2015.

Nothing is perfect but living in "The Villages" has been a good move for us.

North Florida
by: Clay

If you cherish freedom and liberty then get out of California and move to Florida. The difference is real and will better your life.

Be advised that anything South of Gainesville will be a traffic nightmare. Traveling on I-75 is always a headache. Therefore check out north Florida, anywhere between Jacksonville and Tallahasee.

We own 5 acres in a semi-rural area.

Life is very good here.

Don’t buy
by: Anonymous

Don’t be too quick to move to Florida. I lived there 5 years and still have family there. I would suggest a long visit before making a move.

My choice?

by: Frank

Sarasota has much to offer...lots of theatre, many music venues, opera, beautiful beaches and bayfront, golf, tennis, active senior center, relatively low real estate taxes (unless you a million $ home), educational opportunities for seniors, fishing, intellectual stimulation via lectures and discussion groups, museums, bike trails, many parks, art displays and opportunities, social clubs.

Real estate is rather pricey (I would guess an average home in an average neighborhood runs $275+ a square foot).

Politically, it tends to lean toward the right.

My guess is that 1/3 of the residents wear masks when they are in a supermarket...more when at the theatre.

Traffic is heavy during the winter.

You will love Sarasota County!
by: Michael - Warm and Sunny Venice Florida

Dave - I retired at 51 at have lived in the Venice area (Sarasota County) for 6 years. I live here for 7 months of the year, October 15 to May 1.

The Venice area has a small-town, relaxed atmosphere. It is much less busy than those areas closer to Sarasota.

I am an avid cyclist. It is easy to enjoy outdoor activities here, including tennis, golf, swimming, cycling, walking, etc. There is the mutli-use Legacy Trail that starts in Venice and ends in Sarasota.

There are lots of doctors, a brand new hospital (Sarasota Memorial - Venice campus) and plenty of restaurants and shopping. The winter weather is absolutely beautiful - 75-85 degrees, low humidity, and maybe a rain shower on occasion.

The summer weather is HOT and HUMID. Locals call it "the indoor time." People are very friendly here and there are several senior centers, a great library system, art groups, theatre, and opportunities to volunteer.

There is no State income tax and property taxes are very favorable compared to other places depending on the location of your property.

Hurricane insurance is high - I pay $1,800 annually for a 1,900 square foot ranch home. Car insurance for me is $1,400 per year for 2 cars (2009/2013 Toyotas.) It pays to shop around for the insurance.

I don't know where you live in California, but food prices here are reasonable. I shop at Aldi for most groceries and Winn-Dixie for items not available at Aldi. There are plenty of Walmarts, Home Depot, Lowes, etc.

A lot of public parks. Venice has great public beaches with clean restrooms and ample parking.

Since the majority of our population is 65+, it is not rowdy area. I live 5 miles from the beach. I can cycle there easily within 20-25 minutes.

Properties here are in high demand and sell quickly - often with hours or days of coming on the market. So, if you see something you like - act quickly!

I vacationed here for several years, and also explored Naples, Ft. Myers, and Dunedin. But, those areas are much busier and the beach wasn't as easily accessible as it is in Venice.

If I can answer any other questions that you many have, feel free to email me at venicejadip at

I will be glad to help you out in any way that I can. I am so happy that I bought a home in this area!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Florida after Retirement.