7 Reasons NOT to Retire in Brooksville


Most denominations have one or more “retirement villages” where retired folk from that denomination gather at retirement.  The United Methodists have dozens of places, Salvation Army officers go to Sebring, Florida or Old Orchard Beach. In my denomination we head for Brooksville, Florida a camp meeting grounds-cum-retirement village.  Boomers in my denomination have for several decades made fun of “Brooksville” and many claim they’ll never wind up there.  They offer seven reasons which I am going to list here.  I suspect they are similar to what the boomers in your denomination say too.


1. I wouldn’t want to be with all those old people.

Of course they won’t be old when you get there—they’ll be about your age.  When you started saying these things you were in your 40’s and they were old. But when you get to be 65 they’ll look quite young—about your age.   And many of those 70 year old women in Brooksville are downright hot. Girlwatching is a more common sport in Brooksville than at the denomination’s youth conventions. This is one way you know you are in your 70’s—seventy year old people look really great to you! 


2. I wouldn’t want to be with those conservative people.

They were probably more conservative than you when you were in your 40’s but when you retire they’ll be just like you—“conservative.”  Just like your church, “conservative” changes meaning as new people move in.  It once meant the people didn’t play Poker or swim together in their swimming pool.  When you get there most everyone will agree that Jesus is the only way to heaven, pornography is improper, practicing homosexuals should not be ordained, and abortion is still wrong.  In other words, they’ll be just like you then—“conservative.”


3. Why would I want to be with a bunch of Wesleyans?

Why not?  Don’t you like Wesleyans?  If not, why are you with them now?  Why pastor a churchful of Wesleyans, go to camp and conference with Wesleyans, have best friends that are Wesleyans, attend New Year’s conferences with Wesleyans, then flee them when you retire?  If you don’t like being with Wesleyans, right now is the time to get out. Don’t wait to flee when you’ll need friendships the most—in your retirement years.  Besides, as a retired person you’ll be hungry for news from across the church.  Brooksville is a virtual home page for such news. They find out who is elected DS or who is the latest candidate for GS at Brooksville before the folk at headquarters know about it. Brooksville people get emails from virtually every district every day. It is one of the reasons to get coffee every morning.


4. I wouldn’t want to live in a tiny camp meeting cottage or rusty trailer.

Obviously you have not been to Brooksville recently.  Sure, most retirement villages start out as simple camp or conference grounds but as new folk retire who have more money they always adapt.  Retirement villages buy additional land and eventually the $15,000 cottages give way to $150,000 homes. Of course Brooksville still has both kinds of housing—but I wouldn’t want live in a place that excluded pastors who didn’t have 200 grand for a home anyway.  Some of my best friends are poor pastors. At Brooksville a minister can retire for anywhere from $20,000 to ten times that much. I like that.  But don’t think all you can get is a rusty trailer.  The Brooksville people bought adjacent property and developed that for the rich boomers. This is one of the things I LIKE about the “greatest generation”—when the chips were down they voted with the next generation rather than protecting their own preferences and possessions.  They may have grumbled while doing it, but they did it.  These are the same folk who permitted youth conventions to look like rock concerts and swallowed their own music preferences and let "praise choruses" dominate worship. They paid for buildings they didn’t need for themselves and when they retired to Brooksville they risked having a bunch of their own camp-meeting-type cottages on the market unsold while expanding into hundred-acre neighboring properties for the coming boomer’s $200,000 homes...the boomers get everything.

5. It would be too depressing to have people dying all the time.

You obviously have not attended a Brooksville funeral.


6. There are too many nosy people checking on me if I want to skip church.

Let me get this right—you are intimidated by your neighbors?  You want to skip church?  You want a life where nobody cares when you are missing?  You’ve confused the needs of a middle aged “trapped” minister with the those of a retired person. Besides, the number of Brooksville people who skip services or “slip off somewhere else” on Sunday mornings is about the same percentage as you’ll find doing that on a college campus. And the Brooksville people don’t stay up as late.


7. The weather is too warm and balmy in Florida.

This one you win.  If you like bitter cold winds and deep snowfalls you won’t like Brooksville.  It is the only objection that has lasted for me. (I am not kidding here—I love icy winters and dislike balmy weather) We’ll how long that lasts.


So, what do you think?

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Keith Drury January 2, 2007



·          Brooksville (Wesleyan Village)

·          Brooksville property for sale—cottages to homes

·          Activities in Brooksville (nickel-ante Poker unlisted)