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Old 09-16-2015, 08:44 AM   #41
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my experience at the few 55+ communities we've visited is that they really should be called 70+ communities, and DW and I (who bookend 60) would not feel comfortable there right now. But as usual, Imoldernu's experience and perspective is of interest, and we don't rule out a similar path...just not yet.
It's been interesting and enlightening following this thread. Being an older dad with high school kids at home, most of the interaction I have is with other parents in their late 30s to 40s. Can't really relate to interacting with 60s and 70s folks, I keep thinking that they are so much older and at a different stage in life (which they really are) and I'm not one of them.......until I remind myself that soon I'll be 66.
Maybe there is some truth to the old saying that kids will keep you young! Tonight I give a talk on tips for backpacking and am taking a bunch of Boy Scout out on a weekend outing in late September
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Old 09-16-2015, 11:15 AM   #42
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That's what groundskeepers are for.

Frankly, I'd pay more for privacy. But there never is a privacy option, other than staying inside your house.

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The problem with a large home lot providing privacy is there is a lot of maintenance required, something that becomes more of a hassle as you age.
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Old 09-22-2015, 09:55 PM   #43
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We have lived in the Villages FL for about 5 years. It's a 55 and older community with about 110,000 residents. We live here year round.

Pros
endless activities
great weather
low home maintenance
golf (I play around 3 times a week)
over 90 miles of golf cart paths
3 town centers
cheap liquor
low taxes

Cons
too far from major city (Orlando about a 45min drive / Ocala about 20 min drive)
no diversity (lots of old white people)
houses too close together

All and all we love it here. You get the most bang for the buck of anywhere I've seen.
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Old 09-22-2015, 11:16 PM   #44
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DW and I moved to a 55+ community a couple of years ago. It's a little place, just 19.9 million people. It's called "Florida". At not quite 60 years old, I think we're probably in the youngest 25% demographic.
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Old 09-23-2015, 05:22 AM   #45
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This is such a common phenomenon that there really should be a word for it.

When my mother got too old to do her own shopping and cooking, it took me a while but I finally convinced her to move to a "retirement community" where she could just walk down the hall three times a day for meals. Her initial reaction was "This place is full of old people; I don't belong here." She was 88 at the time.
HAHA... MIL had a similar quote recently, "Aren't some of these people pathetic?".
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Old 09-23-2015, 05:35 AM   #46
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I for one had never wanted to live in a community where everyone was like me, age, profession, race, interests, background, whatever. I have always gotten more pleasure from being with different and interesting people than from others exactly like me. Hey, if I want to be with me, I have that already, me.

I remember decades ago, as a young professional, with my own business, working from home, the real estate agent told us, we would feel comfortable here, everyone was like me. That was exactly the wrong thing to say. We specifically told the next real estate agent, now this was 25 years ago, we wanted a neighborhood where people were different, young, old, different backgrounds, etc.

So now, I am older, but nothing about this has changed for me. I like interesting different folks of all ages. I find that no matter how different we are, age, from different cultures, backgrounds, politics, race, religion, whatever, I find a great deal of common ideals, and have some interesting stories to share.
I agree. You would love our neighborhood up north, except maybe the ice and snow. Still haven't found this in Florida, yet, but we are looking.

I joked with my wife last week as we passed the 55+ community billboards on our way down to Florida. Hey Hun, you will qualify in 4 months I qualified last month.
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Old 09-23-2015, 07:08 AM   #47
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HAHA... MIL had a similar quote recently, "Aren't some of these people pathetic?".
In all fairness, some of them probably are.

As far as I can tell at a higher age there is huge diversity between capabilities and mental states in a given age group, even more so than in general society.

In addition you start 'converging' again. It's like going back to elementary school, you end up with people you otherwise would never (choose to) interact with. Simply because there are less older people and you get bunched together again by age vs. type.

