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Old 07-16-2008, 08:15 PM
 
Location: West, Southwest, East & Northeast
3,446 posts, read 6,587,349 times
Reputation: 868

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Quote:
Originally Posted by faithfulFrank View Post
Staywarm,
I've been wanting to read that book for awhile now....I read the first chapter and I liked it.

As to your question, why can't you do both? I do not even live in our 55+ community yet, and am only there a few times a year, but we have already made some great friends not only in "our" community, but from other communities and from non-55+ gated communities. Just because one buys in a gated 55+ community, that does not mean you are cloistered there.

We have gotten involved in different community groups there and church groups. The point I am trying to make is that you CAN have both....I plan to be quite active inside AND outside my 55+ gated community.

Frank D.
Excellent point Frank, and something that has not been brought up by anyone...including myself.

I [also] have friends that live both in, and outside, the 55+ community.

I'm glad you brought up this very valid, but overlooked, point.
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:41 PM
 
6,989 posts, read 6,981,700 times
Reputation: 5792
Default Must be near a community to do both

Quote:
Originally Posted by faithfulFrank View Post
Staywarm,
I've been wanting to read that book for awhile now....I read the first chapter and I liked it.

As to your question, why can't you do both? I do not even live in our 55+ community yet, and am only there a few times a year, but we have already made some great friends not only in "our" community, but from other communities and from non-55+ gated communities. Just because one buys in a gated 55+ community, that does not mean you are cloistered there.

We have gotten involved in different community groups there and church groups. The point I am trying to make is that you CAN have both....I plan to be quite active inside AND outside my 55+ gated community.

Frank D.
That is a very valid point. We are adventurous types and could easily do as you suggest.

One thing I've noticed though, is that many of these 55+ communities are rather far out (because of the cost of land) and not very near any city of any size. One would have to make the effort to drive to the theatre or find a place to volunteer, etc. I'm afraid one could easily be lulled into just hanging around the community, especially if that person were older and didn't really feel comfortable driving anymore or was shy and not outgoing.
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Old 07-17-2008, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,670 posts, read 33,671,635 times
Reputation: 51856
Quote:
Originally Posted by staywarm2 View Post
Wow, this book has so much information in it! Now that I've finished reading it, I don't know what choice to make. Blechman presents the pros and cons so well. It is not just food for thought but a week's worth of dinners! I didn't expect the extent of anthropological commentary.

Do I want total leisure and fabricated withdrawal from all the cares of the outside world in the age segregated community, or do I want to be part of a mixed age community with all of its problems and satisfactions? Do I want instant friends and companionship, easily made at the 55+? Or am I willing to go out into the community and earn friends through church, volunteer work, or neighborhood? The 55+ sound so nice and relaxing, but somewhat unreal. Do I mind trading the semi-dictatorship of the owners of these lifestyle subdivisions for the carefree days they provide?

EVERYONE considering a move to one of these age segregated lifestyles needs to read this book and consider all the joys and consequences of living there.

Laura, thank you so much for bringing this thorough, thoughtful book to our attention!
I have a different theory than the author on who these communities attract. I don't think age segregation is the primary attraction. I think you can predict which retirees will and won't like these types of communities by the way they spend their vacations while still in the workforce.

What I liked most about the book was actually the Sun City, Arizona segment and the history of The Villages. What happens to these communities when the developer is finished developing? I was also interested in the governance of these communities and their impact on the rest of the county they're in. I would have liked the author to have interviewed people who moved out, too.
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:22 PM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
8,235 posts, read 18,506,963 times
Reputation: 17765
Smile a good attitude

That's because you appear to always have a wonderful attitude , frank d. & I would imagine that you radiate good feelings wherever you go.
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People may not recall what you said to them, but they will always remember how you made them feel .
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:25 PM
 
6,989 posts, read 6,981,700 times
Reputation: 5792
Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
I have a different theory than the author on who these communities attract. I don't think age segregation is the primary attraction. I think you can predict which retirees will and won't like these types of communities by the way they spend their vacations while still in the workforce.

What I liked most about the book was actually the Sun City, Arizona segment and the history of The Villages. What happens to these communities when the developer is finished developing? I was also interested in the governance of these communities and their impact on the rest of the county they're in. I would have liked the author to have interviewed people who moved out, too.
You're right, the political implications were enormous, with the Villagers having great power over the counties where they reside, even though there were other residents who were not part of The Villages.

Maybe Andrew Blechman will do a sequel to the book and cover some of these topics! I thought it was interesting that in the acknowledgements he mentioned his own parents lived in a 55+ community.
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Old 07-18-2008, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Central Fl
2,903 posts, read 10,941,496 times
Reputation: 2860
Nancy,
You are very kind.

