I wish, wish, wish I had read your book before I'd made the decision to try the Villages.
Having lived in Bermuda, Trinidad, Nasau, and Paris during my tenure with IBM Int. Marketing, I should have known better. BUT, married friends of mine from my Bermuda days simply raved about the place. Little did I know that the Villages was Orwell's 1984 redux.
I lasted about 16 months in a village quite near the Lake Sumpter landing. One objective involved finishing my novel which I had screwed around with for about 6 years or so. I guess I finally came to the conclusion that the Villages and their incessant propaganda machine wasn't for me. In short, as one in his late 60's I grew more and more despondent when all I saw were 50,000 other gray-hairs who only lived for drink and golf for the most part. I missed seeing kids, young couples.
To name a few, I was incensed when I got my annual Village tax statement that indicated an extra $ 550 "reserve" fee that was never mentioned at closing. Moreover, while my house was advertised at $ 207K, it was really $ 222K which included the "bond." Not only that but the Morse's also charged me INTEREST on the bond: talk about usury.
The constant brain washing was driving me over the edge. I told myself I'd better get the hell out of here. And when I told some of my friends the place just wasn't for me, I was almost immediately shunned.
I've many more vignettes I can reveal that you didn't cover in your excellent reportorial work. More importantly, I was able to sell my house with just a minor loss in Feb. 2008. Hail Mary ! I now live in a "mixed" age community in Vero Beach, FL and simply love it.
Bob G, Vero Beach, FL former Villager