Category Archives: Florida Tourism

Lovebug Season

The saying goes “April showers bring May flowers” however in Florida, April showers bring May lovebug season. Lovebug season occurs twice a year, May and September, and lasts about four weeks. This is when the bugs mate and can be seen attached to one another. Take a stroll through a Florida park on a hot sunny day between the hours of 10am and 6pm and you will most likely be greeted by these harmless creatures.

Purchase a copy of The Florida Domicile Handbook, 3rd Edition to learn more interesting facts about Florida and why relocating to Florida is the right choice for you!

Book Guides New Florida Residents to Domicile Status

Why do over 1,000 people move to Florida each day? FDH3coverFlorida domicile expert and author of The Florida Domicile Handbook: Vital Information for New Florida Residents, 3rd Edition E. Michael Kilbourn says it’s because the Sunshine State doesn’t burden its residents with mountains of confiscatory taxes. In the third edition of this popular book, published by Brendan Kelly Publishing (January 2015), Kilbourn and co-author Brad Galbraith, CPA, Esq., discuss the steps and activity new residents can take to prove Florida domicile intent and build a strong case in anticipation of possibly being pursued for taxes by their former state of residence.

“Now that the recession is behind us and the housing market is on the mend, we’re seeing a resurgence in migration to Florida again,” said Kilbourn, who also wrote Disinherit the IRS: Don’t Die Until You’ve Read this Book (Brendan Kelly Publishing 2014). Kilbourn spends the winter months giving free public seminars about the benefits of Florida domicile with Galbraith and other members of the Wealth Protection Network™. “Many part-time Florida residents have read or heard about Florida domicile, but are not sure if it applies to them or not. This book helps people decide whether Florida domicile is to their benefit and then provides the most current resources to get the process done as efficiently as possible.”

Updated for 2015, the book includes new information for Florida businesses, new resources for Florida students, and retirement planning strategies for the newly domiciled. The 250+-page guide also includes updated Florida facts, demographic data, geographic points of interest, web links and sample forms.

After contributing or authoring several books on financial planning including Giving—Philanthropy for Everyone (Quantum Press 2002) and 21st Century Wealth: Essential Financial Planning Principles (Quantum Press 2000), Kilbourn published the first edition of The Florida Domicile Handbook in 2009. A second and longer edition followed in 2011, and the new third is the most complete of all three. Essentially, the book is a comprehensive collection of facts and information on how to live comfortably and thrive financially in the great sunshine state. The book is available at www.brendankellypublishing.com, www.floridadomicilehandbook.com, www.Amazon.com, and will be available through major booksellers across the country in the coming months.

“Making Florida your legal domicile can have a significantly positive impact on your financial future,” states Kilbourn. “A perfect example of how Florida rewards its residents can be found in its constitution, wherein it prevents imposing a state income and state estate tax. This allows domiciled residents to save more for retirement, give more to charity, and invest in ideas that grow their savings.” Kilbourn guides high net-worth families through the maze of estate planning and said, “The book covers topics that new and potential residents need to know such as Florida taxes, domicile, estate planning, home purchase, healthcare and insurance.”

Mr. Kilbourn is the president of Kilbourn Associates and has over 40 years of experience in the financial services industry. Mr. Kilbourn is an experienced author, former college instructor, and a leading national authority on estate tax matters. Co-author Brad A. Galbraith is a partner at Hahn, Loeser & Parks, LLC. Mr. Galbraith is board certified in Wills, Trusts and Estates by the Florida Bar Association and was named a Florida Super Lawyer. The Florida Domicile Handbook, 3rd Edition is $19.95 + tax and shipping. Discover more at www.floridadomicilehandbook.com.

Legoland continues Florida’s Boom

Does a theme park of plastic buildings made for the enjoyment of kids impact the value of land, support economic rise through investors and increase employment opportunities?

Yes, it does!

This is what Legoland is expected to do and anticipated to bring into Florida when it opens later this year. Creating about 1,000 jobs, it is yet another testament to Florida’s growth rate which is double the national average.

The theme park career opportunities add up to the other job options flourishing in Florida. Computer and technology, health care and construction trades are likewise making a splash in Florida careers.

I include several useful resources and statisctical information in my book, the Florida Domicile Handbook, that will help you determine whether relocating your business to Florida is worth the investment.

When it comes to fun things to do, Florida residents are never sedentary. With diverse activities available to its equally diverse residents, Florida offers sophisticated shopping destinations, cutural arts attractions, and golf courses scattered throughout the state. This on top of the family favorites of theme parks, beaches to swim in and other water-related activities.

