Three Factors To Consider When Choosing Florida Or Texas As Your Home

*Originally published January 26th, 2022 on Forbes Finance Council

As I observe the massive demographic shift from other states down south, I often dialogue about which of the two great states offer the most for a retiree. I’ll examine three factors that impact a retiree’s standard of life. These three factors focus more on leisure and legacy rather than nightlife and job opportunities — although some retirees still value both of those. 


‘Florida sunshine’ rolls off the tongue like ‘Texas cattle,’ but is this an accurate choice of words? Both states offer plenty of sunshine and heat, but which is worse? According to Current Results, many Texas cities win the race for higher temperatures than the Florida towns. For example, in 2020, Austin, TX, had 142 days over 90 degrees, whereas Tampa had 117 days over 90. In Texas, the difference is that you’ll have to endure one more month of heat compared to those in Florida who are already preparing for the fall. 

Of course, there are many cities in each large state, so the data differ from town to town. Then, when you think about the humidity, Florida is known to be more sticky and sweaty. Overall, that may be true, but those Texans along the gulf coast in Brownsville, Corpus Christi and Houston would beg to differ. When you consider the heat, be sure to pay attention to the pockets of the state that are known for humidity.

Cost Of Living

The cost of living in both states is climbing as migration continues north and south. If you are a home buyer, you will pay more to purchase a home in Florida than in Texas. The median sales price of a home in Florida in Q1 of 2021 was $317,500 versus Texas at $274,000 in the same time period. If you rent, this difference will trickle down to you as a renter. Expect Florida to have higher rental rates as well.

The sales taxes are relatively close, so you shouldn’t see much difference in the price of purchasing goods and services. However, some products feel that Floridians are wealthier, so they charge more. For example, one calculation shows that a gallon of milk in Florida is $3.58 versus $2.79 in Texas, and a fast-food combo is $7.75 in Florida versus $7.25 in Texas. Companies consider Florida a pool of retirees with discretionary income, and they factor that stereotype into the pricing of products.  


Access To Healthcare

In my podcast “Retire in Texas,” I talk exclusively about the healthcare environment in Texas and leave out any comparison to Florida. However, after some research, I find that the healthcare environment is very accommodating to seniors. Medicare is a federal program that provides coverage beyond state lines, so it doesn’t matter what state you call home. However, Medicaid is a federal and state program, and there are some differences.  

According to, Florida ranks near the country’s bottom in Medicaid spending per low-income population. If you are relying solely on Social Security, make sure you choose a state that is liberal in its Medicaid spending. Conversely, Texas is known not to have sufficient physician access in the rural communities, and this should be considered if you move to the lone star state.

Weather, cost of living, and healthcare matter to retirees – so do government regulation and crime. However, many of these issues are driven by the specific city you select. For example, Austin will have a materially different government regulatory environment compared to Dallas and San Antonio. Miami’s crime rate is not the same as Tampa’s. So, when a retiree thinks about the three factors above, the next step is to choose a city that fits your personal preference. 

Both states offer nearly unlimited sunshine and retirement-friendly communities. Remember, good people, find good people wherever they call home.

*Originally published January 26th, 2022 on Forbes Finance Council

screen shot image of forbes council article written by Darryl Lyons PAX

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