New Yorkers and Midwesterners Have Mixed Reactions To Adjusting To Life in Florida

L. Cane

It's probably not a surprise that Florida's population is growing dramatically. After all, Florida gained over 300,000 new residents in 2022 when you also consider the number of people who moved out.

However, what might be surprising is the varying demographics who are moving. It is not just retirees who are choosing to call Florida home. According to Fortune's reporting in August of 2023, Florida is the number one destination for wealthy millennials looking to move.

This article will look at examples of people from different demographics as they explain why they moved to Florida and how the adjustment has been. Some had positive things to say, but one couple was more critical, which I'll discuss below.

A 34-Year-Old Professional Who Went From New York to Austin to Miami: Raymond Lord III felt lucky when his company announced that it wanted to move its headquarters to Miami because he welcomed a relocation to the Sunshine State.

Lord has lived in many different international places during his life, including Costa Rica, Mexico, Argentina, and Peru. Because of this, he appreciates the diversity of Miami, telling Vox in September of 2023, in part:

“I love the fact that it has a Latin American personality.”

A Retired Couple From Wisconsin Love Florida's Wildlife and Beauty: Gary Wondrash and his wife, originally from Wisconsin, visited Florida in 2008. They loved the ocean air and the dolphin sightings they enjoyed. So they returned in 2012 and swam with manatees. They even managed to swim with an alligator, which Gary says is "one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done.”

In 2020, the two decided to retire to Florida full-time. They've been able to pursue wild-life-related hobbies. Gary publishes his wildlife photography and says being able to do so is one of “the advantages of being in a beautiful state.”

A 49-Year-Old Artist Moves From Minnesota To Miami: It's not only young people who are looking to find rewarding careers in Florida. Abigail Dillon, a 49-year-old sneaker designer went to Florida on vacation in 2020 and never went back to Minnesota.

Dillon has had professional success in Florida - her work has been displayed at Miami art fairs and on local news. She was pleasantly surprised at how much professional success she's had in Florida telling Vox, in part:

“In Miami, you think young... that’s who’s moving here. As an older woman coming into the arts scene here, it’s remarkable that I’ve been as welcome and respected as I have been. I don’t know that it would have happened anywhere else.”

44-Year-Olds Who Moved From New York to Florida and Now Want to Leave: Not everyone has had a good experience with their move to Florida. Peter and Randi Salvato moved from New York in 2016. However, they found the political environment to be different than expected and too problematic for them to stay. They are now hoping to move to Atlanta. Peter explained:

“Our thoughts at the time were that we are going to be New York progressives moving to a purple state. At that point, Florida was still considered purple.”
In response, Randi stated: "It’s been a downward spiral ever since.”

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