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‘New beginnings’

Relocating to a new state — in the Stallones’ case, one with totally contrasting politics and laws — can be daunting, even for families where money isn’t a factor.

The “Rambo” star admitted he wasn't sure about ditching the Golden State, where the family has “a lot of roots” and where he got his first big acting break. He said moving to Florida is “not an easy transition” but he “gave in” to his wife's request for a fresh start.

“I don't want to shake things up, but I know my wife wants [a] big adventure,” Stallone told his former “The Lords of Flatbush” co-stars Jon Lovitz and Henry Winkler in “The Family Stallone” opening episode.

While the actor is clearly tentative about the big move, Florida — which is thriving on the narrative of people quitting so-called ‘blue states’ for ‘red states’ — is welcoming the Oscar nominee with open arms.

Casey DeSantis, wife of Florida governor Ron DeSantis, shared a clip from “The Family Stallone” on X (formerly known as Twitter), with the message: “Welcome to the Free State of Florida! In addition to respecting and protecting your God-given, constitutional right to be free, you can also buy toothpaste without having an armed guard in CVS unlock it for you.”

While the Stallones asserted they were moving to the Sunshine State to “make new memories, new beginnings” after their three daughters left the nest, other high-profile individuals have shared different motives.

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Migration of people (and money)

Florida has long been an attractive option for rich Americans due to the state’s favorable tax environment. It charges no state income tax or capital gains tax, helping residents to cling onto more of their earnings and grow their wealth by investing.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is a prime example of that. The billionaire businessman has saved many millions of dollars in taxes by waiting to sell Amazon shares until after he’d moved from Seattle to Miami late last year.

For similar reasons, Florida has proven particularly attractive to retirees, who don’t want to lose a sizable cut of their retirement benefits to the taxman. They also like the warmer climate and the amenities catered to senior Americans.

Florida experienced the second-highest population growth in 2023, behind only Texas, gaining 365,205 people, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

In contrast, California lost 75,423 residents in 2023 and its population dipped below 39 million to its lowest count since 2015. And, according to analysis by the Los Angeles Times, thousands more high-earning, well-educated workers have left the Golden State than have moved in.

Unlike Florida, California has the highest state income tax in the country. Technically, its income tax brackets end at 12.3%, but the state applies an additional 1% on personal income over $1 million — which would likely apply to the Stallones, although they did not mention taxes in their reasons for moving — meaning its wealthiest residents must pay a whopping 13.3%.

Real estate investor, Grant Cardone, blamed that 13.3% income tax rate as the “one reason” he moved from California to Miami years ago. He also criticized New York, New Jersey, Illinois and other so-called “blue states,” accusing them of “gouging you with taxes.”

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Bethan Moorcraft is a reporter for Moneywise with experience in news editing and business reporting across international markets.

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