The Best and Worst States to Retire: Exploring Florida as a Top Contender and Legal Requirements You Need to Know


Are you dreaming of a relaxing retirement in the Sunshine State? Look no further than Florida! In this article, we will delve into the criteria used to rank states for retirement and explore why Florida stands out as an excellent choice. We will also discuss important legal considerations if you're thinking about retiring to Florida or becoming a Florida Snowbird.

Understanding the Rankings:

The 10 best and worst states to retire were recently revealed in a study conducted by Bankrate. This comprehensive analysis considered various factors such as affordability, overall well-being, quality and cost of healthcare, weather conditions, and crime rates. Not surprisingly, the rankings showcased the dominance of Southern states.

Florida's Appeal:

According to Bankrate's rankings, Florida secured its position as the eighth-best state for retirement. Let's take a closer look at how the different factors contributed to this ranking:

  1. Affordability (35%): With its relatively lower cost of living compared to other states, retirees can make their savings go further in Florida.
  2. Quality and Cost of Healthcare (21%): Accessible healthcare facilities, quality care and affordable medical services contribute to Florida's appeal.
  3. Overall Well-being (3%): The state's natural beauty and recreational opportunities enhance retirees' quality of life.
  4. Weather (3%): Sunshine-filled days year-round provide a pleasant climate for outdoor activities.
  5. Crime (27%): Although crime rates play a role in rankings, Florida still offers safe communities for retirees.

Why Choose Florida?

As someone who has experienced both Minnesota's winters and sunny Florida firsthand with offices in both locations, it is not surprising that many people choose to retire in the Sunshine State. Who wouldn't want to swap shoveling snow for enjoying the warmth and beauty of Florida? As my daughter, a college student in Florida, once said, "Yes, there are alligators here, but if you leave them alone, they leave you alone too!" And she continued, “You don’t need to chip ice off of your car six months of the year before you can drive it.”

Legal Considerations for Florida Retirement:

If you're considering retiring or becoming a Florida Snowbird, it's essential to address certain legal considerations. If you already have an estate plan in place, updating it is crucial. For instance, transitioning from a will-based estate plan to a trust-based plan is advisable to avoid probate in Florida.

This advice becomes even more relevant if you have properties or businesses in both Minnesota and Florida. By utilizing a trust-based estate plan, you can eliminate the need for probate in two states upon your passing.

Furthermore, the state revenue department considers the state under which your will or trust operates when determining residency for tax purposes. Updating your estate plan to operate under Florida law can be another factor that works in your favor.


Florida's appeal as a retirement destination is undeniable. With its favorable rankings across multiple categories, weather, low taxes, and numerous lifestyle benefits, it's no wonder many individuals choose to retire or become Snowbirds in this beautiful state. Just remember to address the necessary legal considerations and update your estate plan accordingly for peace of mind during your golden years. Start planning today and make retiring in Florida a reality!

If you found this article helpful, be sure to subscribe to our channel for more informative content on estate planning, retirement tips, healthcare directives, powers of attorney, state taxes, asset protection strategies, and relocating to Florida. Preserve, protect and pass on your home and life savings through custom-tailored planning with us!

And, if you would like to learn how to make it as easy and inexpensive as possible for your family to manage your affairs during incapacity and after passing, while ensuring your assets only go to whom you want and how you want, click here to register for our FREE online masterclass.

And, if you would like to learn how to protect your home and life savings from long-term care and nursing home costs, click here to download our FREE guide Save our Home: How to Protect Your Home and Life Savings From Long-Term Care and Nursing Home Costs.

Chuck Roulet
Connect with me
Nationally Recognized Estate Planning Attorney, Author, and Speaker
Post A Comment