Retirement Living

By Robert Plunket February 4, 2009

Sarasota Bay Club lets seniors continue living the good life.



By Robert Plunket


Click here to see our Real Estate Junkie discussing Sarasota Bay Club on TV.

Sarasota was built on retirement. It’s got the perfect combination of weather, things to do, medical facilities, stress-free living, and a whole lot of other retired people to be friends with. Consequently the town has a large number of retirement communities for all income levels, and sitting right at the top are Plymouth Harbor and the Sarasota Bay Club.

Sarasota Bay Club

I have a lot of friends in Plymouth Harbor, but I am even more familiar with the Sarasota Bay Club, because that’s where my folks moved, back around 2000. They were apprehensive about a retirement community because they considered themselves very self-sufficient and feared it might have a “summer camp” atmosphere, with a lot of activities and social cliques, and they didn’t want to get involved in all that. They wanted a nice place to live, and to continue on with the nice Sarasota life they had carved out for themselves.


Well, they loved it from the start. Many residents participate fully in the community life. Others, like my folks, stand back a little. Either way works out fine.

 Living room of a Sarasota Bay Club unit.

At the Sarasota Bay Club you buy your apartment, rather like a condominium. Units start at around $500,000 and go up to three times that for the big penthouses with the private elevators. The current model they have on display is pretty typical; two bedrooms, two baths, about 1,500 square feet. The rooms are spacious; there is a complete kitchen along with walk-in closets, a great little sunroom/den, a washer and dryer. Because of the way the buildings are angled, most apartments have a view of the bay.

The view from a Sarasota Bay Club apartment.

Residents pay a monthly fee – it starts around $2,000, depending on the size of the unit and whether one or two people are occupying it. For that you get all utilities, cable TV, transportation around town, valet parking, plus a whole slew of amenities like the pool, gym, parties, classes, concerts, etc. You pay separately for housekeeping, and meals are not included. There are various meal plans (for instance, 21 meals a month for $214) and I can attest that the food is very good, superior country club fare, and yes, you can order a cocktail at your table.

The Sarasota Bay Club dining room.

The Sarasota Bay Club is not one of those places that offer life care no matter what, although there is a separate building on campus, called the Inn, which functions as a nursing home, under its own financial setup.


Like so many people who move to retirement communities, my folks’ one regret was that they didn’t do it sooner. That last year, struggling to take care of their house while their health was declining, was a strain they didn’t have to go through. And with the current economy and many older people unable to sell their homes, there are bargains to be had in retirement living all over town.


For more info call Kathryn Cooper at 941-366-7667.




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