How much money do you need to move to florida -
- I need an attorney. Can the Attorney General’s office represent me?
- I have a complaint against a private business. Where can I go for assistance?
- Does the Attorney General’s Office provide any services or benefits to victims of violent crimes that have resulted in financial hardship?
- What other services are available for crime victims?
- Does the Attorney General help the public with questions on open government?
- I believe that someone is using my name to run up charges on my credit. What can I do?
- I have a complaint with another state agency. Can the Attorney General act on my behalf or take action against it?
- Who can help me with questions about child support?
- I am having trouble with my insurance company. Can the Attorney General take action?
- I believe that my local public officials are breaking the law or engaging in unethical behavior. What should I do?
- I am constantly receiving telephone calls at night, on weekends, during the dinner hour, from people trying to sell me something. Is there any way I can prevent these calls?
- I know of a state law that needs to be changed. Who can I contact?
- Where can I find copies of state and federal laws?
- What training does the Attorney General’s Office offer to lawenforcement, victims, and the general public?
- I am part of a local Crime Stopper organization. How can my group apply for a grant from the Crime Stopper Trust Fund?
- Who can help me with a problem concerning my utility?
- I have a complaint against my local law enforcement department. Who can help me?
- I feel that I am being discriminated against because of age,race, gender, or disability. Can the Attorney General help me?
- I do not know all of the details on the products that I buy. How do I protect myself from consumer fraud?
- My landlord is not doing what he is supposed to do according to our lease. Who can help me?
- My neighbor recently moved to Florida from out of state and the mover would not unload the truck until my neighbor paid him more than agreed upon. I just moved here from within Florida and the same thing happened to me, plus several items were damaged. How can we recover our money?
1. I need an attorney. Can the Attorney General’s office represent me?
The Lawyer Referral Service at the Florida Bar can assist you in contacting an attorney in Florida with expertise relevant to your situation. By law, the Office of the Attorney General may not represent private citizens in legal disputes. The Lawyer Referral Service may be reached at 1-800-342-8011 (FL only) or 1-800-342-8060 (National). The Florida Bar’s web site address is http://floridabar.com.
2. I have a complaint against a private business. Where can I go for assistance?
There are a variety of options available to you. First, have you provided the business with an opportunity to respond before proceeding with a complaint to a higher authority? The Division of Consumer Services (within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services) regulates a number of businesses and accepts complaints against those business under their jurisdiction. To learn of the businesses regulated by the Division of Consumer Services, as well as accessing online complaint forms, go to their web site at http://www.800helpfla.com. The telephone number is 1-800-435-7352 (1-800-HELP-FLA). En Espanol (1-800-FL-AYUDA).
If you believe that you are the victim of a scam or fraud, please call the Attorney General’s toll free hotline at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM (or 1-866-966-7226).
3. Does the Attorney General’s Office provide any services or benefits to victims of violent crimes that have resulted in financial hardship?
Yes. The Bureau of Victim Compensation provides financial assistance to innocent victims for payment of expenses incurred as a result of a criminal victimization. When eligibility criteria is met, victim/applicants may receive compensation for medical bills, wage loss, funeral/burial expenses, disability and loss of support. In addition, the Office of Attorney General offers a nationwide 24 hour toll-free information and referral service to provide crime victims with access to information regarding their claim or general information about the program. Operators are available to assist Spanish and Creole speaking victims. Our toll free number for victims is 1-800-226-6667. You may also fill out a claim form or visit the web site at http://myfloridalegal.com.
4. What other services are available for crime victims?
A directory for the victims of crime is available online through the Attorney General’s Office at http://myfloridalegal.com/directory. In addition to an existing listing of agencies that provide services to victims of crime, there is also a listing of the Regional Victim Advocates employed by the Office of the Attorney General. This office also provides assistance to victims and family members who are involved in the appeal of criminal trial court decisions to the appellate courts.