To your advantage, the Florida Domicile Handbook includes many factoids on points of interest around Florida including demographic information and historical facts broken into geographic sections.

To learn more about the benefits of living the Sunshine State, get a copy of the Florida Domicile Handbook. It has sidebars with nuggets of information that explain why Florida is the ideal place to raise a family, have a career and invest in the economy.

Florida Tourism Today

Florida, the Sunshine State is one of the top vacation spots of the United States. That is not surprising. The perennial sunshine and glorious beaches make it a favorite tourist destination in the United States. What is surprising, and pleasantly so, is the actual number of tourists that come into Florida each year.

As of 2010, the 82.6 million tourists who came to vacation in Florida generated an income of $60.9 billion. That number excludes the tax revenues and personal and business incomes of the residents. With income from tourists supporting businesses, tourism has become the primary source of income for the whole state. Here is the trend of tourism in the past decade:

Year

Total visitors in millions

1999

58.9

2000

72.8

2001

69.5

2002

73.9

2003

74.6

2004

79.7

2005

83.6

2006

83.9

2007

84.5

2008

84.2

2009

80.9

2010

82.6

Since 2005, tourism has slowly but surely picked up, with a slight hiccup in 2009 from the worldwide economic recession. But since last year, the numbers are starting to rise and will hopefully continue on an upward trend by the end of this year.

So why do they come to Florida? The biggest factor would be the reliable sunshine when they hit the long expanse of white sand beaches. Supporting the influx of tourists are the competitively priced rental homes and hotels. There are also popular destinations like the Walt Disney World theme park, and amazing state parks. Younger tourists can hit the local bars and restaurants, and for the romantically inclined, there are little islands for the perfect getaway. Because Florida is beautiful both progressively and naturally, it creates the perfect balance of the island escape, the city life and everything else in between. It is the best of both worlds.

To learn more about what Florida has to offer, read the Florida Domicile Handbook.

Golden Award

I don’t think that I have ever written about the diverse food choices that can be found in Florida. Diversity can only come naturally in a place that sees many different cultures. And Florida can provide a plethora of dining experiences for every discriminating taste bud. From the exotic to the cultured, Florida is glittered with fabulous restaurants.

The Golden Spoon Award is Florida’s very own award of where to get the best dining experience in town. It is a reliable source of where and what in the world in relation to Florida dining. It’s basically a guide for the unfamiliar traveller or the adventurous resident on where to eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

The Golden Spoon Award is given out by the Florida Trend, a monthly magazine and website that relates the defining factors of Florida business. Their latest awardee is The Forge in Miami Beach owned by Shareef Malnik. Dubbed as an eclectic restaurant, it attracts the big time spenders and the regular people alike. From checking your Facebook by a table near the fire to clinking wine glasses of Bordeaux with a five-course meal, this place gives dining a reinvented experience.

There have been more than 60 restaurants that have been awarded the Golden Spoon. They all serve different kinds of food – from Italian, Contemporary, Mediterranean, New Continental, Modern French, Asian, Seafood, Carribean Fusion, Classic American, Coastal, French and various fusions in between. And these restaurants come from everywhere – from Boca Raton to Winter Park. Miami and Miami Beach taking the limelight with 5 Golden Spoon Restaurants in the area. Just looking at the list, you will see the colorful people that dine, drink and celebrate their lives in Florida.

The Golden Spoon also has Hall of Fame list for restaurants that have stood the test of time and have maintained their Golden Spoon Awardee status. Their Best New Restaurants and Golden Brands list – the best restaurant chains in Florida – are also interesting and helpful guides for those looking to taste the finest that Florida has to offer.

To get to know more about Florida’s amazing culture, people and places, check out my book, the Florida Domicile Handbook to get a real glimpse into Florida living.

Migration Patterns

In my last blog post, I discussed a little bit about who is moving to Florida. Today, we will talk about what makes them choose us. Here are the top three reasons why Florida is one of the top places to move to in the United States.

Weather
Despite the occasional threat of a hurricane, weather has been a consistent pro on the list of prospective residents. Florida enjoys a tropical climate with only wet and dry seasons. Anywhere you live, beaches are only a short drive away. And unless you choose to visit the swamps, you should have an alligator-free water experience in the sun.

