The Top 8 Reasons To Retire To Florida

Looking for a reason to retire to Florida? Look no further! I can give you lots of reasons that make FLORIDA RETIREMENT IRRESISTIBLE.

Here are the top 8 reasons to retire to Florida:

  1. No Income Tax. Retirees flock to Florida because Florida has NO STATE INCOME TAX. Workers get to keep more of their paychecks and seniors keep more of their IRA or 401(k) withdrawals.
  2. Even More Tax Breaks. Not only is there no state income tax, but there is NO STATE INHERITANCE TAX and NO ESTATE TAX, plus property taxes are relatively low too.
  3. The Weather. The Florida weather is spectacular. It’s warm for most of the winter and summer months in Florida are NO WARMER than the temperatures in the NE except our summer lasts just a little bit longer.
  4. Lower Cost of Living. At the end of the day, if you are on a fixed income, it pays to live where your money goes further. Florida has an overall cost of living that is lower, allowing you to save money for travel, contribute to charity, do what you love to do, or just shop till you drop.
  5. Recreation. I came from NJ. We skied in the winter and swam in the summer, but the rest of the year offered nothing special in outdoor recreation. In Florida, we golf, enjoy water sports, fish, boat, bike, walk, swim, run, and enjoy pickleball and tennis 12 months a year.
  6. Ease of Air Travel. When you go back home for a visit, or when friends or family come to you, there are loads of airports, both domestic and international, for you to choose from. Florida also has a bevy of direct flights to many U.S. and international locations.
  7. Health Care Availability. Many retirees migrate to Florida, which has given us a tremendous amount of good health care options and services specifically geared toward older folks. We have great healthcare providers all over the state such as the Cleveland Clinic, the Mayo Clinic, Moffitt Cancer Center, and Florida Hospitals, just to name a few.
  8. Everyone Loves Florida. This reason comes from the results of an informal survey I conducted with family, friends, and clients. 94% of the respondents clearly stated that they LOVE FLORIDA and all it offers. None of the 94% plan to return to their former home states. Yes, there is the other 6%, but you can’t please all the people all the time. You should come to Florida and join the 94% who love life here!

Life in the Center of Everything Florida has to Offer:

Heading to the beach from Solivita is easy, with a quick hour and half drive to either coast. I love the East 1w beaches because the water is cooler and a bit wilder, and the beach on Cocoa reminds me of the NJ beaches from my youth. Lee loves the beauty, warmth, and calmer waters of the West Coast beaches. Whichever way we go from Central Florida, east or west, the Florida beaches are beautiful with warm water and soft sand. Growing up in New Jersey, the beach season was short and our beaches were so crowded you could hardly find a place to plant your blanket and umbrella. Florida beaches never seem to be that busy, the palm trees gently sway in the breeze, and the Florida State beaches usually provide picnic tables, a place to park your car, and changing facilities, making a “day at the beach” really an actual day at the beach.

We love to go to Cocoa Beach and when time provides, we stay at the Inn at Cocoa Beach for a night. It’s a lovely beachfront inn, spotlessly clean with a nice pool and public rooms. The Inn brews coffee every morning and provides a good breakfast, plus every evening it hosts a cocktail hour for their guests, which is a nice kick off to the day and a great start to the evening. We park our car at the Inn, enjoy the morning at the beach, the afternoon at the pool, and walk to one of the local spots for dinner, resulting in a truly relaxing overnight.

When we go to the West Coast we love to swim at the beach at St. Pete. St. Pete is a bit busier than Cocoa but just as nice with gorgeous sunsets. We usually pack an overnight bag and spend an evening, grab a great fish dinner, and head back the next morning refreshed and ready to get back to business. Seems wherever we go in Florida, natural beauty surrounds us, blue skies fill our vision, and we always meet some very nice Florida folks who are willing to share recipes. We enjoyed this grouper and want to share the easy recipe with you.

Events in Solivita

Solivita has so many events going on this month between the Easter Brunch, the Rally for the Cure Village Event, the Annual Queen’s College Golf Outing, the Community Yard Sale, and the events scheduled at Mosaics and the Grille. It’s hard not to be busy! This is also the time of the year that our snowbirds start their flight north, and I would like to wish all of you a safe trip and a safe return to Solivita next season. We will miss you! The longer we reside in Florida the more we find to do, even after living here for over 17 years.  In fact, we are SOLIVITA PIONEERS and PROUD OF IT.

Your Invitation to Central Florida Life

Living in Central Florida means we are central to lots of activities. I would like to extend an invitation to you to visit Solivita to experience this wonderful community. Call me at (407) 641-2688 and I will sign you up for Solivita Discovery Days, which is Three Days and Two Nights to discover for yourself the beauty of Solivita. 

