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Naples Collier County
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Old 06-23-2014, 06:54 PM
3 posts, read 3,163 times
Reputation: 20


I've spent over half my life in Naples, and I really believe that from the outside looking in that it's a beautiful town full of healthy people nestled right on the gulf. Naples is a beautiful perfectly manicured town with nice beaches and low crime rates. However, if you have visions of easy going southern hospitality in Naples, you will not find it.

I spent the other half of my life growing up on North Carolina and Georgia; the true south. Often when I go back to visit, I'm reminded how angry and entitled folks in Naples can be. Driving can be terrible and heaven forbid you go to Costco during season, you WILL exchange words with an elderly person driving a Mercedes who nearly ran you over or stole your parking spot. I speak from personal experience.

My husband and I (in our early 30's) consider moving all the time. This town is not for young single people or young couples. I'm trying to be as unbiased as possible. I understand that there is no utopia, I hope this helps all considering Naples

Old 06-23-2014, 08:11 PM
Location: Florida
123 posts, read 200,465 times
Reputation: 168
I bet there are also a lot of nice people in Naples. We usually don't notice them because they tend to not attract attention. Many people talk about the "entitled" senior citizens, but there are a new group of "seniors" that just may be different. Those are the baby boomers (born 1946-1964) who are coming of age. The earliest ones, have reached retirement age, and some probably have resettled in SW Florida. Often times, I see a distinct difference in a retired 60-something and an 80-something. Those two groups grew up in quite different times. There are rude, self-centered, opinionated, negative people everywhere; including some posters on this board. There are nice, helpful, caring people everywhere; including some posters on this board. I am one of those baby boomers and I look to live long and prosper with a tranquil life in Naples. "If you don't sweat the small stuff, then the big stuff will take care of itself ... but it's all small stuff! ...
Old 06-24-2014, 08:42 AM
134 posts, read 217,216 times
Reputation: 101
We are new to Naples and I've found people very friendly here. We have met really nice neighbors by walking our dogs in our neighborhood. I think the crabby people are up north right now and will be here soon enough.
Old 06-24-2014, 12:25 PM
488 posts, read 837,538 times
Reputation: 1302
I don't mean this as questioning anyone else's experience, but every time I see this thread rise to the top of the Naples forum and see that title again, I want to post my own experience as a counterpoint (and it's apparent to me reading this thread that people have had a range of different experiences, some like the OP's, some more like mine).

I moved to Florida more than a dozen years ago, when I was already in my forties, after living quite a few other places around the country (so I have a basis for comparison). I've lived a few different places in Florida, briefly in Naples and quite a bit (including now) in south Lee county, where I'm closer to shopping, etc., in Naples than Fort Myers, so I still spend time in Naples. And even though I don't live in a country club or gated community, they're all around me, so the crowd, including the snowbirds (and including elderly people), from these gated communities are definitely a big part of who I encounter at the grocery store, library, driving on the roads, etc.

I've found people here, very much including the elderly residents and very much including the snowbirds, to be on average at least as nice (maybe nicer in terms of friendliness to people they don't know) as people anywhere I've lived.

For example, Naples is where I learned (by the example of others) to look to see who's behind me on line at the grocery store to see if they have only a couple of items in hand so I can tell them to go ahead of me. And this general area, including Naples, is where I know I can approach a crosswalk in a store parking lot knowing that 9 times out of 10 the driver will stop even if they don't need to (even if I'm just headed there, not there yet).

But it's true for anyone who doesn't have money (who depends on finding a job in the local economy and hasn't managed to connect with a good job, which isn't easy), the job market is terrible (for applicants). In interviewing for jobs, I've come across employers who pay $10/hour for a part-time job with no benefits and expect whomever they hire to be flexible to be able to work full-time when their business is busy and part-time (or not at all) when it isn't, and who plan to give the employee a time frame to come in and work on a given day but then send them home early (without pay) if business turns out to be slow that day. (And they feel they're being generous to pay $10, not $9 or $8 like some other employers here pay--and when you turn down such a job, at least in my experience, the employer won't up the offer, even though you've made a good enough impression to be offered the job, because they have dozens or hundreds of other applicants who don't expect more than that.)

There is a meme you will hear on these boards that anyone who can't find a good job in Florida should go get an education or skills training, or shape up in terms of reliability and work ethic, because they must be lacking in these areas not to have managed to connect with a good job. Not true! Anyone moving here without a job, whatever their education and work ethic, should be prepared for a very discouraging job market unless they are bringing the ability to work from home on the Internet (or some other transferable business or job) with them, are in an in-demand field, know someone, have the charisma of someone who could sell the Brooklyn Bridge to anyone (so they can do much better than the average person in selling themselves in a job interview), or just get lucky.

I've been interviewed for $35K-$50K jobs a number of times (and have been offered a few over the years at the lower end of that range). It tells you something about the job market that someone with the education and resume to be considered for reasonably paying jobs would also be applying for $10/hour jobs (just because those higher paying jobs in my field are so few and far between). I've been lucky to be able to survive financially and stay here all these years; I could easily have wound up needing to leave Florida for better job opportunities. And I've definitely paid a price financially for my choice to stay here. (Anyone who knows me from my other posts knows many of them center on trying to find an inexpensive retirement home.)

It's also worth noting (in terms of why I've been happy here) that I'm not a very materialistic person. (I'm materialistic only in the sense of wanting a roof over my head and to not starve, etc.) There are a lot of wealthy people here. So if it bothers you to see people around you who can pack the parking lots of restaurants while you are making your lentil soup at home, and to see people shopping in stores you can't afford, to see people driving expensive cars and wearing expensive clothing and jewelry that you can't afford, and to see people playing golf while you're working, then this is probably not the place for you. But if you're someone who doesn't care about having money to throw around and is aware there are people less fortunate than you, who are struggling more than you (often through no fault of their own) and so are grateful for what you have here (including beautiful beaches and a great library system that are for everyone, not just the wealthy), then it can be a very nice place to live.

I can understand and sympathize with the frustrations some people have living here. In particular, I recognize for parents raising children, and younger people with their whole lives ahead of them, they are in a different situation than me. I can understand where they would want more for themselves and their families where my needs are simpler. Also some people may move in circles where there's more pressure to "keep up with the Joneses."

But I'm posting because when I think how many times people have gone out of their way to be nice to me (and even when it isn't directed toward me personally, to create a nice community ambience)--I'm referring to the people who make an effort to be community-minded, friendly, considerate--while driving, in grocery stores, at the beach, doing volunteer work to raise money for those in need, etc.--I can just picture them feeling bad at how they're being described as rude and miserable and wondering if their efforts are appreciated, so I just want to say to them that I personally am grateful for the civility and friendliness and all they contribute. Many well-off retirees and snowbirds are making a difference and adding to the quality of life here, including the arts and cultural offerings and contributions of time and money to good causes. (Of course, it would be great if every person was that way--and they're not. But this isn't utopia, just a nice place.)

If I do decide to leave this area (for lower real estate costs, for a better livelihood situation), one of the things that will make me feel sorry to leave is the fact that when I'm out and about here, it doesn't feel like a battle with the world to step outside your front door. I'm grateful to live in a place where I'm much more likely to have pleasant encounters with people--and to like the people I meet--than to experience anything negative. And I appreciate the people who are making it that kind of community (at least for me).

No place is right for everyone, but this can be a good place depending what someone is looking for. Even though I don't live "the Naples lifestyle," I'm grateful to have had the chance to live my own Southwest Florida lifestyle.
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