Politics And The Villages: Politico Article Highlights the Risks of Retiring Where Your Politics Are in the Minority

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

June 20, 2018 — The Nation’s Capital is buzzing about a new article from Politico Magazine on The Villages and its politics. The article provides an extensive and interesting discussion of politics in this giant active adult community in Central Florida. Its title, “Generation Pickleball: Welcome to Florida’s Political Tomorrowland,” foreshadows what its authors believe is coming for Florida’s electorate.

For four of five recent years The Villages has been the fastest growing metro in the country. And, in Politico’s political focussed article, it …”is Trump country, a reliably Republican, vocally patriotic, almost entirely white enclave that gave the president nearly 70 percent of the vote.” The area represents the future of the Republican party, and is considered to be the key to Gov. Rick Scott’s bid to unseat Democratic Senator, Bill Nelson, in the 2018 election.

The article makes many points. Depending on your politics, you might agree with some
or all of them. Although the focus is the 70% of its residents who voted for Donald Trump, there is also input from the 30% who might have voted for someone else. Not everyone who lives in The Villages is either a Trump supporter or a Republican. Many people probably don’t care either; they are too worn out from having fun to get worked up about politics.

Major Points
Here are some of the major points made in the article (most of them political, since the source is Politico, a media outlet widely read among people for whom politics is a bloodsport). We believe you might find the article useful, because we know so many of our Members and Visitors see local politics as something they need to understand before they move into a community.

– Democrats in Florida might feel cheered by Puerto Rican voters migrating to the Sunshine State after Hurricane Maria, or registrations from high school students motivated by gun control. Not so fast, the authors contend: any potential Democratic surge in the Sunshine State could be countered by Republican-leaning seniors migrating here to enjoy warm winters and no state income taxes.

– The Villages has so many ways to have fun, politics or not. There are more than 100 miles of golf cart trails, dozens of golf courses, and it’s the pickleball capital of America, now America’s fastest-growing sport. There are 3,000 clubs on everything from belly dancing to ancestry, water exercises, softball leagues, karaoke, investments, travel, and dance.

– The development company that owns The Villages is solidly Republican. In fact the community is a “must stop” for any aspiring Republican Presidential candidate. The radio station and newspaper enthusiastically backs Trump. According to the article, in last February’s “Life Without Immigrants Day,” the company demanded in a memo “the names of any laborers who skipped work” to go on a list of “radical individuals” ineligible for employment. Also, the charter high school had to move its “March for Our Lives” event to a weekend because of the threats of student expulsions.

– Republicans outnumber Democrats by 2 to 1, and the former’s new registrations are 10 times those of Democrats. Fox News is the media choice of most residents.

– Some residents are upset by the presence of politics in a community built for fun. As one Democrat said in the article: ““The politics here are so horrible, I’m sick of fighting with my golf buddies.”

The Other Side – Where Democrats Reign
The Villages might be predominately Republican, and thus a tough sell for new residents with a progressive bent, but there are other retirement havens where the opposite rules. For example in a community that attracts retired clergy and non-profit managers like Pilgrim Place in Claremont (CA), a cohousing community, or a CCRC in a college town, Republicans might feel like they are the odd people at the table. The same goes for the liberal enclaves in most coastal towns in America, college towns, and urban areas.

Some insight from a young person and Washington insider
We asked a young friend based in Washington D.C. and for whom politics is very important, what he made of the Politico article. Here is part of what he told us: “Two things stick out to me. The first being this is a glaring example of the growing culture divide. Whether it is urban vs rural or Fox vs. MSNBC, people are retreating to their tribes and shutting out information that doesn’t fit their world view. The second issue, which is related, is the influence of the developer in all of this (e.g.; their actions favoring one side over the other and threats concerning immigrants and March for Our Lives protests). It could beg the question of TR readers, is this the kind of community that retirees increasingly want? And if so, is that really good for society? Is that the example they want to set for the next generation?” Solid points – thanks Andrew!

Bottom line
We are an increasingly polarized country, and that is a darn shame. While hopefully we will recover from that, in the meantime politics can be an important factor in choosing where we retire. If the communities you are looking at are tilted in a way that makes you uncomfortable, you need to know that and figure out if the plusses overcome any discomfort you might feel. We hope this article has increased your understanding of the issues in a helpful way. Finally, lets all try to be better listeners and more tolerant – and not retreat into our protective silos. Dialogue is good, lets all try to be less divisive and respect our friends and their opinions. Good friends are hard to find, let’s treasure the ones we have.

Comments
This is always trouble when we open up Blogs like this to Comments. Keep the preceding paragraph in mind! So let’s focus on one question: Could you move into a community where you know you would be in a political minority? Please share, respectfully, your thoughts and opinions on that question.

For further reading:
The Villages (our review)
Why The Villages is the Best Place for Len and Ann to Retire
Can a Yankee Find Retirement Happiness in the South



Posted by Admin on June 19th, 2018

46 Comments »

  1. Twenty years ago, I moved into a very conservative small city in North Texas because of a job relocation. At that time, I was more concerned about what the community offered my family in the way of good schools, attractive housing, amenities, and commuting distance. I kept my politics to myself and realized that I wasn’t going to change the views of many of my neighbors. I tolerated the crazy state legislature and Governor and don’t get me started on our goofy representative and senators in Congress. Now that my wife and I are retired and the children are out on their own, we are getting ready to sell our 5 bedroom house and move to something smaller and less grand. Will we move to another conservative community in Texas? Maybe, if the housing is right for us and the community has amenities for seniors and access to a decent airport. We may also leave Texas for a better climate which could be in another conservative area or a more progressive state. Bottom line, I have learned to live with those of different persuasions. My practice is to not speak of politics or religion to people who I don’t know well and only rarely to those that I do. It has worked for me for 20 years and it hasn’t stopped me from voting for those who share my views on election day.

    by LS — June 20, 2018

  2. I have had the privilege to have lived in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Tennessee and now Arizona. I can tell you that I didn’t know what the politics of my neighbors were unless they put a sign up in their yard. I have one vote and so does everyone else and understand that you will not change the mind of a person that is liberal or conservative. I just don’t talk about politics with neighbors, friends or relatives.
    I guess if you don’t have tolerance of others this could be a big problem where you decide to retire, but was not in our criteria in picking where to live.

    by Bruce — June 20, 2018

  3. So I live in Florida and am quite familiar with the Villages. The community was developed in the middle of nowhere: It is away from the coast, theme parks, and natural areas, that most of us think of as the benefits of Florida living. Add to that the gates and walls that isolate it from the local area. With the Villages there is more than just political isolation. I guess that they needed to provide all of those amenities because there isn’t anything else in that part of Central Florida. The amenities and social isolation are an attraction for many people, but not for me. I suspect that most retirement communities aren’t quite as polarizing, though.

    by Lynn — June 20, 2018

  4. I don’t know my neighbors’ politics and generally, don’t care. However, I think the political leaning of a state influences so many things that are important to me, primarily its social values and where the state puts its money. This is why the political “color” of a state or Congressional district matters to me – not because I want all my neighbors to think and vote as I do, but because I want to live in a state where the social values match mine.

    by JoannC — June 20, 2018

  5. I live in On Top of the World (OTOW) in Ocala, FL. It is within 30 to 45 minutes from parts of The Villages. I am a Progressive Democrat. While it is true that registered Republicans outnumber registered Democrats, there are very active political groups on both sides of the aisle here in OTOW and also The Villages. There are several very active Indivisible groups in both communities. There are various PEACEFUL activities and demonstrations to communicate our cares and values. While there are many who just want to relax, play golf, or enjoy other fun activities, there are many of us Baby Boomers who take our current events very seriously and are dedicated to our freedom of speech. I do see more Trump signs and bumper stickers than any others, and I am not interested in posting my politics on my car, but I think it’s relatively safe to be on the “other side” of the majority. It’s up to individual retirees to decide what they are looking for. I am hugely and wildly happy here in OTOW and would joyfully recommend this retirement community to anyone of any political persuasion!
    Thank you for this opportunity to share!