5. Does the Attorney General help the public with questions on open government?
Florida has one of the most progressive open government laws in the country. Known as the Government in the Sunshine Law, the statute provides that, except in rare circumstances, the public has access to meetings between elected officials and the records of government entities. The Attorney General’s Office is a leading source for interpretation of Sunshine Law questions and publishes the official Government in the Sunshine Manual. For more information, go to http://myfloridalegal.com/sunshine.
6. I believe that someone is using my name to run up charges on my credit. What can I do?
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. From 2001-2002, instances of identity theft doubled around the country. In Florida, the Office of Statewide Prosecution, under the Attorney General, prosecutes perpetrators of Identity Theft. If you are a victim of this crime, you are urged to call the Attorney General’s Fraud Hotline toll free at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM, or 1-866-966-7226. Competent personnel will put you in touch with law enforcement and work with victims. In addition, there are ways to prevent such fraud. The Office of Statewide Prosecution offers tips to combat this invasive crime. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission has information on the internet. You may log on to http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft/
7. I have a complaint with another state agency. Can the Attorney General act on my behalf or take action against it?
The Attorney General is prohibited from representing private individuals in any cases. Those with complaints with individual agencies should take those complaints to the respective administrators, secretaries or inspectors general of those agencies. Normally, each agency has an Ombudsman or office for public contact to help citizens with their problems with that agency. These agencies are listed at http://www.myflorida.com/directory/ The Legislature has ultimate oversight of state agencies and their budgets. You may wish to contact your state representative or state senator if you are unable to resolve the problem with the respective agency.
8. Who can help me with questions about child support?
The Attorney General’s Office represents the Department of Revenue’s Child Support Enforcement Division in administrative and judicial proceedings involving the establishment and enforcement of paternity and support in cases both within and outside Florida and include contested and non-contested cases. The Department of Revenue’s toll-free number for child support matters is 1-800-622-5437 (1-800-622-KIDS). This information can be accessed on the web at http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/childsupport/phone.html.
9. I am having trouble with my insurance company. Can the Attorney General take action?
The Florida Department of Financial Services’ is the state agency charged with regulating the state’s insurance industry. Within that Department is the Division of Consumer Services that provides public outreach and serves as a mediator in disputes between insurance companies and consumers. The toll-free number is 1-800-342-2762. In Tallahassee, consumers may call (850) 413-3130. On the web: http://www.fldfs.com/Consumers/.
10. I believe that my local public officials are breaking the law or engaging in unethical behavior. What should I do?
You may take your concerns to your region’s State Attorney for alleged illegal behavior. These officials have the authority to prosecute criminal wrongdoing. A list of the State Attorneys can be found at http://www.myfpaa.org/?form=stateattorneys. Ethical complaints about public officials are the responsibility of The Florida Commission on Ethics. The Commission can be reached at 850-488-7864 or on the web at http://www.ethics.state.fl.us/
11. I am constantly receiving telephone calls at night, on weekends, during the dinner hour, from people trying to sell me something. Is there any way I can prevent these calls?
Yes. The Division of Consumer Services is authorized to prevent unwanted telemarketing calls. Consumers may contact the Division at 1-800-435-7352 or visit the site on the world wide web at: http://www.800helpfla.com/telemkt.html
12. I know of a state law that needs to be changed. Who can I contact?
The Florida Constitution provides the Florida Legislature with sole authority to pass, and amend, the statutes. The Constitution provides the Attorney General with authority to investigate and prosecute violations of duly enacted statutes. You should contact your state representative and state senator with your concerns and suggestions. More information may be obtained at the Legislative Information Center at http://www.leg.state.fl.us or by calling 1-800-342-1827.
13. Where can I find copies of state and federal laws?
You can access state statutes online at http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm. The United States Code is quite extensive, but can be downloaded at http://uscode.house.gov/. Local libraries and the State Library are also excellent resources for information on government.
14. What training does the Attorney General’s Office offer to law enforcement, victims, and the general public?
Through the Florida Crime Prevention Training Institute, we offer training in three categories: crime prevention, victim’s services and school resource officer programs. In addition, a "designated practitioner" program is offered in all three training categories. For more information or to receive a training calendar, contact the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Justice Programs at 850-414-3360 or www.myfloridalegal.com/cjp. Hate Crime training is available for law enforcement while hate crimes/civil rights training is available for students. Contact the Attorney General’s Office of Civil Rights at (954) 712-4607.
