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Retire in Kure Beach, North Carolina?
Overview: Kure ("Curry") Beach, a relaxed seaside hamlet, sits on the southern end of Pleasure Island, which is on the southern North Carolina coast. The town is just 25 miles south of downtown Wilmington and has the Cape Fear River to its west and the Atlantic Ocean to its east.
The beach is the primary draw here. It is long, clean and bordered by private homes and vacation rentals. Ocean Front Park, which is near the 700 foot long fishing pier, has a boardwalk and an attractive open air pavilion. Restaurants specialize in seafood, but Italian and BBQ places are here, too. Specialty stores cater to shoppers looking for beachwear, ice cream, coffee and more. Daily fishing charters set sail in search of blue marlin and yellowfin tuna. Festivals include a chowder cookoff, a car show, a surfing event and more. Nearby Fort Fisher State Recreation Park has pristine stretches of beach and is home to more than a dozen endangered species.
Neighborhoods are compact. Many homes sit on stilts, have two stories and double balconies.
Population: 2,100 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 60%
Cost of Living: 35% above average
Median Home Price: $385,000
Climate: This area has hot, humid summers with temperatures in 80s and 90s and mild winters with temperatures in 40s, 50s and 60s. On average, it receives 52 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Wilmington has several hospitals that accept Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Wilmington has several hospitals that are accredited.
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: No
Political Leanings: Conservative
Is North Carolina Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Somewhat
Cons: The hurricane threat is real. In fact, Hurricane Florence in 2018 caused significant beach erosin and damaged the pier. The beachwalk area, however, escaped major damage.
Notes: This is another coastal town that is very quiet in the winter. Kure Beach has boomed by 235% within the last two decades but is still closely knit. Racial diversity is minimal. The pier is the oldest on the Atlantic coast.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
With its wide range of elevations and its three distinct geographic regions, the Tar Heel State is an inviting place to live or visit.
Its Atlantic Coastal Plain offers two national seashores and more than 300 miles of barrier island beaches. The Chowan, Roanoke, and Neuse rivers find the Atlantic here and provide endless opportunities for sailing, fishing, and kayaking. Seven coastal lighthouses help mark a history of pirates, wild horses, aviators, and Revolutionary War heroes. Downtown Wilmington buzzes with fine dining and nightlife.
North Carolina's Piedmont Region shelters some of the state's biggest cities. Metropolitan Charlotte is packed with galleries, furniture factories, breweries, and gardens. Winston-Salem harbors a a living history museum and sponsors the RiverRun International Film Festival. Barbecue flourishes in Lexington. For those looking to play golf, Pinehurst and the Sandhills beckon. The jewel of the region may be "The Triangle," a triumvirate of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. World-class universities, museums, and college athletics are everyday occurrences.
The state would be nothing without its Mountain Region. Mount Mitchell, the highest point in North America east of the Mississippi is here. Asheville, the foothills, and the Blue Ridge Parkway are here. Biltmore, the nation's largest home, is here. Visitors might boat at Lake Lure or find their way to the top of Chimney Rock and a stunning 75 mile view. Summer in the high country means the Great Smoky Mountains, camping, hiking, biking, and fishing. Winter means skiing at the Appalachian, Beech, or Sugar Mountain ski resorts.
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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