February 11, 2019 — Our “Dueling States” comparison articles remain all-time favorites at Topretirements.com (see complete list at end of article). Yet none is more popular than the one on “Dueling Carolinas“. At last count there were 631 Member comments going back several years, and right up to several made yesterday. In fact, although the main article laid out the facts about each state when it comes to real estate prices, taxes, climate, geography, and where to retire, the best information about what it is like to retire in either of the Carolinas is contained within all of those comments. This article will reprint two recent comments which were exceptionally interesting. We’ll also give you a tool on how to use these Comments to do customized Carolina research on topics that interest you. We look forward to even more comments too!
January 16, 2018 — Late in 2018 we published a series of Best Places to Retire lists for four U.S. regions. They were based on popularity – the 20 towns and cities in each region that had the most online visits at Topretirements. To kick off the new year we are picking the “2019 best of the best” from those 80 – the 10 retirement towns that we think are the best places to retire. While the original 80 made it because of popularity, these 10 represent our subjective best places selections. Some of the factors we weighed were cultural and recreational opportunities, climate, expense, taxes, the quality of the downtowns, and beauty. Obviously, your personal criteria might make for a different list. (Note that we did not include active adult communities on this list, which meant that places like The Villages did not get included).
1. Asheville, NC Asheville is a prosperous small city of just over 75,000 in the Blue Ridge mountains of western North Carolina. The downtown is filled with cafes, restaurants, and art deco buildings. Because it is in the mountainous part of the state it tends to have 4 seasons. The surrounding area has other towns popular with retirees, along with a huge number of 55+ and active adult communities.
2. Sarasota, FL. Some consider this thriving city midway down the Gulf Coast to be the cultural capital of Florida, after Miami. Sarasota has a great downtown with many interesting neighborhoods. An impressive array of cultural facilities is available in Sarasota. Barrier islands like Siesta offer great beaches and developments where retirees can put their feet up.
November 17, 2018. We would love to share with you solid information about how many retirees are interested in becoming a snowbird. Where they come from, and where they go to for the winter. How they found the places they snowbird in. Rent vs. own. And more.
But to do that we need YOU to fill out this quick 10 question survey. We promise it will be easy, and the info we get interesting (we’ll have a full report out after Thanksgiving). But seriously, we need everyone to contribute by investing just a few minutes in the survey. This is your chance to say thanks for this FREE site!
October 30, 2018 — Last week we reported on the retirement towns we visited in Western North Carolina. This second installment continues the trip down into northwestern Georgia. Don’t forget to see links to our other road trip articles in the “Further Reading” section at bottom.
The Planning Begins
We planned the trip by going through the Topretirements State Directories, looking for potential retirement towns to explore in the western parts of Georgia. (more…)
October 23, 2018 — For the longest time we have wanted to explore the western Carolinas and northern Georgia to get a better picture of this popular region for retirement. So for this year’s southern migration my wife and I decided to take the western route, starting out on Interstate 81. What a great trip it was. We will report on the towns we visited in western North Carolina (plus a list of the ones we didn’t to see). In a second installment we will continue with those we visited in northwestern Georgia. Don’t forget to see links to our other site visit articles in the “Further Reading” section at bottom.
Even if you are not considering retiring to this area you might find this travelogue a source of good ideas. You could use it for either a short vacation, or as a diversion if you are a snowbird hurtling to and from your summer and winter haunts.
The Planning Begins
We started planning the trip by going through the Topretirements State Directories, looking for towns in the western parts of Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. Our goal was to find towns that we (more…)
Resorts and college towns
We weren’t too surprised Pittsburgh ended up #1 on this list, Since the Steel City is frequently named as a great place to retire because of its relatively low costs and livability. But we (more…)
September 26, 2018 — A few years ago we published an article about small town retirement that a lot of people seemed to really like: “Five Big Reasons to Choose a Small Town Retirement“. Here is the counterpoint; some great reasons why that might not be the best idea.
Moving to a small town for retirement is a frequent dream for many baby boomers. Friendly neighbors, walking to downtown for coffee, and no traffic are just some of the attractions for people fed up with suburban sprawl and city hassles. Unfortunately, sometimes the dream does not work out that well. Or, people just realize that small town living isn’t for them.
