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Florida vs. Texas
Old 02-27-2015, 04:03 PM   #1
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Florida vs. Texas

We are planning to relocate now that I'm retired. One place we're considering is Jacksonville, Florida. We've never been there, but it's a lot warmer than where we live now. My wife has visited Houston, Texas on business in the summer and says it's too hot there for her liking.

I'm wondering, is the weather in Jacksonville much different than Houston? When I check the yearly averages, they seem much the same. Yet what I read from posters on the internet seem to indicate Houston is more uncomfortable. Is it because of the humidity or something?

Anyone here lived in both Florida and the Houston area and can comment on the weather both places?
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Old 02-27-2015, 04:05 PM   #2
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Florida is your best choice.
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Old 02-27-2015, 04:07 PM   #3
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Yet what I read from posters on the internet seem to indicate Houston is more uncomfortable. Is it because of the humidity or something?
Could be the Houstonians.
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Old 02-27-2015, 04:15 PM   #4
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Could be the Houstonians.
Or the out-of-state-transplants.
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Old 02-27-2015, 04:18 PM   #5
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Florida is your best choice.
+1 There are no scorpions in Florida. We need "right to carry" to kill all of the mosquitoes.

I have lived in the greater Houston area for most of my adult life. No one comes here for anything other than money. No one is attracted to the beaches, the scenery or the winter sports. The size of the city has created a reasonable arts and theater scene if you are so inclined. It is hot and humid in the summer beyond anyone's reasonable endurance.

That said, there are decent places in Texas that would work as retirement venues. Because of no state income tax and other niceties of State law, many people maintain Texas residency and live all over the country. There's a RV park north of Houston that has 5 or more time the number of "residents" that could ever fit into the RV park. Texas supports itself with property taxes more than anything else. If you own no property, your state tax is non-existent. There is a new governor and Lt-governor that are trying to reduce property taxes but that will inevitably lead to other taxes (no political comment intended). I can't predict what will result.

I am now on my first day of retirement. I am staying in the Houston area because of 5 grandchildren and 3 children all in the area. If they weren't here, I wouldn't be either.

If you want nice beaches you need to go to Corpus Christi or points south. The Texas Hill country has many people that retire there. You'd have to visit to see if it appeals to you. Some people like the Piney Woods of East Texas. The beaches around Houston (IMHO) are muddy messes. Overcrowding is normal given the size of Houston.

I've visited Florida many times. The beaches are much nicer. You can fine tune your lifestyle. I've heard of some back door taxes there but can't recall what they are. You need to check all the ways they suck money out of you.
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Old 02-27-2015, 04:23 PM   #6
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Or the out-of-state-transplants.
Same in Florida. Not sure which is worse...
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Old 02-27-2015, 04:24 PM   #7
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Or the out-of-state-transplants.
Sam Houston moved to Huntsville.
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Old 02-27-2015, 04:27 PM   #8
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Florida is your best choice.
+1
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Old 02-27-2015, 04:37 PM   #9
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Florida is your best choice.
Well, in the interests of full disclosure, one must be aware of REWahoo's status as the state of Texas' unofficial discourager for new arrivals, as in:

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OK...

Texas is infested with scorpions, rattlesnakes, fire ants, crazy raspberry ants, cockroaches on steroids, killer bees, mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, tarantulas, brown recluse spiders, love bugs, swarming crickets, copperheads, cottonmouths, rabid skunks, wild hogs, alligators, oppressive heat & humidity, bleak desolate scenery, dirty beaches, polluted air, dust storms, drought, wildfires, water shortages, recurring floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, rednecks, huge piles of flaming mulch, spontaneously combusting playgrounds, roads hot as flowing lava, the stench of natural and unnatural gasses, amoebic meningitis lurking in area lakes, recurring ebola virus outbreaks, flesh eating bacteria, staggering homeowner insurance rates, unbelievably high property taxes, mandatory death sentences for DUI convictions, polygamous religious sects, and, lest we forget, doesn't look kindly towards Yankees (per Orchidflower).

