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Posted: 5/12/2021 1:14:50 PM EDT
I have 38 months till retirement, he’ll yes I’m counting.  The wife already have a plan that the day after my retirement is final we are leaving this horrible state.  We have always voted red, 2nd Amendment advocates and can’t stand the mentality of California outside the area we live in (we live in the agricultural portion of California that has always been primarily red.)

We are planning a trip out Florida to check out Pensacola and the Orlando area.  My wife has family out on Merritt Island who’s pushing for us to come out their way.  

We want to be close to the beach and a relaxed atmosphere.  We are outdoor people who love hiking, camping, diving and being out in nature.  The wife’s in the medical field so she can pretty much go wherever we want for her work.

Looking for info on the different parts of Florida.  How’s the north compared to the south, is there places to stay away from etc. We are pretty excited to see the Keys, Pensacola,  Orlando (not Disney world) and anywhere we can explore.

Link Posted: 5/12/2021 4:24:49 PM EDT
If you can move your date to around 26/27 months, I have a nice house for you in SW  Fl. 😂
Link Posted: 5/12/2021 6:07:44 PM EDT
Tell you what if I could retire today I’d be gone.  I turn 50 in 38 months so I’m not eligible till then.  We might actually buy before I retire and just have a vacation spot till we make it permanent.

Would love to hear feedback on the different areas of Florida though
Link Posted: 5/12/2021 6:20:21 PM EDT
If you like rural Red areas, Orlando is not for you. But that said, we could use more like you in this enemy territory to change it.

Good luck and happy retirement. Hope to make my next birthday, personally.
Link Posted: 5/12/2021 6:28:41 PM EDT
Look at a map, draw a line from the Ormond/Daytona area across to Crystal River.   North of the line is Old Florida, south of the line is a lot more like California than not.

I'd look up in the NE area just outside of Jax over towards the I75 line and skirt around Alachua co (great place, terrible politics driven by Gainesville) and then down towards Ocala, Dunnellon, and Crystal River.  Maybe as far S. as Brooksville area.

Gainesville has UF Health and NFRMC, both can be OK to work but if you don't need to worry about school zones I'd live just over from the Alachua co. line and commute in.  Isn't that much of a drive - 20-30 minutes.
Link Posted: 5/12/2021 7:34:47 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By eye-gor:
Look at a map, draw a line from the Ormond/Daytona area across to Crystal River.   North of the line is Old Florida, south of the line is a lot more like California than not.

I'd look up in the NE area just outside of Jax over towards the I75 line and skirt around Alachua co (great place, terrible politics driven by Gainesville) and then down towards Ocala, Dunnellon, and Crystal River.  Maybe as far S. as Brooksville area.

Gainesville has UF Health and NFRMC, both can be OK to work but if you don't need to worry about school zones I'd live just over from the Alachua co. line and commute in.  Isn't that much of a drive - 20-30 minutes.
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Both of our kids are a daily now so it’s just finding a place we love.

Have a old coworker that moved out to the Auburndale area. I hear she likes it but I haven’t reached out yet.

The wife is really set on Pensacola or the Keys area.
Link Posted: 5/12/2021 8:08:04 PM EDT
Our location was chosen on the basis of climate.  We chose SWF (Naples area) because it is warm(er) all year long.  The panhandle gets a bit chilly in the winter months.
Link Posted: 5/12/2021 10:16:17 PM EDT
We are outdoor people who love hiking, camping, diving and being out in nature.
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Based on this, Orlando is not for you.
Your going to want coast, E or W,(prefer west) or the narrow part of FL, where each side is about a 2 hour drive to everything.
Tax laws are great in FL for retires.
Link Posted: 5/13/2021 12:11:01 AM EDT
Never been to the Keys, but from what I understand, house prices are going to be sky high, and for medical stuff, maybe Key West or Miami area are your only big employment areas for the medical field.  Plus a long way for any camping, but would have good diving.

As others have said, I'd look at N Central FLA.  Gainesville has UF's Shands hospital, which including the VA across the street, is a huge complex of buildings and medical field work.  The local leftists are stupid, but with them not being able to pass any gun laws at the local level, there's a limit to what their foolishness impacts a person.

Lots of nice springs to swim and snorkel in, or for a roll of the dice, go cave diving in.  