    by Jill Carel — June 20, 2018

  6. I absolutely would not retire in a community whose members are generally given to strident and abrasive opining, regardless of the “bent” of their opinions. I’ve lived and worked in the DC area for over thirty years, and I eagerly anticipate retiring away from a social environment in which civil public discourse is routinely sacrificed on the altar of partisanship. I know this is not just a problem “inside the beltway,” but I hope and pray it is not the “new normal” throughout the country!

    by Fred S — June 20, 2018

  7. Some people need to live in a particular partisan environment (Democrat or Republican) so they have neighbors who agree with them and few who disagree with them.

    If so, choose a community with the right political persuasion (Democrat or Republican) for your needs.

    This is not a big deal, different people of both parties are migrating to different areas. Nothing really new about it.

    Choose the community that is right for your needs.

    by Everette — June 20, 2018

  8. I have many progressive (read leftist) friends many of whom worked for the government or universities. We kid each other regularly about politics. It’s a healthy thing. Although I tend to be a libertarian/conservative, I would be
    unhappy if everyone thought the way I do. In fact, that would be very unhealthy.
    That being said, I wonder what how the voters in the Villages and other retirement communities would treat any politician who proposed changes in Social Security which will soon have problems. The can has been kicked down the road and eventually the road will end. It will be interesting.

    by Sal — June 20, 2018

  9. I absolutely could not move to a community where the political prominence was contrary to my own.
    That being said, I believe that it is possible for two sides to coexist side by side peacefully.
    It’s a free country and that also means freedom to agree to disagree where necessary.

    by Curt — June 20, 2018

  10. I never knew about the political divide at the Villages but the prevailing winds blow my way. I might consider moving here since I have no intent on compromising conservative Christian values for progressive nothing. Thanks for the article.

    by Doug — June 20, 2018

  11. I am not inclined to retire in a retirement community, but I will be moving to conservative AR soon to live. Usually I do not talk politics with anyone unless we are of the same persuasion because I do not want to fight. There are a handful of folks with whom I disagree and can discuss things civilly, and I appreciate our sharing and, I hope, learning from each other. Our country is hard of listening to the other side right now, although it used to be more open. I remember when I could sit with people who held different views, eat and debate and laugh and end our meetings with hugs and handshakes. That is rare now, maybe because everyone knows that the stakes are too high and so are the emotions. I have friends and family who vote both major parties and who also vote as Independent/Green/Libertarian/etc. We don’t all get along politically, and we choose to talk about other things at the dining table. I remind people who go to a retirement community like The Villages or ones that are liberal that when you make your payments to that community, some of your money may be used for supporting candidates that you do not want in office. If I were to retire in such a community, I would want to know this because it would make a difference about where I choose to live. Have a lovely day!

    by Elaine C. — June 20, 2018

  12. When we retired to Florida, we visited many communities, including the Villages. I am a political independent, and try to understand all sides of important issues. That is made more difficult in the Villages, where the local newspaper and radio station are owned and rigidly controlled by the developer, who makes sure that both outlets strongly advocate his own political causes. As a former reporter and editor, I inquired about the possibility of becoming a part-time contributor to the newspaper. I was informed that no one with journalistic training or experience would be considered. While the Villages is an extreme example, this kind of limited access to unbiased news reporting certainly contributes to the current political polarization. .

    by Paul Courter — June 20, 2018

  13. I’m not so concerned about what political, religious, sexual preference, or any other characteristic people around me have as long as they don’t constantly espouse it or try to convert me to their way of thinking. Those actions show lack of respect and bad judgement on their part. I’m happy to respect their perspective, but I fully expect my perspective to be respected as well. So, for me, it comes down to how they play the game, rather than what the game is that they are playing.

    by moving75 — June 20, 2018

  14. I hope the Venice area of FL is not too conservative. Just bought a home there! I try not to get too worked up with folks who don’t share my views, but it isn’t easy. I can feel my blood pressure rise when I read opposing views on Facebook for instance. I try to stay open minded and listen to both conservative and liberal channels, but then I realized this mostly further reinforced my progressive views!

    by Sandy — June 20, 2018

  15. Thank you for this information! Now I can cross the Villages off my list of possible retirement communities.

    by Mary W — June 20, 2018

  16. Thank you for this article. I read all your articles as we are planning for retirement in a couple years, and just don’t know where to retire. We don’t care what other’s political beliefs are, just so it is not crazy conservative. The Villages is now crossed off our list.

