There has been much in the press during this election season about the tension between Trump supporters and others at the The Villages in Florida. There is a new documentary coming out called “Some Kind of Heaven” analyzing the pros and cons of living in an adult Disneyland focused on play and amusement in one’s later years.
Back in 2012 when I was thinking about downsizing my home and looking for a new smaller property to buy, I drove up to see the Villages. The housing units were nice, but too close together for my taste. I had a tour but saw immediately that it was entirely focused on creating an artificial Disneyland for adults. I don’t believe retirement should be just about amusing yourself. That can get old fast. I prefer activities with a sense of purpose as well as playing tennis and bridge (which I also did). I recognize not everyone feels that way, but there’s plenty of research and evidence that having a sense of purpose and engagement in life beyond yourself is the key to healthy aging. Also, I saw that there was too much pressure to conform. I don’t need people organizing my life for me. I’m good at doing that for myself and prefer to meet people in different settings and arenas of life. Also, the weather up there is not as good as in So. Florida near the Atlantic, too hot and buggy in the summer, too cold in the winter. So glad I saw for myself that it was not for me. Anybody thinking of moving to a new location in retirement should do a good amount of research first on the location and really understand themselves and what they need to be happy. . I ended up selling my big home in Boca Raton and moving to a one floor villa in Delray Beach and maintained all my old contacts and friends and things I enjoyed doing, saved money and accomplished my goals for myself.