I for sure am in a bubble in the other direction: most my friends are university educated in a science field, love international travel, were top segment of their class and a bunch of them have top MBAs too. Hardly an unbiased sample of real life.

My grandmother just to posit another example lived in an african country for 8 years as an expat back in the 60s. That life experience really changed her perspective and she has a hard time relating to plenty of the still-living elders around here, since most never left their home town. The adventurous ones are all dead

I can imagine it's hard to relate to the world when there is no-one left that understands your context.
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Old 09-23-2015, 07:38 AM   #48
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How Retirement Communities Like Del Webb Are Changing to Appeal to Baby Boomers - CityLab

An interesting overview of what's selling these days for Del Webb corporation, the originator of retirement communities.

Out: Golf courses and shuffleboard

In: Close to the city, walking trails, room for my stuff, a room or outbuilding for my visitors

The 1960 promotional video for Sun City is a hoot:
It's a diverse community.....men and women.
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Old 09-23-2015, 07:41 AM   #49
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I'm still young (mid 50s) and don't think I'll ever move to a retirement community, certainly not in the Sun Belt. I like living in the city where there's plenty to do and close to friends.
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Old 09-23-2015, 11:18 AM   #50
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I thought I'd share our observation of our 55+ community of decent sized townhomes and single family homes. I have commented on them here in the past. Some respondents make us laugh as they are pretty much on the money from our viewpoint, but then again - that depends on how you view them.

We're in our 9th year of living in a single family home in a 55+ gated retirement community. Community was just completed back then. We have a somewhat love/hate relationship with it. We moved in when we were just eligible. I was 55 and wife was 53. Our reasons for moving here were we were only planning to stay for 5 years and thought it was a good community for financial stability. It stood to reason that old people have the money and the community should be able to weather what I viewed as a minor financial downturn approaching late 2006.

This is the only place we've ever lived where we witnessed foreclosures in our neighborhood, where the authorities put the home occupant's furniture out on the driveway. Community is just over 12 years old now - homes weren't that old then. Many foreclosures here - just like regular neighborhoods.

Prices haven't recovered yet to pre-downturn levels as the families of the deceased here dump the houses to eliminate the ongoing expenses and to get the money. Those unable to live independently have moved to CCRC or in with relatives - also depressing the market values of our homes (sit vacant for sale). Some here just move on and take a loss ($70k-$90K this year on two on our street and they had the most upgrades you could add) - even when they are just downsizing from a SFH to a TH right in our neighborhood. You have to take this into consideration when buying in a 55+ retirement community.

We have a clubhouse, indoor/outdoor pools, tennis (coverted to pickle ball) courts, bocce ball courts, and golf. Only a few take advantage of the indoor lap pool or exercise areas... Cliques/clubs have taken over the outdoor pools, and other areas in the clubhouse that were designated originally for everyone's use. We have neighborhood sidewalks and walking paths around the ponds and you always feel secure any time you are using them, or riding your bike on the streets.

If you are outgoing - there's plenty to do here. If you want to be left alone - you don't get ostracized for it. We like to be left alone, but actively use the indoor pool and exercise facilities which are empty for the most part (old people here don't exercise). We also walk and bike the neighborhood daily. Even play golf.

There are a lot of ways people here call attention to themselves (very elegant cars, extreme sports cars/off-road vehicles, and uniquely marked cars/golf carts), but most go about their business and drive the ordinary vehicles - this isn't a millionaires retirement community. It really gives credence the old saying "there's no fool like an old fool". Cliques and clubs abound, and we suffer from committees for everything (want to keep an old person busy - form a committee). Long and short of it - we have mostly old people (+70) and we wish some would just move away, but it's pretty much just like most neighborhoods, if you just want to keep to yourself and be a good neighbor. We wouldn't buy into a gated retirement community single family home again, but like how nice the community looks and favor the rules and regulations homeowners have to abide by (even thought they are sometimes a PITA).
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Old 09-23-2015, 12:34 PM   #51
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I do not live in a older adult community but my father did and loved it.