    Unfortunately, I feel like our society is changing, which has resulted from the current political climate. I feel like we have taken a step backwards 30 years. The gender divide, race divide, political divide is the worse I have seen in years. What a shame.

    by Kathy S — June 20, 2018

  17. Thanks I just crossed villages off my list

    by Doug — June 20, 2018

  18. Could not retire in a conservative community. Never would be an option.

    by Joanne Ragwar — June 20, 2018

  19. I have an old college roommate who lives in the Villages. We’ve stayed friend’s over the years and he’s invited me to come visit. I live in Arizona and am content in my “single family ” home. I prefer living in a neighborhood with a multi-generational population. Since I’m much more progressive than most friend’s in my age group, I would be turned off by conservative viewpoints which dominate in the Villages.

    by Tony G. — June 20, 2018

  20. I moved to Sarasota because the largest UU church in Florida is here and it was very important to have a community of like-minded progressive thinkers nearby. Sarasota, unlike The Villages, is a small city- with all of the good, bad and ugly of a diverse population. We visited the Villages and ruled it out. It’s like Disneyland on steroids- residents enjoy the homogeneity and safety that isolation provide but have to accept an artificial environment controlled by conservative Republicans- from piped in Fox News to GOP fundraising. No thanks. I want to share values and a world view with new friends. It’s not going to happen in The Villages.

    by Ava Whaley — June 20, 2018

  21. “For four of five recent years The Villages has been the fastest growing metro in the country.”

    A meaningless percentage, not a number. Example:

    1. The Villages, Fla.

    2010-2017 population change: +32.8% (from 94,279 to 125,165) About 31,000 gain in 7 years

    2. Los Angeles:2010:3,796,060; 2017:3,999,759. +5.3%, but numerically, 203,000 – 6+ times the Villages’ gain.

    3. If the one inhabitant of a town got married, a 100% gain – 3 times the Villages’ and nearly 19 times L.A.’s.

    As Benjamin Disraeli, via Mark Twain, ostensibly remarked, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

    by OldNassau'67 — June 20, 2018

  22. I’m retired in Central Fla. and find most of Fla. conservative, except maybe Tampa and Miami area. I’m not in a retirement community, but sometimes think about it to be near friends closer to my age. But I’d want a progressive liberal mindset and here, you just won’t find that. I think it has something to do with the age group and how they grew up etc. Luckily I have friends who think like me, but I do feel surrounded at times. Lots of trump support here.
    My question would be where in any state are liberal retirement communities, if any? iI do like to discuss politics, world issues and religion and at my age, don’t feel I should have to suppress my views to make others happy.

    by Mary S — June 21, 2018

  23. Since seniors vote at a relatively high rate, the assumption could be that we care about politics. In the time that I’ve been reading topretirements.com, I’ve seen this topic come up repeatedly. It’s nice to have a blog specifically to address this issue. I hate the demonizing, name-caling and divisiveness we’ve seen between the left and right. In my view, no party is right all the time and we all benefit from taking the best from each party’s positions, compromises and a healthy dialogue. While I don’t mind having neighbors of particular persuasions, I wouldn’t want my HOA fees supporting someone else’s political position. I also wouldn’t want to be force fed politics when trying to find out about local news (Villages newspaper?) or find myself ostracized for holding a different view. I met a lady who lived in Sun City Carolina Lakes who told me they were moving because she was shunned by her conservative neighbors during the Presidential election. (To be fair, there are also lots of Democrats who live there who relocated from other states, like the woman herself.)

