upper keys cost of living

Upper Keys Cost of Living:

Cost Advantages of Living in the Florida Keys

Think that living in the Florida Keys is just too expensive? With it's warm climate, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, miles of beaches and expansive water, there just got to be a big price tag on tropical living--or so many people think. But the truth of the matter is, living in the Florida Keys is actually a lot more affordable than most people believe. And if you wonder why the Keys aren't expensive, you only have to compare living in South Florida with living in the midwest or northeast.


Why Climate Matters to Your Health

The fact is, colder climates are more expensive and cold climates are less healthy. In places like the Florida Keys, there's the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors year-round. That means access to swimming, hiking, walking, bike riding, sports and leisure month after month. The more active you are, the better it is for your health.
Undoubtedly a warmer climate would promote health and well being. People generally prefer a warm to a cold climate, as shown by the tendency to vacation in tropical areas during the winter and to move to the south upon retirement. --Hoover Institution, Standford University
But it doesn't end with outdoor activity. Studies have repeatedly shown that big cities are big on stress, big on traffic, big on anxiety and big on crowding. Depression is also more prevalent in colder climates.

The Affordability of the Florida Keys

When you live in the northeast or midwest, you're living expenses are far more costly than residing in the Keys. And here's just a few examples of why:
  • No income tax. There is no state income tax in Florida. What's more, there's no county or municipal income taxes like there are in cities like the Big Apple.
  • Utilities cost a lot less. Heating oil prices rise year over year. Here in the Keys, oil is something you rub on your skin while basking in the sun.
  • Auto and home maintenance. In the midwest and northeast, the weather takes a huge toll on your car and home. But that's not the case in the tropics.
  • Basic living expenses. Practically anything you can think of costs less in the Keys. Day to day living costs like gas for the car, food and entertainment are less expensive.
  • Fewer health care related costs. When you can exercise and take advantage of the outdoors throughout the year, you lead a healthier life and that saves you money.

Florida Keys and Monroe County Cost of Living

The cost of living index is based on the composite price of groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, health care, clothing and entertainment.
Cost of living indexes will generally be higher in areas that offer access to beaches, culture, arts and recreation. In addition, areas that offer a wider variety of services such as health and education will run higher due to higher wages, and increased quality of living.

Cost of living indexing explanation
A figure of 100 points is used as an average both for the USA and Florida. For example:
* New York, NY -169.0
* Long Beach, CA -141.0
* Palo Alto, CA -310.0
* Boston, MA -149.0
* Malibu, CA -331.0
• Statewide, Florida cities come in from a low of 88 and up.

One way to compare Florida areas to salary requirements:

For example-If you were relocating from Portland Oregon (whose rate is 116.0) to Orlando, and you currently make $50,000 per year, the formula is as follows
• Take the destination index, in this case Orlando-91.0 and divide by Portland’s index-116, then multiply by a salary of $50,000. This will give you a figure of $39,224.00, which you would be required to make in Orlando and have the same quality of life.

The Keys and Monroe County top out the state at an average Cost of Living of 160 plus. This is mostly due to the cost of housing, whether you’re buying or renting. We only have so much land and the building permits in the Keys are heavily regulated. IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BUY IN PARADISE! We’re currently experiencing a buyers’ market, prices are down and there are many excellent opportunities to buy before the market takes off again.

Compared to other areas nationally and given the amenities of the Keys, the Florida Keys are a wonderful place to live, work and play.
(Population Weighted-State Average=100

2011-2012 stats Source http://www.bestplaces.net/col/

Boca Raton-111.0
Cape Coral-Ft Myers-93.0
Ft Lauderdale-108.0
Jacksonville metro-88.0
Big Pine Key fl-123.0
Key Largo-143.0
Key West-141.00
Marathon fl-130.0
Miami metro-108.0
Naples Fl-161.0
Orlando metro-91
Palm Bay-86
Palm Coast-Flagler-91.0
Panama City-89.0
Pensacola metro-90.0
Tampa 88.0
St Pete-Clearwater-87
Vero-Beach Indian River-94.0
West Palm Beach metro-95.0
(Population Weighted-State Average=100
See national comparisons
Cost of living (100 = nationwide average)

* New York, NY -169.0
* Long Beach, CA -141.0
* Palo Alto, CA -310.0
* Boston, MA -149.0
* Malibu, CA -331.0
* San Francisco, -199.0
* Chicago, IL -105.0
* Dallas Tx -88.0
* Atlanta Ga -94.0

For more information about cost of living go to
Sperlings best Places http://www.bestplaces.net/

For Utility charges
• The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority provides water for the entire Keys:
• Tavernier.....305 852-8068
• Marathon.....305 743-5409
• Lower Keys.....305 296-2454

For Electric
• The Florida Keys Electric Cooperative
• provides power for the upper Keys:
• Tavernier.....305 852-2431
• Marathon, 3421 O/S Hwy.....305 743-5344
• Key West City Electric
• provides power for the Lower Keys
• 1001 James St, Key West.....305 294-5272

Propane is available from local dealers                       

Telephone Companies:
• Bell South
• Residential Services.....305 780-2500   
• Business Services.....305 780-2800

Florida Keys Electric Cooperative

Keys Energy

Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority

Most homes in the Keys are on septic tanks with a few exceptions-Key West-Marathon. Garbage pickup is included in your taxes


Jan Keller

Click for Islamorada, Florida Forecast

Jan Keller
Islamorada Office
Fax- 305-664-4111
Email Address: