Miami’s vibrant art scene, racy atmosphere and Latin culture make it one of the most evocative destinations in America. Wildly different from New York and Los Angeles, Miami’s signature flair runs through everything, from its gorgeous turquoise shoreline and tropical gardens to its whimsical Art Deco architecture and eclectic food choices.

Those moving there should certainly look forward to its youthful character but should recognise the city’s drawbacks as well. Below, we list some of the pros and cons of moving to Miami to give new arrivals perspective.

Accommodation in Miami

Housing in Miami by Alina Skazka

+ PRO: Diverse housing types

Miami offers a variety of housing options, with some fully furnished apartments. Some housing options come complete with fitness centres, swimming pools and stainless-steel appliances. Condos, townhouses and apartments are the most common types of housing in Miami. 

- CON: Fewer family-friendly options

While Miami has a diversity of accommodation options, it is largely regarded as a city that is great for families without children. There are a few housing options in residential areas for families. That said, neighbourhoods such as Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay and Parkland are known for their excellent schools, safety and proximity to gorgeous natural landscapes. 

Cost of living in Miami

+ PRO: Low taxes

One of the perks of moving to Florida state is that there is no state income tax. This means that Miami residents can save thousands of dollars if they have a fixed income. Property taxes vary by municipality, though residents will generally receive a discount if they pay early. There are several sales tax exemptions as well. 

- CON: Accommodation costs are high

Finding an affordable place to stay in Miami can be difficult. The cost of living is almost 12 percent higher than the national average. This difference is directly influenced by the city’s status as a popular tourist destination. 

- CON: Healthcare is expensive

Healthcare is extremely expensive in Miami, as it is in other US cities. Even with health insurance, only a small portion of the population can afford top-class services. 

Working in Miami

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+ PRO: Work environment is rated highly

Miami consistently ranks as one of America’s happiest cities to work in. The city’s employees have based their opinion on how welcoming the destination is of people from different cultures and relationships with employers and co-workers. Compensation, growth opportunities and company culture are rated highly in Miami workplaces. Rankings also factor in whether their leadership sets realistic goals, the extent to which they are involved in the decision-making process, and how trusted they are to work independently.

- CON: Tight job market 

A drawback to living in Miami is that the job market is less competitive than in other major US cities. Wages are lower, and jobs generally require that applicants have college degrees and that they speak both English and Spanish. 

Lifestyle in Miami

+ PRO: Outdoor activities are endless

Miami’s lush parks are great places to enjoy jogging, dog-walking, free yoga, volleyball, basketball, outdoor gyms and, of course, barbecues. Visitors can fish along the pier at Oleta River State Park and canoe through the lengthy, untamed and beautiful Oleta River. 

Other notable parks include Bayfront Park, Margaret Pace Park and Brickell Key Park. The city also has terrific golf courses and a gorgeous coastline for yachting, sailing, surfing and diving.

+ PRO: Great nightlife 

Miami’s nightlife scene rivals that of any city in the United States. Miami has an impressive selection of oceanfront clubs, live music settings and dance venues. 

+ PRO: Rich in food culture

Newcomers will find many authentic ethnic restaurants in Miami, which is home to many cultures. Cuban, Haitian, Brazilian, Puerto Rican and Colombian are a few of the ethnicities that make up the food scene, though the Cuban sandwich is perhaps the city’s most representative dish. Newcomers can grab one almost anywhere in Miami.  

+ PRO: Cultural melting pot

Miami is a true melting pot of cultures, with residents from Cuba, Haiti, Central and South America and other parts of the Caribbean living throughout the city. Their art, food, dance, music and observances are infused with the city’s character. Little Havana, Little Haiti and the Bahamian Coconut Grove Village West retain some wonderfully distinctive cultural traits. 

Getting around in Miami

Trolley in Miami by Ronny Rondon from Unsplash

+ PRO: Comprehensive public transport

Although the public transport in Miami is not as comprehensive as that in Boston or NYC, Miami’s bus service covers the whole city, and the Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) offers an integrated ticketing system, making commuting around the city fairly easy. There is also a Metrorail and a free automated shuttle known as the Metromover.

- CON: Traffic is a problem

Miami has some of the worst traffic congestion in America, and its drivers have a poor reputation. Commute times in Miami-Dade County average around 36 minutes each way and have been influenced by the city’s layout and massive population growth.

Weather in Miami

- CON: High humidity

Miami’s heat and humidity can be overwhelming, especially in the summer. Staying in the shade won’t help, and the only real solution is to constantly move from one air-conditioned place to the next. These conditions mean that people should be on the lookout for large-scale bugs, spiders, snakes and other creatures too.

- CON: Tropical storms

Hurricanes and tropical storms are a factor from June through November. This is also Miami’s rainy season, when torrential afternoon showers are an almost daily occurrence.

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

Cigna Global Health Insurance.

Moving your family abroad can be intimidating, but learning about medical options such as family health insurance early on can help you settle successfully.

  • Comprehensive Family coverage, wherever you go
  • Paediatric coverage for well-child visits & immunizations
  • Access to dental and orthodontic care
  • 24/7 multilingual Customer Service

Get a quote from Cigna Global

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