Thursday

Living, Working and Playing in Ft. Lauderdale

For those interested in living in an area where the average temperature is 75 degrees, Ft. Lauderdale may be the ideal location. While still considered an area where snowbirds migrate during the colder months, Ft. Lauderdale is a great place to raise a family, work and spend time on fun leisure activities.

Understanding the Demographics

While many people think the average age in Florida is elevated because of the number of seniors who migrate there, the Ft. Lauderdale area boasts and average age of 40. More than one-quarter of the residents are below the age of 25 while only 15 percent are over the age of 65.

Educational Opportunities

The school system in Florida is managed by Broward County, there are 23 public schools in the county and nearly half of them received "A" or "B" grades when the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) was completed. There are also numerous opportunities for higher education with nine institutions of higher learning in the area.

Working in the Area

As would be expected, tourism is a thriving industry in the area. This means those who are involved in the hospitality industry will find a competitive work environment. The current average salary in Ft. Lauderdale exceeds $50,000 annually and has been growing steadily. During 2016, average income in the area was nearly $42,000.

Fort Lauderdale Transportation

Anyone worrying about getting around the area can put those fears to rest. There is a wealth of public transportation options including municipal buses. However, the options do not stop there. Passenger service is available through Amtrak and there is also the Tri-Rail which offers commuter service from two stops in Ft. Lauderdale. The newest addition to the transportation system will be The Wave, a streetcar which is expected to be completed in 2021.

Seeing the Sights

There are many options available for those who wish to get out and about in the area including museums, amusement parks, and more. The Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District includes Broward Center for the Performing Arts, and many other venues. In addition, you will find 4,100 restaurants and over 120 nightclubs in Ft. Lauderdale.

Some of the family friendly venues include International Swimming Hall of Fame, the 180-acre Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, and the Museum of Discovery and Science to name a few. There are also a significant number of shopping areas.

Understanding the Housing Market

One of the biggest questions about relocating is understanding how much house you can afford. Currently, the property tax rate on a home with a tax assessment of $350,000 is $7,185 per annum. This translates to about $600 per month which must be taken into consideration when purchasing a home. Fortunately, Fort Lauderdale real estate is plentiful, and home are considered affordable by most standards. Real estate will continue to be a sound investment when you consider median home value increased from slightly more than $132,000 in 2000 to more than $300,000 in 2016.

This is a great time to consider your future and the future of your family. With everything Fort Lauderdale has to offer, this may be the place to call home.

Recipes: Corned beef and cabbage

Saint Patrick Day celebrations almost always include a Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner.  What exactly goes into this meal is different depending on who is preparing this dish.  Here is a family favorite New England Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner that was prepared in an Irish household.

3 pound corned beef brisket
1 pound carrots
1 pound potatoes
1 large turnip
2 large parsnips
4 large onions peeled and quartered
1 bottle of any type of beer (dark beer works best)
1 large head of cabbage cored and cut into 8 pieces
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed

Rinse the corned beef brisket under cold water. Carrots can remain unpeeled but should be washed completely then chopped into 3" chunks.  Parsnips may be peeled or unpeeled, washed and chopped into chopped into 1 1/2" chunks.  Peel the turnip cut into 3" chunks and set aside.  The next step is to prepare the corned beef.

To prepare corned beef, rinse carefully under cold water then place the corned beef into the bottom of a very large pot. Add twelve cups of water and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium, and add carrots, turnip and parsnips as well as all spices.

Reduce to medium heat and allow to simmer for 40 minutes.  Add the potatoes and onion to the pot and allow to simmer for an additional 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.  Add the cabbage and beer and simmer on medium heat for fifteen minutes until the cabbage is tender.

This recipe will be sufficient for 8 hearty appetites. It is best to serve this with plenty of ground pepper, crusty bread and a variety of mustard on the side. Some people like the cabbage with vinegar so you may also consider placing a small bottle within easy reach.

Leftovers should be stored in airtight containers, with the cabbage being separated from the meat if possible. Leftover corned beef makes a great sandwich on rye bread. with yellow mustard.

Image credit: By Jonathunder (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons