16 Pros and Cons of Living in Fort Myers, FL

Updated On October 9, 2023
Fort Myers, Florida

Home to 84,000 residents, Fort Myers is located on the southern tip of Florida.

Founded in 1885, this area has long been an attractive place for people to live, retire, and vacation ever since. 

So what is it like to live in a place with a long history full of varied cultures and amazing weather?

Along with the seven miles of beautiful beaches, there’s a city drowning in people. 

Follow along with us as we take you through the best and worst of being a resident of this coastal Floridian city.  

Fort Myers, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida

Pros of Living in Fort Myers, FL

1. Weather

The temperatures in the summer don’t get above the mid-90s.

In winter, the highs stay around the mid-70s.

This ideal climate has a lot to do with why people are so eager to live here.

No need to wait until June to take advantage of your favorite thing, it is beach season all year! 

2. Retirement

Speaking of luscious weather, there is a good reason retirees head here.

It is not just because they now have the freedom to hit the waves any time of day.

Warm weather is great for arthritic bones and it is a place to get more bang for your buck.

So, there is really no need to wonder why people refer to Florida as a retirement home.

Everyone deserves to feel good in their skin, bones, and wallet, so Fort Myers is a great choice. 

3. Location

Fort Myers is basically the halfway point between Tampa and Miami.

It is also only a two-and-a-half-hour ride to Orlando.

Let’s not forget only three hours to the Florida Keys.

Pretty much all the fun things in the Sunshine State are just a short car drive away.

That includes cruises that sail out from Fort Myers, too.

For someone who likes to get out, it is heaven on earth.

4. Nature

Aside from beaches and amusement parks, Fort Myers is also next door to a multitude of lakes, parks, and wildlife centers.

That makes this area a great place to live if you are always itching to get somewhere other than the sand.

There is really so much you can do to avoid tourists who are gunning for the beach.

Then, hit the waves when the strangers start going home.

There is something to do all year. 

5. Entertainment

One positive about having a plethora of tourists is the wide array of things to do aside from the beach.

Local businesses know that there have to be options because people often travel with families or have varying interests.

That keeps the city on their A-game when it comes to getting creative about what to bring in.

There are all kinds of festivals, shows, markets, you name it.

6. Cost of Living

In comparison with the other big-ticket cities in Florida, Fort Myers is budget-friendly.

This is another reason why retirees choose this city over others to live out their freedom.

It is going on 10% cheaper to live here than anywhere else in the state.

That figure also includes homes.

Sure, there are some homes that are top of the market price, but there are still plenty at a reasonable price.

7. Income Tax

Florida just so happens to be one of the handfuls of states with no state income tax.

Another bonus for retirees who are looking to work part-time while retired.

If you live in a city like Fort Myers, that savings on state income tax really comes in handy.

That is because you’re saving on the cost of living already.

To add on top of that, no tax.

Well, that is a win.

8. Diversity

If you live in Fort Myers, it is highly likely you have friends with accents that are not yours.

It is also likely that included in that friend group is a wide array of ethnicities.

The makeup of the city is 50% European-American, 25% African-American, and 25% Latin-American.

What a great place to get more culture without having to go anywhere.

Cons of Living in Fort Myers, FL

1. Tourists

The weather is nice and the beaches are open.

Surely there is room for everyone, right?

Well, not exactly.

So many people come to visit this part of Florida that it is easy to get swallowed by the hoards of tourists taking over.

It is especially busy during spring break and summer, but because the weather is great all year, there really is no end to the flood of guests.

2. Traffic

Logically, if there is a constant stream of out-of-towners heading in, it is bound to show up in places like the highway and around town.

For most of the year, traffic can be a major pain and cause a lot of strain on the locals who have to deal with this problem day in and day out.

Unfortunately, the city isn’t built for people who do not have a car.

So the number of cars on the road is unfathomable. 

3. Rain

The weather sounds great until you realize how often it rains.

Yes, it does not get unbearably hot or cold and that is amazing for a place so far south.

However, it does rain during times when most tourists would flock here.

That makes the atmosphere pretty wet all the time.

Expect heavy humidity when you go outside in the summer.

If it is not sticky, it is raining.