Cost of Living
Although Florida does boast many millionaire residents, you do not have to be one to enjoy the sunshine state. Housing availability is not a problem and rent is competitive, almost half as low as in other states. Florida is also one of eight states that does not impose income tax on its residents. Hence a lot of professionals have chosen to take up permanent residency here.

While there are sensitive issues raised by the effects of immigration in Florida, it cannot be denied that immigration is vital to the economy. In fact, it has been one of the moving forces behind the rise of businesses, housing developments and various job opportunities.

The 5th Season
Florida’s uniqueness extends to another season, Snowbird Season. This typically runs from November to April and brings over a million seasonal residents. These numbers are expected to rise pending the approach of the Baby Boomers’ retiring age. These seasonal residents bring with them unprecedented impact on the economy and quality of life. For established businesses, the possibilities are endless.

If you are interested in learning more about bringing your business and your family to Florida, buy your copy of The Florida Domicile Handbook.

Who is in Florida?

Florida is the swimming capital of the US with 700 miles of swimmable beaches. It is a highly tropical state known for its beautiful unspoiled beaches and equally beautiful natural parks and preserved habitats. It also has a bustling infrastructure, and so for new residents, it’s the perfect location to buy a home.

But who are the Floridians? What composes this fun, free, state of sunshine, beaches and residents who do not have to pay state income tax?

Florida has a population of 18 million and has 7 million households. See the interesting mix of people that roam the streets of Florida:

Florida State Population

According to the 2010 Census numbers, Florida’s population has increased 3 million in the last 10 years. By 2030, population is forecast to grow to 23 million from the 18 million of 2010.

Although the recession greatly affected the migration rates, the flow of migrants has once again stabilized. Diversity is increasing and with it, the growth of the State to accommodate and to cater to the needs of its new residents. Housing developments are the first to respond to the influx of people who want to retain domicile in Florida, growing to 23.1% over the last decade.

Florida has seen a rise in professionals as well. In 2009, a survey revealed that experienced physicians set up shop in Florida, preferring Florida as a state with no income tax. With the many financial benefits of living in Florida, it is no wonder that financial services are better here than anywhere else in the United States.

With I-75 as a quick convenient route, drawing in visitors and residents from the Midwest and I-95 drawing visitors and residents from the Northeast, Florida sees 82 million tourists per year. And 1,000 people choose to take up permanent residency each day. And who can blame them? After a lifetime of hard work and cold winters, who would not want to spend their days relaxing on the beach with a cold drink in hand?

To learn more about the benefits of making Florida your home, buy your copy of The Florida Domicile Handbook.

Powering Florida – How prepared are our Nuclear Plants?

Currently, there are five nuclear power plants in Florida that provide 15% of our state’s energy:

  • Turkey Point Station Unit 3
  • Turkey Point Station Unit 4
  • St Lucie Plant Unit 1
  • St Lucie Plant Unit 2
  • Crystal River Power Plant

The first four are owned by Florida Power and Light Co. (FPL) while the fifth is owned by Progress Energy Inc. FPL, being the major producer of nuclear energy in Florida, powers 4.5 million homes and offices using 19% of nuclear power in the electricity they provide. On the other hand, Progress Energy Inc. provides energy to more than 1.6 million households and businesses.

After what happened to Japan’s nuclear power plant, it isn’t a surprise that Governor Rick Scott initiated a close inspection of Florida’s nuclear power plants.

How do our plants differ?

Aside from the fact that US nuclear power plants are designed to withstand great seismic hazards, safety precautions are implicit. Backup generators are stored in concrete, steel-reinforced buildings built above sea level which can power the cooling system for seven days. Should a hurricane occur, the backup generators are safe from flooding.

Secondly, spent fuel is stored in a separate building from the reactor to avoid fire accidents if the reactors should be shaken by a hurricane or extreme flood.

The major and probably the most defining difference is the kind of water the reactors use. Japan’s power plant uses a boiling water reactor while all Florida power plants use pressurized water reactor systems. Aside from the way the steam is produced, the most important boon of a pressurized water reactor is that the produced steam is nonradioactive.

Although it is said that Florida is safe from tsunamis as recently seen in Japan, our nuclear power plants have taken this and every other possible natural phenomena into consideration when these plants were designed and constructed. Safety is a priority, as it should be. Periodic checks into backup systems are being done to ensure that each plant is equipped with the proper safety measures.

The Florida Domicile Handbook includes interesting facts about Florida including history, popular destinations, amusement parks, golf courses, beaches, state parks, and demographic information for each corridor.