Florida Keys Cost of Living

Life in the Lower Florida Keys is more than just sunshine, beach, water sports, cool cocktails and gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, it’s also about the overall quality of life. Here, there is no big city stress, which studies have shown to increase the risk of higher blood pressure, depression, and drive down morale significantly.

The climate is warm all year long, with mild winters where the overnight low generally falls to pleasant temperatures in the mid fifties to the high sixties. With warm winters come the opportunities to do more outdoors, including sports, leisure activities, and exercise. That’s not only good for a person’s health, it’s also great for their wallet because of the many things to do; and, the cost of living is just right to enjoy a great lifestyle at a lower expense than in many parts of the country.

Though the Lower Keys are in a great climate with plenty of beaches, parks, and great locations, it’s still relatively less expensive to live in the area, especially when compared to similar places with the same things in different parts of the nation.

The Lifestyle of the Florida Keys

It’s the lifestyle which is the most attractive thing about living in the Keys. Being a part of the island archipelago means being able to enjoy many more outdoor hours throughout the year, which definitely helps people to stay healthy.

Here, the mood is come as you are, with casual common attire being shorts, sandals, and a t-shirt. Since there is such a large choice of low cost or free outdoor activities, recreation abounds and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. The wonderful weather also contributes to every resident’s wallet, and there are even more reasons why it’s not expensive to live on the islands.

Lower Keys Cost of Living

First and foremost, there is no state income tax, something that’s costly in other states. In addition, businesses enjoy many incentives, making the economy robust and grow year after year, which increase employment and wages. Companies must best their competition and go after desirable candidates.

Second, property taxes are modest, as are many other types of fees for vehicles and there is no tax on personal property such as boats. Lower utility costs are another thing which don’t cost as much because through most of the year, open windows provide the perfect indoor climate. There’s no heating oil, and, regular utility bills come in low, especially when compared to the northeast and west coast of the country.

Last, such things as insurance, and health care come at a lower cost, the former because there is no heavy traffic, and the latter because people can enjoy outdoor recreation and exercise all through the year.

The cost of living index is based on the composite price of groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, health care, clothing and entertainment.
Cost of living indexes will generally be higher in areas that offer access to beaches, culture, arts and recreation. In addition, areas that offer a wider variety of services such as health and education will run higher due to higher wages, and increased quality of living.

Cost of living indexing explanation
A figure of 100 points is used as an average both for the USA and Florida. For example:
* New York, NY -169.0
* Long Beach, CA -141.0
* Palo Alto, CA -310.0
* Boston, MA -149.0
* Malibu, CA -331.0
• Statewide, Florida cities come in from a low of 88 and up.

One way to compare Florida areas to salary requirements:

For example-If you were relocating from Portland Oregon (whose rate is 116.0) to Orlando, and you currently make $50,000 per year, the formula is as follows
• Take the destination index, in this case Orlando-91.0 and divide by Portland’s index-116, then multiply by a salary of $50,000. This will give you a figure of $39,224.00, which you would be required to make in Orlando and have the same quality of life.

The Keys and Monroe County top out the state at an average Cost of Living of 145 plus.(See http://www.bestplaces.net/cost_of_living/county/florida/monroe) This is mostly due to the cost of housing, whether you’re buying or renting. We only have so much land and the building permits in the Keys are heavily regulated. IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BUY IN PARADISE! We’re currently experiencing a buyers’ market, prices are down and there are many excellent opportunities to buy before the market takes off again.

Compared to other areas nationally and given the amenities of the Keys, the Florida Keys are a wonderful place to live, work and play.
(Population Weighted-State Average=100

2011-2012 stats Source http://www.bestplaces.net/col/

Boca Raton-154.74
Cape Coral-Ft Myers-99.6
Ft Lauderdale-137.0
Destin-145.61
Jacksonville metro-97.1
Big Pine Key fl-128.0
Key Largo-146.0
Key West-151.00
Marathon fl-131.00
Miami metro-137.41
Melbourne-92.72
Naples Fl-250.59
Orlando metro-101
Palm Bay-84.56
Palm Coast-Flagler-125.01
Panama City-86.35
Pensacola metro-82.0
Sarasota-107.2
Tampa 97.3 
St Pete-Clearwater-95.6
Vero-Beach Indian River-122.87
West Palm Beach metro-112.05
(Population Weighted-State Average=100
See national comparisons
Cost of living (100 = nationwide average)

* New York, NY -169.0
* Long Beach, CA -141.0
* Palo Alto, CA -310.0
* Boston, MA -149.0
* Malibu, CA -331.0
* San Francisco, -199.0
* Chicago, IL -105.0
* Dallas Tx -88.0
* Atlanta Ga -94.0

For more information about cost of living go to
Sperlings best Places http://www.bestplaces.net/

 

For Utility charges
Water
• The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority provides water for the entire Keys:
• Tavernier…..305 852-8068
• Marathon…..305 743-5409
• Lower Keys…..305 296-2454

For Electric
• The Florida Keys Electric Cooperative
• provides power for the upper Keys:
• Tavernier…..305 852-2431
• Marathon, 3421 O/S Hwy…..305 743-5344
• Key West City Electric
• provides power for the Lower Keys
• 1001 James St, Key West…..305 294-5272

Gas.
Propane is available from local dealers

Telephone Companies:
• Bell South
• Residential Services…..305 780-2500
• Business Services…..305 780-2800