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Old 03-15-2008, 07:28 PM
 
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My husband and I are trying to decide if we'd like living in a 55+ community. (We are in our 60's.) Are those of you who are or have lived in such a retirement community happy that you moved there? What are the pros and cons of moving to such a community?
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Old 03-19-2008, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Central Fl
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Dear Staywarm,

I currently live in NY, but last year bought a home in a 55+ community in central Florida. I never thought I'd do that, it was a whirlwind decision that I do not regret in the least.
We visited a friend there and fell in love with it.
We rent it out now by the month, and stay there a few times a year when it is open. It has been a great tax benefit to us, and it is great to now know where our future will be. I'll retire in about 3 years.

To answer your question(s)....why?

1) I love the neighbors....they are awesome.
2) There is so much to do.
3) You have a real sense of community.
4) You feel much safer......people are walking at night unafraid.
5) 27/7 security. Gated with 24/7 gateguards.
6) If anything happens to me, I know my wife will be happy and safe and cared for there.
7) I can drive my golf cart all over.
8) all the sports
9) All the entertainment
10) All the clubs

that is just a start.

Frank D.
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Old 03-20-2008, 06:14 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,819,531 times
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FWIW, my parents lived in Hot Springs Village, a very large retirement village, for more than 20 years. When they moved in they were the "young folk." After about 15 years they moved through the various levels of assisted living, eventually died at the hospital there, and are buried in the cemetary there.

They loved living there. They liked all the activities, although they never got interested in golf (the big selling point for HSV, ironically). When they first moved in they went boating and swimming every day in the summer and loved working out in the gym without being mocked by bored teenagers smoking cigarettes in the parking lot (which used to happen in their previous neighborhood). They liked being able to walk to a neighbor's party after dark (HSV has a nice security dept., in their old neighborhood they would have been afraid to walk someplace after dark.)

As they got older, they appreciated the medical care and their friends.

They liked their neighbors. When everyone around you is going through similar problems, you develop a great support group and a sense of humor about the little indignities of getting older. When everyone in your poker group has dealt with a loud-mouthed grocery clerk announcing the price of prune juice it's no longer embarrassing.

The medical care was outstanding, and when my mom got lymphoma people around the community came to visit every day and were amazingly supportive. I had never seen anything like it. HSV is nicely managed and they enjoyed being in a community that is geared for the elderly. Little things like street curbs that accommodate wheelchairs make a big difference. There was a shuttle that took people to places like the airport and the hospital. The churches in HSV also seemed more in tune with the needs of seniors.

Their experience was so positive that we decided to choose that route, ourselves. My own experience has also been positive so far, but I'm a retirement newbie. I'll wait a year or so before trying to evaluate the experience.

The cons are that retirement villages have extra fees. Plus, as the economy sours over the next year I have a feeling some of the management companies may not take the best care of their facilities. That will be an interesting thing to watch.
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Old 03-20-2008, 06:25 AM
 
Location: Central Fl
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normie,
Very well said!
I think the advantages outweigh any disadvantages. Our homeowner association fees at The Plantation where we are, are $85.00 per month, and I think we get a lot for that. Since we are totally homeowner owned, I do not believe things will get run down. The rules they have are not very restrictive, and prevent way more problems then they might create.

In short, you can be as active or as non-active as you want. You really feel like part of a big family.

Frank D.

