Why should I choose Florida, and in particular, the Port St Lucie area for my retirement or pre-retirement living?
There are SO many reasons to choose the Port St Lucie area, which is part of Florida’s beautiful Treasure Coast for the retirement stage of your life! The most obvious is the beautiful weather most of the year! We’re not called the Sunshine State without the beautiful sunshine and Ocean Breezes that justify the name! In addition, there are Income and Property Tax advantages to making Florida your retirement state of preference. (Particulars on that can be found in other FAQ answers.) Plus, Port St Lucie/St Lucie County offers over Two Dozen 55 plus communities, with new ones in varying stages of proposal and approval being added to the options for the 55+ community shopper. Being a coastal county, in addition to the many lifestyle options offered within each 55+ community, St Lucie County on the Treasure Coast offers boating, fishing, miles of gorgeous beaches, and a multitude of parks, restaurants, and shopping for your enjoyment.
How are 55+ communities in Port St Lucie structured under the Federal HOPA law?
This Federal HOPA law states that it is legal for communities to market themselves as “55+” or “age-restricted” provided they maintain that 80 percent of the occupied units are occupied by at least one person who is 55 years of age or older. … However, at a community’s discretion, the age- minimum may be higher or lower.*
If one spouse is over 55 and the other is not, can they still purchase in a 55+ community?
Yes, they can, as long as there is room within the 20% community’s population that is not required to be 55 or older. Most communities stipulate that if anyone under the age of 55 resides in their community, they must live in a household where at least one occupant is 55 or older. (In order to maintain their 55+ or age-restricted status, communities cannot fall below the 80% being over 55 years old.*
If I live in a 55+ Active Adult community, can our children and grandchildren visit us?
Yes, of course, they can. Each community, in their HOA rules and regs, will address the length of time, consecutive days guests can ‘visit’. It does vary from community to community, and with board approval, exceptions can be made upon written request and the circumstances involved.*
*(For further info check the Housing for Older Person’s Act of 1995)
Are there tax advantages to choosing Florida as our retirement home state?
Absolutely!! First, once Florida is your permanent state of residence, there is no state income tax to pay! Second, once you declare Florida as your permanent state of residence*, you can take advantage of the Homestead Tax Exemption and if you are already a Florida homeowner, you can apply your Portability formula to the Homestead exemption for possibly a larger discount.*
There are also several other tax exemptions you MAY qualify for including, but not limited to disabled Veteran, disability, over 65 yrs old, widow etc. The total of no State Income Tax PLUS Homestead and possibly other exemptions can mean hundreds – even THOUSANDS of $$$ of savings to you when it matters most in your life!
* For details and more info on any of these exemptions go to https://www.paslc.org/index.php/exemptions.
What type of amenities and services will I receive when choosing a 55+ Active Adult community?
Obviously, these things vary according to each community and so do the HOA fees, depending on what is provided. However, you will typically find that most (but not all) of these communities are gated, have community pools, including grounds maintenance for your property as well as common areas, & have varying degrees of clubhouse facilities, clubs, and sports activities. Some may include sports like golf, tennis, pickleball, bocce, shuffleboard, etc. Clubs vary from cards to entertainment, to all kinds of crafts and special interests. The extent to which the facilities are appointed & the overall HOA fees could weigh into your decision of which 55+ Active Adult community you choose to be your home!
What if I don’t want to be a part of the activities, is joining mandatory?
In most 55+ communities in Port St Lucie, activities are there for your enjoyment if you choose but NOT mandatory in any way. The exception MIGHT be in a golf community where a golf membership MIGHT be required, but that is very unusual for 55+ communities. However, there might be an additional fee to use the golf facilities, and that again varies from community to community and might weigh into your decision on which 55+ community you choose.
I see that many of the 55+ Active Adult Communities in Port St Lucie are New Construction, won’t I get a better deal if I go directly to the developer than to work through a REALTOR?
This is a Common Misconception! The Developers of these communities market to & incentivize the Realtors to bring in customers and their on-site salespeople get paid the same whether you come in with a Realtor or not. ALSO, the incentives offered to the Customers do NOT change if you are accompanied by a Realtor.
Why should I choose a REALTOR rather than go directly to the Community?
First, not ALL Realtors have the same experience level so it’s Very Important to choose the REALTOR team that provides you the most Accurate Information on ALL that’s available to you, all in One Place, while applying 43+ years of Real Estate Sales experience! That includes 12+ yrs of new construction experience, and extensive research on all the local 55+ communities, PLUS understanding the needs of the 55+ consumer because they ARE that consumer! That Choice is THE FRASIER TEAM—Jan & Hal Frasier.
What other Fun Activities are there to enjoy if we live in Port St Lucie and The Treasure Coast?
In addition to the activities already listed in our ongoing article Discover the Treasure Coast, the Florida Sunshine, and mostly beautiful weather provides year-round accessibility to wonderful day trips or Florida StayCations! Within a 2-3 hour drive, you can enjoy places such as:
- Universal Studios FL
- Walt Disney World
- Epcot Center
- Animal Kingdom
- SeaWorld Orlando
- Islands of Adventure
- Busch Gardens Tampa,
- Silvers Springs Nature Park
- Miami Seaquarium,
- Flamingo Botanical Gardens
- Parrot Jungle & Gardens
- Daytona Speedway
- Key Largo Undersea Park
- Kennedy Space Center
- Everglades National Park
- Several Professional Sports Teams
- A plethora of Museums
……and the list goes on!!!