    Doesn’t it ultimately come down to each of us not to force our views on others, so not to make our neighbors so uncomfortable that they feel this is necessary, whether we live in a red or blue community? I don’t need to be surrounded by moderate Democrats. I just need to be surrounded by people with common courtesy.

    by Kate — June 21, 2018

  24. I find it amusing that some people are blaming the developer for the Villages conservative leaning like he is forcing everyone there to be conservative. And I would like to think that most 55+ communities are conservative. This shouldn’t be surprising. John Adams said something like when you are young and idealistic you are liberal and when you grow up and become wise you are conservative.

    by John Matthews — June 21, 2018

  25. Amen, Kate!

    I live in NW Washington, DC and I am looking to retire in a place where the political views of all are respected. I hope such a place exists I generally do not discuss politics in public, but there are always the bores who try to loudly proclaim their views, I avoid them.

    by Jennifer — June 21, 2018

  26. Bravo Kate! Unless you attend a political discussion or activist group meeting in your community, it is best to show those good manners Grandma taught you and keep divisive political remarks to yourself in any social setting. This goes for ANY community, not just a retirement community like the Villages. Share your left or right leanings online if you must, at a like-minded rally, or a candidate support meeting, but please not at a social dinner gathering, during a golf game, at a book club meeting, or any other non-political get together. Especially if you want to be invited again!

    by SandyZ — June 21, 2018

  27. I had never heard of the Villages until I read “Leisureville” when it first came out. I was immediately turned off by the right-wing control, especially the news slant, as Paul and others have mentioned. I wouldn’t move there if you paid me.

    Interestingly, although the author of “Leisureville” slammed retirement communities in general, I don’t find the idea horrible, the way he did. I could see myself moving to one for the activities and social life. Just not the Villages. On the other hand, a small city may be better for me. Sarasota is on my list.

    by Carol — June 21, 2018

  28. It is amusing how some here have written off the Villages because of the political tone there. Personally, I would not settle in one of these communities for other reasons. My current leftist neighbor and I continually rib each other about politics and are great friends. What has happened to this country? Perhaps it started with the treatment Bork received. This seems like the turning point to me.

    by Sal — June 21, 2018

  29. We wanted to retire in a place that was relatively warm year round (for us, Florida) and that was was overall moderate to progressive in its politics. In Florida, and considering any other state as far as I can see, that is the greater Miami area (Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties). We also were looking for a 55+ community that provided units and services where you could “lock and leave” in order to travel at short notice. There are many such communities in the Miami area; our condo is in Palm Beach County. Yet the Miami metro area is seldom mentioned as a possibility in discussions in Topretirements. I find the traffic to be reasonably tolerable in PB County, especially if you travel at off-peak Times. The winter season, mid-November to mid-April, provides some of the better weather I have ever seen. The heat and humidity is the same as the rest of Florida, in fact moderated by its closeness to the ocean (temperature and breezes). I lived year-round in central Florida for six years, not far from the Villages, and found it was hotter and a bit more humid there than on the Atlantic Coast, especially in the summer. To be candid, I think many retirees rule out Miami Metro because most of the retirees there are from the New York metro area, and the overall population is too diverse for some: Hispanics, Puerto Ricans, South Americans, Haitians, Russians, etc, although most of these ethnic folks are not in retirement communities. Considering there are lots of NY metro retirees, a very large percentage of retirees also happen to be Jewish. I think this fact deters some people from considering Miami Metro, sad to say. We are not Jewish, but 80-90% of our community of 7200 units are. We love living there and feel we fit right in, but you very seldom see any retirees from the Midwest, for example. And many 55+ condo communities here are VERY reasonable in purchase price, probably moreso than almost all other areas of Florida.

    by Clyde — June 21, 2018

  30. I am considering moving to the Villages but was wondering if anyone could comment on the summer weather, sinkholes (which was a topic on Nightly news), alligators ,etc. I’m looking for activity and some fun. I’m a widow and don’t want to get mixed up with politics or religion leanings. Had enough of that living in the south. Just looking for a pleasant happy place to live. Any comments are appreciated

    by JEB — June 21, 2018

  31. My political beliefs are a big part of who I am. No way I’d live in a bastion of conservative politics. The idea of 55+ holds little appeal anyway. I like living in a culturally and age diverse neighborhood. I don’t care if kids cut across my lawn on their bikes – the sound of children at play is music to my ears!