Last edited by faithfulFrank; 03-20-2008 at 06:27 AM.. Reason: added more
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Old 03-20-2008, 07:22 AM
 
16,199 posts, read 10,560,725 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staywarm2 View Post
My husband and I are trying to decide if we'd like living in a 55+ community. (We are in our 60's.) Are those of you who are or have lived in such a retirement community happy that you moved there? What are the pros and cons of moving to such a community?
I Have lived in a 55+ community for 1 year now and no regrets. We moved from PA and didnt' know a soul. Being in a 55+ community allowed us to get to know people right away and be part of a community.
In this type of a community, you are free to participate or not. It is up to you.
There is something for everyone. I can't think of a better way to live than this.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:56 AM
 
6,988 posts, read 6,983,811 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faithfulFrank View Post
Dear Staywarm,

I currently live in NY, but last year bought a home in a 55+ community in central Florida. I never thought I'd do that, it was a whirlwind decision that I do not regret in the least.
We visited a friend there and fell in love with it.
We rent it out now by the month, and stay there a few times a year when it is open. It has been a great tax benefit to us, and it is great to now know where our future will be. I'll retire in about 3 years.

To answer your question(s)....why?

1) I love the neighbors....they are awesome.
2) There is so much to do.
3) You have a real sense of community.
4) You feel much safer......people are walking at night unafraid.
5) 27/7 security. Gated with 24/7 gateguards.
6) If anything happens to me, I know my wife will be happy and safe and cared for there.
7) I can drive my golf cart all over.
8) all the sports
9) All the entertainment
10) All the clubs

that is just a start.

Frank D.
Frank,
Do you mind telling us what the monthly fees are? Thanks for all your input!
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Central Fl
2,903 posts, read 10,942,935 times
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Sure.....
Our monthly fees are $85.00 per month. That pays for the three huge activity centers, 3 big pools and hot tubs, the staff, all the upkeep of all public grounds, lighting, walks, etc. It also pays for the 3 gates and 24/7/365 gatekeepers. Also included is the monthly newsletter, and a ton of activities, ballfields, etc,etc....

It does not pay for your cable TV, or your lawn mowing, etc. I kind of like it that way. If I want to mow myself, I can, or can hire one of many companies that provide that service.

Some other communities charge more, and provide your cable and mowing. The problem I have with that is what if I want direct TV, or HD TV, or no cable service, etc,etc.......I would not want to pay for a service I did not want.

Because I do not live there yet, I currently pay a lawn service to mow for me. They are quite good, and charge me $55.00 per month for mowing and trimming. My lawn is about 3 times the size of many others in the area, so I feel that is very reasonable.

For pics of my home, and info about the area and community, you can go to Leesburg Travel - House (http://www.vrbo.com/145288 - broken link)

I hope that helps! Frank D.
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:49 PM
 
16,199 posts, read 10,560,725 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faithfulFrank View Post
Sure.....

I hope that helps! Frank D.
Frank........do you own the land your home sits on. $85 a month sound pretty cheap for lot rent.
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Old 03-20-2008, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 26,200,766 times
Reputation: 14611
Quote:
Originally Posted by staywarm2 View Post
My husband and I are trying to decide if we'd like living in a 55+ community. (We are in our 60's.) Are those of you who are or have lived in such a retirement community happy that you moved there? What are the pros and cons of moving to such a community?
I can speak on behalf of my 70 yr old parents who moved to a 55+ community at 55 yr of age. They love it. They're south of Tampa in a Del Webb community. Hundreds of social groups, the community is immaculate, you don't have to be very wealthy -

Drawbacks are for people unable to cope with the strict community rules (no children living over 30 days in the homes), strict home owner's association rules, etc.

I believe they'd be depressed if they continued to live in communities with non-retirees - where neighborhoods are filled with working people. They have so much in common w/ other retirees.
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Old 03-20-2008, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Central Fl
2,903 posts, read 10,942,935 times
Reputation: 2860
Dear elizamary,
Yes, I do own the house and land....and bushes and trees and those darn weeds in the flowerbeds.....

Perhaps that is the bebefit of owning in a 55+ community that the developers turned completely over to the owners when it became "built out" a few years ago. Since we all own it, and it is governed by the owners, they (we) have control over the rates, etc. I do know that our community is very much "in the black" money-wise.

Some places cannot say that....good to check it out. We also have no CCD's to pay, like at The Villages. etc.

Frank D.
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