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Old 02-14-2008, 12:29 AM   #41
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I will take a contrarian view. DW and I (who have had 17 different addresses in 37 years) have decided on an "active adult" community to finally retire. Smaller than The Villages and in another state but probably not all that dissimilar.

Several reasons, most of which will become more important over time: (1) we know few people in the town to which we'll be moving and, based on what everyone with whom we have spoken says, residents of the community are very welcoming; (2) the community is safe, attractive, clean and potentially "fun;" and (3) we don't have to stay there 365 days a year (and won't).

A friend (who thinks we're crazy for moving there) terms the place a "seniors' colony." In a sense, he's correct, but I'm not kidding myself. My hair's white, and my body surely doesn't look like it did even 20 years ago. Maybe this will be a good decision; if not, it's not irrevocable. I'm 60 and I want this to be the last move, a place where DW and I will feel "at home" as we age, not isolated as I see many older persons become as they slip into their late 70s and beyond.

Most of the folks who live there that I have met are like me -- retired or semi-retired professional, affluent but not rich, fairly well educated and seemingly well traveled. Most are far more conservative politically than I am, I suspect, but I'm sort of used to that after years of living in the Deep South.

For folks like me, something like The Villages may be perfect.
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:16 AM   #42
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playaman - You stated it perfectly. I hope you love your new location.

I have seen older relatives stay in there homes and become more and more isolated as the years go by. They loose interest in life and it seems life moves ahead without them. I did not want that to happen to me.
I also wanted to not feel the need to move again, unless it is into a home my kids pick out for me!

The community that I live in is located just minutes from a large city (Dallas). I have great museums, theaters, universities, you name it, within a few miles. Plus I have a built in social network that has been fantastic. I am surrounded by people who hold most of the same values and interest.

I am not forced to participate in any activity that I am not interested in. I do take dance lessons, exercise classes, play mah jongg and volleyball. I also laugh alot. When you take life to seriously and forget to laugh, it ain't worth much.

So give those people at the villages a little credit for making the choice to live life and enjoy their days in whatever makes them happy.

Gotta go, I am going to be late for volleyball!
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:22 AM   #43
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I will take a contrarian view. DW and I (who have had 17 different addresses in 37 years) have decided on an "active adult" community to finally retire. Smaller than The Villages and in another state but probably not all that dissimilar.
...
A friend (who thinks we're crazy for moving there) terms the place a "seniors' colony." In a sense, he's correct, but I'm not kidding myself. My hair's white, and my body surely doesn't look like it did even 20 years ago. Maybe this will be a good decision; if not, it's not irrevocable. I'm 60 and I want this to be the last move, a place where DW and I will feel "at home" as we age, not isolated as I see many older persons become as they slip into their late 70s and beyond.
.
My thinking exactly. I'm a little older than you, but I agree, I only want to do this once. You can already see change in my neighborhood. A couple of people have died; one just sold her house, and just next door Alzheimers has struck the lady way too early. Youngsters are moving in with their kids, their friends, and although they haven't said it explicitly, they regard us as dinosaurs. Oh, and crime has increased.

So, what to do? I have looked at one senior facility in Florida. At the time, I told DW, I just cannot do this. But as Playaman states, "who am I kidding?" What about 10 years from now? Big decision. But, I want to make it only once.

BTW: Someone told me there's a little snobbery in some of these places? Or there's a bit of "rule" enforcement by resident busybodies. Anybody familiar with that?
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:07 AM   #44
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I don't know.....seems kind of strange and sad to pay a lot of money for constant entertainment.....and I cannot imagine baton twirling at 70!
Not the kind of place for me either....I would rather stick toothpicks in my eyelids than end up somewhere like the Villages.
Well, it's for sure better than ANY nursing home............
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:33 AM   #45
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Some of us oldsters still like need to crank the jams...
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:38 AM   #46
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I am sure The Villages community is not suitable for me. I don't know which would repel me more - - the homeowners' fees, or the constant socializing. I really like peace and quiet, and time by myself to think. And I really don't like the idea of paying fees that I have no choice about.

On the other hand, I can see how it might be really nice for some people. Just not me.
I agree and would say that, for me, this would be a freaking nightmare.
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:33 PM   #47
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For me, who wants to start a small business again sometime in the future, the idea of having neighbors my age and some activities available where I live sounds great to have when I have free time at the end of the day or weekend. So long as there is a healthy portion of the population over 55--and not all of them married--I would feel as if the community came with built-in friends ready to spend time with, too.
I like this whole concept, myself. I agree with the previous posters who said that it sure beats sitting around in your place alone and watching your bones get stiffer.

