Each year, thousands of people travel to sunny Florida to get away from the miserable ice and snow. These are known as snowbirds. If you’re a snowbird, you may be considering moving to Florida permanently. In this guide, we’ll explain some of the benefits of moving to Florida, as well as steps to making Florida your permanent residence.
Solivita Living welcomes snowbirds to come and stay. Their goal is to make relocation easy. They’ve worked with many retirees to make their dreams come true. After all, you’ve spent most of your life working- now it’s time to relax and enjoy yourself. Solivita is a 55+ community with 8 locations. There are a variety of amenities and activities for you to enjoy.
Benefits of Establishing Residency in Florida
There are several benefits of establishing residency in Florida. Many of these are financial:
No Income Tax
Did you know there are 9 states in the USA that do not have income tax? Florida is one of them. Not only do Florida residents not have to pay state taxes on their income- they also do not have to pay state taxes on unearned income, such as interest, dividends, and retirement income. This can mean significant savings for those who spend their summers in northern states with high taxes, including Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, etc.
Permanent Residence Tax Exemption
For legal residents, Florida offers an exemption on Homestead Property, which decreases the property’s taxable value by up to $50,000. In order to qualify, the property must be a permanent residence.
Indoor & Outdoor Activities in Florida
At Solivita Living, there’s a variety of indoor and outdoor activities for residents to enjoy. Some of these include:
- 14 heated swimming pools
- Pickleball courts
- Tennis courts
- Fitness centers
- Dog parks
- Playground for grandchildren
- Bocce ball
- Art rooms
- Movie nights
Of course, this is just a few of the many amenities and activities you can enjoy at their 8 locations. Solivita would love to show you what they have to offer. Schedule a tour today to learn more.
How to Establish Residency in Florida
If you are a snowbird and you want to establish residency in Florida, you should know that there’s more to it than filling out a form or just saying that you’re a resident. There are several factors that come into play to determine your legal residency. Here are 8 things you need to do as a snowbird to establish your residency in Florida:
Spend the Majority of Time in Florida
This is known as the 183-day rule. Basically, you will be taxed as a resident if you own a home and spend approximately 6 months there. If you spend more than half of the year in Florida, you will be considered a resident.
Just in case you get selected for a residency audit, make sure you have a record of where you are each day of the year. Keep receipts from your time spent in Florida to prove that you are there.
Florida Driver’s License
Another way to prove your residency is by getting a Florida driver’s license. You can do this by visiting a Florida license office.
Florida Vehicle Registration
In addition to getting your Florida driver’s license, you also need to register your vehicles in Florida. Registration fees vary based on the vehicle type.
Florida Voter Registration
Next, be sure to register to vote in Florida. You can do this online or with a paper application. You must have a Florida driver’s license or state ID.
Buy/Rent Larger Home
If you’re wanting to have a second permanent home in Florida as a snowbird, your Florida home should be equivalent to your home up north- or a little larger, if possible. If you only have a small apartment in Florida and a larger home up north, it may throw some red flags for tax auditors.
Use a Florida-Based Bank
Close your accounts in the state where you previously lived and move your finances to a bank in Florida. You can use a national bank, as long as there’s a location near your Florida home- and make sure all of your statements are sent to your Florida address. In addition, make sure to work with insurance agents, brokers, and financial planners in Florida.
List Florida as Your Residence on Federal Tax Returns
File with the IRS to change your address on file and use your Florida address when you file your tax returns.
Declaration of Domicile
Finally, in the area where you live, you should file a Declaration of Domicile. Be sure you fill out the correct form to switch over your primary state of residency.
If you are a snowbird that is interested in making Florida your permanent residence, there are some things you need to know. Living in Florida offers several benefits, including those that impact your finances. If you’ve decided that you want to move to Florida, follow the steps above to establish your residency in Florida.
When you’re ready to look into moving to Florida, contact Solivita Living. They will work with you to help you find the ideal community for you.