Don't know much about the Panhandle - it's a good conservative area, and nice beaches up there, so that might be fine for you all as well.
Link Posted: 5/13/2021 8:58:27 AM EDT
I'm in Volusia county. About 45 mins NE of Orlando and about 60 mins N of Merritt Island. Advent Health has been expanding like crazy in this area. I'm sure your wife would find something pretty quickly.
Link Posted: 5/13/2021 10:05:31 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Goback:
The wife is really set on Pensacola or the Keys area.
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Rosemary Beach is in the Pensacola area and is really nice. I've only been to Key West once and it reminded me a lot of the Bahamas. Had a good time. ~12 hour drive from Pensacola to Key West without traffic.
Link Posted: 5/13/2021 10:33:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/13/2021 10:40:28 AM EDT by MikeJGA]
The panhandle is solid red and laid back.  But the north is vastly different than the south.  Escambia county has Pensacola in the south (beaches, bars, etc.) in the north it is very rural.

Santa Rosa county has Navarre, Navarre Beach in the south Milton and rural areas in the north.
Okaloosa (the best county  ) has Destin and Ft. Walton Beach in the south, the north has Baker, Laurel Hill and Holt and is also  very rural.

We say they county lines should have been East an West, not North and South.

Freshwater fishing, a lot of land, hunting look to the north.
Beaches, bars, tourist stuff, Hurricane storm surge, look to the south.  

I am in south Okaloosa County on the intercostal waterway.  If I knew back then, what I know now, I would have bought a small farm near Baker.

At least 3 large civilian hospitals in P'cola plus the Navy/VA center.  Santa Rosa has Baptist Hospital and the Andrews Institute plus numerous free standing ERs (no just Doc in a Box).
Okaloosa County has a hospital in FWB, Eglin AFB has a hospital and Hurlburt Field (SW corner of Eglin) has a medical center.
There are probably more that I don't know of.


ETA: They don't call the panhandle "the Emerald Coast" for no reason.  Beautiful water and pure white quartz sand beaches.
Link Posted: 5/13/2021 2:54:17 PM EDT
I would not go to Orlando.  I recently came back to FL and I can say, every day I see plates from CA, IL, NY, NJ, etc. filling up the lots.   Estimates are now 850+ people a day are moving here, and it isn't slowing down.  I'm in Lakeland, and while I love it, I'm looking at saving up and plunking money down on a house close by with some land.  The town isn't too bad at all, but at the rate of growth I'd really prefer my isolation.

Overall the sentiment in this area is very red, but stats will show it turning blue.   In either direction, west for Tampa and east for Orlando, you get bluer and bluer.   I'd stick to the panhandle, but that's just me.   I don't have a lot of experience in the deep south of FL, Naples etc.  I hear it's extremely red there, but can't say from first-hand knowledge.

The central FL/I-4 corridor is already bad, it'll be nothing short of demonic here by the time you are ready to move.  I'd avoid Orlando and/or Tampa unless you had absolutely no other choice.  It's growing at a rate that is untenable, IMO.

YMMV, good luck on whatever you choose.
Link Posted: 5/13/2021 3:28:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/13/2021 3:36:38 PM EDT by dmfl54]
Just come and look with an open mind.
Link Posted: 5/13/2021 3:34:33 PM EDT
I am in the Tampa area and it's really getting crowed around here, plenty of places for your wife to find work, my son is a nurse at Advent health.
I would suggest staying towards the west coast,  but out of the panhandle, East of I-75, less of a chance of taking a hit from a hurricane.
All the counties with the large cities are turning blue, Tampa, Orlando, Miami, and Jacksonville.
I moved here 20 years ago and the growth is just unreal, all the people leaving the northern states are coming here and I worry what Florida might become.
Have you looked at any other states?
Link Posted: 5/13/2021 5:41:37 PM EDT
If you're tired of liberals, then the panhandle/Pensacola area is for you. Generally, North FL is better than South, politically speaking.
Link Posted: 5/13/2021 6:37:01 PM EDT
Thanks for all the great info guys.  Can’t wait to make the trip out there. We are hoping either next month or July for my birthday!

We are looking at Mississippi as a possibility. I want to look at Ocean Springs and a couple of other places outside of Biloxi, but I think the wife has decided on Florida.
Link Posted: 5/14/2021 9:37:24 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MarkL1:
If you're tired of liberals, then the panhandle/Pensacola area is for you. Generally, North FL is better than South, politically speaking.
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This and good luck to you. I live in Tampa and have 31 months till retirement. I can't wait to get the hell out of FL.
Link Posted: 5/14/2021 10:02:00 PM EDT
Orlando is a shithole, sorry to be blunt but anything less would be dishonest.

