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Living in the Florida Keys (Pros & Cons)

Living in the Florida Keys (Pros & Cons)

If you are considering Living in the Florida Keys, you have probably already heard about all of the wonderful things it has to offer. But if you are also aware of some of the drawbacks, then this is a good article for you!

The Florida Keys offer so many great amenities that it can be hard to find negatives–but there are some. This article will explore both sides and let you decide whether or not living in the Florida Keys is right for your family.

Living in the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are a collection of tropical islands located about 120 miles south of the state of Florida’s southern border, between the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. They’re a popular vacation spot for fishing, boating, snorkeling, and scuba diving.

  • The gorgeous southernmost city of Key West is recognized for its numerous bars on Duval Street, the nightly Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square, and the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum.
  • The Florida Keys are a chain of islands located off the southern coast of Florida. The U.S. state of Florida is flanked to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and on its northern border by Georgia – which touches it at one point along that border for 129 miles.
  • The Florida Keys, which stretch down the tip of Florida, are a coral kingdom that is roughly 125 miles long and features a number of islands connected by a 90-mile-long arc. With one tiny street (and 42 bridges) connecting the islets, traveling the Florida Keys is like taking a enchanted trip on water.
  • While it is possible to travel from Miami to Key West (and the continental United States’s southernmost point) in less than four hours (traffic willing), the charm and richness of the Florida Keys are lost.
  • Every few miles, you’ll find something new: a tiki bar, a seafood restaurant, a beachy resort or boutique hotel, a beautiful nature park, or simply a breathtaking turquoise view of the salty water flats toward the azure horizon.
  • So go ahead and make the trek — spend a few days in Key Largo or Islamorada on the archipelago’s upper end, enjoy Marathon or Big Pine Key, then immerse yourself in Key West’s rich oddity, culture, history, and bohemia.
  • Take the opportunity to snorkel, scuba dive, and fish; explore the beach; eat lots of seafood (and Key lime pie); and walk around town. Don’t worry if you don’t get to see or do everything there is to love about the Florida Keys — you’ll be back.

Living in the Florida Keys may seem appealing, but it does come with certain drawbacks. One of its advantages is having a beach-front house and a slow-paced, peaceful lifestyle. Conversely, it has high living costs and is removed from creature comforts available in the city.

So, is living on an island really worth it? Read further and determine whether life in the Florida Keys is worthwhile and whether its allure will be enough to last you through the fall of your years.

Living in the Florida Keys (Pros & Cons)

The Island Magic

What is there not to love about the Florida Keys? Well, first things first: one of its biggest perks is also one of its worst cons. You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: living in the Florida Keys means sitting on a beautiful island with gorgeous water views and smooth warm sand under your feet — but it means a lot more sweating and a lot less AC.

The Florida Keys are located in the subtropics, where temperatures are high year-round. While it might be great to bask under the sun for eight months of the year, you can imagine what that heat does to your wallet when it comes time to pay the electricity bill.

Another complaint about living in an island paradise is its lack of access to basic necessities. Luckily, community members are working on addressing this problem with initiatives such as the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition for the Homeless, which works together with churches and businesses in Key West to promote self-sufficiency among its homeless population.

Islands in Florida Keys

The Lower Keys, Middle Keys, and Upper Keys are the three main sections of the island chain (starting in the north outside Miami), which is split into three regions. The islands include a 125-mile stretch of mangrove forests, wetlands, and beachfront areas, as well as a variety of attractions and activities.

Lower Keys

Located from Miami to Key West, this region includes the islands of Conch, Long, and Duck keys. The lower Keys are well-known for its dense mangrove forests and large variety of bird life. This section is a designated National Wildlife Refuge due to its natural beauty, which attracts recreational boating enthusiasts and tourists who come here to enjoy it.

Middle Keys

This section includes the islands of Boca Chica Key, No Name Key, and Lower Matecumbe Key. Middle keys are part of a designated “wildlife corridor,” where travelers can enter by land or water to enjoy nature in its purest form — without having to worry about cars and traffic jams.

Marathon is home to many restaurants, bars, and shops that offer fresh seafood, water activities, and live music on a daily basis. A few of these include Dive Shack Marathon , which does everything from deep-seafaishing to spearfishing, and the Beachcomber Bar & Grill , a casual restaurant that offers a variety of seafood dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Upper Keys

The upper Keys, also referred to as “Islamorada,” are located from Marathon south to Key West. This region is home to a variety of fish and coral reefs that attract anglers and snorkelers to Key West’s ecologically rich waters. The island chain here is home to many dolphin species who live their lives in the shallow water, as well as large schools of fish.

