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Retire in Columbus, North Carolina?
Overview: Tucked in the Blue Ridge Mountain foothills of southwestern North Carolina, about 90 minutes west of Charlotte, Columbus is nice little town in a growing wine and equestrian region. It started out in the mid-1800s and today is the Polk County seat.
With a climate conducive to grape growing, the rolling countryside around Columbus is home to five wineries and more than 20 vineyards. Weekenders from Charlotte and Asheville come for tours and tasting events, giving Columbus a touristy vibe not always found in small communities. The downtown is just four blocks long but lined with red brick buildings that house antique shops, cafes, a brewery and some very good restaurants. It is also home to the county courthouse and two parks. The farmers' market takes place in Courthouse Square or in a church basement year round. Museums include the House of Flags and the historical museum. The Tryon International Equestrian Center, packed with all kinds of horse events, is just eight miles down the road. Most homes are ranch ramblers nestled in the woods.
Population: 1,000 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 55%
Cost of Living: 3% above the national average
Median Home Price: $220,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 70s and 80s, and winter temperatures in the 30s and 40s. On average, the area receives 54 inches of rain and 4 inches of snow each year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes
Public Transit: The county has a call-ahead van service that travels to a regional airport, a Wal-Mart, medical appointments and some other destinations.
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: Yes, and everyone seems to love it.
Political Leanings: Conservative
Is North Carolian Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Somewhat
Notes: Columbus has grown by 22% within the last two decades.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
"Esse quam videri" is the motto of North Carolina, also known as the Tar Heel State. It was the 12th state to be admitted to the Union, joining the other states on November 21, 1789. North Carolina was also one of the Thirteen Colonies and was originally named the Province of Carolina. It was the second to the last state to declare its secession from the Union during the Civil War.
The state is situated in the Southeastern region of the United States and is bordered by South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia. The capital is Raleigh, but the largest city is Charlotte.
The historical people of North Carolina include the Chowanoke, Roanoke, Pamlico, Coree and Cape Fear Indians. The Revolutionary War impoverished the state of North Carolina for several years.
Charlotte is on a rapid growth streak thanks to its banking industry. North Carolina is also home to several universities, including the University of North Carolina, Duke University and North Carolina State University.
The state hosts more than 80% of the NASCAR racing teams and is the site of the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Carolina Panthers represents North Carolina in the National Football League, and the Charlotte Bobcats play in the National Basketball Association.
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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