...and this is why God makes chocolate AND vanilla. We all are different.
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:04 PM   #48
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I think the concept of the over 55 communties is great but you have to find the one that suits you .They range from mobile home parks where shuffle board is king to million dollar exclusive golf communities and everything in between . I could see myself in a small upper class community with a swimming pool ,tennis and a clubhouse that has yoga classes and a book club that is within driving distance of a city .
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:19 PM   #49
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...and this is why God makes chocolate AND vanilla. We all are different.
If we were all the same, and all wanted to retire in The Villages, it would be impossibly expensive to live there. The same is true for quiet little towns like Springfield, and exciting big cities like Seattle. So, thank goodness for our individuality and differences, and the freedom to pursue the kinds of retirement that we dream of.
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:51 AM   #50
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Villiages

I have never been to The Villiages but also know people who love it.
I find it interesting to note that all these post and not one from someone currently living there. Maybe they are too busy enjoying themselves.

I also don't care for the previous insensitive postings regarding generalizations of economic, social and intellectural levels of 40,000 people.
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Old 02-22-2008, 03:17 PM   #51
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I think the concept of the over 55 communties is great but you have to find the one that suits you .They range from mobile home parks where shuffle board is king to million dollar exclusive golf communities and everything in between . I could see myself in a small upper class community with a swimming pool ,tennis and a clubhouse that has yoga classes and a book club that is within driving distance of a city .
When you find this place please let the rest of us know. Sounds good to me.
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:35 AM   #52
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I've not (yet) read this book, but thought it may be of interest to some here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/bo.../Leland-t.html

It's:
LEISUREVILLE


Adventures in America’s Retirement Utopias.


by Andrew D. Blechman


The author feels that "the resulting so-called life can’t “hide the fact that these communities are based on a selfish and fraudulent premise” and that Americans pay “the high societal price of this exclusionary lifestyle. ry as I might to keep an open mind, I grew increasingly disenchanted with those ... who embraced the Villages’ age-restricted lifestyle. It struck me as segregation, pure and simple, with children taking the place of previous ‘undesirables.’” Blechman smacks the Villagers coming and going. They have not only deserted authentic towns for bogus Disneylands, but also refused to let younger people join them."


But---he does admit that the residents love it:


This view is not shared by Villages residents or their neighbors, who tell Blechman they like the community. “Don’t you miss the real world?” he asks a former teacher named Mr. Midnight, whose main problem is having enough Viagra around to keep up with his social life. “I don’t want the real world anymore,” he says. He just wants sex. “Whatever happens now, you guys have to worry about it — it doesn’t affect me.”
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:46 AM   #53
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I grew increasingly disenchanted with those ... who embraced the Villages’ age-restricted lifestyle. It struck me as segregation, pure and simple, with children taking the place of previous ‘undesirables.’” Blechman smacks the Villagers coming and going. They have not only deserted authentic towns for bogus Disneylands, but also refused to let younger people join them."
So I'm evil and selfish for wanting to live somewhere without the screamers and vandals?
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Old 06-29-2008, 12:05 PM   #54
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So I'm evil and selfish for wanting to live somewhere without the screamers and vandals?
Well, the reporter/reviewer did acknowledge that "it’s not the kids who make life insufferable but their parents, who insist that kids be included in everything."

But the author paints the residents as being rabidly anti-child with extreme examples:

"A skinny sixteen-year-old, Chaz Cope moved in with his grandparents in 1996 to escape a physically abusive stepfather. Rather than try to hide him, Chaz's grandparents went to Youngtown officials and asked for an extension of the visitation limit due to extenuating circumstances. They were charged a filing fee and forced to plead their case in front of the town council. A three-month extension was granted, and town officials staked a placard on the family's front lawn informing neighbors that the family was housing a juvenile.

When they went before the council a second time, a second extension was unanimously denied. The council further voted to fine them $100 a day. Chaz was relegated to the status of human contraband. He and his grandparents suffered frequent harassment. A town councilman even circulated a fabricated juvenile court record alleging that Chaz had been charged with possession of marijuana. "My goal was to let people know that this boy wasn't the kind of angel that he was portrayed to be by the press," the councilman later said."
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Old 06-29-2008, 12:23 PM   #55
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During the years that we were working and raising families most of us lived in areas that attracted people just like us. We all tend to surrounded ourselves with those that are dealing with the same life issues that we are. We start out in small apartments side by side with other young couples, then progress to starter houses as the kids arrive, etc. We choose an over-55 as the next stage of our lives. We are healthy, active, non-working adults who want to be around others like ourselves. We worked hard to accumulate enough to retire early and enjoy what life brings.

