Bypassing the freezing cold winter months is a reality for many. Join the flock and discover the best communities in South Florida for snowbirds.
What City in Florida Has the Most Snowbirds
Florida is such a popular spot for those seeking sand, sea, and sunshine that its population swells by five percent in winter. While there are many appealing cities from which you can choose to reside, Boca Raton is a regular winner of “Best Destination for Snowbirds”.
Guide for Snowbirds Visiting Florida
Before entering the murmuration heading south, peruse this guide.
How Long Can Snowbirds Stay in Florida?
American snowbirds have no time limit regarding their stay in Florida. It is, however, a little more complex for Canadian snowbirds. (Snowbirds from other countries are less prevalent, but will have equally, if not more, complicated regulations.)
The established rule for snowbirds from Canada is known as the B1/B2 visa, which allows them to stay in Florida for up to 182 days (approximately six months) at a time – be that in a single trip or a total for multiple trips.
Watch this space, though, as there is bipartisan support to raise that limit to eight months! Canadians also need to understand that there is one set of rules for tax purposes and one set of rules for immigration. It is worth researching the legislation so that you are not surprised with an unexpected visit from the IRS.
What are the Best Months for Snowbirds to Visit Florida?
Referred to as “snowbird season”, the months that offer the perfect weather correlate with the arrival of many Northerners. While the conditions are ideal from October, many snowbirds only head to South Florida after Thanksgiving. The rest arrive in January – once the Christmas vacation crowds have subsided.
After enjoying the warm sunshine, blue skies, and low humidity, snowbirds generally leave town in April or May.
Should Snowbirds Get Local IDs?
The answer to this is, “It depends!”. As loathsome as a vague reply is, there are factors that you must decide on which will determine the answer.
First, this does not apply to Canadian snowbirds (unless you have declared residency in the US and received a SS card).
If the attractive absence of income tax in the state of Florida is something you want to pursue, then you must claim primary residency in Florida. Because of the intricacies involved, we recommend that you consult a lawyer or your accountant about the best plan of action.
Maintaining residency in your original state or Canada does not, however, let you off the hook when it comes to registering your car. If your vehicle is in Florida for a minimum of 90 days per year, you can use your existing driver’s license to register your car. As well as registering your car, Florida mandates insurance cover – proof of which must be kept with you when driving.
Should Snowbirds Pay Taxes in Florida?
Again, the answer depends on your place of origin (out of state or Canada) as well as your long-term goal. The safest route is to get professional help with the complexities of residence and taxation. It is not an issue you want to make a mistake with as the repercussions can be costly. As noted by National Bank, “When it comes to health and finances, a snowbird forewarned is a snowbird forearmed.”
How to Care for Your Home When You Are Not There
A concern for many snowbirds is managing the upkeep of their second home from afar. A vacant house is a magnet for criminals, prone to decay, and vulnerable during hurricane season.
With the assistance of the team at Garden Home Management Services, you can be assured that your home is always in tip-top condition. Our specialist services include:
Contact GHMS for all the help you need to enjoy your time in one of the communities in South Florida for snowbirds.