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Retirement Life in The Villages, Florida – the 55+ “Disneyland”

The Villages in Sumter County, Florida, has for years been one of the nation’s fastest-growing metro areas. What’s unique about this metropolis, however, is that it consists almost entirely of retirees over the age of 55. To live there, you must be 55+ or be married to someone of that age. The median resident age in The Villages is 67, and Sumter is the only county in the nation where a majority of the population is age 65 or older.

Known as “Disneyland for adults,” The Villages, or TV as the 115,000 residents call it, is an active adult community for people who want to retire among neighbors their age. If you’re considering retiring in the Sunshine State, you’ll want to keep The Villages, Florida, or surrounding cities on your radar of potential spots for senior living. We’ve compiled some details on the essentials, such as available homes, recreation opportunities, entertainment, and shopping and dining to help you decide if this community is right for you.

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Homes and Villas

The Villages has a broad variety of new and used homes for sale, over 54,000 in total. The median home price as of 2016 was $224, 200. There are villas in the $200,000 range and $1,000,000+ mansions, all of which are surrounded by lush, manicured lawns. The Villages provides options for seasonal or permanent residency. Although home sales have declined over the past several years, there are still thousands bought and sold every year. The community is divided into several subsections with individual names and security checkpoints at each entrance to ensure safety and enhance the air of exclusivity.

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Golf and Recreation

The Villages Community offers year-round, complimentary golf for all residents. Residents also get a free lifetime membership to all of the community’s country clubs, including Palmer Legends and Nancy Lopez Legacy. There are even golf academies offering classes for all levels of golfers, whether you’re a true beginner or an established expert looking to improve your game.

Not a golfer? No worries. There are plenty of other recreation opportunities within The Villages. In fact, a significant percentage of residents rarely, if ever, leave “the bubble,” as it’s fondly called by some. The community has all they could ever need and more. Among these over-2,000 recreational options are 81 swimming pools, 11 softball fields, and 2,500 resident clubs catering to interests ranging from home-brewing to model railroading. Some activities are hosted within several Neighborhood Centers, Village Centers, and Regional Centers, all of which are just a golf-cart ride away from any corner of town.

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Entertainment and Socialization

The Villages has over 2,500 social clubs for like-minded folks to share interests and hobbies of all sorts. There are also year-round family events for entertaining out-of-town guests of all ages. Although people under the age of 19 are only allowed to stay in the community for up to 30 days a year, there’s plenty to do and see within that time frame, whether you’re entertaining grandchildren or family friends.

There is also a vibrant art and entertainment scene in The Villages. Residents can participate in art, music, and theater shows themselves, or they can see big-name acts at one of the performing arts centers. Much of the entertainment is geared to the 55+ set, such as “Assisted Living: The Musical.” Not only are there plenty of entertainment venues to choose from, but there’s also free entertainment every night, 365 days a year, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the three town squares, as well as at several country clubs and restaurants during dinner and “Happy Hour.”

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Shopping and Dining

The community has hundreds of nationally known stores, boutique shops, and eateries, as well. Nationally known chains and local restaurants offer everything from traditional American eats to ethnic cuisine. An array of grocery stores, pharmacies, and home improvement stores take care of all of your day-to-day needs. That’s just one more reason many residents of TV rarely feel the need to leave town.

Living in and Near The Villages, Florida

The Villages, Florida, is within the Orlando metro area. Even if you don’t live in The Villages, restaurants, concerts, and shows there generally are open to the public, though residents often get a discount. Though most of The Villages is in Sumter County, some areas are in Lake County and Marion County.

Nearby options include:

What do you think? Have you ever lived in The Villages or Sumter County or do you currently live there? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below! Or, if you’re considering a move, posts your questions.

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