Pictured above: The original, The Villages, FL.
Welcome to our occasional weekend newsletter, which focuses on interesting active adult and 55+ communities.
The inspiration for this issue is (once again) a fantastic reader suggestion: "We know about The Villages
" near Ocala (and the place sounds great!), but are there other communities like it should we consider?" To clarify assumptions about what kind of communities might be considered competitive, we are assuming they would have to be large (The Villages has 75,000 residents), aimed at active adults, and have extensive facilities for their residents. The good news is that there are many communities that might fit that bill, in fact there are enough that we will cover this topic in installments. This is Installment 1, focusing on the east coast competition. Note: "Village" is a fairly generic term that is often associated with retirement. Particularly in Australia, retirement communities are commonly called retirement villages.
The Villages Competitors - A Sampler:
These communities represent just a small sample of the very large active adult communities that are available in the U.S. Our National Directory
features reviews of almost 1200 active communities - of all types and sizes. Take some time exploring that directory to find places that float your boat.
Their are actually 4 Century Villages in Southern Florida; in Palm Beach, Deerfield Beach, Pembroke Pines, and Boca Raton (all east coast). In some ways CV has superior locations to TV, as they are much closer to beaches and bigger towns. They are also really big - over 500 clubs, 100,000 sq.ft. clubhouses, and every form of recreation you can think of.
If you are looking for an active adult community that is a bit smaller, and/or not in Florida, you open up other choices. One of the more interesting ones is Tellico Village in Loudon, TN. Although just a fraction of the size of The Villages, it does offer a wide range of amenities: a large lake with marina, 3 golf courses, and proximity to Knoxville.
Over on the west coast of Florida you will find Sun City Center. This is also a well established community, in fact it no longer has a sales office (use your realtor). This Sun City has 3 campuses with clubs, 8 golf courses, and lots more. We haven't actually visited here, but the description makes it sound like the average age is a bit older than the other communities reviewed.
This community, our newest Showcase Community, is very, very close geographically to The Villages (8 miles). Although it is a much smaller community, it has other important distinctions. Lake Weir is "toy-friendly" - and it has no HOA.
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Our Schedule: This weekend edition of our newsletter, which focuses on 55+ and active adult communities, is published about 20 times per year. The weekly Wednesday newsletter delivers timely articles about general retirement issues and best places to retire.