It is no secret that Florida has been a retirement destination for many Americans for decades now. However, could it be that more people than ever are now migrating to The Sunshine State?
What does the data show?
Florida experienced the highest level of net domestic migration in 2018, according to U.S. Census data, and all signs indicate that trend has intensified amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. With more than 1,000 people moving to the state each day in 2020, this could very well be a record breaking year. While factors such as the warm weather & tropical lifestyle play huge roles, there are many other drivers behind this shift. Compared to other parts of the country, the cost of living is lower. In addition, Florida is now even more competitive with attracting companies to relocate to The Sunshine State. Below are several factors affecting this trend:
- Florida is one of only seven U.S. states without a state income tax. That means a Florida resident earning $1 million in Miami takes home $640,000 after taxes, while the same person nets $535,000 in New York, $590,000 in Illinois, and $532,000 in California.
- Several states such as New York, California, & Illinois are proposing even higher taxes on high wage earners. This is resulting in an even larger gap in taxation between Florida and other states.
- The current COVID-19 pandemic has more than doubled the number of people working remotely. It appears that this trend may remain for the future, thus driving many people to consider moving to more tax friendly states like Florida.
In addition to the historical wealth migration that we have observed in South Florida, we are also now seeing a health migration due to the pandemic. As the temperatures drop around the country, many experts fear that a spike in COVID-19 cases will result as more people stay indoors. With more people fleeing big cities in favor of the suburbs, many Americans are eyeing suburban neighborhoods in South Florida as their final destination. The additional space combined with the warmer climate is optimal for the social distancing initiative. Add in the flexibility of working remotely and now many Americans do not have to wait for retirement in order to move to South Florida.