Should I Retire in Nevada or Florida? Comparing Nevada vs Florida for Retirement

Nevada vs Florida for Retirement

Are you wondering whether you should retire in Nevada or Florida? These are some of the most popular retirement states and every year, thousands of retirees and snowbirds have to make the decision of whether to retire in Florida or Nevada. There’s a lot to consider, from the cost of living and climate to which state has the best places to live and most fun activities. That’s why we’ve put together a guide that compares Nevada vs Florida for retirement, so you can determine where you want to live!

Should I Live in Florida or Nevada for Retirement?

This is one of the most common questions retirees ask when they’re deciding where to move for retirement. Honestly, it can be a tough decision. There’s so much to consider and everyone has different preferences, interests and finances. 

Both locations are known for hot and sunny weather, tons of fun activities and a huge selection of retirement communities or neighborhoods to live. When deciding if it’s better to retire in Nevada or Florida, it helps to first consider the big picture.

Should I Live in Florida or Nevada for Retirement?

The State of Nevada is a popular retirement destination for people from California, New York, Washington, Oregon, Colorado and basically any northern states that get cold weather. A major draw to Nevada is that there’s no state income tax. Of course, Nevada also has Las Vegas, which has become a favorite retirement hotspot in recent years. It’s beloved by people who want the best of entertainment, gambling, golf, outdoor recreation and lounging in the hot, dry desert sun.

Florida has a long history of snowbirds and retirees, many who come down from the Northeast and Midwest states. It has a tropical climate and more large cities than Nevada. The coasts of Florida have the ocean and beaches, which are a major attraction. Florida also has Disney World and Universal Studios, a draw for grandkids. Outdoor recreation opportunities include tons of golf, snorkeling or scuba diving, and basically any watersport you can imagine. Like Nevada, Florida also has no state tax on your income. 

Pros and Cons of Retiring in Florida vs Nevada

At this point you may be thinking that both states seem like pretty awesome places to retire. You’re right, both states are great places to retire and are fairly equal on the surface. Before we dive deeper into specifics, let’s look at a few more pros and cons of living in Florida vs Nevada for retirement.

Pros & Cons of Retiring in Nevada

Pros:

  • Low property taxes and no state income tax
  • Nevada has the mountains, desert and lots of outdoor activities
  • You can retire in or near Las Vegas and never be bored during retirement 

Cons:

  • Dry desert climate that can get really hot in summer and cold in the winter
  • Less cities, overall population and infrastructure than Florida
  • Large cities like Las Vegas and Reno can get busy with tourists

Pros and Cons of Retiring in Florida vs Nevada

Pros & Cons of Retiring in Florida

Pros:

  • Access to the ocean, sandy beaches and watersports
  • More cities and places to live than Nevada
  • Has the most golf courses in the country

Cons:

  • Florida can get extremely hot and humid in the summer
  • There are hurricanes, lots of thunderstorms and lightening
  • There can be a lot of tourists in Florida

What’s so interesting about the pros and cons listed above, is that you could look at certain drawbacks as positives, and some pros as cons. For example, listed in the cons of retiring in Nevada is that it has less cities and overall population than Florida. But for some, living in a more rural state is what they want for retirement.

Another example is that some people would love to live in a city like Las Vegas and indulge in all the fun. Others are completely turned off by the thought of it. 

But each state truly has something for everyone. Therefore, let’s keep going! Below, you will find more detailed information that can help you determine whether Florida or Nevada is right for you. This includes cost of living, things to do, places to live, retirement communities, taxes and climate.

Cost of Living in Nevada vs Florida

Many want to know: Is it cheaper to live in Florida or Nevada? 

At the time of writing (November 2021), according to Bestplaces.net, Nevada had a slightly higher cost of living than Florida. The cost-of-living indices for Nevada was a 110.5, while the cost-of-living indices for Florida was 102.8. The national baseline is 100, which means both states are slightly over the national cost of living average.

Homes in Florida are, on average, less expensive than in Nevada. Per the same source, the median home cost in Nevada is $358,400, while the median home cost in Florida is $294,900. 

Cost of living expenses that are cheaper in Nevada than Florida include grocery, healthcare and utilities. Transportation costs less in Florida than Nevada. 

Keep in mind that all of this will depend on which city you end up in. Big cities like Miami and Las Vegas will typically have a higher cost of living than smaller cities like Tallahassee or Fernley.