Sailing in Sebring

Looking to buy a new or resale Home in Solivita.  You have come to the right realtor and the right place.  Our agents and our office specializes in Homes in Solivita, but that is not all we do.  We sell homes, condos, and townhomes throughout the Central Florida Area.  Recently Bella Verde Realty sold a beautiful Lakefront Condo in Sebring, Florida.  Our new homeowners are planning to enjoy the unit off season and rent the unit in the winter months.  An investment in a vacation condo while offsetting most expenses with rental income.  A Great Way to build future wealth while having fun!

The Importance of Ethics and Service. An Interview with Lorraine Valdes

An interview with Lorraine Valdes on her becoming a Realtor and her take on success in regards to ethics in life and in real estate. Also, bonus question at the end!

Why did you want to become a Realtor? And why central Florida?

Independence, self employment, I like working with people. I spent 25 years in healthcare: finance management and nursing. Always believed in home ownership and have always been a real estate investor. Therefore I just developed a love for it and continued on with it as a career. Central Florida is where my husband and relocated to, expecting to live here for retirement. However, immediately after we built our home my husband developed cancer. He was unable to work so we escalated our move and came down to live in our retirement home. We chose Central Florida because of the very low ability of a down swing in the economy because it is 100% driven by tourism. To me it was a no-brainer, a perfect investment location.

You credit your ethics and honesty to your background in medicine. Read more


Buying A Home Online

Buying a home is always a stressful period, even if you are doing it locally. It definitely can be an exciting time, but there are so many variables and therefore so many things that you have to think about almost constantly that it can become overwhelming very quickly. However, if you think buying a home when you can go and look at it in person and speak face to face with a real estate agent is stressful, think about buying a home online. Online home buying is becoming more and more prevalent. Read more


Top Reasons to Retire in Florida


Help The Earth!

So, I am going out on a limb with this post (almost literally) and am going to introduce you to a new way of living called “up-cycling”!

Up-cycling is taking something old and non-useful, and finding a new purpose in this life. This could be anything as simple as turning an old pair of jeans into a new throw-pillow, or taking your husband’s old toolbox, and giving three baby blue-jays a new home.

Imagination is key to this concept, but, it is honestly one of the easiest, Eco-friendliest, and cost-effective method of getting that perfect motif on the outside of your home.

If you are a crafty person with a love for the unusual, check out these few links I have found, I think you will really appreciate them!


Preparing Your Florida Home For Spring

We’ve all heard it, “April Showers bring May Flowers”.

Well here we are, smack dab in the middle of April, in what is usually sunny Florida. On the bright side, every storm runs out of rain eventually, leaving a beautiful rainbow and blooming life in its wake. But, what about your home? Have you prepared for the gallons of water that will be dumped upon your house this Spring? In his article “Preparing Your Home For Spring“, Andrew Penner mentions a few aspects of your home to take an extra look at.

  1.  Gutters
  2.  Wood Trim and Caulking Around Windows, Doors, Railings, and Decks
  3.  Roof Shingles, Flashing, and Caulking
  4.  Outside Faucets
  5.  Clean and Service Outside A/C System

As a homeowner, you probably already know that there are many more maintenance jobs that your home will require over the years. Hiring maintenance crews to do your “dirty work” (literally) for you can get pricey. There are many do-it-yourself (DIY) projects that can be done inexpensively, and you can even get the entire family involved. For ideas and inspiration, check out my Pinterest page or visit one of the many home improvement stores in your area like or

5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing Where to Retire

Are you facing retirement soon? Are you trying to decide between staying near family or choosing real estate in Central Florida, or elsewhere? Should you sell the home you are currently in to give yourself some freedom? You have a lot to consider when it comes to making a decision. The five questions below are great ones to ponder if you are considering a move.

First, how far are you willing to move?

Making a move of any kind is both exciting and challenging for any person, especially those past the age of retirement. It is important to consider just how far you are willing to move. Are you ready for a big change?

Second, where have you always wanted to live?

What’s your dream? Is the Florida sunshine where you have always wanted to spend your retirement? Or do you love the changing seasons? Do you want a home by the ocean? Or is a golf community the priority? How do you want to spend your days?

Third, how close do you want to be to your loved ones?

If you decide to make a long distance move, it might mean having a substantial distance between you and some of your loved ones. This can be refreshing! But it can also be a challenge. Are you willing to put distance between yourself and your children or grandchildren? Would you like to divide your year and live in two places?

Fourth, how much money are you able to spend?

Once you have decided where you want to live, it is time to determine just how much you can afford to spend. This needs to be decided before you can start to find a place to live. Work on your budget and determine just how much you will be able to use toward this move and toward your future home. If you are moving away from family, remember to include money in your budget for going back to visit them.

Fifth, do you want to own or rent?

This is something that needs to be considered carefully. When you move, do you want to get into a condo or apartment, or would you rather own a little home of your own? Do you want the responsibility and freedom of a home, or do you want to relax in a maintenance-free place?

Take your time to answer these questions, decide where to retire. Then take the leap and make every day count wherever you are!