15. I am part of a local Crime Stopper organization. How can my group apply for a grant from the Crime Stopper Trust Fund?
Crime Stopper organizations who are members of the Florida Association of Crime Stoppers and/or Boards of County Commissioners of a county served by a member Crime Stopper organization. For more information call 850-414-3360.
16. Who can help me with a problem concerning my utility?
The Florida Public Service Commission is the agency charged with ensuring that regulated electric and local telephone utilities observe state rules and service standards. You may wish to contact the PSC regarding your concerns at 1-800-342-3552 or visit their web site at http://www.psc.state.fl.us.
17. I have a complaint against my local law enforcement agency. Who can help me?
For municipal police agencies, you should first contact the agency’s Internal Affairs Section or the Chief of Police. If you are not satisfied with the response, you may wish to contact the mayor, city manager and/or city council members. You can obtain the names and telephone numbers of these officials in the government section of your telephone directory or by calling city hall. Complaints against employees of a local Sheriff's Office should be reported to the Internal Affairs Section of the agency or to the sheriff. Those names and telephone numbers are normally available within the government section of your telephone directory, or on the agency's website.
18. I feel that I am being discriminated against because of age, race, gender, or disability. Can the Attorney General help me?
Discrimination in any form is wrong and there are laws that govern these acts. Florida law contains some protections for ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity. Under Florida’s Civil Rights Act, complaints concerning discrimination in public accommodations, housing and employment may be first submitted to the Florida Commission on Human Relations for review and possible conciliation. Also, certain local or federal agencies (such as the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission) may be able to review your complaint. Those who feel that they are the victims of discriminatory practices should call the Attorney General’s Office of Civil Rights at (954) 712-4607. If the office is unable to sufficiently assist, a referral to the appropriate source will be offered.
19. I do not know all of the details on the products that I buy. How do I protect myself from consumer fraud?
While it helps to learn as much as one can about a particular product, you will seldom know as much as the individual selling that product. It is helpful to learn of your rights as well as your obligations when purchasing items, especially when signing a contract is involved. The Attorney General’s Office has a list of tips for buyers of a variety of consumer products.
20. My landlord is not doing what he is supposed to do according to our lease. Who can help me?
The State of Florida has a law governing this relationship. The tenant has certain responsibilities, but the landlord does as well. Click here to read Florida Landlord/Tenant Law. For more information concerning your rights, you may wish to consult with an attorney.
21. My neighbor recently moved to Florida from out of state and the mover would not unload the truck until my neighbor paid him more than agreed upon. I just moved here from within Florida and the same thing happened to me, plus several items were damaged. How can we recover our money?
Your neighbor’s interstate move is not regulated under Florida law, but there are steps that he can take. The U.S. Department of Transportation administers household goods transportation through its Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Recovery of any damages to household goods must be handled by a claim with the carrier, but unscrupulous activity should be reported to the FMCSA. Their toll free hotline is 1-888-368-7238 and web address can be accessed at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/factsfigs/moving.htm.
The State of Florida does regulate moves within the state, known as intrastate moves. All intrastate moving companies must register with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The Attorney General is committed to protecting consumers, as well as reputable movers, from the actions of a few unscrupulous firms by working with local authorities and through litigation when necessary. While claims for damaged goods must be filed through the carrier, you may contact our No Fraud Hotline at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM (1-866-966-7226) to report improper conduct by movers, such as holding cargo "hostage" until higher fees are paid. In addition, you may wish to contact the Division of Consumer Services for more information, or to file a formal complaint. They can be reached at 1-800-HELP-FLA or on the web at http://www.800helpfla.com/moving.html.
I’m 62, live in Missouri but work in Florida and have $1.8 million — ‘have I positioned myself well?’