Things to Do in Florida vs Nevada

Florida is a retirement state that certainly caters to the active retiree that’s looking for things to do. If you live on the coast, you can enjoy unlimited time at the beach, swimming in the ocean, snorkeling, yachting – you name it for watersports, and you can probably find it in Florida. Golf is huge in Florida, as is playing tennis. Larger cities in Florida also have a growing arts scene and plenty of nightlife, restaurants and shopping. If you enjoy watching professional sports, all major sports leagues have teams in Florida. For entertainment, don’t forget about Walt Disney Resort World and Universal Studio near Orlando.

Things to Do in Florida vs Nevada

Comparably, Nevada is no slouch when it comes to things to do. We’ve already mentioned all of the fun and excitement to be found in Las Vegas, which now includes the NFL Raiders and NHL Vegas Golden Knights, if you’re looking for something besides shows and gambling for entertainment. Reno has a growing nightlife scene and plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities with its proximity to Lake Tahoe. There are lots of golf courses in Nevada and yes, you can even find watersports! Try the already mentioned Lake Tahoe in the north or Lake Mead in Southern Nevada for water activities. When it comes to dining and shopping, it’s hard to beat Las Vegas.

Places to Live in Nevada vs Places to Live in Florida

One of the major factors in determining where to retire is finding a place to live. As the larger state population wise, there are more cities and towns in Florida. However, there are great places to live in Nevada including several cities and communities that are ranked each year as some of the best places to live or retire in the United States. While this is by no means a complete list of places to retire in Florida or Nevada, here are a few of the most popular places to live in each state.

Places to Live in Nevada vs Places to Live in Florida - Las Vegas

Nevada

Places to Live in Nevada vs Places to Live in Florida - Tampa Bay

Florida

Retirement Communities in Nevada and Florida

In an on the differences between retiring in Nevada vs Florida, we’d be remiss to not mention retirement communities. Florida has way more 55+ and retirement communities than Nevada, with an estimated count over 950 retirement communities in Florida. There are approximately 43 retirement communities in Nevada. Both figures change as communities are built or alter their rules and regulations.

As for some of the most popular 55 and over communities in Florida and Nevada, if you’ve researched in Florida, you’ve undoubtedly come across The Villages, a massive community located in Central Florida.

While it has far less communities, Nevada retirement communities include a good amount of 55+ communities in Las Vegas, including the nationally known Sun City Summerlin, located in the larger master-planned community of Summerlin in the western area of Las Vegas. 

Taxes in Nevada vs Florida

Taxes are on the mind of many retirees. In the case of Florida vs Nevada taxes, either way you win in one aspect: both do not have a state income tax. 

Florida is known for having a high sales tax, while Nevada tax advantages include low property and real estate taxes. Certain cities in Nevada such as Las Vegas may have higher than average sales taxes, thanks in part to the large tourism industry.

Overall, when it comes to deciding between retiring in Nevada or Florida, taxes may not be the deciding factor since both states are considered tax friendly.

Climate in Nevada vs Florida

Nevada has a semi-arid climate, which means dry air and 300+ days of sunshine per year. Nevada is the driest state in the U.S., so those who can’t stand the rain or snow certainly benefit by retiring here. Remember that Nevada is a large state from north to south and has large mountain ranges, which means that while Southern Nevada can get unbearably hot during summer months, the north remains a bit cooler. The average high temperature in Nevada during the summer is 84.6°F and winter is 42.8°F. 

Florida has a sub-tropical climate that offers hot and humid summers, with more mild winters than may be experienced in Nevada, especially in south Florida. One of the biggest things to consider when choosing between Florida and Nevada to retire is that while Nevada is the driest state in the US, Florida is one of the wettest. The state experiences a lot of rain, thunderstorms and there’s hurricane season through the Summer and Fall months. The average high temperature in Florida during the summer is 81.8°F and the average low year-round hovers around 64.2°F. 

Is it Better to Retire in Florida or Nevada? You Choose!

There you have it, an article which talks all about whether you should retire in Nevada or Florida. At the end of the day, the decision of whether to retire in Nevada or Florida is yours to make. No one can make the decision for you. Hopefully, all of the information we’ve provided has given you a clearer picture of which state is right for you!

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