My fiancé and I may be decades away from retirement, but that’s not to say that we don’t think about it from time to time.  On our very first Disney trip together, Timothy and I struck up a conversation with a couple at Orlando International Airport who told us that they moved to Florida for retirement.  It seems to have planted a seed in Timothy’s mind because we have been talking about the idea of retiring in Florida ever since.

Being DVC members, we are already making frequent trips to Walt Disney World, and I have teased Timothy that I would be completely happy living in a one-bedroom DVC villa.  It’s got everything that we need right down to the kitchen, washer, and dryer. The washer and dryer are actually a bit of a luxury since we don’t have them in our NYC apartment. This got me thinking: what would it take to retire and live in a DVC villa?  Just for fun, let’s see how this hypothetical DVC retirement situation plays out for two different routes…

The Snowbird 

One option is to become the stereotypical snowbird who lives in the North but spends the colder months in the South.  If we define the colder months as December through February and decide to stay at one of our home resorts, the BoardWalk Villas, then it would take 3,117 points. This is assuming that we would book a Garden/Pool View one bedroom because there is typically better availability for this villa type.  Since we don’t have a way to know for sure what the points charts will be like decades from now, I based my numbers on the latest 2021 points charts.

BoardWalk Villas - DVC Retirement
The BoardWalk Villas

The Resident

Another option is to live in a DVC villa year-round.  Let’s say that we resort hopped between our home resorts, the BoardWalk Villas and Bay Lake Tower.  Perhaps we could stay in a Garden/Pool View one bedroom at the BoardWalk Villas December through May, which would give us easy access to Festival of the Holidays, Festival of the Arts, and the Flower & Garden Festival.  This portion of our stay would cost us 6,534 points. We could then stay at Bay Lake Tower from June through November, which would bring us closer to fun seasonal events at the Magic Kingdom like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  Assuming that we would book a Lake View one bedroom (again, for better availability), it would take 6,935 points. That would bring us to a whopping total of 13,469 points for a year split between a BoardWalk Villas Garden/Pool View one-bedroom villa and a Bay Lake Tower Lake View one-bedroom villa! This route would be less feasible since the maximum number of DVC points you can own across multiple resorts is 8,000 points unless Timothy and I somehow won the lottery and managed to amass over 6,700 points each.

Bay Lake Tower - DVC Retirement
Bay Lake Tower

A DVC retirement is just a fun goal for Timothy and me (and a great excuse for add-on-itis), but has anyone else seriously considered moving to the magic or spending a lot more time at DVC resorts once retired?

11 thoughts on “The DVC Retiree

  • My wife and i had the same conversation years ago, we have been slowly adding points since 2008 and are up to almost 1000…. we still have aways to go and about 18 years….

  • Has anyone estimated the cost of annual dues for those points?

  • I definitely see us as being Snowbirds in retirement at least for a month or so. We live in the NE at present and are less than 20 years away from that glorious time frame. I would never be able to stomach the dues on that many points, however. Might need to supplement with an Airbnb.

  • You’re overlooking the $21,000 to $100,000 in (today’s) annual dues payments, but it’s a nice dream.

  • If you’re going for the whole year, just buy a house at Golden Oaks and the minimum DVC you can. You get EMH from Golden Oaks, and the added advantage that it doesn’t wear out at the end of the DVC term.

    • Hmm. A house in Golden Oak will cost around $2 Million. Taxes – $30,000 yr. (Yes, 30 thousand dollars a year!!!) HOA $25,000 yr. (yes – 25 thousand dollars a year!!!) Good luck with that one!

      • The Zillow retail
        Said the HOA was 6500$/yr. taxes are indeed 30000. But that’s about right for that much of house.

  • We also had the same conversation when we first bought points back in 2001. We talked about spending the worst of winter there. We are now recently retired (hubby still adjunct faculty teaching only one course) and downsized to a much smaller home last year…..yet haven’t decided to pull the plug and do it. I would like to try two to three weeks next year and then maybe the folllowing year 10 days to two weeks onsite at Disney and then maybe rent a place on Gulf coast (we have both friends and relatives living anywhere between St Pete and Ft Myers) for another two weeks. So far, hubby not going for it…..says he’ll gladly go a few times a year ….but doesn’t want to be away from home more than a week at a time.

    • Tell your husband he can bring his TV and leave the snow shovel in the garage.

  • spoke with a couple from UK in the hot tub on a trip. they check out on weekends and stay in a cheaper hotel with free breakfast and do laundry use the pool. they go back on Sunday.. this allowed them to stay for three weeks in their colder weather. just a thought in your planning

  • I’ve priced out all these options you and commenters mentioned above since we began accumulating dvc in 2011. Lately looking at golden oak and the fees/tax/maintenance are outrageous, dealbreaker for me was that they don’t allow you to rent out any part of your home. I wanted to do some Airbnb/Vrbo type stuff to offset property taxes/maintenance/fees and it’s strictly prohibited. I guess they don’t want added traffic or competition with onsite resorts. Most of those homes in golden oak were built as vacation / 2nd homes and remain empty majority of the year. Anyway, taking your concept a step farther, you will accumulate more points than you can use personally as we’ve experienced. I’m too responsible to rent a grand villa/cabin/bungalow 4 weeks every year during my work allowed vacations just to use up points plus I like going other places too so I rent them out and cover my dues. Currently points are renting at 2x dues cost and going rates have kept up with increases in dues making my dvc self-funding with enough left for park tickets/AP, food, airfare, etc. There are actually people that stay on Disney property for months, mostly in dvc studios or RV at the fort (fort wilderness). I can see myself selling our house, buying an RV and funding our campsite reservations with dvc points rental 6 months per year and covering dues, then splitting time visiting relatives back in Illinois during summer. My schtick is I don’t like driving on vacation or retirement and want to visit parks a few times per week so owning a house/condo/townhouse/apt nearby off Disney property is not an option like most who take the Florida plunge. I’ll drive a golf cart or rent a car if necessary, but these days you can get almost anything delivered right to your door. Still working out cost/logistics of moving RV between Florida and Illinois a couple times each year. I got about 10 years to figure it out before retirement!>)

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