tampa bay getting back its color
A common complaint about Tampa Bay and Florida in general is that it's too gray. This is a reference to the hair upon one's head, meaning that the Sunshine State is full of seniors looking to live out their golden years here. Clearwater in particular is jokingly called "God's Waiting Room", and there are reasons for that as you'll find out in a moment.
There are a few things that are bringing color back into the region.
- Florida is not a good retirement state.
- Florida lifestyle doesn't agree with seniors.
- "Extreme" weather doesn't agree with seniors.
- Too many seniors.
Per point 1, the death thing is easy enough to understand. You get old, you die. It happens.
Per point 2, Florida has not been a good retirement area for some time now. Clearwater in particular is routinely ranked as the #1 worst city for a retiree to move to (PDF). As such, many existing seniors are beating feet (for those of them that can walk..) left and right and moving to other states.
Per point 3, I have a video that will explain that pretty much verbatim. I've linked it here before but it totally drives home the point. It's odd and weird (and maybe even a bit disturbing) on purpose. Watch it first then I'll tell you why it's so accurate.
That is why seniors hate Florida. There are certain areas that are what I called manufactured bliss - and they're awful. Rows upon rows of awful retirement communities where all the seniors are shoved into, connected by ultra-boring strip malls. It is a cookie cutter miserable living environment. The video may have footage from the 80s, but the suck factor of retirement communities has not changed one bit. Need proof? No problem. The place in the video above? It's called The Villages. Still exists! Still as crappy as ever. See their latest video! Has anything changed..? To quote from the video, "The Villages is like a permanent vacation." More like permanent hell. No thanks.
Bonus: See this comment thread about areas like this.
Said honestly, if Florida was truly like this everywhere, I never would have moved here.
Per point 4, seniors routinely complain about the fact that Florida has no traditional seasons and that it's too hot. Well, what did you expect? Florida is in a subtropical zone, genius. That means heat and lots of it.
Per point 5, it is totally true that there are way too many seniors in Florida. Originally, Florida was very senior-friendly. But being the market is completely saturated, it's now not friendly at all to them.
Are seniors everywhere in Florida?
No. Most of them don't live where I do because my part of Tampa is not senior-friendly whatsoever. And that's fine by me.
In my neck of the woods, crusties tend to be mostly in Pinellas County and not Hillsborough. I'm on the Hillsborough side.
My thoughts on the seniors bolting from the state in droves?
See ya! Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out!
Seriously, if they want to leave, more power to them. They can go with my blessing.
There are certain things you have to understand about seniors that are of sound mind (as in not forced to live here by their own children):
- They chose to live in cookie cutter retirement communities and ended up being miserable because of it.
- They chose to live close to the ocean even though they knew the cost of living would go up - and there's no possible way they didn't know that was coming. How the hell can you not expect a high cost of living with waterfront or near-waterfront property?
- They knew Florida sun was literally too hot for them to handle.
- They knew the state had a high population of seniors and would have to fight for certain things because the saturation point for that demographic had been reached but spilled over long ago.
There is no way they couldn't know all that stuff up front just from something called common sense.
In essence, seniors dug their own graves here. However the ones that can still move should do so, because I wouldn't wish a retirement cookie cutter community way of living on my worst enemy.