    John Adams’ opinion notwithstanding, the older I get the more inclusive and liberal I become.

    by JCarol — June 21, 2018

  32. I appreciate this post immensely. I’ve lived in liberal dominated areas all of my life. I’ve seen classical liberalism disappear to be replaced with a strident leftism that bullies and namecalls. In my home state of Illinois I’ve had a belly full of one party control. The state is now broke and is taxing everything that moves. I’ve always considered myself open minded to views on both sides but have come to learn that here in Chicago (as well as in other coastal areas) the hostility is too great towards others who don’t agree and move with the left in lock step. I WISH I had neighbors like many of those liberally minded who have posted here but they don’t exist in the Chicago area. I believe in freedom of association and I love the idea of moving to a conservative retirement community where my ownership of guns won’t catagorize me as a Nazi. As for “diversity” I’ve had enough. The shootings, the crime, the racial hatred and attacks upon my religious beliefs have taken their toll. At least where I live now there is no live and let live. It’s Our way or else. So, like many others, I hope to leave Illinois upon retirement. The Villages sound better all the time.

    by klara — June 21, 2018

  33. Personally, I enjoy differing views. But we’ve become a society of “all or nothing.” You either agree 100% or I’m make your life miserable mentality. I take umbrage with the quote from the young DC, politically-minded, friend that said people want to retreat to their tribe and not be bothered with differing views. Everyone I know doesn’t mind the differing views. It’s the in-your-face, shove-it-down-your-throat, unhinged mentality that has taken hold. That exhausts me. It’s all the media does is fan the flames of divide and hate. I just want to retreat and not hear politics 24/7/365. Life USED to be lived and enjoyed and we could agree to disagree or ignore it altogether if we wanted. None of that’s an option now. There’s no escape.

    by Scotty — June 21, 2018

  34. John Matthews I like your comment. Egads people after reading these comments I don’t know where people want to live on the moon. I came to Tampa and live in a gated community with multi races and religions and no age restriction. If you are friendly to me I am friendly to you and do not want to comment on anyone’s religious or political beliefs and like you as a fellow human being.
    Why is everything an issue today, what happened to morals, ethics and etiquette.

    by Ginger — June 21, 2018

  35. Kate, exactly. Common courtesy and a place where people live and let live is what I am looking for. In a far left leaning state, the government looms large and is a constant source of conversation the last 10 years. I don’t need to know anyone’s political beliefs.

    by Maimi — June 22, 2018

  36. Miami, you are so right. I would hope as we age we become more tolerant of others beliefs. I have been on both political sides and have always had friends of all religions and political beliefs. Some people never change and they never shut up! Move on people. I voted for Trump. You voted for Hillary. Big deal. My neighbor behind me HATES me and I find it amusing. I just move on. No time for anyone’s ignorant bull anymore. Life is too short!

    by Tomi Huntley — June 22, 2018

  37. want great detail on the community and area around it go to http://www.city-data.com This details every aspect of a community and its surrounding area

    by Ron — June 22, 2018

  38. We just bought in an all ages community that appears to be a good mix, and I think that neighbors who choose not to be neighborly right now will someday. But it was interesting through conversation how those around us tried to find which way we leaned. I asked our realtor if politics have changed the way people are looking for neighborhoods and he said not in our area so much, but he did have to tell one closed-minded couple that he didn’t have any caves on the market to show them.
    There truly are other conversations you can have and live in harmony with those around you, sometimes it takes a lot of steering but eventually people may catch on you don’t talk politics. One of our neighbors hasn’t gotten the hint yet but I’m working on it, not sure how many more times I can tell him I have to go in to check the oven.

    by Darla — June 22, 2018

  39. I have lived most of my 68 years in the Los Angeles metro area. I really appreciate the balance and the overall culture of live and let live that prevails in the Southern California region. After many years of traveling for business and pleasure: I realize without any doubt that the Southern California region of the United States is very special.

