GeneralThe Pros and Cons of Being a Snowbird

The Pros and Cons of Being a Snowbird

If you live in a cold-weather city, you know how disappointing it can be when the sun goes down for the season and feels like it won’t ever come back up. Cold nights, snowy driveways, and a severe lack of sunshine make many people decide to move to a warmer city for the winter, usually Florida. 

This is called being a snowbird. There are a ton of things to consider when deciding whether to become a snowbird, though. Can you do your job from a different location? Will your family be negatively affected by you moving somewhere else for a few months? And then there are the forgotten purchases you need to make in your new state.

Snowbird auto insurance is important to get if you are going to be spending extended time living somewhere else. It can be a strain to have multiple auto insurance policies, though, and you need to make sure you are doing everything required by law to maintain the insurance on your vehicle. 

Pro: Fun Year-Round

Many people may want to move to Florida as a snowbird simply for the number of amusements in the state. Not many areas offer more entertainment options than the Sunshine State. If you have kids, they will enjoy going to Disney World. 

If you are older and just want to hang out on the beach, Florida is the premiere destination for this activity. There are obviously fun things to do in the winter in many non-sunny states, but Florida is one of the only places where you can pretend it’s summer all year long if you want to. 

Con: Politics in Florida 

Even though the weather may be nice in Florida, the political views of the politicians and the citizens may not be conducive to your life. People who are part of the LGBTQ+ community may feel their values and human rights are under attack right now. Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that was dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” earlier this year.

The law prohibits teachers in the state from discussing same-sex marriage or relationships with elementary school children. 

This means if you are a queer parent deciding to snowbird in the state, your kids may feel their family is being targeted by the education system in the state. You need to decide whether you are okay with schools not recognizing your sexuality as valid. 

The pandemic was also an issue that Florida did not take very seriously. The state was ranked as having the eighth most-lenient restrictions in the country. This consists of masking, vaccinations, and quarantine periods. 

This directly contradicts the health and safety of the demographic most likely snowbirding in Florida. Older people and retirees are the most vulnerable to COVID-19, and they also move to Florida in droves during the winter. This means they need to decide whether they are willing to put themselves at risk of contracting the virus to enjoy warm weather. 

Make sure you mask, distance, and get vaccinated if you are an at-risk person who is snowbirding in Florida. 

Pro: Booming Economy

Many people have to consider getting a second job or a side hustle that can be done while snowbirding in Florida. If you aren’t retired yet and are looking for job opportunities in the state, there are a variety of markets ready to accept and accommodate your interests.

Florida has a solid economy in technology, finance, banking, food, government, and more. If you have credentials in any of these fields, you can find a second job in the area while you are snowbirding. You can also avoid this work remotely for your main job if they will allow you to. 

Con: Moving Your Family

Snowbirding is very difficult if you have children in public school. Having to uproot your kids every year during the winter is not productive or healthy for them. This is why you should think about how you are affecting others before making a move. Snowbirding and other similar moves are better left for retired individuals or people who are single. 

Pro: Moving Helps Your Mental Health and Growth as a Person

Many of us get tired of living a mundane life that never changes on a daily, monthly, or yearly basis. When you decide to become a snowbird, this gives your existence a variety that can be beneficial to your mental health and help you grow as a person. 

Living in two different places will allow you to see more of the world and learn more about what you enjoy. When you are able to see and experience more of this beautiful planet we call home, you become a more interesting person. 

Con: Car Insurance as a Snowbird

When you spend time in a different state for several months, you’re going to be driving. When you have to drive, you need auto insurance. The issue here is that most states don’t allow you to have two insurance policies in two different states because you have to register your vehicle in just one. 

This means you should consider getting a separate vehicle for the state of Florida and get insurance on that vehicle for when you visit. Insurance requirements are quite lax in Florida compared to other states in the country, so you don’t need to worry about getting an expensive policy if you don’t want to. 

The same rules apply to driving in Florida as a snowbird does when you are at home. Follow all of the rules of the road, don’t speed, and don’t run red lights. Make sure you are safe and looking out for others so nobody gets hurt and your snowbird insurance rates don’t go up.

If your driving record is tainted while driving in Florida, this will sometimes affect your insurance back home, too. The financial strain this could put on your wallet is devastating. 

Even if you have a great driving record, having to pay for two insurance policies and two different cars may be too expensive. 

Florida is a place unlike any other in the U.S. It can be tempting to move there for the winter due to the great weather and the job opportunities, but be wary of the downsides. Don’t make life hard on your children or spouse by snowbirding, and don’t put a strain on your finances by juggling obligations like insurance in two different states. 

Decide whether the pros outweigh the cons for your lifestyle and then make a decision. 

shawn laib 1Shawn Laib writes and researches for the auto insurance site, AutoInsurance.org. He wants to help people decide whether a move to Florida is right for them. 

 

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