When people reach the point in their lives where they start thinking about places to spend their retirement, one thing becomes very clear, the warmer the better. No one wants to deal with the snow and cold weather of the Northeast or the Midwest during their “Golden Years” after most of them have had to deal with it all of their lives.
Here are 5 of the most popular places in America to retire:
Asheville, North Carolina
A lot of people choose Asheville, North Carolina when it comes time to retire. Asheville is a flourishing mid-sized city in the Blue Ridge mountains of western North Carolina.
Asheville sits just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469-mile, limited-access highway that curls through stunning scenic overlooks that link the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in western North Carolina to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.
The largest private residence in America, with its 250 rooms, the Biltmore Estate was built by the Vanderbilts not far from Asheville. The Biltmore House offers acres of scenic walking paths through gardens and along the creek and pond.
There is rarely a lack of something to do in this idyllic mid-sized city. The renovated historic downtown Asheville is packed with art and craft galleries which run the gamut from folk to contemporary; there are also unique locally owned shops and roughly 500 restaurants.
Residents of Asheville include artists, musicians, corporate executives, merchants and entrepreneurs.
Overall, North Carolina’s state income tax recently dropped, from between 6% to 7.75%, down to a 5.8% flat tax of 2014. However, the cost of living is 4.8% above the national average.
The median price of homes in Asheville is $175,600. In 2014, residential homes have appreciated at a rate of 4 percent.
In 2014, Asheville had a population of 83,796, and it has experienced a property growth rate of 13% since 2012.
Sarasota is one of the best places to retire in the United States. This town of 52,501 people on Florida’s Gulf Coast is home to the Ringling Museum of Art and several buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, which is why it is often referred to as the cultural capital of the Sunshine State.
The cost of living is very attractive here as well with a median home price of $151,400, which is well below the national average, although last year saw a 14.9% appreciation in home values.
Property taxes in the state are roughly $1,800 a year for the average home and there is also no income tax in Florida, all of which makes this little slice of sunshine very economical.
Sarasota is surrounded on most sides by water, and the tropical weather means warm and pleasant winters are the norm. However, this ideal winter weather also means the tourist traffic picks up during these months and the summers tend to be hot.
Not without its downside, Sarasota has a crime rate higher than the national average. However, the unemployment rate in the city is 5%, which is lower than the national average of 6.3%. Recent job growth is positive, due to the 5.19% job increase in the city.
Beaufort, South Carolina
If you want a taste of the old south and all of its charm, travel no further than Beaufort, South Carolina. Known as the “Queen of the Carolina Sea Islands”, this popular retirement town of 11,000 was discovered by the Spanish in 1514 and chartered by the British in 1711.
Beaufort is located in the Sea Islands or “low Country” area of South Carolina, just to the north of Hilton Head. There are 304 acres of the town which is designated as a National Historic Landmark.
This old south feel is reflected in the horse-drawn carriages that meander along the streets of the town’s charming historic district. The relaxed retirement community offers a laid back atmosphere that is sure to please.
There is still even more art and culture, as well as shopping and amazing restaurants close by in neighboring Charleston and Savannah, each roughly an hour away from Beaufort.
Beaufort County is made up of dozens of large islands, including Port Royal Island, Parris Island, Fripp Island and several smaller ones. All of these waterways and the scenic surroundings make for a picturesque image.
There is plenty of opportunities for boating, fishing and several other forms of water recreation.
The median home price in Beaufort, South Carolina is $156,700, with a home appreciation of 2.2 percent last year. Compared to the rest of the the country, Beaufort’s cost of living is 0.70% higher than the U.S. average.
On the job front, the unemployment rate in Beaufort is 4.5%. This is lower than the national average of 6.3% and the recent job growth is positive at 5.23%.
It’s no secret that Florida is a very popular location for people facing retirement, and rightly so. Florida is an amazing state with amazing weather, causing the state to keep popping up on this year’s list of top retirement locations for that reason.
Venice, Florida is a very pleasant community of 21,000 people located south of Sarasota on the Gulf of Mexico. The city was originally developed as retirement community, in 1925, by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. Venice gets its name from the many canals and rivers that run through it, identical to Venice, Italy.
Venice is similar to Naples in several ways, except with less traffic and much more affordable prices. Most of the town is designed in the Northern Italian Renaissance architectural style.
The inviting downtown has several interesting shops and restaurants, with plenty of parks and public tennis courts. One of Florida’s best Gulf Coast beaches is located only a few blocks from the downtown area.
Venice offers several different options for places to live. You can choose to live in town, near the central shopping district and beach. There are several great choices for homes and apartments located on or near the beach. Living in town also means that owning a vehicle is much less important than in other cities.
There are also active adult communities available if that is your preference, such as The Plantation or the Venice Golf & Tennis Club. These gated communities feature golf and or tennis, along with pools and clubhouses.
Since 2000, the population of Venice has grown at a rate of 7.54 percent. Real estate is reasonable with a median home cost of $170,700. The rate of home appreciation for last year was at 13.9%.
Venice has a cost of living that is .2% lower than the U.S. average and the unemployment rate is 5.3%, compared to the national average of 6.3%. The recent job growth in the city is at 5.19%.
Austin, Texas is quickly becoming a very popular retirement community for a variety of reasons. Austin has been selected as the second best big city to live in by Money Magazine. Some of the largest attractions to Austin are the array of cultural, technical and cosmopolitan activities that come from the University of Texas.
With a population of 758,000, Austin is large, but not so large that it’s overwhelming. Billed as “quirky and fun”, retirees have plenty of options in the “Live Music Capital” that are robust and cultural.
People moving to Austin have the choice of several different kinds of housing, from adult communities to all types of housing in the city’s neighborhoods. From apartments to condos and houses, the selection and value is one reason why Austin has become one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States.
Austin’s population has grown at a rate of 14.49% since 2000. The median cost of a home in the area is $229,939, a little on the high side, however, homes have appreciated 12.6% in the past year.
The cost of living is 6.5% higher in Austin, Texas than the U.S. average.