Granted, I do not live in the Villages. It didn't appeal to me. I live in a small community (1100 homes). My community is upscale compared to the Villages.

I don't understand the bashing that goes on here about over-55's.

I for one would be miserable in a "normal" neighborhood. You guys can have your small houses in the woods and small houses in college towns. I am retired, but not to tired to continue enjoying life.

Therefore I choose to live with those like myself. People that share the same values and are currently in the same stage of life. We worked hard to accumulate enough to retire early and do all the things that the others are still dreaming about.

These are the good years! I am healthy and active. I take care of myself and my husband. We travel and are constantly learning. I plan to continue to make the most of life and our community is a big part of it.

Yes, I live in an upscale over 55 community and love the heck out of it. I have made some of the most wonderful friends. I can walk to the gym and pool. I can walk to dances and lectures.

I can not imagine living in a small town in a regular neighborhood.
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Old 06-29-2008, 12:31 PM   #56
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Well, the reporter/reviewer did acknowledge that "it’s not the kids who make life insufferable but their parents, who insist that kids be included in everything."

But the author paints the residents as being rabidly anti-child with extreme examples:

"A skinny sixteen-year-old, Chaz Cope moved in with his grandparents in 1996 to escape a physically abusive stepfather. Rather than try to hide him, Chaz's grandparents went to Youngtown officials and asked for an extension of the visitation limit due to extenuating circumstances. They were charged a filing fee and forced to plead their case in front of the town council. A three-month extension was granted, and town officials staked a placard on the family's front lawn informing neighbors that the family was housing a juvenile.

When they went before the council a second time, a second extension was unanimously denied. The council further voted to fine them $100 a day. Chaz was relegated to the status of human contraband. He and his grandparents suffered frequent harassment. A town councilman even circulated a fabricated juvenile court record alleging that Chaz had been charged with possession of marijuana. "My goal was to let people know that this boy wasn't the kind of angel that he was portrayed to be by the press," the councilman later said."
The grandparents knew the rules when they moved in to the community. They had a choice to have their grandson or not. I personally would not have a hard time making the choice in favor of my grandson. In that case, the For Sale sign would have been up in the yard the moment that I knew I was taking on that responsibility. I would not expect the community to bend rules because of my choice.
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Old 07-03-2008, 07:38 AM   #57
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We visited The Villages when we were in Florida once. I agree the location wasn't ideal but it was full of happy people. There are trails that you can bike ride or drive golf carts, and the area is structured so that you have easy access to groceries or restaurants without having to go on major roads. Then you paid $20 to take a shuttle to the Orlando airport if you wanted to travel (there were about six a day back then.)

We plan to rent there next year for a month to get a good taste. In our situation one of us is disabled and it is very difficult to live in a normal town. It appeals to me to be able to get around year round without having to depend on someone else, as in being able to drive a golf cart or scooter not on a major road.

On the other hand we have dealt with aging parents staying in their home as it literally crumbles around them. Dealing with the snow and changes in their neighborhood has been difficult, but being stubborn they don't want to move.

And grandchildren can come to visit, just with restrictions. For some people that is a good thing. There are pools and areas that are senior only for crabby people like me that don't have grandchildren and areas that are for families that visit. As in any neighborhood there were some people that had beautiful rose gardens and fancy decorated golf carts and others that were more interested in eating out and being entertained by others.

There are also medical facilities there. And you can leave any time you want to- so it isn't like you can't travel or go Kayak with the manatees or visit your children. Many people also like to work part time so with all the shops and restaurants as well as guides that work for the Villages or rent out golf carts etc. there is some work there.
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Old 07-03-2008, 12:55 PM   #58
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It does seem like a fairly ideal situation for you, 52. The month-long rental should be long enough to allow you to decide about a permanent move. Let us know your impressions and decision next year.....
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Old 07-03-2008, 01:30 PM   #59
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The grandparents knew the rules when they moved in to the community. They had a choice to have their grandson or not.
True. They could have left their grandson in the hands of his abusive stepfather.
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Old 07-03-2008, 01:32 PM   #60
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True. They could have left their grandson in the hands of his abusive stepfather.
That's just an appeal to emotion.

They could have sold the house and moved rather than trying to force the community to change the rules when the community was formed explicitly to prevent having kids staying there long-term.

They had ample warning to start transitioning out of the community.

Or, to look at it another way... the community changes the rules for this person, then why not the next? Where do you draw the line and why?
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