Retirement Villages Are Often the “Best Places to Retire” –
But Is One Right for You?

The villages retirement Most of the baby boomers who live in large active or 55+ communities are very enthusiastic about their lifestyle. You have probably heard many good things about them, but you still might wonder – could you be happy living in one?


 
 

One way to find out if you would like a retirement village is to ask yourself some questions:

  • Location. Many of them are located in fairly deserted areas. Would you, for example, be happy living in Central Florida, about 45 minutes from Orlando, 25 minutes from Ocala, and an hour or so from the coast?
  • Size. Some of these communities have more than 100,000 residents in multiple neighborhoods. The scale of many 55+ communities means there is no escaping the fact that they are big.
  • Organization. Community/Homeowners Associations are in charge. You must follow their rules and pay their fees. If you don’t like being part of a big organization, you won’t like living there.
  • Activities. If you like any kind of sports or activity, a large retirement village might be your place. Nothing can touch how many things there are to do, as many clubs to join, or so many different recreation options. There is also a Lifelong Learning College.
  • Age Restricted. In some age restricted communities at least one resident in each home has to be at least 55+. People under 19 cannot stay for more than a certain number of days per year.
  • Meeting People. Do you have trouble meeting people? Perhaps the hardest thing to do in these big communities is NOT to meet people. Thousands of folks who moved there from somewhere else, all thrown together in a mixing environment.
  • Charm. Charm is in the eye of the beholder. You have to visit these communities yourself to see if you like how they look and feel. On the plus side, you can get around many of them pretty well on a bike or in your golf cart.
  • Criticism. The Villages, perhaps the most famous active community, has come in for its share of criticism. Andrew Blechman’s book, Leisureville, displayed the community as a vapid and humorless place controlled with an iron hand by the Schwartz family. On the other hand, he was a lot younger and more cynical than the people he wrote about.
 
 

The best way to find out if one of these communities is for you is to go and stay there for a week or longer. Many have discounted “Discover Packages” that make this easy. Here are some other resources:

 
 
 
   
   
   
 

Click here For a Directory of the Best Active Adult Communities

 
This site, thevillagesretirement.com, is privately owned and has no affiliation whatsoever with any of the communities mentioned here.