Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Retire in Charlotte, North Carolina?
Overview: Racially diverse and growing, Charlotte is in southwestern North Carolina and is the state's largest city. It is a major banking center, with Wells Fargo's regional headquarters and Bank of America's corporate office's located here. The NASCAR industry also has a large footprint in Charlotte, as does the energy technology sector.
With 199 different neighborhoods, Charlotte has something for everyone. Homes range from stylish urban condominiums to new traditional Craftsmans in leafy, suburban areas. The city supports a symphony, an opera company, a dance company, multiple art museums, and two professional theater companies. Museums include the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the Charlotte Nature Museum. The NoDa neighborhood is an emerging arts district. Charlotte has seven colleges and universities, including the University of North Carolina Charlotte. The Carolina Panthers are one of the city's three professional sports teams, and there are at least seven golf clubs in the area. Residents also enjoy a zoo and an aquarium. Shopping and dining venues are many and varied.
Charlotte's Freedom Park has a lake, bandshell, and demonstration gardens, and the lovely 1,150-acre McDowell Nature Preserve contains part of 13,500-acre Lake Wylie and is a perfect spot for hiking, fishing, and canoeing. The US National Whitewater Center has a climbing wall, running trails, and whitewater rapids course.
Population: 875,000 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 29%
Cost of Living: Meets the national average
Median Home Price: $230,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 30s, 40s and 50s. On average, the area receives 44 inches of rain and 3 inches of snow each year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes
Public Transit: Yes
Crime Rate: Above the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Liberal
Is North Carolina Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Somewhat
Cons: Nothing significant, although the higher than average crime rate is a concern. Still, crime seems to be located in areas that can be avoided.
Notes: Some people consider Charlotte to be a little backwards, particularly for a city its size. Others say that it is one big sprawling suburb. Yet many people love it. Neighborhoods seem to be segregated. The city has grown by 17% during the last decade.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
The Tar Heel State was one of the first to instruct its Continental Congress delegates to vote for independence from British rule. After the Revolutionary War, it entered the Union on November 21, 1789 and started developing an extensive slave plantation system. It became a major exporter of cotton and tobacco. North Carolina was one of 11 states to secede from the Union and to spark the American Civil War.
Bordered by South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, and the Atlantic ocean, North Carolina's geographic regions range from the barrier islands and low plains of the eastern Atlantic coast to the mountainous regions of the west. The rolling hills and waterfalls of the Piedmont lie in between. Because of a wide variance in altitudes, North Carolina's climate can be hard to predict. Winters, especially on the coast, can be warm and mild.
The state has 17 major river basins and is rich in hydroelectric power. Tobacco, sweet potatoes, hogs, trout, and turkeys are a few of its agricultural products. The arts and culture industry has become an economic driver. It supports more than 43,000 jobs and generates almost $120 million in state and local revenue.
North Carolina is the home of several firsts. Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run in Fayetteville. The Wright brothers launched the first manned, self-propelled airplane from a cliff near Kitty Hawk. Pepsi was invented and first served in New Bern. Vernon Rudolph first sold Krispy Kreme doughnuts in Winston-Salem.
Population - 10,147,788
Persons 65 years old and over - 16%
High school graduates, age 25+ - 86%
Bachelor's degree or higher, age 25+ - 25%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 10%
White persons, not Hispanic - 63%
Median household income - $46,868
Median home value - $162,500
Social Security taxed? No
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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