Can You Retire Cheap in the Florida Keys?

The Florida Keys is one of the best places in the area to make a permanent home. Although it is an expensive part of Florida, it doesn’t mean you can’t retire cheap there.

Can you retire cheap in the Florida Keys? You can retire cheap in the Florida Keys depending on the lifestyle that you choose. As a retiree, you can get by in Keys with just a modest income. After all, Florida is one of those states that don’t have a tax on retirement income.

That said, if you want to retire cheap in the Florida Keys, here are some things to consider:

Key West, Florida


Housing is expensive in the Keys, but there are several methods you can follow to save money. It is essential to weigh your options between buying a retirement dream house or renting a simple home. 

A typical rent is around $3,000 a month while basement homes are approximately $2,500 a month. If you want to purchase your own house, consider looking for one that does not overlook the water or one that is not centrally located but easily accessible.


Most of the houses for rent in the Keys include several utilities. Water and electricity might be expensive in the area since it is a tropical country. However, there are many energy-saving home appliances available in the market nowadays that will help you conserve energy.


Grocery items are a bit more expensive in the Keys. With that, it would be ideal if you stay at home and cook food for your family instead of eating out. You can spend more on groceries, but you have to lessen the instances of going out to eat.

You can also look for shopping deals, but make sure to be mindful of the expiration dates. Don’t purchase items that you won’t be able to consume before the expiration date. Plan your meals and buy the things on your list. 


Research cost-efficient ways to get around the Florida Keys. Remember that when you are at the age of retirement, your comfort is one of your main priorities. If you’re uneasy about using public transportation, then look into the factors you need to consider if you buy a car. Some of these include car insurance, gas, registration, and the like.

Monitor Your Expenses

Always set your budget for any purchase. Don’t overspend or buy things more than you can afford. As much as possible, do away with things you don’t even need, especially if they have a high price.

Things to Do in the Florida Keys

There’s no shortage of things you can enjoy in the Florida Keys while living a modest life. The following are just some of them:

Arts and Culture

Even though it rests at the tip of Florida, the Keys has its character with regards to arts and culture. There is a large number of museums in the Keys; most of which focus on the history of diving, shipwrecks, and the ever-famous Ernest Hemingway.

Aside from the variety of museums you can visit in the Florida Keys, there are also several performances you can look forward to. Concerts and other cultural performances are held in the museums every once in a while.


If you like to stay outdoors, you can get to choose from several entertainment alternatives. Nature parks give a peaceful escape for hiking or bird watching. Water activities, like diving, fishing, swimming, and snorkeling, are also available.

Spas are another way to loosen up from the worries of life. A quick visit to one of the numerous spas in the Keys should do the trick, particularly for retirees who need to benefit from as much as possible from this new phase of life.

For golf players, there are several courses available. You can choose from public and member-only golf courses which are evenly spread throughout the Keys. Moreover, the atmosphere of the Keys will guarantee that every day is a fantastic day for golf.


The unfaltering climate of the Florida Keys is a mystery known to the people. The temperature during the winter can sometimes get below 60 degrees. During the summer, however, humidity is not a problem since the ocean helps regulate the temperature.

Many people are astonished to hear this, as it’s a bit unusual compared to the climate in different places throughout Florida. Without a doubt, most people prefer living in an area that encounters various seasons; however, if you lean toward a steady climate throughout the entire year, the Keys may be for you. 

However, the downpour more often than not holds up until the mid-year in the Keys. When rain falls, it is often seen as brief rainstorms in the evenings. The winter months are unusually dry with very few showers. 

Hurricanes are of a great deal when moving to the Florida Keys, but this doesn’t cause a lot of fuzz as many people think. Storms rarely hit the Florida Keys in a year; but if one is to happen, people usually see them happen during the late summer months. 

How to Prepare for Your Retirement in the Keys

Sunset in Key West, Florida

Many would say that the Florida Keys is an expensive place for retirement, but the good thing about retirement is that you will have a lot of time to prepare for it. If you are ready, you will be able to tell if you can afford your dream retirement place confidently. 

Let us look at some of the practical ways you can prepare yourself:

1. Save for Your Emergency Fund Savings Account

Maintain at least three months’ worth of your everyday expenses spared in a checking or investment account. This is to anticipate any delays that might happen in your Social Security pension. It is essential to have investment funds you can depend on to cover your bills just in case you experience delays.

2. Figure out How Retirement Income Is Taxed

It will be helpful to understand how your retirement income will be taxed. If you don’t know that a portion of their benefit may need to go towards taxes, then it could end up ruining your budget. Some retirees consistently overlook this factor when making arrangements for retirement.

3. Set a Retirement Budget

Spend time analyzing your retirement cost. You should think of a precise gauge of what you spend now and what will change after retirement. Underestimating your retirement budget is one of the downfalls that most retirees make.

4. Make a Retirement Income Timeline

Make a list of all your possible sources income during your retirement. You can arrange your retirement income timeline depending on any potential retirement costs to manage your retirement income.

5. Use Retirement Calculators to Project How Long Your Money Would Last

You can use an online retirement calculator so that you will be able to check how long your saving will sustain you. This will help you decide on your retirement date, rate of inflation, and other factors that might affect your income. 

6. Read About Your Health Insurance Options

As you age, you will need reliable healthcare insurance. As early as possible, check your health insurance options if they cover your medical expenses. Early retirement makes health insurance expensive; hence, it is wise to plan the start of your retirement strategically. 

7. Learn the Basics of Medicare

Understanding the basics of Medicare and your premiums will help you in times where you need medical care. This will eliminate unexpected expenses when it comes to your medical needs. 

8. Read About Retirement Investments

An investment plan comes in handy when you retire. This way, your retirement income will generate another source of income which you can use.

9. Understand the Details of Your 401(k) Plan

One of the basics you need to know about your 401(k) plan is how to make money out of it. Decide whether you want the money to stay in your plan or transfer it to an IRA account.

10. Know Your Social Security Benefits

Before you claim your Social Security benefits, make sure you are familiar with all of them. Consult a financial adviser expert who can help you understand all of your benefits. Don’t claim your benefits until you have fully understood their pros and cons. Always review them and look at the benefits that will be advantageous for your retirement. 

Working your way through your retirement is not that complicated as long as you prepare. You will never be entirely ready for all the things that might happen during your retirement, but at least you have covered the essentials.


If you are thinking about retiring in the Florida Keys, don’t be intimidated by the things you hear, especially about the area’s cost of living. As long as you are prepared and are ready to adapt to changes, don’t worry about anything.

Moreover, Florida Keys is one of the places in Florida where you can retire cheap, so it’s a worthwhile retirement destination to look forward to.

Kris Peter

A positive individual enjoying the journey, and always searching for adventure. I created Sunlight Living to help my parents (and eventually myself) prepare for retirement. About Kris

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