4. Hurricanes

Another weather-related point, Florida is one of the most likely states in the US to get hit by hurricanes.

On top of that, Fort Myers is literally on the ocean, where the hurricanes come from.

The last big hit was just a few years ago and there was more than $1 billion in damage across the city.

If you move here, that will definitely be part of the extra insurance you are required to pay.

5. Public Transportation

There is existing transportation but it is severely lacking.

In a city as frequented as Fort Myers, you would imagine the local government going out of its way to make room for everyone on the road.

Perhaps it is the rental car companies lobbying for less public transport, which would make people flying in be almost certain not to take public transport.

Who knows?

We would love to see it improve, though.

6. Polluted Waters

Mainly resulting in overdevelopment, Lake Okeechobee has become toxic.

People are not able to enjoy the lake during the summer when blue-green algae are growing across the top.

Once a year, that water is released into the nearby Caloosahatchee River and down to the water in Fort Myers.

Yes, that is plenty of unsafe exposure for people.

Always drink from and play in water you know about.

7. Population Density

84,000 does not sound outrageous of a number until you consider how much space that is to work with and the onslaught of tourists that are not accounted for in that number.

You have a city that is the geographic size of Boston that needs to accommodate an extra 5,000,000 people who come to town.

Boston has under 700,000 residents.

With those figures, you can quickly see why that is a problem for Fort Myers.

8. Low Paying Jobs

This is not unique to Fort Myers but rather to many towns with unending visitors.

A large portion of the available jobs is low-paying positions.

There is a huge need for hospitality, retail, and food workers.

It is great that those jobs are available, but those types of companies by in large do not provide living wages for the majority of workers.

So, they are being slowly priced out of the city.

Fort Myers, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida

Pros and Cons of Living in Fort Myers, FL – Summary Table

Pros of Living in Fort Myers, FLCons of Living in Fort Myers, FL
1. Weather1. Tourists
2. Retirement2. Traffic
3. Location3. Rain
4. Nature4. Hurricanes
5. Entertainment5. Public Transportation
6. Cost of Living6. Polluted Waters
7. Income Tax7. Population Density
8. Diversity8. Low Paying Jobs

Fort Myers Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Fort Myers Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the crime like in Fort Myers?

It needs improvement.

While the crime rates have been on a steady decline for years, the possibility of being the victim of a crime is uncomfortably high.

That might have to do with the influx of non-locals dropping in on a regular basis.

Violent crime is almost double the national average.

Is there anyone famous from Fort Myers?

There are not major celebrities who were born here but there are plenty who call it home later, at least part-time.

One of the biggest days for Fort Myers happened a century ago.

Herbert Hoover, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone were hanging out here.

Some of the biggest names of their time were just casually celebrating the man who invented the lightbulb’s birthday.

Oh and the successful campaign for Hoover.

It was a great day in Florida, February 11th, 1929.

Why is Fort Myers growing?

Fort Myers is the sixth fastest-growing city in the US.

Is it the seniors who are making a beeline for Florida?

It’s hard to say for sure, it is probably a mix of things, but the explosion is something to consider.

In an already tight location, it seems like it might be more trouble than it is worth to have an overload of people.

Maybe it will help improve the public transportation system.

Is there a mix of outdoor and indoor activities in Fort Myers?

Bring your clubs!

Fort Myers has a loyal golf fanbase that makes its way there every year.

There are also plenty of parks open, in addition to the botanical garden.

Want to go inside?

Check out the museums!

If you can do it on water, you can do it in Fort Myers.

Some of the more popular things to do are fishing, swimming, paddle boarding, and anything boating.

Thanks to the heightened popularity, there are plenty of rental shops if you have left something at home.

What's the bug situation like?

As with any low-lying area, there are all kinds of bugs.

Mosquitos are sometimes thick in the air along with plenty of other bugs we shall not name.

You will need an exterminator for your dwelling as well as plenty of spray for yourself when you are out just trying to live your life.

2 Comments on 16 Pros and Cons of Living in Fort Myers, FL

  1. I’ve lived here for 14 years and we’ve never hired an exterminator and we don’t have bugs!!!!!

  2. sheesh take it easy…im sure the lizards eat most of them

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