Friday, October 2, 2009

The Storm over Florida

Author Tom Johnson


The Storm over Florida,

With escalating foreclosures and falling property values and the failing economy, people are walking away from their homes and leaving the state for points north of Florida.

Florida would be a great option for retirees to flock too, but the problem seems to be that they cannot sell their home in the north to come to Florida.

The newer retiree’s from the baby boomer group are choosing other places to retire than Florida. "People have a lot more options than just going to Florida. Many new retirement communities have been built in Maryland, Delaware, the Carolinas, and Georgia," reports E. Thomas Wetzel, president of the Retirement Living Information Center. "There's even a group of retirees called halfbacks, who went to Florida, didn't like it, came halfway back and settled in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky, where they get four seasons."

"Florida has definitely lost its edge," says William Haas, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, who has studied retiree migration in the U.S. He points to a slew of reasons, including the horrible hurricane season of 2004–2005 and rising property taxes and insurance rates, for why Florida is no longer such a draw, and he has the figures to prove it.

Between April 2008 and April 2009, the state actually lost population for the first time in more than 100 years.


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