I would like to retire next year in April. I will be 62 ½ years old and am in good health. I don’t plan on drawing Social Security for some time since I have a cash flow plus cash savings. Should I postpone Social Security? If I draw Social Security, then I should receive about $2,100 a month. If I wait until my Full Retirement Age, I should receive $2,900 a month. Is it doable to retire comfortably at 62 ½ years old? Have I positioned myself well?
I would greatly appreciate your feedback and advice.
See:I’m 60, my spouse is 45 — can I retire if our expenses are $12,000 a month?
Congratulations on years of hard work saving so much money. That is truly an accomplishment and will serve you well in retirement.
You ask if you’ve positioned yourself well for retirement. The truth of the matter is, many people will see your total investable assets as $1.8 million and think “of course,” but it’s a fair question to ask.
Ultimately, “your success will be a function of your savings, investments and your cash flow,” said Erika Safran, a certified financial planner and principal of Safran Wealth Advisors.
It’s best to consider your investable assets as $1.8 million because that doesn’t include the value of your home. If you’re not planning to sell your home and use the proceeds to fund your retirement, it shouldn’t be in the calculations, Safran said. That doesn’t mean it’s not valuable or helpful in the future — should an unforeseen emergency occur, you could possibly consider a reverse mortgage if it fits your circumstances later in life and depending on eligibility requirements.
Keep in mind, everything in this response should be treated as a starting point. You didn’t provide many numbers for the financial advisers I spoke with to parse. That being said, if we round down to the lowest possible income per year you mentioned, which is $150,000 a year, and you were to max out your 401(k) contributions at $26,000, after taxes you’re looking at roughly $90,000 to spend on living expenses, Safran calculated. That’s the amount of money you have to replace for your retirement years. Ask yourself — does that sound doable? Are there any expenses that may deter you from meeting that threshold, or do you need to make changes to meet that limit?
As the saying goes, “cash is king” — the same can be said about cash flow management in retirement. You have some great positives — assuming you move back to Missouri full time and stop paying rent in Florida after you retire, having those extra funds will certainly help your cash flow. If you consider your monthly payments for your auto loan and mortgage as part of your living expenses (which would make sense), you’ll have even more cash to play with when those debts are repaid.
But you didn’t mention any of the other living expenses you have or can reasonably expect to have in retirement, and that’s what will truly make or break your retirement goals. You should consider writing out a budget, or at the least what your expected monthly expenses will be in retirement. You only provided us with your monthly mortgage payment and rent, which leaves a lot of considerations on the table. With that information, you could do a few calculations of your own or work with a financial planner to determine how realistic retiring in April would be. A financial planner could help you create a strategy for withdrawing your assets as well.
Either way, think long and hard about your expenses in retirement. Brian Kennedy, a wealth planning adviser at KCA Wealth Management, suggests writing out one column of the necessities you’ll need to pay for in retirement and then one for your wants and desires, such as travel, gifts and hobbies. He recommends reading “The Bucket Plan: Protecting and Growing Your Assets for a Worry-Free Retirement,” by Jason L. Smith.
Also, outside of your investments, earmark the equivalent of two years’ worth of expenses into a savings account and maintain that balance every year, Safran said.
Check out MarketWatch’s column “Retirement Hacks” for actionable pieces of advice for your own retirement savings journey
Before I move on to some other points, I want to flag your healthcare needs. Will you and your wife be covered under a plan if you retire, and if not, what will you do about it? Americans are eligible for Medicare at age 65, which means you’d have two and a half years to go before you can enroll. Your wife would have even longer before she’s eligible.
If you like your job and it’s “tolerable in terms of family dynamics,” you may even want to consider working a bit longer not only to continue building up your nest egg but also to take advantage of any health insurance benefits you get, said Daniel Hawley, a certified financial planner at Hawley Advisors. This is not ideal for everyone, of course, but it could help.
“The longer he works and funds his 401(k) (and builds savings and investments) the more secure [his wife’s] retirement becomes,” Hawley said. Even if you don’t keep working in some capacity with healthcare benefits, you’ll have to budget accordingly for your wife’s health insurance costs in the future — especially when you become eligible for Medicare.