Staywarm and Laura C.,
The governing thing is an important consideration. I know that in The Plantation, the developer turned over everything to the residents, so we all own the whole thing, and govern it through a resident board of directors and many other commitees, etc. that is one reason why the place is kept up well, and our HOA fees are kept reasonable, ($85.00 per month). The bank accounts are quite healthy, and things are run very well and stable. not all 55+ communities can say that.

What I like about our place is that you can be as active or as sedentary as you want. The Plantation is not big compared to The Villages...we have about 3000 homes divided into 21 smaller communities. Those smaller communities have their own associations, etc. The smaller community gives you a sense of community, your neighborhood. I know that when we are there full time, we will be active in it. Even now when we are down, we are involved. Last December I helped put up the christmas lights in the entrance, etc, etc. It was fun and a good way to get to know your future neighbors.

As to location, The Plantation is only about 3 miles south of the "big" city of Leesburg, so we are not too far away from the library, churches, etc. Between us and Leesburg, we pass at least 6 or so other bigger 55+ gated communities, like Legacy, Highland, and Arlington Ridge. banks, Publix, Walgreens, Ace hardware, etc, are all along that route between us and Leesburg, so we do not feel that far away from things. If they would just put a wide sidewalk up along hwy 27, we could use our golfcarts even more and the car even less.....

I just reread my post....I'm not selling anything, (hope it does not sound like I am ). I'm just relating my limited experiences to this interesting subject.

It's nice to have a thread that does not tailspin into a vortex of negativity...

Frank D.
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Old 07-18-2008, 07:32 AM
 
6,989 posts, read 6,981,700 times
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Default The Plantation in Leesburg

Quote:
Originally Posted by faithfulFrank View Post
Nancy,
You are very kind.

Staywarm and Laura C.,
The governing thing is an important consideration. I know that in The Plantation, the developer turned over everything to the residents, so we all own the whole thing, and govern it through a resident board of directors and many other commitees, etc. that is one reason why the place is kept up well, and our HOA fees are kept reasonable, ($85.00 per month). The bank accounts are quite healthy, and things are run very well and stable. not all 55+ communities can say that.

What I like about our place is that you can be as active or as sedentary as you want. The Plantation is not big compared to The Villages...we have about 3000 homes divided into 21 smaller communities. Those smaller communities have their own associations, etc. The smaller community gives you a sense of community, your neighborhood. I know that when we are there full time, we will be active in it. Even now when we are down, we are involved. Last December I helped put up the christmas lights in the entrance, etc, etc. It was fun and a good way to get to know your future neighbors.

As to location, The Plantation is only about 3 miles south of the "big" city of Leesburg, so we are not too far away from the library, churches, etc. Between us and Leesburg, we pass at least 6 or so other bigger 55+ gated communities, like Legacy, Highland, and Arlington Ridge. banks, Publix, Walgreens, Ace hardware, etc, are all along that route between us and Leesburg, so we do not feel that far away from things. If they would just put a wide sidewalk up along hwy 27, we could use our golfcarts even more and the car even less.....

I just reread my post....I'm not selling anything, (hope it does not sound like I am ). I'm just relating my limited experiences to this interesting subject.

It's nice to have a thread that does not tailspin into a vortex of negativity...

Frank D.
Frank,
Your community sounds ideal. We must get down there and check it out soon. I do worry about the property taxes and home owners insurance in FL, though. We lived in So. FL for 12 years and know it was expensive!

Thanks for all your input!
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,670 posts, read 33,671,635 times
Reputation: 51856
Quote:
Originally Posted by faithfulFrank View Post
Nancy,
You are very kind.

Staywarm and Laura C.,
The governing thing is an important consideration. I know that in The Plantation, the developer turned over everything to the residents, so we all own the whole thing, and govern it through a resident board of directors and many other commitees, etc. that is one reason why the place is kept up well, and our HOA fees are kept reasonable, ($85.00 per month). The bank accounts are quite healthy, and things are run very well and stable. not all 55+ communities can say that.

What I like about our place is that you can be as active or as sedentary as you want. The Plantation is not big compared to The Villages...we have about 3000 homes divided into 21 smaller communities. Those smaller communities have their own associations, etc. The smaller community gives you a sense of community, your neighborhood. I know that when we are there full time, we will be active in it. Even now when we are down, we are involved. Last December I helped put up the christmas lights in the entrance, etc, etc. It was fun and a good way to get to know your future neighbors.

