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NOT END OF THE WORLD
|By Frank Kaiser|
Can it be seven years now that I've lived On Top of The World?
Wasn't it just yesterday that I moved to this retirement community where a week consists of six Saturdays and a Sunday and tied shoes are considered formal attire? So go the jokes, anyway.
Eeeeeeeek! What have I done? The sign at the entrance to my new home says:
Retirement at its best!
Bingo? Ohmygod. I'm now living in a "retirement community."
THIS PLACE IS FULL OF OLD PEOPLE!
Please say it ain't so.
Did any of us ever dream that we'd ever be living in a place with 10,000 other geezers? A place where no one under 55 is even permitted?
A place from which no one expects to get out alive?
Seven years ago it never occurred to me that I'd even live this long! Yet here I am having the time of my life!
Suddenly Trivia: What US city is No. 2 in residents 65 and older? a) Scottsdale, b) Cape Coral, c) Miami.
The story goes that one day the developer said, “If our residents are too poor or infirm to see the world, we'll bring the world to them.” And so he did.
The real coup d'coot are the 2- to 3-story condo buildings themselves. With names like Mandalay, Austrian Alpine, French Renaissance, and American Gothic, the facades reflect each specific travel theme. Look across the skyline and you see mosque towers, bizarre steeples, onion domes, cupolas, minarets, oriental arches, and Corinthian scrolls.
We may be worldly, but here we speak only American. Compared with Miami, On Top of the World is whole white bread. Everyone speaks English. Few drive foreign cars. Folks here like four-door Buicks and Mercurys.
My Chrysler convertible makes locals stop and stare.
1,400 Sq. Ft. for Less Than $100,000
By far the best news for most of us retiring to a community like this in 2008, condo prices are reasonable. You can get 1,400 sq. ft. of safe and quiet from $75,000 to $140,000. A one-bed, one-bath in the low 50s.
Many of my neighbors still work, at least part time. Some would rather work than golf; old habits die hard. But most find the abundant, albeit low-paying jobs in the area a blessing, a necessary supplement to Social Security.
Still others volunteer. We lend a hand at local hospice, churches, Meals on Wheels, wherever help is needed. Often we do jobs we only dreamed about before retiring.
And we laugh. Several times a month there's affordable entertainment, often old comedians from the Borscht Belt who have found new life joking across Florida's condos. Always corny, they're our Las Vegas without the dirty parts.
Above all, we're habitually polite.
Take last night. At a longer than usual break toward the end of a Herb Alpert sound-alike program, dozens of my fellow oldsters jumped to their feet and rushed - in an octogenarian sense - out toward the door.
Carolyn thought them rude. I think they simply all had to pee.
© 2008 Frank Kaiser
Suddenly Trivia Answer: c) Cape Coral, Florida. The top five most elderly city populations are Clearwater, Cape Coral, Honolulu, St. Petersburg, and Hollywood, Florida. Miami is No. 7. Scottsdale is No. 9.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ON TOP OF THE WORLD
If you have questions about the On Top of the World Retirement Community, or if you or your parents are interested in buying there, I suggest that you talk to the folks who sold Carolyn and me our lovely place.
Call John and Barbara Schinn (727.278.1135) at Olympia Gold Team Realty, or e-mail them at TheSchinns@aol.com. Or, you can reach them toll-free at 1.866.726.2309
They are very knowledgeable.
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