38 Replies Latest reply on Nov 14, 2014 6:46 PM by canthony

    The Villages in Florida

      Has anyone moved to the Villages in Florida for retirement?  Recently visited and almost seemed too good to be true.
        • Re: The Villages in Florida
          goddessofwine
          My ex-husband and his wife just purchased a home there, and he's busy trying to sell their house in PA.  They think it's heaven on Earth.  In looking at the website, it seems that if you're a golfer, it would be a terrific place to live.
          • Re: The Villages in Florida
            Joanie

            My husband and I along with my sister and her husband visited THE VILLAGES in October 2007.  Yes, it is almost too good to be true.  We took the trolley tour first and then a couple we know from Church in Hopewell NJ took us through their home, their village and to some of the free-access 'country clubs'.  You pick and choose what you'd like to do, to join, or not to join.  It's like being on a permanent 'vacation'.  We did hear tornadoes or hurricanes pass through the area, and that turned me off a bit.  It's all gated and people ride from place to place in GOLF CARTS, whether or not you play golf . . .so there's an extra expense ....a couple would need 2 golf carts and at least one car (for outside the Villages travel).

            It was like being in an adult disney land with so much to do and see and participate in . . . and many golf courses to use for FREE.  While it may seem like it's only for golfers, it really has so many activities that you are sure to find several you could enjoy.    We thought about renting a house there for a month but could not get away just yet.  Moving from NJ to Florida is a big decision for us since we have family in the NorthEast....two children and 4 grandchildren, etc. 

              • Re: The Villages in Florida

                We are from KC, Mo and spent a week in the Villages the first of February.  Would like to go back next winter for a month.   It is tempting to just go ahead and move someday.   Proably wise to go down for a week or so in the summer before deciding to move.  Just trying to check and see if anyone has found some negatives about the area.  They put out a new DVD in Oct 08 and you may want to request that they send you one.  Thanks for your note.

                llp

                  • Re: The Villages in Florida
                    herbie424
                    Isn't the humidity terrible there for about 4-5 months a year?  I just can't seem to get past their summers.
                      • Re: The Villages in Florida
                        modaca
                        The heat and humidity are awful for at least three months a year. What are the winters like where you live?
                          • Re: The Villages in Florida
                            herbie424
                            I live in NC.  We have about 2 1/2 months of real winter, but we also have the heat and humidity in the summer.  Thanks for responding.
                              • Re: The Villages in Florida

                                We have some family members in Florida, but having visited in summer for several years, there's no way we can handle fulltime Florida living in June, July, and August.  While it's usually okay until about 11 am, especially if you're strolling on the beach or sitting in the shade, afternoons are fairly insufferable until 5 or 6 pm.  That's a lot of daylight spent inside with A/C!

                                Now, if you're accustomed to heat and humidity, or don't mind staying inside a good portion of the day, that's a different story.  Lots of folks apparently love it!  But we're thinking about the south in winter and the north (Michigan, Wisconsin, even Chicago) in summer.     

                            • Re: The Villages in Florida
                              Cyndi
                              My Dad moved there after he retired and loved it.  There is so much to do, of which is mostly in air conditioned buildings.  After 5 or six months of being stuck inside during the Central New York winters, it was great to only be confined a couple of months due to the heat and humidity.  After the first year there, the body acclamates to the heat some.  I highly recommend the area.
                                • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                  drb3475
                                  Cyndi said...

                                       
                                            My Dad moved there after he retired and loved it.  There is so much to do, of which is mostly in air conditioned buildings.  After 5 or six months of being stuck inside during the Central New York winters, it was great to only be confined a couple of months due to the heat and humidity.  After the first year there, the body acclamates to the heat some.
                                                  
                                  That's what I'm hoping for myself. I can't stand New England winters anymore, and I can't seem to find any urban areas of the country that have neither wintry weather nor high heat (with or without humidity) in the summer. I'm considering the Fort Lauderdale area or Palm Springs – humidity and ocean vs. dry heat and desert. Any recommendations in this regard?

                                  I would also like to live in a condo in a neighborhood that is within a few blocks of a small business area – pharmacy, bank, small grocery store, maybe a barber shop – so I can meet people on my walks and don't have to drive to do all of my errands. From what I've heard, this would seem to rule out Palm Springs. Anyone know differently?