Also, along with where you’ll get health insurance, think about what sorts of medical expenses you’ll have in the long- and short-term. Healthcare costs are a major portion of retirees’ annual expenses, especially as they age.
One last note on your assets before I move on. Many people think the closer someone gets to retirement the more conservative their investments should be but that isn’t necessarily true. “What people with that mindset don’t realize is that a) retirement is the ending of earned income and the start of funding a remaining lifespan of unknown years,” Hawley said. You could very well be planning for 40 or more years, especially when considering your wife’s needs after you’ve passed, he said.
“Despite COVID, people in the upper-middle class with resources are living longer, healthier lives,” Hawley said. “I tell my clients to expect to live longer than you think… and that being old is difficult enough without being ‘old and broke.’”
Now onto Social Security — when a person claims his or her benefit is always a very personal decision, and depends on numerous factors, including income needs, life expectancy and just overall attitude toward the program, to name a few. Some people claim as soon as they can, which is 62 years old, while others wait until their Full Retirement Age to get 100% of the benefit they’re owed (the earlier you claim before your FRA, the less of your full benefit you get). Then there are people who expect to live into their 80s or 90s and don’t need the money yet, so they claim Social Security after their FRA.
There are retirees who make their decisions based on their lifetime earnings from Social Security. For example, assume a person has 30 years of retirement at age 62. If she were to claim at 62, over 30 years she’d accumulate $756,000. If she waited until age 67 and thus had 25 years of retirement left, she’d accumulate $870,000. “The greater your family longevity history, the better off you are waiting until at least full retirement age,” Safran said. “If you can afford your life expenses without the Social Security income, you are better off delaying.”
When you figure out your cash flow needs, you’ll be able to have a better picture of when to take Social Security, Kennedy said.
You may also want to delay for your wife’s benefit, Hawley said. Not only are you getting an “8% guaranteed return per year on the payment” when delaying, but because she is 10 years younger and presumably gets no Social Security of her own, your wife will get a percentage of your benefit if or when you predecease her, he added.
I know you were asking about your retirement in particular, but I wanted to provide a few more notes based on the information you shared about your wife. One main area is survivor income needs, Kennedy said, which that budget I mentioned previously could help you both figure out. The other would be what life insurance policies you have, if any, and how they’ll benefit her. And lastly (for now), make sure you have all your legal documents in order — wills, powers of attorney, healthcare proxies and so on. Here’s more on estate planning considerations.
Safran had another suggestion: consider converting a portion of your individual retirement account to a Roth IRA on an annual basis when you’re in retirement. This is a great job for a financial planner, who could determine the maximum amount of money should be converted while keeping taxes in mind. “Unlike an IRA, the Roth IRA does not have required minimum distributions at age 72,” she said. “The investment in the Roth IRA grow tax-free and the withdrawals during retirement (after 59 ½ years old) are also fully tax-free.”
And finally, I tell this to anyone at any age — think carefully about what retirement will look like. Discuss those goals with your wife, and plan accordingly. Think about the unpleasant aspects of it — such as estate planning and long-term care — but also the fun parts, like what trips you may go on, what hobbies you may take up and what other passions you’ll pursue. Good luck!
Readers: Do you have suggestions for D? Add them in the comments below.
Have a question about your own retirement savings? Email us at [email protected]
Far and away the most frequently asked question I get is some variation of
What does it cost to live in The Villages?
The answer is not as straightforward as many would like, because everybody’s situation is different, and figuring out one’s cost of living is not at all like, say, inquiring about the price of a hotel room. But some folks seem to think it should be so easy and sometimes I wish it were.
In order to find out what YOUR cost of living in The Villages will be, it’s going to take some serious effort and thinking on your part. I know…the nerve of this guy, right?
But I’m hoping that the information and resources below can at least help you arrive at a fairly accurate estimate of your potential cost of living. A few disclaimers…prices are averages based on what I’ve heard, seen, experienced. Assume we’re dealing with a $250,000 home when discussing housing related stuff. Prices change all the time, etc., etc.
Let’s jump right in shall we?
