By Jan Bergemann

Published August 11, 2017


Let’s start with my personal opinion: Considering what I have seen over the years happening in 55+ communities I can assure you that I would never buy into one of these “RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES.”


I know that many retirees moving to Florida would like to buy into peaceful communities – with no stress and friendly neighbors.


According to court records and media reports this seems not to be the case in these 55+ communities. Especially communities located in the “Central Florida” belt are obviously having serious problems.


To me it looks that quite a few of these retirees discover that their middle names are Adolf, Joseph or Fidel – and act accordingly. Attorneys are busy trying to stir up the folks in order to create some “juicy” lawsuits – as can be seen in the many articles about 55+ communities I posted over the years on our CCFJ website.


To me it seems that many elderly folks with no prior business experience discover that it is fun harassing neighbors, or being the local dictator telling everybody in the neighborhood how to live their lives.


We find the “SUPERMAN” types who think they know it all and are spreading their “wisdom” all over the place.


And since many of the retirees who moved into these communities just want their “peace”, these folks who think that these communities would fall apart without them, can prosper and quickly turn these communities into dictatorships. Apathy often runs wild in these communities.


In all honesty, moving into these 55+ communities may avoid you hearing the noise of playing children, but you may face some elderly folks who consider these neighborhoods their private playground where everybody has to follow their made-up rules.


Buyer beware: If you are looking into buying into a 55+ community make sure that the community still has the 55+ status. Not all communities advertising as 55+ communities have re-registered for this status over the years, most often because board and management failed to renew the status as required by law.


Search The 55+ Housing Directory to make sure the community preserved its status.


And then there might be the day when you want to sell your property in the 55+ community again for various reasons: Moving back up North to be closer to the kids because your spouse died or having to move into an assisted-living facility because of your failing health.


No matter what your reasons are: In order to sell your property you do need a potential buyer. And – because of age-restrictions – the pool of potential buyers is already seriously limited if your property is located in a 55+ community.


According to statistics – many of the “new” retirees coming to Florida are not interested in living in these “elderly” communities.


Make no mistake: There are some “nice” 55+ communities here in Florida. But beware: Even the “nicest” community is only one election away from dictatorship.


Enough reasons why I wouldn’t buy into a 55+ community?

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Jan Bergemann Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice, Florida 's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group. CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in community  

associations. He moved to Florida in 1995 - hoping to retire. He moved into a HOA, where the developer cheated the homeowners and used the association dues for his own purposes. End of retirement!


CCFJ was born in the year 2000, when some owners met in Tallahassee - finding out that power is only in numbers. Bergemann was a member of Governor Jeb Bush's HOA Task force in 2003/2004.


The organization has two websites to inform interested Florida homeowners and condo owners:

News Website: http://www.ccfj.net/.

Educational Website: http://www.ccfjfoundation.net/.

We think that only owners can really represent owners, since all service providers surely have a different interest! We are trying to create owner-friendly laws, but the best laws are useless without enforcement. And enforcement is totally lacking in Florida !

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