                                  Finally, Cyndi, I was wondering what part of Florida your father lives in where there is so much to do. My sister lives in a gated community on the west coast of Florida where every house backs onto a golf course. The entire social life of the residents centers on golf and playing cards in the club house. You need to drive 5-10 miles to get to a store. A desolate area, culturally speaking, for me – not a golfer.

                                  drb3475


                                    • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                      poet
                                      I live in a small town in the East. I'm settling for frequently poor weather. What gives the quality to my life is friends of all races and ages. The ability to become involved in more activities where age doesn't matter is most important. I'm seen as a person, not a "senior."
                                      • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                        herbie424
                                        I recommend Palm Springs, hands down.  No humidity and nice arts offerings.
                                          • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                            drb3475
                                            herbie424 said...

                                                 
                                                      I recommend Palm Springs, hands down.  No humidity and nice arts offerings.      
                                                            

                                            But are there neighborhoods that are walkable? I would like to live in an area where I can walk to a few businesses, like my bank or an ATM, my pharmacy, someplace where I could buy a few light groceries and a newspaper, perhaps a barber shop. I'd like to feel like part of a community, so that I can meet people while out walking.

                                            I've lived for too many years living by myself on the third floor of a three-family house, not even seeing the people who walk by on the street when it's too cold to garden in front of my house. And although I live on a nice street, I need to drive to get anywhere. As a single man, I want to avoid that kind of isolation in my retirement.
                                              • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                                herbie424

                                                Then, look at Asheville, NC.  That's where I am headed unless I change my mind after visiting a small town (Ruidoso) in NM.
                                                  • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                                    drb3475
                                                    I, too, have thought of Asheville, but Asheville has winter! That's what I'm fleeing from in Boston.

                                                    Perhaps like many retired people (or those soon to be), I'm looking for a place that has no winter, no high humidity, and no scorching heat. It seems that there really aren't any places like that in North America, except perhaps in some parts of California.

                                                    As a gay man, I'm also looking for an urban area where I can meet other older gay men for friendship. Since I can't afford real estate prices in most Californian urban areas, it seems my choices are limited to Fort Lauderdale and Palm Springs.

                                                    I really have to get on a plane and start looking at those two cities.

                                                    By the way, do you speak Spanish? It's ironic that the small town you are looking at is called "Ruidoso". It means "noisy".




                                                    • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                                      canthony

                                                      I live in Asheville, moved from the NE. 10 years ago.    You have the four seasons which I like.  Winters can be very cold and summers very hot.  Got to remember, this is the South and you will always be considered an outsider, unless you are from the South.  Florida is not considered the South.    Also, never, never never, purchase a home in a HOA.  Build or purchase your own home on your own piece of property.

                                                      Horror stories galore.

                                                      • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                                        ronbender

                                                        I have a Aunt and Uncle that live in San Antonio Texas and they have another home in Ruidoso N.M. I have visited their home in Ruidoso and it is lovely. They have had it for 20 years. The Indians have a big casino there.

                                                  • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                                    Pebrown
                                                    Although we haven't yet moved to The Villages, there is no problem with access to shopping, medical facilities (they have their own hospital and VA medical center), enterrainment, churches, you name it! and all are accessible using the tunneled golf cart road system The Villages has built. They have over 100 clubs anything from acoustic guitar to a dance group that performs at the Magic basketball games in Orlando. They also have two town squares, and a new one being built with shopping, restaurants (food is very reasonable at these places), grocery stores, and so on. Some of the residential "villages" within The Villages are within walking distance and everyone seems so friendly and happy - probably because they get sun and are not frozen half to death. It seems too good to be true - but it is - we can't wait to move there!
                                                  • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                                    DenisEnglish
                                                    FLorida is indeed paradise. A few monts of heat ---as you state you get used to. Aside from that, it is very nice to see Manatee, alligators, crabs, animals of all sorts in your back yard. FLorida is easy to travel through, and it is absolutely beautiful everywhere in the state. I cannot imagine living anywhere else, having relocated here as a college Professor 7 years ago. And it is not full of retired people, or wierdo's. Just like Indiana, it is the best state to live in.
                                                    • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                                      BoBraxton

                                                      and what did I know, at age one. My family left the state I was born in - to return to North Carolina, where they continued to rear me and seven younger children.

                                                • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                                  BoBraxton

                                                  reason we would not be looking to move out of Northern Virginia (son, daughter-in-law, two grandchildren).

