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And the Nation’s Fastest Growing Metro…. The Villages, of Course

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

March 26, 2016 — If you asked most people to name the fastest growing Metro in the U.S., we think many would not be able to come up with the right one. The answer is a most surprising one – The Villages, the sprawling community of 119,000 in Central Florida known for its souped up golf carts and endlessly active baby boomers. The population in The Villages increased 4.3 percent between 2014 and 2015.

Golf cart crazy

TV was joined in the top 20 by five others in the Sunshine State: Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Punta Gorda, North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford and Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island. Texas was also red hot according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro areas added about 159,000 and 145,000 residents, respectively β€” the largest gains of any metro areas in the nation. Two additional Texas metro areas adjacent to each other β€” Austin-Round Rock and San Antonio-New Braunfels β€” were each also among the 16 nationwide to gain 50,000 or more people over the period.

These four Texas metro areas collectively added about 412,000 people. Texas as a whole gained about 490,000.

For further reading:
Why Len and Ann Think the Villages is the Perfect Place to Retire
Does The Villages Have Any Large Competitors – You Bet!

Posted by Admin on March 25th, 2016


  1. Reminds me of the famous Mark Twain quote: “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” The same has been said about Florida as a retirement location – that it is no longer a popular place to retire – but the moving statistics tell the real story.

    by Jan Cullinane — March 26, 2016

  2. It may be the fastest growing metro as I read an article very similar to this one recently. I wonder how many people would stay in their own State if the Villages were near them. I found a site that I could choose the factors that were most important to me in retirement, i.e., cost of living, low crime, medical care costs, taxes, retirement income, least effected by inflation in the last decade..etc, (Weather was not a factor) Compare 50 then listed the results by all States. I was surprised when I added in the 60 and older migration of people.

    by DeyErmand — March 27, 2016

  3. This comment came in from Ed. Anybody have any advice?

    Having spent more hours than I care to mention, trying to find a 55+ community which I feel I would be happy living in…I can honestly state” if you are not married, play golf and have $400-500K or more to spend on a home,”
    they are not interested in you.

    Trying to find an ideal community for single folks is a task in futility…they really do not exist. Oh! Yes you can name any number of communities with some single folks.

    My experience for a month living in the Villages, Florida…very clicky, very commercial, crowded and congested and again, you should be married and play golf.

    by Admin — April 7, 2016

  4. Ed, Don’t know if you like Florida or not, but have you visited Homosassa, Florida? Forest View is in the same county about 5 miles from everything, not expensive, a gated community. They are part of Sun Communities, Inc a provider of Manufactured Homes and RV resorts. I found their website, You can search by what you are looking for in whatever state, for what ever price.

    by DeyErmand — April 10, 2016

  5. DeyErmand,

    Love that website! I looked up violent crime in different states and very, very interesting the results! I am sour on my State of CT but was really surprised to see how low the crime is here. I also found out that KY is comparable to CT in that manner too. However I looked up TN, SC and crime is so much higher!
    Thanks for sharing!

    by Louise — April 11, 2016

  6. DeyErmand, I checked out the website that you had provided above (, and it is definitely a very interesting and eye-opening website, as well as all of the other informative websites that are available out there. However, in the end, one must relocate or retire to where they feel the most comfortable, and so to a certain degree, although there are obviously certain criteria that we should be mindful of in order to help ourselves make a more informed decision, our final decisions are also highly subjective based upon whatever our individual priorities happen to be at the time we are making our decision. (My apologies in advance to any English majors out there for my rambling sentence πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ ).

    by Valerie — April 12, 2016

  7. It goes without saying that our personal preferences are going to factor in greatly in the end on our choice. I think a 3 week visit to the area, or to rent before buying is wise. Reviewing all information only helps us narrow down a location. It helped me knowing I had this website to ask questions of others. When I was a newbie, I had no idea what I wanted but warmer weather. There is so much to consider based on our individual priorities. For me, SC, and Tenn/Ky border became my “best local” after 3 years of researching. Will I make it there? Ask me in about two years.

    by DeyErmand — April 12, 2016

  8. Since we just only recently finalized our choice (which also happens to be one of the states on your short list, too, DeyErmand) to retire to the beautiful state of South Carolina, after we get all settled in down there, I will be glad to write back to let everyone know how we are faring. Right now, we are both excited about the prospect of a new home, and a new lifestyle, with the additional benefit of being able to give away all of our snow shovels, as well as our lawnmower, since we won’t have to mow our lawns anymore either — LOL!