Decorah, Iowa – a town many Member say is a great small town for retrirement
Some of the problems we have seen Access to medical care. The #1 issue we hear about is people who are disappointed with the health available in the small town they move to. There might not be many doctors, few specialists, and only a tiny hospital offering limited care. This really becomes a problem if you develop a condition that requires a specialist or a big hospital. A two or three hour drive to regular appointments, or in an emergency, will be a big problem for you. Small towns also greatly reduce your choice of doctors. It is not so much of an issue with towns (more…)
September 10, 2018 – Based on multiple surveys we have conducted, the best places to retire in America are in its Southeast, a region made up of 12 states. In that research 48% of respondents said they would like to retire there, twice as many as in the Southwest, the next highest choice. This is our 2018 list of the 20 most popular places to retire in the Southeast, the third in this year’s “Best Places” series. Here is a link to the first, “The Top 20 Places to Retire in the Southwest“. The second installment has the 20 Most Popular Places to Retire in the West (California to Colorado and points north).
What States are in the Southeast?
The states included in this big region are: West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Florida. In general the region has a humid subtropical climate with hot summers. Areas in the west and north tend to be cooler as they generally have more elevation or are further north. Hurricanes can reach landfall in the summer and fall months along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The region’s major geographical features include: Appalachian Mountains, Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi River.
The 20 most popular towns in the Southeast contain mostly familiar names, although they include a few towns that earned surprisingly high ranks. Asheville (NC), which has been top dog on our Top 100 list for the entire U.S. many times, was no surprise to take the #1 spot here. Its review was read by over 9,100 visitors in the first 7 months of 2018, more than four times as many as called up the #20 selection, Naples, FL. As an example of a bit of an upset, the #2 most popular place to retire on our list, Pensacola (FL), edged out many more famous retirement towns and cities. (more…)
September 7, 2018 — Down in Southwest Florida residents have been seeing red this summer – as in red tide. This disturbing scourge is the worst it has been in more than a decade. It has killed huge amounts of marine life as well as cost millions in lost tourism dollars in communities like Marco Island. One charter boat captain there says his business is down 80%; to stay busy he has been volunteering to assist researchers out on the water.
In a 120 mile stretch of coast work crews have been spending their mornings cleaning up fish kills on the beach. The organism in red tide releases a deadly toxin that kills marine life like fish and shellfish, along with dolphins, sea turtles, pelicans, and loggerhead turtles. Local animal clinics are experiencing abnormal numbers of injured creatures being brought into their facilities for treatment. Tourists are staying away from the bad smells and air irritants.
Currently the red tide exists in a long stretch from Pinellas County (Tarpon Springs above St. Petersburg) south to Naples and into Collier County. Its appearance is not uniform, but varies in intensity from area to area. Observations of greater than 1,000,000 K. brevis cells per liter ( very “high” concentrations) occurred in samples collected in or offshore of Hillsborough, Charlotte, (more…)
August 28, 2018 – When it comes to the best places to retire the American West, a huge area comprising 9 states, has a lot to offer. From coastal California to the Pacific Northwest to the gorgeous mountain states, there is something for everybody. This installment of our “Best Places to Retire 2018” provides the top 20 most popular retirement towns in the U.S. West. Here is a link to the first, “The Top 20 Places to Retire in the Southwest“.
What States are in the West?
The National Geographic Society includes nine states in the American West, a huge territory. Those are Washington, Oregon, California, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. With the exception of the coastal Northwest, most of this region is dry with hot summers. It includes contains portions of the Rockies and other big mountain ranges like the Tetons. Most of the region has low humidity. For more information about what it is like to retire in the West see our “Dueling Retirement States” series: Dueling Retirement States: The Pacific Northwest, and Dueling Retirement States: The Western Mountain States
The 20 most popular towns in the West contain some surprises, including a few not familiar to many. The surprising #1 most popular place to retire on our list, St. George, Utah edged out many more well known towns and cities. Obviously the word is out that the retirement there in the southwestern corner of Utah has many advantages. Viewed over 3,500 visitors viewed our review (more…)