                                                • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                                  NanaScherr
                                                  I have read the recent comments about The Villages, FL and would like to address the concerns I have heard.  We moved here from Vermont in 2002 and have watched the community grow from ~30,000 population to about 80,000 (and still growing!)  People always say the same: "Its too good to be true!" - and it is too, but IT'S TRUE! 
                                                  Its hard to leave a little town (pop 2200) in VT and even conceive of a place that is more than 16 miles long and 8 miles across in some places!  But the secret is The "Villages" - each "village" is a mix of different sized individual homes, not condos, with a real neighborhood feel, where you can go for a walk at any time, early morning til late evening and meet a neighbor you know and can call by name.  On the other hand you can go to any one of the "Town Squares" (2, going on 3) from 5-9 every night of the year and dance to live music (free) and meet new friends.  And your new friends may be retired truck drivers or the CEO of a major corporation and you would never know, or care! 
                                                  Yes, there is more golf than any sane person could ask for, plus any other sport you can name, including POLO!  But there is also a pre-K thru 12 Charter School system with some of the best rankings in Florida FCAT tests, NOT for Villagers, but for people who WORK for the Villages so we attract some first class professionals who are our doctors, lawyers, dentists, etc.
                                                  Its not a requirement for anyone to have a golf cart, but you can get almost anywhere on the golf cart trails that parallel the roads to shopping, 82 restaurants, live entertainment, gyms, movies, band concerts, polo matches, swimming, tennis, our 260 bed hospital, and within the next year The Villages own MOFFIT CANCER CENTER!!
                                                  In VT we spent 8 months of the year creeping on icy roads in a heated car from our heated homes to our heated offices - and once a weeks playing in snow on a ski slope.  "Old" retired people stayed home for most of those 8 months for fear of falling on the ice or had heart attacks from shoveling snow.  Here, we have three or four months of humidity, so we drive our air conditioned car to an air conditioned bowling alley, movie theater, church, recreation center (cards, scrapping, classes, billiards, table tennis, bunco, bingo, bridge, etc, etc.) and don't forget shopping centers.  The other 8 months of the year we have the windows open at home and in the car (or cart). 
                                                  In 2006 (I think it was) a tornado hit the Villages - 600 homes were damaged - NOT ONE person used the shelters that were immediately made available to any residents - their neighbors took them in that night!!  Within a few days the streets were cleared and people had temporary housing and within6 months EVERY home was rebuilt, buy by Villages construction crews - and you could not tell where the damage had been!!  Tornados are a fact of life anywhere there are no mountains.  On the other hand, 4 hurricanes came past The Villages in 2004.  And they passed.  People from the East or West coasts of FL evacuate TO us!!  We have no "Evacuation Route" signs - people come to us.  Because we are equidistant  from both coasts (about 70-80 miles) by the time a hurricane has come this far overland it has lots a lot of power.  Yes, we got rain and wind, and some lost power.  Tell me that can't happen anywhere else in the US... it's life!
                                                  I would be happy to answer anyone's specfic questions.  Come on down - take a trolley tour - look at what fun people are having - and how long they are living....   Cheerio!


                                                    • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                                      Pebrown
                                                      We can't wait until we can come down to The Villages. We have the house design picked out and are anxious to see the new "Town" once it's built. The winters have finally gotten to us.
                                                      • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                                        Shorttimer

                                                        Thank you Nana for the info. For years, I always thought that I was Florida bound after visiting there yearly since the mid-70's. Initially, we went there for vacations during the months of October, November, December and even July once. As we got older we considered buying into an active adult community but were unable to at the time. After the years had gone by and we got closer to retirement (2013) we found that my wife couldn't take the heat and I couldn't take the biting bugs except during the winter months, December etc. We came to the conclussion that it would be best if we snowbirded it. My next door neighbor used to visit and rent at the Villages a few years before the wife took ill and was there the night that tornado came through. If I understand correctly, the rental process has changed slightly and you can only rent from homeowners - is this correct? When the time comes (the passing of our beloved dog Maggie), we would love to come down and rent for a month or more in the future. Who knows, maybe we'll have a change of heart and decide to stay if it's all that great to live there. We currently live in a active adult community in eastern PA and are quite happy here but hate the winters also. I have been on the Villages website numerous times but every time I do, my heart aches from not being there to see it in real life. Maybe the next time we visit Orlando as we have a timeshare at Disney and come down yearly.

                                                        Would like to hear your input and recommendations.

                                                        • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                                          Shorttimer

                                                          Hello again Nana,

                                                          I am curious as to what the community association dues run? I assume it's based on the home purchase and does that include grass and lawn maintenance?

