Some people move to The Villages and live happily ever after.
Some people move to The Villages and then move 2-3 more times within The Villages throughout their time here.
But some people move to The Villages, live here for a while, and decide it’s not for them.
😱 😱 😱
Where those people move is the focus of this article.
Let’s jump right in!
I believe that the vast majority of people who leave The Villages move back to where they came from.
The reasons I hear most often are health reasons and to be closer to family.
Sometimes there is a change in their health status that results in them wanting to be closer to doctors they’ve used for years, or a network of close family and friends to have around to help take care of them.
And other times they realize that any time away from their kids (or in most cases their grandkids) is simply too long.
Either way, for most people leaving The Villages, (back) home is where the heart is.
On Top of the World
Located about 30 minutes northwest of The Villages, On Top of the World in Ocala is described by many as “The Villages Light”.
Pretty similar concept, and still 55+, but on a much smaller scale.
And while On Top of the World is still growing, it will never come close to the size that The Villages is today, let alone how big The Villages will be when it’s finished.
For most people that leave The Villages for On Top of the World, “smaller” is precisely what they’re after.
You can see an article I wrote a while back comparing/contrasting The Villages and On Top of the World here.
Leisure amenities include 54 holes of golf on three courses, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis and pickleball courts, a private R/C flying field, bocce, racquetball and basketball courts, fitness center, health club and spa, restaurants, cultural venues, and much more.
Residents can also participate in over 175 clubs, leagues, hobbies, and lifelong learning opportunities.
There are 23 floor plans available with prices ranging to suit every budget starting from the $170k’s.
With more than 1,500 members, The Villages Parrot Heads Club is (currently) the biggest Parrot Heads Club in the world.
But that may change once Latitude Margaritaville in Daytona Beach fills up.
Expected to have around 3,000 homes when it’s all said and done, Latitude Margaritaville is a new 55+ community in Daytona Beach, inspired by the lifestyle and music of Jimmy Buffett.
He even owns a home there and legend has it he is known to go door to door introducing himself to neighbors when he is in town.
Amenities include a fully outfitted gym / Spin Room, aerobics room with virtual personal trainer, indoor whirlpool spa and lap pool, Latitude Town Square where you’ll find the Bandshell with live music, The Last Mango Theater includes a banquet hall with stage for performances and dancing, Barkaritaville Pet Spa, Coconut Telegraph Business Center, Latitude Bar & Chill Restaurant, Changes in Attitude Bar, Paradise Pool with beach entry, cabanas, and tiki huts.
Plus, an amenity that you don’t see every day … your very own private beach club with shuttle service right from the community!
Home prices start in the low $200k’s.
The Villages of Citrus Hills
Though it is not strictly 55+, the Villages of Citrus Hills certainly has all of the amenities anyone considering a 55+ community like The Villages could ever want.
Located about 45 minutes west of The Villages in Citrus County (part of Florida’s Nature Coast) the Villages of Citrus Hills is a master-planned community with single family homes and maintenance free villas, and an extraordinary collection of world-class community country club amenities and extensive social activities.
Depending on the style and neighborhood you choose, home and home site packages range from the upper $200’s to over 1 million.
You likely know that The Villages leads the country in new home sales almost every year.
But the #2 best-selling community in the country is also in Florida, and it is attracting a lot of former Villagers.
Located just minutes from the beaches of Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch is the #1 best-selling multigenerational master-planned community in the country.
While Lakewood Ranch is open to all ages, it does have a few 55+ neighborhoods if that’s what you’re seeking.
One example is Cresswind Lakewood Ranch. Here’s what some of their amenities look like:
With everything from low-maintenance condominiums to huge single-family houses, Lakewood Ranch offers a neighborhood option for just about every type of family and budget.
I haven’t done a head-to-head comparison for The Villages and Lakewood Ranch yet, but here’s what one former Villager wrote about why he defected:
Other Florida 55+ Communities
Most people who initially choose The Villages are set on being in a 55+ community.
A couple developers that have multiple 55+ communities throughout the state include Del Webb and GL Homes.
Or you can check out a full list of new Florida 55+ communities here.
If a community being 55+ is not a requirement for you, I’m also working on a list of the most popular non age restricted communities.
I hope The Villages works out for you.
But if for some reason it doesn’t, there are several other strong contenders ready and waiting to welcome you in.