Thursday, May 17, 2012

This is a retirement village for living!

One of numerous entrances

Tell someone you are going to live in a retirement village and most have thoughts of condo or apartment living where older people sit around and play bingo all day.  It has a stereotype of a place where you go to die.

Well, there's a retirement community in Florida called The Villages that is a place where you go to LIVE!  This place is an amazing active adult community located just North of Orlando.

And it's absolutely huge.  The Villages occupies parts of 3 counties in Florida (Lake, Sumter & Marion).  The Villages property area covers 32 square miles.

Population of The Villages is currently over 81,000 (The population crossed 81,000 in September 2010) and the Villages grows by approximately 4,500 annually.  New home sales continue at approximately 200 per month, re-sales are currently averaging 100 per month.  In the 1st quarter of 2011, 543 new homes were sold.

There are roughly 67 Villages. Villages range in size from 100 homes to 1,550 homes.  When The Villages opened up home sales South of 466A (55 homes sold in first eight days)

So how do you travel across this expansive community?  Golf cart is the vehicle of choice.  There are approximately 90 miles of golf cart paths.

Speaking of golf, there's 9 Country Clubs (7 with pools) and 29 executive golf courses.  By final build out, which is projected in 2015, The Villages will operate 12 country-club championship courses, 35 9-hole executive golf courses for a total of 621 holes of golf.  30) By final build out The Villages will have 35 9-hole executive golf course.  There are 140,806 yards (80 miles) of golf available in The Villages (from back tees). The Villages exceeds the second largest golf facility in the world, Mission Hills in China, which as 216 holes.

Not a golfer?  Not a problem.  There's plenty of other options to spend your time.  There are over 1,800 organized clubs and 57 recreation centers (featuring daily indoor activities, a pool, tennis courts, pickleball courts, bocce ball and shuffleball).  Among these rec centers, there are 65 swimming pools and 4 fitness centers.  There are more than 100 tennis courts and over 100 pickle ball courts.

Like softball?  There's a gorgeous softball complex on the northern end of The Villages where villagers play 5,200 softball games each year.  There are three softball seasons, 213 softball teams and 17 Men’s & Women’s softball leagues.  
The new neighborhood pool at Sanibel

And there's not just sports.  Interested in woodworking?  There's a complete woodworking workshop filled with equipment.  Education?  There's a Lifelong Learning College where you can take classes. 

So you like to tap dance?  Sing?  Play an instrument?  There's groups for all of these plus almost two thousand other groups.  Whatever hobby or past time you enjoy, I can pretty much guarantee there's a group there for you to join.

A weekly publication (about the size of a National Enquirer magazine) is printed each week to keep the community informed of all the various activities and group meetings that take place that week.

Currently there are 2 town squares (Lake Sumter Landing & Spanish Springs) with a third town square about to be constructed (Brownwood).  Every evening at both squares, live entertainment or a DJ takes the stage at the town square.  Residents drive by golf cart to the squares and line the streets for blocks... two carts deep.... to listen to the music and dance the night away. 
The original Square - Spanish Springs
I could go on forever really about this place, but I'll end this with a few more fun facts. The Villages has its own Polo stadium and Polo leagues, its own radio station, and its own television station. The Daily Sun is The Villages newspaper.
Over 12,000 people work in The Villages, or for businesses in the thriving community.  The Villages has its own Charter School for employees that allows a student to attend from Pre-k through High School.  The Villages Charter School has over 2100 students per year and it’s growing fast with a new Early Childhood Center that was constructed in 2011.  And The Villages is the safest single site development in the country with the lowest crime rate.

The Villages is clearly a place you retire to LIVE!  If you aren't staying active in this place you simply aren't trying! 


  1. My parents built a house in the Villages when they retired and moved to Florida, but 2 years after building their dream home and having the life they wanted, my moms cancer came back with a vengeance, and she died shortly thereafter. That's when we took my father in to live with us, which he did for 14 years. I hear now the Villages have a section of their community that allows families with children. They didn't have that back when my parents built their home. :-)

  2. Oh my...I'm so sorry for your loss Mimi. How sad. My mom has a house down there that they bought after spending about three years visiting for about three months each winter. They love it. And my in-laws will be moving there soon. You know.. I haven't heard about a family section in the Villages? I do know that you have to be 55 or older to buy a home in there OR you can buy one at a younger age but you just can't reside there full time. Someone over 55 has to reside there.