Living a long life in God’s waiting room

         Florida golf communities have long been a major destination for retirees looking for a warm climate and lots to do. But perhaps because the weather makes most septuagenarians hermits in the long hot summers, and because the stereotyped activities of shuffleboard and sitting by the pool don’t exactly get the heart rate going, the Sunshine State hasn’t been associated with the notion of life longevity.

         But a recent article in USNews & World Report indicated that you can live an especially long life in or around Naples, FL. According to the magazine’s online article titled “Retirement Places that Promote Longevity,” men live an average of 80 years in Collier County, which extends mostly east from the city of Naples, and women a robust 84.6 years. That gives Collier County the distinction of providing the third longest life expectancy for women in the nation, behind just Marin County, CA (85 years) and Montgomery County, MD (84.9). USN&WR indicates Marin County females report the highest rate of physical activity in the nation.


After golf at Mediterra, relax with a game of bocce and a libation at the adjoining bar.

         There are plenty of opportunities for physical activity in the best golf communities in Naples. With very un-Naples like prices and a fine 27 holes of golf by Gordon Lewis, Heritage Bay makes sense for either year-round or seasonal residents. Two-bedroom, two-bath resale condos start well under $200,000, and the community’s respected national builder, Lennar, throws in golf membership with the purchase of any of their new units (but, of course, you are on the hook for monthly dues, which are not burdensome). For those who want something a bit more substantial, single-family homes that are larger than 3,000 square feet, are priced in the low $500s. One unique aspect of the golf course that takes a little getting used to is the “aqua” practice facility, where the fly-shorter golf balls are purposely hit into the water.

         You will stay dry on the practice range at Mediterra, one of the most upscale golf communities in an area known for expensive real estate (erroneously so, especially in the wake of the recession, when Naples real estate lost 50 percent of its value). With two Tom Fazio layouts, eight miles of walking trails, a beach club, tennis, fancy fitness center, and a beautifully groomed bocce court (and Bocce Bar!), there is no excuse to avoid a little exercise and conviviality with fellow residents. We notice current offerings that start at $454,000 for a three-bedroom, three-bath coach home and others that reach to the $5 million mark. The sweet spot appears to be in the $600s.

         More established Naples communities include Audubon, Imperial Golf Estates, Olde Cypress and Vineyards. Audubon, the closest of all communities to the beach at less than a mile, features single-family homes from the $500s. Imperial is a 40-year old community with impeccable landscaping, 36 holes of terrific golf (we played 18 of them) and sharply priced homes that start in the mid $100s for condos and the $300s for single-family homes. The 18-hole course by P.B. Dye at Olde Cypress was totally renovated in the last two years and only makes a well-regarded community even better. At 650 acres, Olde Cypress is intimate, but its 10 neighborhoods and no-condos layout provide plenty of room. Prices start in the $400s.


Imperial Golf Estates features 36 excellent holes of golf and some of lowest priced golf homes in the area.

         The heart of the large Vineyards golf community is its 70,000 square foot clubhouse where an eclectic mix of retirees and young families meet for excellent food and other activities. The 36 holes of golf by former touring pro Mark McCumber and noted golf architect Bill Amick are only part of the roster of activities that include a large tennis center, Olympic style pool, and health and fitness center well-outfitted and large enough to accommodate all those who want to exercise their options to exercise. Condos start around $200,000 and single-family homes at $400,000.

         You can review dozens of listings for Naples at our web site (click here) or contact us for more information.


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