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Retire in Flat Rock, North Carolina?
Overview: In the mountains of western North Carolina, the charming, historic village of Flat Rock makes its home. It started out in the early-1800s as a summer retreat for wealthy Charlestonians and plantation owners, and today, still exuding mountain affluence, it is known as "Little Charleston of the Mountains."
Roads around the village are narrow and meandering, lined with woods and merchants in cute, colorful historic buildings (all of Flat Rock is listed on the National Register of Historic Places). Tourists come to to town because it is the site of the beautiful Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site and the Flat Rock Playhouse, which is a professional theater and the state theater of North Carolina. It has workshops, classes and a full schedule of performances, from musicals and operas and rock concerts. Historic Flat Rock presents an annual Tour of Homes and a Gala. Golfers have two courses on which to play, and another eight courses are within a 10 mile drive. National forests and state parks with waterfalls, fishing streams, camping areas and hiking trails are all close at hand.
Many of the grand antebellum estates from the early days still stand, surrounded by lush lawns and bountiful gardens. Others have been transformed into modern master-planned communities. Two of these developments are the Kenmure Country Club and Berwick Downs, both with attractive single family homes.
Population: 3,400 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 70%
Cost of Living: 15% above the national average
Median Home Price: $285,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 70s, 80s and 90, and winter temperatures are in the 20s, 30s and 40s. On average, the area receives 55 inches of rain and 9 inches of snow per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Margaret R. Pardee Hospital is four miles away in Hendersonville and accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Margaret R. Pardee is four miles away in Henderson and is accredited by DNV Healthcare.
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: No
Political Leanings: Very conservative
Is North Carolina Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Somewhat
Cons: Roads can get a little treacherous in winter.
Notes: Racial diversity is minimal, and the elevation is 2,400 feet above sea level. Flat Rock has grown by 70% within the last two decades. m
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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