As to location, The Plantation is only about 3 miles south of the "big" city of Leesburg, so we are not too far away from the library, churches, etc. Between us and Leesburg, we pass at least 6 or so other bigger 55+ gated communities, like Legacy, Highland, and Arlington Ridge. banks, Publix, Walgreens, Ace hardware, etc, are all along that route between us and Leesburg, so we do not feel that far away from things. If they would just put a wide sidewalk up along hwy 27, we could use our golfcarts even more and the car even less.....

I just reread my post....I'm not selling anything, (hope it does not sound like I am ). I'm just relating my limited experiences to this interesting subject.

It's nice to have a thread that does not tailspin into a vortex of negativity...

Frank D.
Will you help validate my theory? Tell me when you were still in the workforce what kinds of vacations you took. I think the kind of vacations people take when in the workforce are indicative of whether these communities are good fits for them when they retire (notice, I'm just talking about a good match-up). If you like cruises, tours, resorts, hotels - lot's of social/sports or other activities/things going on/celebrations/parties - my guess is these communities would be appealing and a good fit. If you're a take the car and drive someplace (you are left to you're own devices as to where you'll stay and what you'll see and do once you get there) kind of person, you like to camp or you fly into a foreign country and just rent a car or bike around, like solitary or semi-solitary activities (fishing, photography, hiking, etc.), these communities would be a poor match in retirement.

I just don't think the age segregation thing is the primary draw. I think people think of retirement as a long vacation and so how they spent they're vacations when they weren't retired is a better predictor of what environment will make them happy in retirement. I could be wrong.
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Old 07-18-2008, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Central Fl
2,903 posts, read 10,941,496 times
Reputation: 2860
Laura C,
That is an interesting theory, and you may very well be correct. I'm still working for another 3 years, but we do prefer cruising as a vacation. Less hassles, not getting dressed up to go out to eat 3x per day, no trying to find parking places, etc,etc.

I am more social and outgoing then my wife. And although the social aspect of a 55+ community may be a big draw for some, I think it was a combination of many things for us.

There is a lot to do, and you can do as much or as little as you like. I like the sense of community. And although the TRUE level of security might be debated, we feel safe there. My wife feels safe walking around the neighborhood anytime. The neighbors are so friendly.....you always get a wave from anyone who walks by, and always a short conversation if you want to engage, or just a nice wave if you do not.

Our neighbors are just so great. I think they enjoy "new blood" and have enjoyed this "crazy NY firefighter" who climbs on his own roof to fix it, who climbs up 30'+ palm trees and trims them himself, who basically does his own work and never stops from sunup to sundown when any sane person knows you are supposed to just ENJOY yourself.

I guess I could have boughten a house anywhere....but there I bought a lifestyle, a community. If anything happens to me, I know my wife will be cared for. She would be embraced by the others, and have a great, happy life there with or without me. The neighbors would help her hire the services she would need, and insure she made good decisions, etc, with the house, etc,etc.

There are other reasons, but alas, the post is already long.

Frank D.
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Old 07-20-2008, 01:11 PM
 
6,989 posts, read 6,981,700 times
Reputation: 5792
Default Vacations an Indicator of Enjoyment of 55+ Communities

Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
Will you help validate my theory? Tell me when you were still in the workforce what kinds of vacations you took. I think the kind of vacations people take when in the workforce are indicative of whether these communities are good fits for them when they retire (notice, I'm just talking about a good match-up). If you like cruises, tours, resorts, hotels - lot's of social/sports or other activities/things going on/celebrations/parties - my guess is these communities would be appealing and a good fit. If you're a take the car and drive someplace (you are left to you're own devices as to where you'll stay and what you'll see and do once you get there) kind of person, you like to camp or you fly into a foreign country and just rent a car or bike around, like solitary or semi-solitary activities (fishing, photography, hiking, etc.), these communities would be a poor match in retirement.

I just don't think the age segregation thing is the primary draw. I think people think of retirement as a long vacation and so how they spent they're vacations when they weren't retired is a better predictor of what environment will make them happy in retirement. I could be wrong.
Laura,
I think you are partly correct. Some people definitely fit the mode you put forth. They don't want any surprises and like things secure.

But some don't... For instance, although we don't camp and usually book a hotel on our driving vacations, we are adventuresome and go to lots of places off the beaten track to see various things. We went to Europe twice--once where I planned the whole trip and we went all over London and Paris by ourselves. Second trip was a tour of Italy--cheaper to go on a tour of the entire country than to go by ourselves (plus easier). We really enjoy meeting new people, but don't like to be tied down. Hence, the old cruise model of the formal evening sit down dinner grated on us. (Thankfully, that's all changed now.) Mainly the only real interest to us in the +55 is meeting people our age and making good friends, as we live in a young community now and have zero in common with most of our neighbors. But perhaps all these comments really only mean that we are torn as to whether one of these communities would work for us in a couple of years!
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