Miami has no middle class or anything resembling a US city. Extreme wealth and external poverty side by side with nothing in between.

Tampa and Jacksonville are similar in that they're blue areas, but due to minorities and not the widespread presence of kind of lefts your used to in CA.

Pensacola is a little too small, not must of anything going on.

I'm not a transplant, I'm actually from here and go back several generations.
I travel  A LOT, nationally and within Florida. Some of the best places to live in the entire country are mid sized Florida cities.
It seems a little odd but if you follow my advise your be glad you did.
Parts of the States built by Yankee speculators (Orlando, Miami, the villages, Nales, etc) are miserable, congested and totally devoid of any personality.
Small and mid sized towns that existed in the early 20th century and were established places before the migration in the 50s, 80s and now are great places, typically well balanced and affordable.

Just remember all the comments about leaving CA cultural politics behind.
Chances are you are as conservative as you think by comparison, Florida is still mostly Southern and our primary political tradition is to leave people alone as long as they're leaving us a lone.


Link Posted: 5/15/2021 12:48:56 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Goback:
Tell you what if I could retire today I’d be gone.  I turn 50 in 38 months so I’m not eligible till then.  We might actually buy before I retire and just have a vacation spot till we make it permanent.

Would love to hear feedback on the different areas of Florida though
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If you are going to be near the ocean or the intercoastal waterway or a body of water, you should prefer high ground or a soundly built stilt house on good piles, for two reasons - one, storm surge pushing inland in front of the hurricane (surges do the real ugly damage) and two, the very real possibility of a massive rain event coming with a hurricane, even if the winds miss you, that will cause localized flooding. If you just *have* to be as close to the beach as possible, try your hardest to get a place where there's a dune between you and the sea.

If you don't get a direct hit, plan on losing power for a week to a month.

This link will take you to a dotmap of metropolitan areas that shows a dot for voter *residence,* R and D: https://www.ryandenos.com/partisan-segregation-cbsa  - Scroll down for florida, it will list metro areas, so you can see where the democrat and republican clusters are (if you care about that).

South florida is a whole thing unto itself. It's really a different state down there.

We generically follow the urban-leftist rural-conservative rule of thumb. The further south you go, the more leftist things you run into. Also, we do not build up for expansion. We spread out, and developers have a HUGE amount of power here.  If you're going to live on or near any coastline, make sure that the algage blooms caused by water releases from lake okechobee do not get there. You do NOT want to be anywhere near that stuff, it's horrible and noxious.

Also, our citrus is better than yours. Yours taste like styrofoam to me, so you'll get spoiled on that front.
Link Posted: 5/15/2021 12:50:30 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Goback:


Both of our kids are a daily now so it’s just finding a place we love.

Have a old coworker that moved out to the Auburndale area. I hear she likes it but I haven’t reached out yet.

The wife is really set on Pensacola or the Keys area.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Goback:
Originally Posted By eye-gor:
Look at a map, draw a line from the Ormond/Daytona area across to Crystal River.   North of the line is Old Florida, south of the line is a lot more like California than not.

I'd look up in the NE area just outside of Jax over towards the I75 line and skirt around Alachua co (great place, terrible politics driven by Gainesville) and then down towards Ocala, Dunnellon, and Crystal River.  Maybe as far S. as Brooksville area.

Gainesville has UF Health and NFRMC, both can be OK to work but if you don't need to worry about school zones I'd live just over from the Alachua co. line and commute in.  Isn't that much of a drive - 20-30 minutes.


Both of our kids are a daily now so it’s just finding a place we love.

Have a old coworker that moved out to the Auburndale area. I hear she likes it but I haven’t reached out yet.

The wife is really set on Pensacola or the Keys area.

She needs to be aware that certain places by the sea are turned into wild madhouses by juneteenth and spring break. Ask a local for those areas.

