Celebration, Florida

Celebration, Florida

Celebration is situated just outside of Orlando, Florida and is a master planned community developed by The Walt Disney Disney Company as a place that embodies the Disney spirit of life as a bowl of cherries. the current population is approximately 9,000 people and the town has cool since it’s initiation in 1994, growing by more than 200% during the last decade. It is definitely a popular place, and retirees make up much of the citizenry, but Celebration has also received criticism for looking like a neighborhood in the movie The Stepford Wives (the original, not the badly done remake). Of course, not everyone thinks Stepford Wives neighborhoods are a bad thing.

The city is divided into villages, some with lakes, rivers and even homes with concierge service. Housing varies between condominiums, townhomes and single family residences. It is a walkable community, well laid out, and is designed to feel like the quintessential, traditional American small town. The cost-of-living is 50% above the national average, and the median home price is roughly $550,000 (quintessential Americana does not come cheap). The residents leaned to the left politically, which is somewhat surprising since this is Florida, and the median household income is significantly above the national average. Of the population, 32% is age 45 or better.

The crime rate in Celebration is below the national average, and residents are educated. Nearly 93% of them have at least a high school diploma, and 35% of them have at least a bachelors degree.
Celebration has lots of festivals and events to keep retirees busy, including the Great American Pie Festival and the Posh Pooch Festival. The downtown is lively with restaurants and boutique shops, coffeehouses, bookstores and other retailers. There is, however, no local public transportation.

Celebration Health is the local medical facility and it is technologically state-of-the-art, meeting or exceeding national averages in most areas . It is a teaching hospital with about 65 beds. Further medical facilities are in Orlando.

Florida is a friendly state when it comes to retirement taxes. The state has no income tax, and so retirement income is not taxed. Real estate is taxed at its full valuation but owners received a homestead exemption of up to $50,000. There is no estate tax or inheritance tax.

When it comes to climate, it’s Florida. Summers are hot and muggy and winters are mild. The average January high temperature is 72° and the average July temperature is in the mid-90s. The area receives roughly 50 inches of rain each year, and on the comfort index, a combination of humidity and temperature, celebration comes in well below the national average. The sun shines 270 days of the year.

Celebration has a bit of a manufactured feeling about it, but it is clean and well managed. In many ways, it has what retirees are seeking: a safe community with pretty homes nestled in the warm Florida climate. It is a place to consider for retirement.