Retirement: Lakeland, Florida!

by Irwin
(Lakeland, FL)

Lakeland Florida map

Lakeland Florida map

And now a little about Lakeland...

Welcome to a brief history of Lakeland, Florida, the city where we live and play approximately four to six months of the year. The balance of the time is spent traveling and visiting our two other children who live in opposite parts of the USA. Lakeland, known for being the home of Florida Southern College (This campus contains nine structures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright) and The Florida Air Museum at Fun ‘n Sun - Specialty Museums.

Lakeland is also known for being a manufactured and mobile home community and there are 89 manufactured and mobile home communities near Lakeland, Florida. The community within which we live is called Beacon Terrace – a beautiful 55+ community. Beacon Terrace provides a rich, fulfilling lifestyle in a scenic, professionally-maintained community. Residents (and we have a mixture of retirees, individuals still working and semi-retired individuals such as myself) can be as active or as inactive as they would like to be. In addition to golf, bowling, and shuffleboard, we entertain ourselves by attending dances, pot-luck suppers, monthly pancake breakfasts, social hour, and what is affectionately known as game night. In addition, some residents keep themselves busy with line-dancing, playing cards, bingo, and many other activities that keep us young and fit both physically and mentally.

Possessing a unique blend of business, culture and recreation, Lakeland is a wonderful city with a proud heritage and rich history. Lakeland residents enjoy a peaceful lifestyle, yet are still afforded easy access to two much larger cities in Florida, namely Tampa and Orlando.

The demographics of Lakeland are as follows:
Population as of July 2009: 93,738 (Population change since 2000: +19.5%); Split 46.5% males vs 53.4% females; estimated median household income in 2009 was $36,013; Florida is $44,376; Estimated per capita income in 2009 was $22,791; Estimated median house or condo value in 2009: $135,200 (it was $71,500 in 2000); Lakeland $135,200 versus Florida at $182,400; Median rent in 2009: $840

Lakeland continues to be the spring training place for the Detroit Tigers (originally arrived to train in 1934). The 1930’s also featured the arrival of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1938 he came to Lakeland at the request of Florida Southern College President Ludd Spivey to design a "great education temple in Florida." For 20 years Wright worked on his "true American campus" creation. He planned 18 structures, 12 of which were completed and six left on the drawing board. He called his project "A Child of the Sun," so named from the architect’s own description of being "out of the ground, into the light, a child of the sun." It is the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in one location in the world.

With a current population of 90,000+ Lakeland continues to grow. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the U.S. Census Bureau for over 30 years. With tourist attractions such as Disney World, Busch Gardens, Bok Tower, and the recent arrival and opening of Legoland this year, all within half an hour's drive, Lakeland is capitalizing on its ideal central Florida location. With its commitment to downtown development, redevelopment and historical preservation, and keen insight into its past and present, it is a model for other cities.

Is it any wonder why current residents of Lakeland invite others to explore the amazing community of Lakeland today!


Comments for Retirement: Lakeland, Florida!

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by: Irwin


Lakeland sits about half-way between Tampa and Orlando so you have access to Busch Gardens and Disney World plus Clearwater Beach (Tampa side).

We have lots of other attractions nearby as well. If you are into Manufactured home living (as we are) there are many 55+ communities in and around Lakeland.

As for Hurricanes, yes, we do have them but CA has earthquakes, mid-west has tornadoes, the north has blizzards,and so forth. No place I know of is risk-free.

As to the heat, it does get hot in the summer but that is why we have A/C in our homes, cars, stores, and so forth.

Best I can suggest is to vacation in Lakeland at the time of the year it might be the worst of conditions. If you like and can stand it, take it from there.

That's my two cents worth for what it is worth.


Retirement home
by: Bruce kriner. Iowa

I'm 62. I hear alot about lakeland but what about the weather? Hurricanes at all. How hot does the summer's get?.

I can see...
by: Rox/BCH AZ.

what type of life you are keeping up with.

I live in the city across the river from Laughlin NV. It gets hot here (Mohave desert) but it has not stopped the 'snowbirds' from gathering every winter to help keep our community, of just over 40,000, warmer.

At first it was the gambling, then ??? but I know now that most of the new peeps come for the weather. And leave for same. LOL.

But I've been here since 1989 and have not felt like leaving, except maybe to go to Vegas. Anywho, it was nice to hear that we are not sttuggling alone. Haha.


PS I don't guess you WERE a teacher, but you do write.

This sounds interesting
by: plp

I just retired and looking for renting a place next winter. I think I will look at what is available there and see if that life style works for us. We can be social but like our privacy for sure. I'm just not sure about a retirement village type environment. Thanks

Places to Live
by: Irwin

Different strokes for different folks.

I can definitely see and appreciate where you are coming from. I have lived in various types of environments, apartment, condo, single family home type development (families not 55+ community), over 55+ communities and what have you. My educated guess is that unless you live on your own land in the middle of say several acres, some rule or another will apply.

My only comment would be that as we age (we are in our 70's) sometimes things change. While we are content at the moment, to be truthful, my wife and I still haven't found where we want to settle much less the type of community we intend to live out our final days. As a matter of fact, we still on occasion look at each other and ask ourselves, what is it we want to do when we grow up?

While this type community works at the moment, who knows what the future may bring. Tomorrow is another day thus providing us with other ideas. Thanks for sharing your comments.

Retirement complexes
by: Pattie

My husband and i will never live in a over 50 complex ever. The only time i would want to have rules and regulations and restrictions would be in a nursing home.

We like playing our music and TV loud.. our son is 23 and comes over with friends and so there's a bunch of cars and motorcycles. My husband and i were musicians and so we are used to a loud life style.. we could never live in a complex or a condo or apt. I sometimes vacuum at 2:00am.. we are total night owls.

To us a complex would be a prison.. we want to be free till we die.. We want to enjoy every square in of the property we bought and not be told what we can or cannot do..

Wendy: Patti, my poor long time email buddy from CO had moved into a senior condo unit.. paid good money too. He sold it within six months, lots big bucks, as the neighbor played music late into the night.. not rock, but Pete need peace and quiet. I felt so bad for him...

To each his own...

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