Key West

Key West is the most populated of the Florida Keys, with 25,000 residents living in its sunny southern climate. The island offers a variety of attractions and activities for both tourists and non-tourists alike: from swimming with dolphins to scuba diving in ship wrecks to sipping Key lime pie on Mallory Square at sunset.

The island is also located near the end of the Florida Keys Overseas Highway, meaning it’s an excellent place for taking a scenic drive through to reach its neighboring islands. Of course, if you’re lucky enough to live here, then you can simply hop on your bike and go for a ride along the ocean.

Its sunny streets are full of life and no-nonsense locals who love to be outside – running, biking, fishing, sailing — you name it.

Key West has quite a few art galleries and several theaters that host plays and musical performances throughout the year. If the arts aren’t your thing then you can always head down to Southernmost Beach Resort for an oceanfront massage or Margaritaville to sip on some tropical cocktails while watching the sun sink into the sea.

Living in the Florida Keys (Pros & Cons)

The Pros of Living in Florida Keys

Let us look at the benefits and drawbacks of living in the Caribbean (in no particular order) to help you decide if living in the Florida Keys is the ideal retirement location for you.

Stress Level is Reduced

As the average age of residents in Florida Keys is 55, stress levels are lower than other parts of the country. says that senior citizens who retire to warm climates have lower stress levels compared to seniors living in colder areas because they can spend more time outdoors.


Just like all places on planet Earth, there are advantages and disadvantages to being in a location that is so remote from major cities.

For instance, getting groceries, going to the doctor’s office, or attending a family reunion in Buffalo would be a bit more difficult than if you lived in Florida Keys.

However, with the development of new technology such as Amazon Prime Air , which promises one-hour delivery of items weighing up to five pounds, you can have pretty much everything you need brought to your doorstep in no time.

An Ideal Place to Retire

Due to the ideal climate, warm water, and low-stress environment, Florida Keys is one of the most popular places for people over 50 to retire.

The weather is also considered to be an important element in determining whether individuals feel they are ready to retire. If you are looking to check off all your boxes that contribute to a happy life, then purchasing a home in Florida Keys could be the key to your happiness.

Promotes a Healthy Lifestyle

There are many opportunities in Florida Keys for an active lifestyle. You can swim, scuba dive, kayak, canoe, snorkel in the waters around Key West.

The area boasts some of the best fishing areas in the world, and it is home to several popular marinas that host competitive tournaments throughout the year.

For those interested in an active lifestyle, Florida Keys is a fantastic place to get inspiration from other residents who have done so.

Ideal Weather

If you are retiring to Florida, whether it is to the Florida Keys or another location in the state, perhaps the most important factor to consider when deciding where to live is your health.

The warm temperatures and sunny weather will likely remind you of why you wanted to retire in the first place – because retirement often brings with it many new adventures that require a good dose of sunshine and relaxation.

You’ll Find the Environment Breathtakingly Adorable

The first thing to consider when looking at whether Florida Keys is a good place for you, is the environment surrounding the area.

As we know, the Caribbean’s reefs and stones are just as colorful as they sound. Whether you enjoy an active lifestyle or relaxing on the beach, this stunning aquatic environment will delight anyone who visits.

If you live in Florida Keys, you’ll never miss a day at the beach.

Florida Keys has several marinas and harbors with docks for plenty of people bobbing up and down on boats. The most popular attractions near Key West include Fort Zachary State Park , William Curry Botanical Garden , Turtle Kraal Bar and Grill , and many more.

Life Has Slower Pace

In Key West, for example, the median age of residents is about sixty-one years old. This implies that life has a much slower pace compared to other parts of Florida.

  • This also means that almost half of the population in Florida Keys is retirement age or older – which can create many new opportunities as well as challenges .
  • If you and your spouse or partner relocate to Florida Keys, you’ll likely find yourself busy with local activities and organizations.
  • One of the most important things to take into consideration when thinking about whether the Florida Keys would be a good location for you is how much time you want to spend outdoors.
  • The warm weather and beautiful beaches make this destination perfect for those who enjoy spending plenty of time outdoors.
  • The water is a gorgeous shade of light blue, and the warm weather makes it extra enjoyable to swim or dive into its surface.
  • If you enjoy getting involved in activities that bring the community together, then perhaps Florida Keys would be a good place for you to retire.
  • Each year there are dozens of events that residents can take part in or attend. Each year the weather is expected to be warm, sunny, and beautiful.

If you’re looking to relax without worry of cold winters or higher costs of living, then perhaps Florida Keys could be the place for you.

A Good Idea to Invest

If you’re looking to invest in real estate , then there are many options available in Florida Keys. The key is finding an area that fits your needs and budget before purchasing a home or condo.

