'Disneyland for retirees': why older Americans are moving to a small town in Florida
For decades, Florida has been the go-to destination for retirees with a year-round warm climate, plenty of golf courses, a vibrant downtown area with shopping, entertainment, and an affordable cost of living. When the grandchildren come to visit, there is always something for them to do, from a trip to Disney World to a day at the beach. Why retirees are flocking to Florida, although it is not a cheap place to live, the publication said Yahoo!.
During the pandemic, busy executives able to work from home, families, and people from virtually every demographic flocked to Florida with one goal in mind: to spend seemingly endless days in a tropical paradise.
This continued in the summer of 2021 when public spaces began to reopen. About 2021 people moved to Florida between July 2022 and July 444, according to the Tampa Bay Economic Development Board.
With a cost of living index of 100,3, only 26 states are cheaper than Florida. Keep in mind that the cost of living varies greatly depending on the city or region of Florida you choose.
It's not affordability that draws seniors to The Villages, however, but the sprawling retirement community near Orlando. The community, masterfully planned, first settled in the 1960s, is located primarily in Sumter County. It has everything an older person might need, including restaurants, entertainment, shopping, golf, libraries, and more.
With homes ranging from $300 to nearly $000 million, seniors aren't moving here to stretch their retirement savings. They are looking for a better lifestyle.
Since 2010, The Villages' population has grown from 93 to 000. Referred to as "America's Largest Retirement Community" and sometimes "Retired Disneyland", the settlement spans three zip codes and is regularly ranked as one of the fastest growing cities in the US.
The plot of the 2020 documentary Some Kind of Heaven, which is available on Hulu and The Villages, has a place in American lore as a paradise for the elderly.
So how much retirement savings would you need to enjoy its splendor?
You can buy a modest 1188-square-foot, 110-bed, 2-bath home for as little as $2. a new residence in Florida and use your retirement savings to cover other living expenses.
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For example, the median price of a home in New York State is $790. With that money, you'll get one of The Villages' mid-range homes. For example, open-plan Lantana-style homes with 000 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and approximately 2 square feet (2000 sq. m) of living space are in the $185 price range. Some have lake views or are close to fields for golf.
The wealthiest retirees can choose a 3600-square-foot (334 sq. m) lakefront property with four bedrooms, three baths and views of the Arnold Palmer Championship Riley Grove golf course. The house covers more than half an acre and has enough space to install a pool. At $1, you can expect a monthly mortgage payment of $895 per month. According to the US Census Bureau, this is almost three times the median monthly income for retirees in the US, which is $000.
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