Cost of Living Spreadsheet: On page 79 of my book I share a link to an Excel spreadsheet with a list of all of the expenses featured in this article. You’ll want to plug in your own numbers of course, but this will do a lot to get things started for you. Order your copy today.
I’d say well over half of the people posing this cost of living question have received their “Lifestyle Portfolio” (information package) from The Villages and most of them question the accuracy of the monthly cost of living figures presented there.
If you’ve not received the package containing this sheet it totals up the estimated cost of the amenities fee, sewer, water, power, trash, phone and cable, insurance, average taxes, and the CDD assessment and shows you a grand total of $1,010.17 per month to live in The Villages.
While I’m sure that coming in at or close to this monthly budget number could be done, and you will no doubt hear some people say, “oh yeah, that’s pretty accurate”, it would mean living a fairly Spartan lifestyle, at least by Villages standards.
Let’s take a closer look at figuring out your monthly cost of living and decide for ourselves whether this is doable for you. What I’m going to do is present you with a list of costs that you might incur. Some of these might be ongoing monthly or yearly expenses (eg: lawn care) and others might be one time purchases (eg: buying a golf cart).
Again, it’s important to keep in mind that many of these costs are not going to apply to everyone, I’m just trying to get it all down on paper and you can pick what’s applicable and what’s not. Also, assume the figures below are for a $250,000 home. Buying a million dollar home in The Villages? Your costs will undoubtedly be higher.
This to me is a glaring omission from The Villages’ own monthly cost of living breakdown. I know many people pay cash for their homes, but many choose to carry a loan, even if it’s just for tax deduction reasons. If you visit Bankrate.com you can calculate this one using your own figures but I used a $250,000 house, with 20% down, and a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 4.5% and came up with $1013.37 per month.
Yes, I know interest rates are currently lower than this, but I’m trying to be conservative here and I would not expect them to stay below 4% much longer.
This cost alone exceeds the seemingly attractive monthly cost of living estimate provided by The Villages, but again, a lot of people buying in The Villages do pay for their homes in cash and never get a mortgage, so a mortgage payment may or may not apply to you.
I think The Villages estimate of $100/month here is pretty accurate. Of course you can adjust this up or down based on how much home you intend to buy accordingly. But, even though it likely won’t be required that you carry it, I always tell people to get flood insurance too just in case. So let’s call that an additional $400/year or about $33/month to be safe.
This one is pretty straightforward. At $164 a month currently for new buyers, this covers much of what makes The Villages such a draw. Things like golf on the executive courses, swimming, tennis, organized activities, 24-hour neighborhood watch and more.
The Villages estimates this at $240/month, which I would consider to be the low end for this price home. The actual will depend whether you qualify for homestead, and which county it is located in. But for a $250,000 home count on paying between $3,000 and $4,500 per year, which works out to between $250 and $375 per month.
You’ll learn more about this in my book, but you’ll likely have a CDD infrastructure assessment and a maintenance assessment. The infrastructure assessment can be paid off, and many homeowners choose to do that. You’ll see some resales advertised with the statement “Bond paid” or “no bond”. But regardless you’ll always have the CDD maintenance assessment to contend with.
The Villages estimates this at $191, but they can range from below $100 to more than $500. Again, this is going to depend on what type of home you ultimately end up with, where its located, if the bond is paid, and so on.
In my opinion utilities are tough enough to estimate, let alone when you estimate them individually. You’ve got people that never set the thermostat below 80 thus they have a consistent power bill, but maybe they love their 30 minute showers leaving them with a higher water bill than others. So for simplicity’s sake lets lump them into two groups.
For water, sewer, power, and trash collection The Villages estimates $258. I’d go a little more conservative here and estimate $300-$350 AND add another $100-$200 if you have a pool to cover the costs of running a pool pump. Add even more if you have an electric or gas pool heater.
Basic cable is estimated at $60 by The Villages, but phone and internet are noticeably absent from their estimates. Of course most companies will let you bundle cable, phone, and internet but if you do this, in my experience it will cost more than $60.
And of course some people may forgo a landline in lieu of using cell phones exclusively. But no matter which route you choose, I’d budget between $150 and $250 for phone, cable, and internet.
You might think cutting your own grass and trimming your trees and shrubs sounds like a good idea at first, but most people eventually agree its either too dang hot or they are just too dang busy to keep up with it all. So most opt for a lawn service to come.
I’d estimate $50-$75/month for this amount of house.
Of course its going to depend on the size of your lot and other factors, but we’re shooting for averages here. Note that while you will get cut more in the summer and less during the winter, most services will charge you the same each month. It just helps them keep a steady cash flow and I think it helps the homeowner too so its pretty easy to remember what to pay.
Trimming of trees/shrubs is usually additional. I think if you budget $40-$50/month here you’d be pretty safe.
Most people especially those coming from up north never think of this one. You’re going to want to have your yard sprayed for pests, as well as the inside of your home too. Some companies recommend monthly service, others say you can get by with quarterly. In either case, expect this to set you back $80-100/month.
No matter what type of home you buy, do not go without a termite bond. Count on paying at least $100-$200/yr. for this.
You might want to budget for having the outside of your home pressure washed once or twice a year, and painted every 5-7 years. Pressure washing will probably run $100-$200 per visit, and painting for a 1,800 sq. ft. home should be between $2,000 and $3,500.
I’d say grocery prices in The Villages are pretty average for Florida. There’s quite a bit of choice with Publix, Winn-Dixie, Wal-Mart, etc., so the competition helps keep prices in check.
Drinks and Eating out
Same for restaurant and drink prices. There are lots of choices, and the competition keeps the prices in line. You don’t have to look too hard to find coupons and deals enticing enough for just about any budget.
BUT, because of the amount of choices, many just a short golf cart ride away, most residents find themselves eating out and/or socializing with new friends more than they ever have in the past.
So to be safe, add 20-30% on to whatever your budget is now for drinking and eating out, not because prices are higher, but because you will likely be doing it more often.
“Free golf for life” might just be the very thing that got your attention and attracted you to The Villages in the first place. But, it’s not quite that simple.
You do get free golf for life on the executive courses if you walk.
But, there is a small fee for golf cart rental. You can also use your own cart and pay a trail fee either daily, semi-annually, or annually.
You’ve got several options as it relates to Priority Championship Course Memberships, too many to list here. But on the high end they are currently $925 per couple (rates are less for singles) and this includes use of the Country Club pools, your executive trail fee and tennis at Hacienda Hills.
You also have to pay greens fees on top of this, though you do get a slight discount with this priority membership.
This will likely be one of the first purchases you make after buying your home, and many even complete this purchase BEFORE buying their home! Prices, styles and options for golf carts are almost as varied as for homes. You can find used carts in the classifieds or in some stores for less than $2000 or you can spend more than $20,000 for a tricked-out custom cart. The choice is yours but don’t forget to budget for this expense.
You’ll also need golf cart insurance. Like anything else its good to shop around. Ask your cart dealer or salesman for a recommendation. I’ve seen rates range between $60/year to more than $200/year.
Like cars, golf carts get flat tires, dead batteries, etc. A couple companies offer roadside assistance for yearly fees ranging from about $30/yr. to $60/yr. depending on the level of service you’d like. Check out Kartaide and 24 Hour Cart Club for more details.
Entertainment and Movies
You’ll never be short on entertainment options in The Villages. You’ve got nightly entertainment in the town squares which is free. There are also ticketed shows, musical acts, Polo matches, etc. with ticket prices ranging from just a few bucks to $30+ depending on the act and the venue.
The Villages now has three movie theaters and ticket prices are currently $8.50 for residents showing a resident ID.
The Villages Daily Sun is currently about $70/year. I say “about” because the price varies slightly based on where your home is located. While you should probably subscribe just to keep up with daily events/happenings you’re not going to see much hardcore news reporting. Because of this, many also get the Orlando Sentinel which is about $80 for 13 weeks if you want 7-day delivery. Less expensive options are available for Thursday and Sunday delivery, or Thursday through Sunday delivery.
Another option, if you’re only interested in the highlights and most important news coming out of The Villages, is my monthly Villages newsletter which is available for a one-time fee. A lot of part-timers and snowbirds find this the most convenient way to keep up with what they need to know, from wherever it is they spend the rest of their time when not in The Villages.
You can get golf tee times by phone, but some want the convenience of doing it online. If that’s you, you’ll pay $8/month for TheVillages.net. This also includes 2 @thevillages.net email addresses.
I’m a strong proponent of joining these two organizations. After a while you’ll notice they have different aims and viewpoints in many cases but both are worth being a member of. The Villages Homeowners Advocates (VHA) is just $25/household for 2 years, and the POA is $10/household for 1 year.
If you’re going to be a seasonal resident you’ll probably want to look into a housewatch service and these range from $35-$50/month depending on the level of service you want.
Various “One-Time” Costs
A lot of people fail to consider the many “one-time” costs they might incur when first moving to The Villages. Prices vary greatly for things like adding gutters, screening in your lanai, buying new patio furniture, adding decorative curbing, interior painting, and much much more.
Resident Parker Sykes, author of 50 Things to Think About Before Moving to The Villages says that you can plan on at least $5,000 worth of this type stuff needing to be done at a minimum, and I’d agree. Just remember to take these into account when doing your budgeting/financial planning.
What did you come up with?
When I plug in some of the numbers above into a spreadsheet, I come up with a monthly cost of living (for me) of more than $4,000.
But don’t let my number scare you. Maybe I factored in a little too much for golf, or maybe I plan to spend a little more on things like groceries and eating out than you.
Adjust your figures accordingly!
Florida sees nearly 1,000 people move there daily as high-tax residents seek shelter: report
Nearly a thousand people are moving to Florida every day, as those living in high-tax states seek shelter during the coronavirus pandemic.
Home sales have doubled in some parts of Florida, and the state is bringing 950 new residents in per day, The New York Times first reported, citing data from the International Sales Group's summer 2020 Miami Report and an August report from Douglas Elliman.
Florida's 35-year average daily population growth sits at 777 domestic migrants, according to the Miami report.
"Florida has consistently been one of the most desirable states in terms of weather and tax climate, maintaining a strong daily average population growth throughout the last couple of decades," the Miami report notes.
People sit on Hollywood Beach during the new coronavirus pandemic, Thursday, July 2, 2020, in Hollywood, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Migrants have been flocking to Florida from Northern states such as New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts based on tax return filings.
NEW YORK EXODUS ACCELERATES AS SOME RESIDENTS HEAD SOUTH
"The U.S. is experiencing a domestic trend toward and population shift from states in the Northeast and Midwest to states in the South like Florida and Texas," the Miami report states. "According to U.S. Census data, Florida had the highest level of net domestic migration from 2017-2018."
The Elliman report found that new contracts for single-family homes and condos continued to surge in five Florida counties after doubling in July. Palm Beach County saw a 268-percent increase in single-family home contracts worth more than $1 million in July.
HAMPTONS BUSINESSES SEIZING ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY AS NYC RESIDENTS EXTEND STAYS
Meanwhile, new single-family home and condo contracts in a number of New York boroughs and suburbs except for Brooklyn and The Hamptons are also lower than years prior, but higher than they were in April, according to an August Elliman report.
People look at the New York skyline and the Empire State Building on August 19, 2020 in Weehawken, New Jersey. (Photo by Eduardo MunozAlvarez/VIEWpress via Getty Images)
Jonathan Miller, president of real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel, which prepared the Elliman report, told the Times that for Florida home and condo buyers who were on the fence about moving, "the pandemic forced the issue, the recognition of advantages that weren't fully appreciated before."
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Florida residents pay no state income or estate tax and get homestead exemptions of up to $50,000 on primary residences, as well as a 3% cap per year on home assessments, Jill DiDonna, senior vice president of sales and marketing of developer group GL homes, told the Times.
New Florida residents told the Times that they were able to get more space and better-quality homes in their price ranges compared to the states they fled from. For some, coronavirus accelerated plans to move.
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