How Much Does It Cost to Live Comfortably in Florida? 

Since 2020, there has been a surge in the number of people moving to Florida. There are several reasons for this, and whatever yours may be for moving, you must first consider the cost implications of living in The Sunshine State. So, how much does it cost to live comfortably in Florida? 

As an individual and a family of four, you’ll need an average annual income of $30,825 and $86,475 to live comfortably in Florida. Without spending on luxurious items, this money should get you by. It covers feeding, housing, utilities, healthcare, childcare, transportation, and miscellaneous. 

While residents of Florida are exempted from paying income tax, it’s not enough to believe it’ll cost less to live there. So to know the intricacies of living in Florida, we’ll explore important information on how much you need to live comfortably in the Sunshine State. 

Cost of Living in Florida 

Despite being the top place to retire in the US, with its warm weather, beaches, inheritance, estate, and income tax exemption, the cost of living in Florida is 1% higher than the national average. As much as this depends on the area you intend to live in, places like Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Gainesville are much higher than the national average. However, a place like Jacksonville offers a low cost of living that’s 8% lower than the state average and 7% lower than the national average. 

Essential Expenses for Living in Florida

If you’re still interested in living in Florida despite its slightly higher cost of living, you must know the essential expenses you’ll incur. Knowing this gives you an idea of the primary budget to live comfortably. They include:

  1. Housing 

Housing is an underlying factor influencing a place’s overall cost of living. It takes a chunk of your expenses no matter where you decide to live. And with Florida having nearly 10 million annual estimates of housing units per July 2021 census, you have multiple options to explore. But what’s the average cost of housing across Florida cities and towns?  

The average cost of housing in Florida is about $328,600, which is higher or lesser depending on the house’s location. Places like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando list houses at a slightly higher price than Ocala, Homosassa Springs, Panama City, and others. The average cost per month is between $1,040 to $1,700.

Being one of the fastest growing states in the country, with more people coming in yearly, this price may be subject to increase as inventory drops. But you can still find affordable housing in certain locations in Florida. 

  1. Utilities 

Expenses on utilities are on the high side in Florida. As a matter of fact, the Sunshine State ranks second on the list of states with high utility costs. With the average national cost at $398.24, residents of Florida pay as high as $459.40. This money covers essential utilities like water, electricity, natural gas, cable TV, internet, and garbage/recycling. 

As you’re aware, Florida has slightly warmer weather, and the chunk of utility costs goes into electricity. You can only mitigate the cost by taking advantage of the sun by investing in solar panels. This means you don’t only rely on public supply to generate energy. 

  1. Feeding 

Feeding is another daily expense that significantly influences the overall cost of living in a given area. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis submissions, the average cost of feeding in Florida for an individual and a family of four is $3,411 and $9,354, respectively. These estimates are measured by the nutritionally adequate foods purchased at grocery stores for home preparation.

  1. Healthcare 

According to the 2020 provisions of the Bureau of Economic Analysis on personal consumption, the average annual cost of healthcare in Florida per capita is $6,675. Certain health insurance could cost more or less. The reason for this isn’t far-fetched. The amount you’ll spend on healthcare in Florida depends on your unique healthcare demands. 

  1. Childcare 

This is slightly frustrating for some parents, but it’s an essential consideration when moving to a new location like Florida. As a parent, you’re likely to spend between $790 – $1,364 or more monthly on each child in Florida. If you have a toddler, you can spend between $800 to $1,400. 

  1. Transportation 

Transportation cost also adds to the overall cost of living in a place. No matter where you live in Florida, MIT Living Wage Calculator shows that you’ll spend an annual of $5,113 to $13,896 on transportation. As an individual, working couple, and a family of four, you’ll spend an average annual cost of $5,113, $9,378, and $13,896, respectively, on transportation. 

  1. Miscellaneous Expenses 

While this is difficult to determine as it involves secondary expenses, you can still get an estimate of miscellaneous expenses by combining your annual income with your anticipated annual expenditures. To be safe, you should overestimate your expenditures so that whatever is left will fall under miscellaneous expenses. As much as miscellaneous expenses could take a chunk of your annual income, a strict budget can put things within the size of your purse. 

The Living Wages in Florida 

A living wage in Florida is simply a minimum income sufficient to maintain a decent standard of living in the state. As you’re already aware that the annual income to live comfortably varies between a single person and a family of four, the following is a breakdown:

  • An adult – $30,825
  • An adult with a child – $64,317
  • Two adults (single income) with two children – $67,140
  • Two adults (double income) with two children – $86,475

In Conclusion 

No matter how desirable you find Florida as your next destination to live in, it would be best if you considered the cost of living there. However, if the cost of living is affordable for you per income, it’s one of the best places to live in the US.