8 Financial Secrets for Floridians

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Florida is a state known for its sunny weather and beautiful beaches. It’s also a state that has its own unique financial challenges, so planning is crucial. With a large retiree population and a high cost of living in some areas, Floridians need to be savvy with their money. In this article, we will reveal 8 financial secrets for Floridians to help them navigate through their financial journey.

1. Take Advantage of Homestead Exemption

One of the best financial secrets for Floridians is to take advantage of the homestead exemption. Homestead exemption is a property tax discount available to residents who own and occupy a primary residence in Florida. The exemption can save homeowners up to thousands of dollars every year. To apply for the homestead exemption, residents must submit an application to their county property appraiser’s office.

2. Use Florida Prepaid College Plans

Florida Prepaid College Plans are an excellent way to save for your child’s college education. The plans allow parents to prepay for their child’s college tuition and fees at current prices. This means that even if the cost of college increases in the future, parents will not have to pay more. According to the Florida Prepaid College Plans website, families who use the plans save an average of $19,000 per child.

A 529 plan is tax-free and allows for contributions up to $450,000 per beneficiary. The funds can be used for tuition, room and board, and other qualified expenses.

3. Take Advantage of No State Income Tax

Florida is one of the few states that do not require residents to pay state income tax. This means that residents can keep more of their hard-earned money. According to a report by Kiplinger, this can save residents up to $1,000 per year in taxes compared to residents in states with a state income tax.

4. Budget for Hurricane Season

Living in Florida means dealing with hurricane season. It’s important for Floridians to budget for hurricane season by setting aside money for storm preparation and potential damages. This can include buying hurricane shutters, stocking up on non-perishable food and water, and having an emergency fund set aside for unexpected expenses.

Investing in a good hurricane insurance policy can give Floridians peace of mind in the event of a storm. It’s important to review policies carefully and make sure they cover the necessary damages.

5. Use Florida’s Sales Tax Holidays

Florida offers several sales tax holidays throughout the year, including back-to-school, disaster preparedness, and energy-efficient appliance sales tax holidays. During these holidays, certain items are exempt from sales tax, allowing residents to save money on their purchases.

6. Take Advantage of Florida’s Low Cost of Living

Florida’s overall cost of living is lower than the national average, making it an attractive place to live for both retirees and young professionals. According to BestPlaces.net, the cost of living in Florida is 1.3% lower than the national average. This means that residents can enjoy a high quality of life without breaking the bank.

7. Invest in Real Estate

Real estate in Florida has historically been a good investment due to the state’s growing population and stable housing market. According to a report by Zillow, the median home value in Florida is $295,820, and home values have increased by 14.8% over the past year. Investing in real estate can provide Floridians with both a stable place to live and a solid long-term investment.

8. Consider a reverse mortgage.

For retirees or those approaching retirement age, a reverse mortgage may be a good option. A reverse mortgage allows homeowners to borrow against the equity in their homes and receive payments without having to sell the property. This can be helpful for those who need additional income but want to stay in their homes.

In conclusion, Floridians can take advantage of several financial opportunities to help them save money and achieve their financial goals. By following these financial secrets, Floridians can achieve financial success and enjoy all that the Sunshine State has to offer.

Sources:

1. Florida Department of Revenue: (https://floridarevenue.com/taxes/taxesfees/Pages/homestead.aspx)

2. Florida Prepaid College Plans:(https://www.myfloridaprepaid.com/)

3. Kiplinger: (https://www.kiplinger.com/taxes/state-tax/601873/states-that-dont-tax-wage-income)

4. National Hurricane Center: (https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/)

5. BestPlaces.net:(https://www.bestplaces.net/cost_of_living/state/florida)

6. Zillow: (https://www.zillow.com/fl/home-values/)

7. “Florida 529 Savings Plan” by Florida Prepaid College Board: (https://www.myfloridaprepaid.com/save-for-college/529-savings-plan/)

8. “Reverse Mortgages” by the Federal Trade Commission: (https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0192-reverse-mortgages)

9. “Hurricane Insurance: What You Need to Know” by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation:(https://www.floir.com/Office/HurricaneSeason/hurricaneinsurance.aspx)

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