The keys - key west is a bohemian LGBT stronghold.
Link Posted: 5/27/2021 9:22:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/27/2021 9:23:09 PM EDT by JefferAl]
I had an opportunity to move before I was able to retire, and wanted to go someplace where I would like to retire. Three years ago, I visited some friends in the Ft Walton Beach area. We fell in love with it and moved here January 2019 from the Kansas City area. Lots of like-minded folks. I'd say it's worth checking out the area. No regrets here.
Link Posted: 5/27/2021 11:17:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/27/2021 11:19:57 PM EDT by Pallas]
Personally I do not believe that Pensacola has a positive future. It has grown a lot, the problem is that the County and City governments are completely out of their depth. Nothing gets accomplished, they cannot make a decision, and when they do it's too little and too late. The City is turning liberal, it has a very weak mayor and this may hasten a liberal change. The County is run by bubbas; This wasn't such a bad thing until the County started growing, now the bubba thing isn't cutting it.
Link Posted: 5/28/2021 10:09:31 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bloviating_jerk:
Orlando is a shithole, sorry to be blunt but anything less would be dishonest.
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Yes, but a half hour (or, y'know, two and half hours, all depends on how I4 is that day ) out of the city proper and you're in the sticks again. Lake county is a retiree/biker area, Seminole county where I am went blue for the first time... ever? recently, so it's not great but not anywhere close to "deep blue".

That said the blue expansion from Orlando is happening and I expect to move to redder areas in a decade or so.
Link Posted: 5/28/2021 10:38:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/28/2021 10:40:22 PM EDT by amediocreshooter]
I’ll play devil’s advocate. Florida isn’t what it used to be. Lots of people I know are selling to people like you and taking the money and running off to greener pastures in the southeast.

Florida is hot. Every year it seems there’s another disease floating around like Zika, WNV, or Dengue. Full of HOAs. Nobody is actually from Florida anymore so you’ll run into people who live in Condos across the street from the Trop and only go see games when their “hometown” team is playing.

Lots of “back up north we did it this way…” comments everywhere you go. And to top it off housing prices are insane.

Checking out other places would be a smart move.
Link Posted: 5/29/2021 10:57:49 AM EDT
I have been in commercial real estate in FL for about ten years.
I mainly work in the villages. I grew up here and travel mainly around the state for vacations.
I would suggest going to the villages, Longboat Key, and Crystal River for weekend stays.
After that you could go through all of the natural attractions here and see if its really what you want.
The big retirement communities have more groups and activities as well as doctors, but there are unique
problems those communities have as well. I would stay clear of south Florida personally.
Link Posted: 5/29/2021 6:11:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/29/2021 6:12:31 PM EDT by Pallas]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By amediocreshooter:
I’ll play devil’s advocate. Florida isn’t what it used to be. Lots of people I know are selling to people like you and taking the money and running off to greener pastures in the southeast.

Florida is hot. Every year it seems there’s another disease floating around like Zika, WNV, or Dengue. Full of HOAs. Nobody is actually from Florida anymore so you’ll run into people who live in Condos across the street from the Trop and only go see games when their “hometown” team is playing.

Lots of “back up north we did it this way…” comments everywhere you go. And to top it off housing prices are insane.

Checking out other places would be a smart move.
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My experience as well, most people I know who have moved have moved out of the State. I know very few who have relocated inside of the State (excluding people who move inside their area to a nicer or smaller home.) I have some things to sort out, but I would like to move out of State, mainly because I would prefer mountains, no damn hurricanes, and the beach does nothing for me anymore, not to mention I dislike the woods in FL (and AL, etc) too scrubby.
Link Posted: 5/29/2021 10:35:55 PM EDT
I think the Pensacola area/Escambia county blows.  Looks like they want to flood it with subdivisions with the infrastructure lacking, packed roads, no decent traffic control, questionable water and sewage service (changes companies who are bidding the lowest), only one power carrier. Plus lots and lots of shitty drivers.
Link Posted: 6/3/2021 1:33:39 AM EDT
If you could get the same size/quality of house, and a similar job (if working) in Hawaii.....would you choose Florida or Hawaii?  <- question for everyone reading this thread
Link Posted: 6/5/2021 2:40:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/5/2021 3:29:09 PM EDT by amediocreshooter]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HighDesert6920:
If you could get the same size/quality of house, and a similar job (if working) in Hawaii.....would you choose Florida or Hawaii?  <- question for everyone reading this thread
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Lived in both. Left both.

HI is great if you’re brown. Good luck being a haole

FL is a mess. I genuinely don’t understand why there’s a thread in here every day with people asking about moving there.

You can move to SE Texas or SE GA and get more for your money with some actual culture mixed in.
Link Posted: 6/5/2021 5:28:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/5/2021 5:30:51 PM EDT by Pallas]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By junker46:
I think the Pensacola area/Escambia county blows.  Looks like they want to flood it with subdivisions with the infrastructure lacking, packed roads, no decent traffic control, questionable water and sewage service (changes companies who are bidding the lowest), only one power carrier. Plus lots and lots of shitty drivers.
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Not true, the company is a public utility, it has never changed and never will change. Pensacola does have insanely high utility costs. In fact for a County that had/has one of the poorest economies in FL, it has very high property taxes and utility costs, as well as 3x the national average of minorities, one of the highest crime rates in FL, and a terrible school system.
Link Posted: 6/5/2021 8:41:12 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By amediocreshooter:

Lived in both. Left both.

