City-data has a Sarasota/Bradenton/Venice forum. I subscribe to various threads there as our intended retirement location is going to be either Sarasota (most likely) or Venice. I have learned quite a bit about the local area from members over there.
less stuff, more time
(48, married; DH 52. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH will fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free)