Orlando, Florida – Retirement Guide

Orlando, Florida   Retirement Guide

Much to the surprise of some retirees, Orlando isn’t only the magic land of Mickey Mouse and Disney theme parks. With more than 240,000 residents, Orlando is one of Florida’s largest cities, and has attracted a growing number of retirees.

This influx of active adults means ample housing opportunities, including a number of retirement and 55+ communities. The bonus? Orlando is extremely affordable. The cost of living is more than 6 percent lower than the national average, and the median home price is $128,000. And yes, like most of Florida, the climate here is blissfully mild.

Orlando is home to a vast number of sprawling, planned communities, perhaps the most famous of which is Disney-built Celebration, as well as more historic areas, such as Lake Eola Heights.

Just north of Orlando lies the Winter Park neighborhood, which is home to shops, galleries, golf, a museum and restaurants. Retirement communities here run the gamut, from simple 55+ with few amenities to exclusive, gated developments with features like boating and golf.

Pros: Many theme parks and outdoor activities, as well as cultural attractions
Con: Can be crowded with tourists during peak seasons

At a Glance
Best For: Theme park admirers
Population: 243,195
Cost of Living: 6.2% lower than national average
Median Home Cost: $128,000
Unemployment: 7%
Top State Income Tax: No state income tax
Crime Rate: 69% higher than national average

While it’s correct to say Orlando is more than just theme parks, it’s also important to note that theme parks do play an active role in defining life in the town. Some of Orlando’s most defining sites are places like Disney, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom and Universal Studios.

Of course, you’ll still find plenty to do that’s not in a theme park. Popular outdoor activities include golfing, fishing and tennis. Others might enjoy shopping at the many outlets or visiting cultural attractions such as the Orlando Museum of Art. Additionally, retirees can attend performances of the Philharmonic Orchestra, the ballet, and a number of theater groups.

Like many cities its size, Orlando does have a higher than average crime rate, though with so many different neighborhoods, its not difficult to find a safe area.

Photo by Ricardo Mangual via Flickr. All statistics were up to date as of publication. See these sources for the most current data.