The towns mentioned are all located behind the Pine Curtain. You'll need to show your passport at the border crossing, but if you weigh 250 or more, wear well-worn bib overalls and a DeKalb Feed gimmie cap, you might be able to pass through without getting checked.
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Old 02-27-2015, 04:48 PM   #10
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We are planning to relocate now that I'm retired. One place we're considering is Jacksonville, Florida. We've never been there, but it's a lot warmer than where we live now. My wife has visited Houston, Texas on business in the summer and says it's too hot there for her liking.
From where are you moving?
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Old 02-27-2015, 05:04 PM   #11
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I am from FL tho have not lived there since high school. We are looking at the Texas hill country or the western slope of CO. The only way I would live in Houston was if Imwere incarcerated there.
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Old 02-27-2015, 05:29 PM   #12
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I am from FL tho have not lived there since high school. We are looking at the Texas hill country or the western slope of CO. The only way I would live in Houston was if Imwere incarcerated there.
+1 for Texas Hill Country (and Houston comment).
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Old 02-27-2015, 05:49 PM   #13
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I am from FL tho have not lived there since high school. We are looking at the Texas hill country or the western slope of CO. The only way I would live in Houston was if Imwere incarcerated there.
Unfortunately, the Houston jail remains overbooked. Some of the excess population is moved to the Louisiana jails until there are openings in Houston. The food is better in Louisiana, I hear. You can always put your name on a list, however.
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Old 02-27-2015, 05:53 PM   #14
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+1 for Texas Hill Country...
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Old 02-27-2015, 05:57 PM   #15
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Unfortunately, the Houston jail remains overbooked. Some of the excess population is moved to the Louisiana jails until there are openings in Houston. The food is better in Louisiana, I hear. You can always put your name on a list, however.
Unfortunately, DH's momma lives in LA, I will pasd
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Old 02-27-2015, 06:33 PM   #16
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I'd suggest spending some time in each of the two places, both in summer and winter. Get to know the area. Go to the gym, get your hair cut, walk through the grocery stores - - do whatever you might be doing if you lived there. If you do that, I'm pretty sure that one of them will feel like home more than the other.
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Old 02-27-2015, 07:11 PM   #17
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+1 {snip} I've heard of some back door taxes there [in Florida] but can't recall what they are. You need to check all the ways they suck money out of you.
Not sure what those taxes would be - lived in FL since 1998 and think it's pretty straightforward for residents. No state income tax, no tax on food or drugs, property taxes are higher than some states (~2% of purchase price, but increases are limited), auto license fees are modest, sales taxes run 6-7% depending on the county.

On the other side, homeowners insurance near coastal areas is insane ($5,000+ for house worth $250,00), auto insurance is higher than many states, gasoline is higher than other areas in the Southeast and rises as you go down the peninsula.

What you don't want to be is a tourist in Florida. Hotel taxes of 10-11% and rental cars are subject to facility and surcharges that add up. Basically, tourists pay taxes so residents don't have to .

So, New Yorkers, come on down.
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Old 02-27-2015, 07:23 PM   #18
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We currently live in Chicago area, but have lived/worked in East Texas and worked for companies in other areas of Texas during my working years. We have also been wintering in the Florida panhandle for the last 5 years (since we retired). It's cold in panhandle areas in winter (lows 30's-40's and highs 50's-60's), and hot/humid in the summers (ask any resident).

I found it's a catch-22 scenario Florida vs. Texas with our retirement home search -

Both Texas and Florida have no state income tax but they both have hidden ways of taking your money (car registration, etc).

I've found Florida's property taxes generally lower than Texas on comparable home values, but take into consideration our opportunity cost on higher comparable home values. People always appear to buy at the top of their overall budget (mortgage and taxes). Texas high property taxes appear to keep Texas home values lower than Florida's. When you consider the opportunity cost difference (cash difference in values is money invested in a home that's not able to earn you income), you may be better off paying higher property taxes in Texas with a lower opportunity cost. Lower value of similar home could vary by where you choose to live. Example: $5k in property taxes and an opportunity cost on a $150K home (say at 5%=$7.5K) would have you out of pocket annually at $12.5K. Similar home in Florida with $2.5K in property taxes and an opportunity cost on a $250K home (5%=$12.5K) has you out of pocket annually at $15K.

Personally - find Texas overall appearance is better than Florida. Texas lakes are mostly alligator free (find some in far East Texas occasionally), towns appear to have a better layout, and better local/state government. We find the people are friendlier (better sense of community, neighborhood, and lower crime rates). We don't get the warm fuzzes about retirement living in Florida (have friends living in various areas), and have given up our efforts to relocate there.

Although Texas wins in our location search - we've decided to stay in the Chicago area (our children/families are there). Will Probably sell our retirement community SFH, buy a non-retirement community condo, and step up our annual travel/snowbirding. If we lived in Texas - would probably spend our annual travel time/money in Chicago, as we did when we lived in East Texas in the past. When we're eventually unable to travel - being around family should be a positive in keeping us active.

We are also giving up wintering in the panhandle of Florida after this year. Will look to winter further west along the coast and inland (Texas, Arizona, New Mexico). Might try further south in Florida but in the future. When we run the numbers: wintering south/southwest 3~4 months in furnished rentals vs. selling/relocating/buying (or renting) and traveling back home is a wash. Hope this information on our relocation search helps.
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Old 02-27-2015, 09:10 PM   #19
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We're from Texas and considered Florida but ulimately chose Henderson, NV.

No state tax, low property taxes, no bugs because of low humidity and tons to do outdoors.

We're not gamblers so rarely go to the strip. You'd never know we live within 15 miles of sin city.
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Old 02-27-2015, 09:58 PM   #20
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As a lifelong resident of Texas and living in the same general area as 2B - I agree entirely with his analysis. When DH retired we seriously thought about moving out of state but we have 3 children here and DH has other children/grandchildren here and so we stayed. We live in a nice subdivision and aren't miserable or anything, but I can't really see why someone not already here would retire here....
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