  • You can find low-income properties, luxury homes, land for sale, rental properties, and much more – all within the Florida Keys area.
  • News events often catch the headlines of national newspapers, but they rarely mention what is happening in Key West. But if you live there, you already know why so many people want to retire in this charming destination.
  • If you’re thinking about retiring to Florida Keys, then don’t hesitate before making your next big move into an active and exciting environment.
  • When moving to the Florida Keys, you’re making a decision that will impact your life for years to come.
  • This destination has been popular among retirees for over fifty-five years , and there are plenty of reasons why this location continues to be an excellent choice for those looking to move somewhere new.
  • If you plan on retiring in Florida Keys, then consider if you want to invest in real estate or not. You can find many options available around the area at affordable prices and great value.

And with warm weather and low cost of living , this location is a prime choice for those both looking to retire and looking to relocate .

A Good Place for Education

And with Florida Keys is home to two public school districts, you shouldn’t have issues finding a place for your children or grandchildren.

You can also find private schools in the area that offer preschool through high school education. This means that regardless of what type of schooling environment works best for you and your family members, Florida Keys offers plenty of educational opportunities.

Living in the Florida Keys (Pros & Cons)

The Cons of Living in Florida Keys

Natural Catastrophes

It is no secret that living in the Florida Keys means you live in an area prone to hurricanes, tropical storms, and flooding.

You may also experience heat waves or freezes. These natural catastrophes can cause significant damage in this region , so it’s important to keep informed on what local warnings are in effect for your community.

If you’re thinking about moving to this location, then it’s a good idea to stay informed on what natural disasters mostly affect the area and how you can prepare.

It’s Always Rainy

No one likes to think that it will rain every day in their new home, but if you live in the Florida Keys, then this is a daily issue you need to be prepared for.

Rain and humidity are an everyday occurrence , and sometimes they can last for days at a time. If you want to move here, keep in mind that it will probably be raining, and you need to prepare for this.

Housing Could be Expensive

Whether you want to rent or buy, the housing market can be tricky in Florida Keys. You will find many homes for sale at affordable prices , but the real estate market in this area could be high maintenance and difficult to navigate .

  • If you’re looking for a home in Florida Keys, then make sure you stay prepared before making your next big move. Research the area, check out homes in your price range, and stay informed .
  • You may find it is more difficult to buy a home or start renting an affordable apartment than you originally planned.

Home prices are significantly higher here  than they are most other areas of the country , so you need to be prepared for this high cost of living before settling in the Florida Keys.

Difficult Traveling Roads

If you are moving to Florida Keys, then it’s time to say goodbye to your easy traveling roads.

  • The community is made up of about thirty-seven islands that span out across the Atlantic Ocean, so working simple road trips can be a challenge at first.
  • You should also prepare for traffic issues around the city . And if you’re planning on driving their, then it’s important that you know how to read a map.

This destination has some of the most interesting and challenging roadways in the country , so if you’re planning on moving here, then make sure you can handle these areas before making your big move.

Cost of Living is Quite High

If you are moving to Florida Keys, then make sure you have a reliable source of income.

  • The cost of living is quite high in this destination , and your expenses will be tightly budgeted if you plan on living here long-term.
  • If you plan on settling in the Florida Keys and working there, then an average income will not be enough to cover the cost of living.

You need to make sure you can afford your daily expenses during your time in this location .

Activities are Quite Monotonous

The Florida Keys is a fun place, but its activities are quite monotonous.

If you come to the area with high expectations for what you will be able to do during your time in this region, then keep in mind that many of the typical tourist-based activities might not appeal to your interests.

You can find plenty of fun activities to do , but a few of them will be a bit monotonous.

Some Petty Crimes

Although the Florida Keys is a safe place to live, you may experience some petty crimes throughout your time in this destination.

There are many places to find affordable living , but there are also areas where crime rates are high or theft occurs frequently . The police department will help you with any problems you have while living in this area.

If you do experience a crime while living in Florida Keys, then make sure you report it immediately and stay safe.

It Might be Difficult to Find Employment Opportunities

If you are thinking about moving to the Florida Keys for better employment opportunities, then keep in mind that this location has an average employment rate .

Finding a job here might be difficult to do, so if you plan on working in this area long-term, then you need to have a great income.

If this sounds like something that might be hard for you to obtain, then you may want to reconsider your plans to move here.

Living in the Florida Keys (Pros & Cons)

Conclusion – Pros and Cons of Living in Florida Keys

Thus, there are both benefits and disadvantages to living in the Florida Keys. You should consider these pros and cons before you decide whether or not this is a suitable place for your needs.

If you’re looking for a nice place to live, relax, and enjoy the weather without much rain, then there could be worse places on Earth. Yet if it’s exciting nightlife and a range of employment opportunities you seek, then the Florida Keys may not be the best choice.