One thing he found out (and this was just his experience) was that the "old" neighborhood wasn't really the old neighborhood because the new generation of owners were not like him and his neighbors. the building was the same but the mentality was totally different.

now maybe it was because many of them had inherited the property but he (and me) felt that, kids where not raised the same way, kids out all hours of the night, cursing, running in the street. Neighbors did not take care of property the same as he felt his generation did. His one neighbor had the proverbial 3 cars in front yard on cinder blocks. No one said hi, iGod forbid you actually try to talk to another parent about their kids, you definitely ended up at the least getting cursed out, no one bothered etc etc all the things that he felt made a neighborhood a neighborhood back in the 60's was definitely no longer in play

We lived in NYC and believe me for a 75 year old man to get around in the winter is not easy.

So he enjoyed living with "old folks".
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Old 09-23-2015, 12:51 PM   #52
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Not only that, but the ad implies that men made all the decisions. The "girls" (yeesh) were dropped off at the beauty parlor like a couple of poodles at the groomer's, while the menfolk went to view all the amenities. Try pulling that one today!

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It's a diverse community.....men and women.
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Old 09-23-2015, 12:54 PM   #53
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How have they taken over? Do they frown, cluck their tongues, and make disapproving remarks when non-clique-members try to use the pool? Or do they just expand their bodies over the whole available area, the way a toad will spread out on your hand, so no one else can get in?

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tCliques/clubs have taken over the outdoor pools, and other areas in the clubhouse that were designated originally for everyone's use.
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Old 09-23-2015, 01:41 PM   #54
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Prices haven't recovered yet to pre-downturn levels as the families of the deceased here dump the houses to eliminate the ongoing expenses and to get the money. Those unable to live independently have moved to CCRC or in with relatives - also depressing the market values of our homes (sit vacant for sale). Some here just move on and take a loss ($70k-$90K this year on two on our street and they had the most upgrades you could add) - even when they are just downsizing from a SFH to a TH right in our neighborhood. You have to take this into consideration when buying in a 55+ retirement community.
We were fortunate to buy our home at the bottom of the market and are up about 70K. I don't look at our home as an investment however.
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Old 09-23-2015, 03:32 PM   #55
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How have they taken over? Do they frown, cluck their tongues, and make disapproving remarks when non-clique-members try to use the pool? Or do they just expand their bodies over the whole available area, the way a toad will spread out on your hand, so no one else can get in?
Yes, they'll make it difficult to swim laps by getting in and in the way. They've told people to go inside and swim laps (don't want to get their hair wet). We've not experienced this personally in the outdoor pool as we don't swim laps in the outdoor pools, but other lap swimmers we know have told us of this scenario. They have on occasion done these antics in the indoor pool (when the weather is not conducive to being outdoors) while we're swimming laps. They want to walk around the pool perimeter, and will just get in and get in peoples way. These folks also use the indoor pool daily for their classes (you can't swim laps during those times). They pretty much just bob up and down with swimming noodles and keep their hair dry while talking non-stop. It's sad how some people feel they own more rights to the common areas than others.

Others areas that should be open to all residents for individual use are almost completely blocked out by clubs/groups utilizing those areas daily. Some areas are completely blocked out from open use during the week and weekends.
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Old 09-23-2015, 03:43 PM   #56
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What a horror show. The club/group dominance thing follows us into the grave, it seems.

Well, if it's not a community that welcomes me, it's not a community, period, and I see no reason to be polite to others who are rude. How about I come for a visit. I am a poor swimmer who splashes a lot, and I would be sure to swim near them and get their honey-blonde tousled-pixie hairdos all wet.

