Comparing the 3 Most Popular locations for 55+ Communities

May 15, 2020

The top three most popular locations for 55+ communities in the U.S are Number one, Florida with 678, number two, New Jersey with 275 followed by California, a distant third with 178 55+ communities.

If you are not choosing the location of your move to a 55+ community to be closer to children and grand children you are most likely doing so based on weather and financial considerations or a combination of both.

Active Adult Living in California

Let’s start with California. The state is so large it is often referred to as NorCal, the area from the Sacramento Valley North including San Francisco and the SoCal the area, including Los Angeles to the Mexican border. To compare: Weather is similar in both with NorCal being an average of 4 degrees cooler in warm months and 5 degrees cooler in winter months than SoCal. Home Prices are similar. In both, the closer to the coast or big cities the higher the prices, with San Francisco demanding some of the highest prices in the nation. In NorCal and SoCal inland areas offer homes prices in the $200’s. Both locations boast an abundance of natural beauty, from waterfalls and lakes, forests, to mountains and beaches. One standout for NorCal is Napa Valley Wine Country. There are plenty of cultural and dining opportunities in both , though most of them are offered closer to big cities in each local.

Active Adult Living in Florida and New Jersey

Now the differences between Florida and New Jersey. Both have lots of shoreline where most of the 55+ communities are located. One notable popular location exception is central Florida. Weather-wise Florida is much warmer. Some who move there find it too warm and move half way back up north earning them the name “half backs”.

New Jersey while quite a bit chillier does enjoy four distinct seasons unlike Florida that is said to have 2 seasons, one week of Winter and Summer the rest of the year. And don’t forget the extreme humidity. New Jersey has much easier access to day trip options to other areas and states, especially as compared to South Florida, where the preponderance of 55+ communities are located, easily a whole days drive to anywhere other than in Florida.

Financially Florida wins, It has the lowest home prices (overall) with plenty of options in the $100’s. Taxes: income, property, estate and sales. Florida has no state income tax.. In New Jersey Social Security income is not taxed and neither is income under $65,000 a year. Estate taxes have both states equal as Florida has no inheritance tax and after December 31, 2017 NJ doesn’t either. Sales tax tends to be higher in Florida and can vary from local to local. NJ has a set tax rate statewide. Property tax rates are higher in New Jersey but are usually offset by the much higher property insurance rates, and often required Flood Insurance in most areas of Florida.

Wherever you are considering moving to you will want to do your homework on these important considerations before making a final decision.

Next blog I will be discussing how to find the communities in a location you are considering and a 55+ Real Estate Expert in that area to assist you with your search.


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