                                                           

                                                          Thank You!

                                                          • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                                            BoBraxton

                                                            what an invitation!

                                                          • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                                            jkom51

                                                            An update to this old thread:

                                                            Fastest-Growing Metro Area in U.S. Has No Crime or Kids

                                                            June 27, 2014 MSN Money

                                                            (Full article URL: http://money.msn.com/business-news/article.aspx?feed=BLOOM&date=20140627&id=17736691)

                                                             

                                                            (excerpted) "...For Jerry Conkle, life in America’s fastest-growing metropolitan area moves as slowly as the golf carts that meander through his palm-lined neighborhood at dusk. Most days, he wakes early, reads the newspaper, and then hops into his four-wheeled buggy for a 20-mile-per-hour ride to one of the 42 golf courses that surround his home.

                                                             

                                                            “It’s like an adult Disney World,” Conkle, 77, said of The Villages, Florida, whose expansion has come with virtually no crime, traffic, pollution -- or children.

                                                             

                                                            The mix has attracted flocks of senior citizens, making The Villages the world’s largest retirement community. Its population of 110,000 has more than quadrupled since 2000, U.S. Census Bureau data show. It rose 5.2 percent last year, on par with megacities like Lagos, Nigeria, and Dhaka, Bangladesh.

                                                             

                                                            That the most rapidly expanding U.S. metro area is a Manhattan-sized retirement village -- with more golf carts than New York has taxis -- highlights the transformation of the world’s demographic profile. The over-60 set -- which the United Nations projects will almost triple to 2 billion by 2050 -- offers opportunity to marketers and homebuilders even as it confounds governments that must care for an aging populace."

                                                              • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                                                MyR Community Manager

                                                                Thanks for updating us, jkom51! What are your thoughts about moving to a retirement community like The Villages?

                                                                  • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                                                    BoBraxton

                                                                    Time to ask again around fifteen to twenty years from now (we are both about age seventy).

                                                                      • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                                                        TroutBum

                                                                        We have friends who live in a smaller senior's development that it near The Villages and modeled after it. They love it there. He looks forward to his bi-weekly motorcycle outings with other guys, and to the water polo matches (at 63 and fairly athletic, he's sort of the stud of the water polo pool) and she's a biker and pool worshiper so that works well for her. They both enjoy the social atmosphere of dining with other seniors, wine tasting and card playing.

                                                                         

                                                                        Although my wife and I are very close with these friends, we're also different than them. I'm anything but a socialite and my wife values private time more than she likes to admit. We agree that the time we spend visiting our friends is more than enough retirement village type living.

                                                                  • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                                                    jhust

                                                                    It is a few degrees too cold in the winter mornings.  The Villages is north off the frost line.If I am going south for the winter I am going further south.  With that said, yes I do like the Villages.

                                                                    We winter in the far south part of Texas.

                                                                    • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                                                      taconner


                                                                      I lived in a trailer in Key West with my folks back in the 50's & there was no AC; it was so hot I couldn't sleep some nights. My wife & I lived in Orlando for several years in the early to mid 70's & loved it. There is so much to do in Florida although Orlando is now a very big city & was just a small town with Disney partially open & building & Sea World just about to open. We really got into the water sports - snorkelling, scuba diving, both in the ocean & fresh water streams. We easily accilimated to the heat & humidity & thoroughly enjoyed living there. I went to a business conference in Orlando last year & could see us moving back to Florida. However, we now live in the Dallas area & the summers here are brutal but without the higher humidity of Florida.My wife & I both agree that we can accilimate to the heat much easier than the cold. I once tried to convince her that Buffalo would be a great place to live as I lived there as a teenager. She told me that I could live in Buffalo if I liked, just not with her so we moved to New Mexico.

                                                                      • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                                                        canthony

                                                                        No children?  Lots of bugs, Heat, High Humidity, Golf courses that you have to call up much in advance,  A round that probably takes six hours,  all seniors, Naaaa, not for me.  Best thing, live there for a year renting if you can. Make certain you touch all the seasons.

                                                                         

                                                                        Lots of my friends live there in the winter for six months and one day, " No income tax" then go back up North for the summer.  Best of both worlds.

                                                                        • Re: The Villages in Florida
                                                                          MyR Community Manager

                                                                          I don't know if any of you happened to hear the segment on NPR yesterday about The Villages, but it was pretty interesting.