    by Valerie — April 12, 2016

  9. Louise, I would be careful comparing state to state. We don’t really live in a ‘state’, we live in a ‘community’. Like someone on another TR posting said, comparing state to state is almost worthless.
    For example, if I were to compare my town here in TN, I would much rather live here that in crime ridden CT, because my crime rate here (300) is half your in CT (600). But I was comparing Bristol TN to Hartford CT.
    Now, if I compared New London CT (a little over 400) to Memphis TN (close to 900), the situation flips. But I don’t live in Memphis, which is 500 miles away.
    Even within a city like Phoenix, at crime index around 400, North Phoenix is much safer than crime ridden South Phoenix only 30 miles away.

    by Art Bonds — April 12, 2016

  10. Art, I agree with what you said. There are horrible places in CT and good places. I happen to live in a very nice town. It is not crime free but someone doesn’t get shot every day here. So, the violent crime is a State average, not specific to a community. Do you live in Bristol, TN? If so how do you like it. I have a cousin in Kingsport which is about a half hour away from Bristol and she loves it there. How is the humidity in the summer? Can you discuss what you like and dislike about your location? Thanks!

    by Louise — April 12, 2016

  11. Valerie, what area of SC, and why? Thank you.

    by Carold — April 12, 2016

  12. Carold, we are retiring to a 55 plus active adult in the Myrtle Beach area, although not directly in Myrtle Beach proper itself. It is actually located in Conway, South Carolina. Why, you ask? Well, we have visited this area a number of times over the past several years, and we feel very comfortable there. The sky is the limit as to our entertainment options, and we also like the idea that there will be plenty of places for us to explore on future getaways in both North and South Carolina not only up and down the coast, but also to the interior sections of these states, as well. Also, it doesn’t hurt that the Myrtle Beach area enjoys an abundant amount of warmth and sunshine, two ingredients that that we dearly miss here in Pittsburgh, especially during the gray and dreary winter months of the year. Granted there is a ton of traffic there, but the locals there know all of the back roads that enables them to stay off most of the congested interstates. The cost of living is less than here in Pittsburgh, too. Although there are some fees that we will be paying as residents of South Carolina that we don’t currently have to pay as residents of PA. However, there are also cost savings to be derived on different fronts when you compare one state with another, such as lower Real Estate property taxes living in South Carolina as compared with PA. To be sure though, all of these states get you one way or another either coming or going — LOL!

    by Valerie — April 12, 2016

  13. Art and Louise, Even checking communities can be tricky. On Sperlings Best Places, Poughkeepsie is listed as having a very high crime due to the inclusion of the City of Poughkeepsie, where it is, indeed, high. I live in the Town of LaGrange, but have a Poughkeepsie mailing address as there is no post office in LaGrange to service my mail. I live only 1.3 miles from the post office that services Lagrangeville (a section of LaGrange.) Sperlings Best lists crime in Lagrangeville as very low, yet anyone reading the data would think i live in a high crime area. Now apply this confusing scenario to any place you’re not familiar with and you’ll see the dilemma! I think the only thing to do is speak to the locals and hope to get someone honest. Also, praying certainly doesn’t hurt!

    by ella — April 13, 2016

  14. Valerie

    My wife and I visited Conway two years ago and liked the area. What 55+ community did you decide on. We looked at Lakeside Crossings but were a little concerned with having to lease the property rather than own it. We also saw there was a resident issue with the HOA last year. We plan on coming down again in June to scout around the Myrtle Beach area.

    by Mike M — April 13, 2016

  15. Mike, Lakesisde Crossing is exactly the community that we decided upon, and we couldn’t be happier about our choice. We had visited this community a number of times over the past 3 or 4 years, as well as a lot of other communities, and for the money, Lakeside just couldn’t be beat. Undoubtedly, there are a zillion other lovely communities out there, but whenever it comes right down to it, for us it was definitely a question as to just what we could afford, because we would no sooner put ourselves in a financial bind being retired, than we would while we were both still working. Insofar as the HOA’s are concerned, Lakeside Crossing is now owned and managed by Sun Homes, and Sun has made some modifications to the HOA’s that for the present seems to have satisfied the existing residents of Lakeside Crossing, as well as the new residents. I sincerely suggest that you check with the sales office once again to find out what the current HOA fee schedule is for both new residents, as well as whenever you have lived there for 3 or more years. Also, they are always offering some kind of a financial incentive whenever you decide to buy a “new” home there, and whenever we bought ours a month or so ago, they were offering a $5,000 discount on the “Buy Now” price.

    They do a great job of keeping the place clean and well cared for, and they are in the process of making it a “gated” community, as well as the fact that they are starting the process of building an outdoor pool. Also, whenever we once again toured their clubhouses, we were advised that they would be getting all new equipment in their fitness center.