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Yes, they'll make it difficult to swim laps by getting in and in the way. They've told people to go inside and swim laps (don't want to get their hair wet). We've not experienced this personally in the outdoor pool as we don't swim laps in the outdoor pools, but other lap swimmers we know have told us of this scenario. They have on occasion done these antics in the indoor pool (when the weather is not conducive to being outdoors) while we're swimming laps. They want to walk around the pool perimeter, and will just get in and get in peoples way. These folks also use the indoor pool daily for their classes (you can't swim laps during those times). They pretty much just bob up and down with swimming noodles and keep their hair dry while talking non-stop. It's sad how some people feel they own more rights to the common areas than others.

Others areas that should be open to all residents for individual use are almost completely blocked out by clubs/groups utilizing those areas daily. Some areas are completely blocked out from open use during the week and weekends.
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Old 09-23-2015, 04:11 PM   #57
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How about I come for a visit. I am a poor swimmer who splashes a lot, and I would be sure to swim near them and get their honey-blonde tousled-pixie hairdos all wet.
Reminds me of FIL getting yelled at by the old ladies at the "Y" when he did a cannonball into the pool and splashed water on them. He was ~80 at the time.
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Old 09-23-2015, 06:38 PM   #58
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Yelled, phooey. They should've lifted their bathing suit skirts and shot him the moon! Ok I am perilously close to getting banned, here...life has been weird and I am blowing off steam.
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Old 09-23-2015, 08:20 PM   #59
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What a horror show. The club/group dominance thing follows us into the grave, it seems.

Well, if it's not a community that welcomes me, it's not a community, period, and I see no reason to be polite to others who are rude. How about I come for a visit. I am a poor swimmer who splashes a lot, and I would be sure to swim near them and get their honey-blonde tousled-pixie hairdos all wet.
Our indoor clubhouse pool has a couple big bins of noodles, and we've observed people in class just bobbing in the water and chatting nonstop while we were working out. I told my wife (who loves to swim laps with me) that I remembered how the old people would act in the pool when I used to swim at the Y. She had that "yeah, sure" look, but within a couple of times lap swimming - she became a victim of it herself. We swim laps three times/week, and have kept changing our days/swim time to avoid classes and annoying people. We now swim at lunch time when everyone is home feeding their faces and no one is there.

This will make your skin crawl - not once, but twice this year while we were swimming laps we observed the president of one of the clique clubs (who occupy one of the outdoor pools all summer) come into the indoor pool area to get to the locker room/bathrooms. After being in there awhile, he emerged and stepped into the pool with his sandals on and swished them around (cleaning them) right in front of us while we were swimming. Then left for the outdoor pool. The next time he went in to use the facilities, he actually got in the pool with his sandals again, but this time he submerged himself and it looked like he was taking a rinse-off bath. He got out and left for the outdoor pool.

Although it clearly states that all swimmers must shower before swimming, we've observed that it's rare that anyone comes into the pool area who has taken a shower. Sometimes the pool reeks of perfume/cologne, and you find the occasional band-aid and tissues left lying on the edge of the pool. I wear goggles, but have had eye infections fairly regularly. My wife will "never" get in the hot tub....

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Reminds me of FIL getting yelled at by the old ladies at the "Y" when he did a cannonball into the pool and splashed water on them. He was ~80 at the time.
I was a Y member in my teens and again in my 20's after I got married. I used to get up early and go swimming during the week before going to work. Always gave me a real kick start for the day and loved it. I quit the Y in my 20's as it became very difficult to get a lane for lap swimming during open swim, and the Y always reserved/sold prime pool time to Y and non Y people for kiddie swim lessons. Even back then - people would get in the lanes and just stand there and talk nonstop. When they did swim, it was like synchronized swimming and they faced each other and talked non-stop while swimming the entire length of the pool. They would then stand at the other end and continue talking. I just gave up.
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Old 09-23-2015, 11:30 PM   #60
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Frankly, I'd pay more for privacy. But there never is a privacy option, other than staying inside your house.
It really depends on the type of people that are drawn to the micro-community.

Most of my life I lived very close to others. I never noticed that they were an issue. Stuff like the grass Nazi mentioned above is completely outside my experience.

Ha
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