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Retire in Wake Forest, North Carolina?
Overview: Tucked between the Piedmont and the Atlantic Coastal Plain in north central North Carolina, leafy Wake Forest is part of the vibrant Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill's Research Triangle and has grown by nearly 50% in the last 10 years. Wake Forest University was once here but relocated to Winston-Salem in 1956.
The city is proud of its revitalized, attractive downtown. It is stocked with historic red and white brick buildings that house restaurants, ice cream shops, music stores, florists, frame shops, a general store and more. There is also a year-round farmers' market, and the renovated Cotton Company houses boutiques and artist studios. The Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, a new events venue, hosts speakers and community events, and the Wake Forest Arts and Forest Moon Theater is the community theater. Housing styles in new, well-kept subdivisions include Cape Cods, arts and crafts, plantation and more, while established neighborhoods have bungalows and cottages.
The city maintains 560 acres of parks, paths, and open space, and there are 58 miles of greenway. The E. Carroll Joyner Park has lush meadows, a woodland, and a pond. Falls Lake State Recreation Area is a haven for fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, and mountain biking.
Population: 40,000 (city proper)
Percentage of Population 45 or Better: 22%
Cost of Living: 9% above the national average
Median Home Price: $315,000
Climate: This area has hot, humid summers with temperatures in 80s and 90s and mild winters with temperatures in 30, 40s and 50s. On average, 45 inches of rain and 4 inches of snow fall each year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Duke Health is 12 miles away in Raleigh and accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited By Joint Commission? No, but Duke Health is 12 miles away in Raleigh and is accredited.
Public Transit: Yes
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Liberal
Is North Carolina Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Somewhat
Notes: Residents complain about the traffic that has come with the rapid growth. The city is racially diverse.
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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