We all know that Orlando is a fun town with so much to see and do, form the parks through to museums, driving to the beach and plenty of local arts.
But there is another part of Orlando, the retiree and snowbird population. Many people escape the cold white north in their retirement either on an annual basis for a few months or permanently. Let’s face it, Orlando is a great retirement hotspot for everyone, even Gay retirees. There was a recent article in Watermark which I thought was interesting, talking about those of the GLBT population who are growing older and reaching retirement.
That’s right, we don’t live forever and we aren’t going to stay 21 for too many decades either! We as a population are living longer and more members of the Gay community are finding that they are in a tight situation when it comes to later in life living arrangements and benefits that are much easily accessible to heterosexual couples. An estimated 10,000 GLBT American’s retire every week according to the LGBT Aging Project of Massachusetts and by 2020 the number of gay and lesbians over the age of 50 will rise to nearly six million.
Before you panic and fear old age there is so much help out there if you look in the right place. Orlando is a beautiful city that is perfect for those of all ages, including Gay Retirees and Snowbirds.
1. The Center – This is a good place to start. The Center” has been proudly serving the local LGBT community for over 32 years and is a great local resource for the Orlando Gay population regardless of age. The Center offers a variety of support and social programs such as counseling at a reduced cost, AA meetings, HIV testing, a 3000 book library and a Cyber Center offering free access to computers and the internet.
2. SageUSA.org & The LGBT Aging Center – “The Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders” (SAGE) is the country’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults.It was founded back in 1978 and has it’s headquarters in New York City. While it is a national organization it is almost the national wealth of knowledge for older members of the Gay community. They also lead and help fund The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging which is the country’s first and only technical assistance resource center aimed at improving the quality of services and supports offered to LGBT older adults.
3. AARP Pride Page – Yup, the AARP, one of the most recognizable non-profit groups who promotes the welfare of older Americans, to give them their full name the Association of American Retired persons, have more than 37 million members and believe in equality. They have a special portion of their website dedicated to GLBT members.
4. Centerlink – This is a network of LGBT centers that are vital in the support of a strong LGBT community. They have a ton of resources on their website which will be useful to members no matter what their age. They also list local resources by state and city too.
5. LGBT Aging Issues Network – The American Society on Aging was founded back in 1954 and now has a special section that is dedicated to raising awareness of the issues and concerns had by GLBT elders. Definitely some useful resources here.
6. Old Lesbians Organizing for Change – This is a national network of self-described “Old Lesbians over the age of 60” who are working hard to make life better for elder lesbians through support networks and workshops to confront ageism within the LGBT community. Check out their site for national resources and information as well as any local events and resources by state and city.
7. Benefits.gov – Finally, the U.S. Government gets a plug with it’s catch all resource website for citizens to see what benefits they may be eligible for and how to apply for assistance. Definitely the official resource when it comes to Government assistance.
Clearly living in Orlando as a retiree who is Gay, Lesbian or Transgender is a good choice. We have a beautiful climate, wonderfully friendly local gay community, plenty of things to see and do as well as access to good healthcare options. Combined with more and more resources online and in person for those GLBT”s of retirement age it can make a perfect relocation destination!
If you are considering relocating to Orlando and are looking for a beautiful property in the area contact Steve Glose, your Gay Orlando Realtor for professional Orlando Real Estate advice.