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Retire in Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina?
Overview: In southeastern North Carolina, the quiet little town of Lake Waccamaw is on the northern edge of oval-shaped, 9,000-acre Lake Waccamaw. Swampland and state park land surround the rest of the lake's 14 mile shoreline.
Large residences, many of which are second homes or vacation homes, sit along the water and have a private pier or boat dock. Inland homes, which are generally smaller, year-round residences, sit on wooded lots in low density neighborhoods. The lake itself is tea-colored and only 7 1/2 feet deep. It is part of Lake Waccamaw State Park and teems with fish, some of which are found nowhere else on earth. The North Carolina Division of Parks also stocks the lake with bluegill, largemouth bass, shellcracker and more. Ski boats, fishing boats and sailboats dot the water in-season, and hikers enjoy a number of all weather trails that meander through the Park.
The town has a small strip mall, a museum, a bank, churches, a pharmacy, a fishing supply store and some restaurants, including popular Dale's Seafood Restaurant. The restaurant has its own dock, serves Calabash-style (breaded and deep fried) food and is known for its oyster roast.
Population: 1,500 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 54%
Cost of Living: 7% below the national average
Median Home Price: $175,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s and mild winters with temperatures in 40s, 50s and 60s. On average, 53 inches of rain fall per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No. Whiteville, nine miles away has a hospital but it is not accredited. The nearest accredited hospital, which accepts Medicare patients, is in Elizabethtown, about 20 miles away.
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
Is North Carolina Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Somewhat
Cons: Aquatic weed issues hinder boating activities in some areas of the lake.
Notes: Lake Waccamaw has a small medical clinic. The town is racially diverse and has grown by 50% within the last decade or two.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes, although the distance to an accredited hospital should be considered.
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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