    As I said, my husband and I are very excited about starting a new life there, and we can’t wait to get started. Good luck to you and your wife, Mike, and I hope that you decide to buy into the community. Who knows — we could all end up being neighbors one day πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    by Valerie — April 13, 2016

  16. Mike M – If you are interested in the Conway area around Lakeside Crossing, I suggest you look across the street at Myrtle Trace – I lived there for over 5 years and loved it! The HOA is extremely reasonable (includes pool and clubhouse with lending library), there are tons of activities, easy to meet people, etc. I moved due to illness in the family – miss it! The community even has its own chorus and they go to different nursing homes to sing! Good luck with your search!

    by Bonnie S — April 13, 2016

  17. Funny – I just drove through Lakeside Crossings last weekend! Have to say that it looked like a very nice community, with a very good location (we were on our way to Myrtle Beach, and Conway was only a few miles outside of the tourist area). We stopped at the CVS around the corner, which was a very nice store. I noticed Wal-Marts and other shopping nearby, and the Myrtle Beach hospital isn’t too far away either. Once of the things I liked about the community was the amount of personalizing of the homes. People had some decorations and plantings out, and the homes didn’t look exactly alike. To me, that indicates a flexible and reasonable HOA. When we were driving through, some residents waved and smiled. I think I want more square footage, but Lakeside definitely looked like a nice community!

    by Kate — April 14, 2016

  18. Kate — your impressions about this community was correct, because thus so far we have found Lakeside Crossing to be a very friendly community. In fact, on one of our most recent visits to their clubhouse, my husband received invitations to join a golf club, as well as a softball team.

    by Valerie — April 14, 2016

  19. I also forgot to add that their sales staff are extremely helpful and friendly, as well. And Kristen Grubb, in particular, has literally been a godsend to us.

    by Valerie — April 14, 2016

  20. For Louise, who asked: “Do you live in Bristol, TN? If so how do you like it. I have a cousin in Kingsport which is about a half hour away from Bristol and she loves it there. How is the humidity in the summer? Can you discuss what you like and dislike about your location?”

    Go to this thread and scroll up to around August 15th of last year and read my multiple comments over the next week or so.

    I used to live in Phoenix, AZ and Vero Beach, FL, so I know both sides of that humidity coin. People drive to the mountains to escape the heat and humidity in the summer (for instance, Phoenix to Flagstaff and Nashville to Cookeville). We are 1600 ft above sea level here in the Appalachian Mountains, our humidity to me is just fine, not oppressive like Nashville or anyplace in Florida.

    by Art Bonds — April 24, 2016

  21. Louise, the pertinent comments go thru August 21st.

    by Art Bonds — April 24, 2016

  22. Art, thank you for the link. I revisited your comments. You should work with the city of Bristol to encourage retired people to move there! You are a treasure trove of information! Thank you!

    by Louise — April 25, 2016

  23. SmartAssets website includes an article summarizing an interesting study where they focused on data regarding where folks were actually moving to for retirement rather than focusing on folks opinions or analysis of selected variables and data regarding which states were best for retirement. I have no affilitation with SmartAssets, but I did find this information very interesting, and so I am alerting the group of its existence. They used 2014 census bureau data and figured out the net migration of people over the age of 60 on a state by state basis. They provide info on the 10 states where there was the greatest net migration into the state of people over 60. They also do this at the city level and provide a list of the 25 cities with the greatest net migration of people over 60. The article can be found at:

    by Brian Blonder — May 21, 2016

  24. Thanks for including the link to this very interesting website, Brian. Although I did find it rather curious that although South Carolina was listed as #3 out of the top 10 States that retirees are moving to, not one city in South Carolina was mentioned in the chart of the top cities that retirees are migrating to, which seems a little strange. Your thoughts?

    by Valerie — May 22, 2016

  25. Valerie,
    Here is why I think there are some states listed at the top even though there are no or few cities listed for those same states. I think there are some states where the retirees tend to congregate in one or a few areas and some states where the retirees are more spread out and this may be why there is no city on the list from South Carolina. For example, I noticed that Georgia is on the top 10 list at number 4, but the only city on the list from Georgia is Savannah at #12. The Atlanta metro area is one that we have been researching as a possible retirement location, and I know there are numerous retirement communities within an hour of Atlanta. However, they are spread out in all directions from Atlanta metro and all located in separate cities (although all would be considered metro Atlanta). So, even though there are lots of retirees in the Atlanta area, and this results in Georgia being number four on the list, there is no one city in the Atlanta area that is a focal point for retirees. This can be contrasted with the Las Vegas metro area, which we also are considering, where a large portion of the retirement communities and development in general is in Henderson, which is why Henderson ends up as #3 on the city list.

    by Brian Blonder — May 22, 2016

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