HI is great if you’re brown. Good luck being a haole

FL is a mess. I genuinely don’t understand why there’s a thread in here every day with people asking about moving there.

You can move to SE Texas or SE GA and get more for your money with some actual culture mixed in.
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Have you looked at property taxes in TAxes?  Georgia is more "blue" than Florida, and unfortunately trending even worse.

Politically, Florida is in good shape.  Best governor in the country.  Two solid GOP Senators.  Near super-majorities in both the state house and state Senate.  Trump won here by 100,000 votes in 2016, and nearly 400,000 in 2020.
Link Posted: 6/5/2021 10:39:00 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Texas_Sig:


Have you looked at property taxes in TAxes?  Georgia is more "blue" than Florida, and unfortunately trending even worse.

Politically, Florida is in good shape.  Best governor in the country.  Two solid GOP Senators.  Near super-majorities in both the state house and state Senate.  Trump won here by 100,000 votes in 2016, and nearly 400,000 in 2020.
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Republican majorities haven’t done shit for Florida gun owners in almost a decade. Where is open carry? Where is constitutional carry? Did Campus carry pass this year? There are ~20 states with constitutional carry right now and more are in the pipeline. Several don’t have a state income tax, either. How come they can do it but FL can’t? GA may be blue but the gun laws there are still better. How sad is that?

Politics isn’t all I look at in a location though. Property taxes in FL were sky high. Almost $5000/yr on only $225k~ taxable value. $2700 annual flood insurance.

Florida isn’t even that cheap anymore if you live outside of a newly built HOA in the middle of old swamp land.

Not to get too far off the rails and an apples to apples comparison is difficult but I’d be curious about the cost of living for someone in TX/TN/SC/GA compared to FL.
Link Posted: 6/7/2021 9:57:23 AM EDT
Just moved to east milton, 27 miles from Pensacola. I love it here. Im 3 minutes from downtown, but dont live in city limits.  I bought a 3/2  mobile on .83 acres for 75k outright. Work in Pensacola beach. So a lil commute, not bad.came from the bay area. Your gonna love it here..
Link Posted: 6/7/2021 9:43:12 PM EDT
Since this went political; One needs to understand that there are two different Florida GOP types. The typical conservative, which is pretty much NW FL and some parts around N and C FL. Then there are the other GOP people which are pretty much in S.FL. They really don't give a shit about your guns, they really don't give a shit about many GOP social issues either, what they care about is their money and the wealthy donors, Rick Scott is one of these. I know a lot of S.FL Republicans, totally different breed, more of an old money (even if they aren't) snotty type than "grew up old school working family Republican."

Florida is odd when it comes to voting, even the Libs seem to be reasonable sometimes, the State can go either way and it doesn't depend on registration.
Link Posted: 6/10/2021 10:23:01 AM EDT
Everyone else is coming to Vero Beach. Might as well snatch up a place before a lefty does.

We’re the Red stronghold on the E coast.
Link Posted: 6/14/2021 10:27:44 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By eye-gor:
Look at a map, draw a line from the Ormond/Daytona area across to Crystal River.   North of the line is Old Florida, south of the line is a lot more like California than not.

I'd look up in the NE area just outside of Jax over towards the I75 line and skirt around Alachua co (great place, terrible politics driven by Gainesville) and then down towards Ocala, Dunnellon, and Crystal River.  Maybe as far S. as Brooksville area.

Gainesville has UF Health and NFRMC, both can be OK to work but if you don't need to worry about school zones I'd live just over from the Alachua co. line and commute in.  Isn't that much of a drive - 20-30 minutes.
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Citrus County is a good spot , My family has had land in FL since 1970 (Pasco County) and I grew up a snowbird as a kid.

I prefer Citrus because it's still rural, yet you have just about every convenience you can think of.

Right now I live just south of Crystal River, however we're looking at a slightly larger place east of 19 in the case of hurricanes you wont be flooded or cut off for days.
Link Posted: 6/15/2021 9:35:34 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/15/2021 9:46:16 PM EDT
Ocala
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