    by Bubbajog — June 22, 2018

  40. Villages sound nice. Less stress is good.

    by Dee Betting. — June 25, 2018

  41. The political bent and information control of the owners of The Villages crossed that area off my list. Retirement blogs like these are truly valuable because people who live there can share this information with info seekers. Especially if you want to retire with like minded socially aware people. I recently was forced to move from a liberal area to a very conservative area and it has made me see that it is a very important part of your decision when knowing where to retire. ….

    by Tracy — June 27, 2018

  42. … I’m like many of the posters on this site – willing to live with those of different persuasions, as long as my politics are not an issue with them. However, as JCarol noted, political beliefs can be a big part of who we are, and as JoannC noted, the political leanings of a state or a community can affect social values, as well as how financial resources are spent. I realize such concerns are more important for some than for others, but for the partisans among us, these are important considerations.

    While it’s possible for some – perhaps most – of us to get along with those who have different political beliefs, as long as people are polite and tolerant, it’s more difficult to live in a town, city or state where the political winds blow in a different direction, and where print media marches to a different drumbeat. I know; I live in Texas, and as an unabashed liberal, I am routinely appalled at the priorities of my state.

    I truly wish everyone here much happiness in retirement. Alas, the path toward increasing extremism and authoritarianism, and the widening political divide, make finding said happiness more difficult for the partisans among us with every passing day, and every Breaking News banner across the cable news screen. So, keep your head down, and your powder dry.

    by Gene L — June 27, 2018

  43. I’m not a particularly “political” person and avoid people who “drink the koolaid” from any side. Just want to find a place with happy, fun loving people who like to laugh, shop, and hopefully golf without getting nuts over a bad shot 🙂

    by jean — June 28, 2018

  44. Hi Jean:

    I feel as you do…at social gatherings there is a reason one never discusses politics or money. It creates divisive feelings. Let us know if you find your ideal place.

    by Jennifer Lee — June 29, 2018

  45. Hi Jean.

    I am also looking for a happy place to live. I was taught that politics and religion were two items that are personal and not part of a social gathering. I’m so sick of all of the rudeness of people. Just want to relax and enjoy the last part of life. Yes, if you locate a place like this, please post.

    by Jeb — June 29, 2018

  46. We lived in The Villages for 8 years–left there almost a year ago. The political nastiness is so thick you can barely breathe!! I never knew Liberal was a dirty word till moving there and we have been Liberal for years!! Definitely should have looked a little harder before buying there. Too many petty, grumpy old people who want to tell you where to park your golf cart, or which parts of parking lots at the store you should drive up or down in, etc. Got tired of the nasty notes left on my steering wheel, etc. Many sinkholes while we were living there–called depressions by the developer! Try getting insurance against sinkholes. We were told TV was building out within the next 2 years when we bought in 2009, but the developers children and grandchildren who are now in control continue to buy up property and build. The Villages realtors there steer people towards the new homes and price the “used” homes below what they should be for easier sales. Many amenities, but during winter “high season” there are so many people there you can’t take advantage of them. We paid almost $1000.00 extra yearly for “Priority” golf and found it next to impossible to get the requested tee times at the courses we wanted to play. Even going out to dinner in TV was a challenge with hour plus wait times at many restaurants from about October through April. Summers had become hotter each year, like walking into the oven when you went outside. Bugs no matter how clean and pest-treated you kept your house. Horrendous lightning storms in the “lightning strike capital of the world” where you are not safe in your home and we paid to have lightning rods on our house! it’s always happy hour there, so you had to be very careful when out driving your car or golf cart—gave defensive driving new meaning!! I could go on and on about the negative reasons for living there. So glad to have escaped that adult “Disneyland” and “Sinkhole Alley”. We are now back living the the real world where we are part of a more diverse population. Still in the South and a red state, but people are much kinder and overall life is much less stressful. Yes, we have friends back there in TV, but I have no desire to even visit there.

    by Sarah — July 11, 2018

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