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What One Couple is Looking for in a Retirement Community

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

Editor’s Note: We heard back from an unhappy visitor a while back who was disappointed after taking a lengthy detour to visit Maryville, Tn. She wondered how we could have ever recommended such a place, which she and her husband found ordinary and worse. After we explained that her comments would be very helpful in keeping our reviews more balanced, “Ela” graciously wrote back with a very informative note explaining what she and her husband are looking for in a retirement town. It was so good that we asked and she granted permission to reprint it here (Ela is not her real name). Thanks Ela!

My husband and I love road trips. We live in Indianapolis but have friends all over and if remotely possible, we’ll drive. We get around. Often, we will fly to some airport one state or two away and drive to our destination just so we can check out things, always looking for the perfect little city.

We are specifically looking in Georgia (around north Atlanta), Tennessee (around central/southern Knoxville), and Florida (Tampa/Sarasota) in that preferential order.

Most of our desired areas would run along I-75 and/or be within its access. We are tired of dealing with the 4-5 months of snow, having lived in Indianapolis, IN.

So far, no real luck. We’ve seen some cities we liked a few years ago but we were not taking notes and most of them were out west anyway.

The cities that have the “feel” we especially like are “urban” and are like the following, though we do NOT want to live in these areas for whatever reason:

* Winter Park, FL – Downtown WP specifically (restaurants, culture, youth)
* St. Augustine FL, – Old City Downtown (history, restaurants, renovation, culture, youth & artists)
* Carmel, IN – the New Arts District (bike trails, restaurants, renovation)
* Vancouver, BC – we loved it all (but can not live on the West coast as it’s too far from family ๐Ÿ™
* Asheville, NC – Downtown (history, restaurants, renovation, culture, youth & artists)
* Albuquerque, NM – Downtown (history, restaurants, renovation, culture & artists)
* San Diego, CA – Downtown (restaurants, close to ocean/water)
* Savannah, GA – within Downtown area but TOO hot (history, Restaurants, renovation, culture)

We have not planned properly for retirement, yet it is approaching more quickly than we imagined.

What we are looking for
The things that draw us to a city is it “vibrancy” and it’s “pedestrian friendliness” with lots of restaurants to choose from and old-world ethnicity. A college and something like Indianapolis’s “Monon Trail” (a converted railroad track made into a walking/biking path running many, many miles from north to south that goes through several restaurant/bar/shopping/art districts). We’d also to be within an hour of a major airport and close to a good hospital.

Most of the 55+ communities seem to be in the middle of nowhere and/or have limited amenities. I mean, you can only go to the same restaurant so many times before you get tired of the menu or the same faces around you. We like a lot of diversity.

Tis a BIG order.

If you can point us in the right direction and/or if you have a location service, please let me know.

What do you think?
Ela’s point of view is surprisingly close to ours. We congratulate her and her husband for taking the road trips to find out first-hand what they like and don’t like. BTW, anyone looking for a location service should take our free Retirement Ranger quiz – it’s free.

Add your Comments below- we all want to know what you think.

Posted by Admin on August 9th, 2010


  1. What a great letter and view in to how to look for a place to retire. It is great that this couple knows what they want before they go looking. Just outside of Woodstock, GA is going to be a great community that will satisfy most of your needs, including walking to great restaurants.

    by Windsong Properties — August 9, 2010

  2. Have you checked out Sun City Center, FL? It is close to Tampa – major airport which we also want, right off the interstate & a 55+ retirement community with a wide variety of price ranges. It has a lot to do & it one we are considering. If you’ve checked this one out – let me know what you thought. Thank you & happy searching.

    by Sunne — August 10, 2010

  3. My wife and I live in southern Maryland and are retiring in the next 5 months to a year. Ela and her husband’s vision of a urban location with ammentities galore is right on with what we’re seeking as well. We’re hoping to visit more NC, SC and GA locations but work commitments are a major problem. We bought a 1/2 acre lot in Wallace, NC at a gated community called the Vineyards in River Landing. While RL is beautiful for a 55+ community, relatively close to Wilmingon and heck who wouldn’t mind living right next to a vineyard, the small town of Wallace lacks the charm and ammenities we are looking for both culturally, shopping, dining and entertainment, i.e. movie theaters. I really love stories like Ela’s since we can’t travel as much as she and her husband. Thanks for this wonderful website John.

    by Dave — August 10, 2010

  4. Sun City Hilton Head in South Carolina has everything they are looking for. It is located off I95 exit 8, 12 miles from Hilton Head beaches, 20 minutes to Savannah, 20 minutes to Beaufort, 2 hours to Charleston, 2 hours to the Florida border, 30 minutes to Savannah/Hilton Head airport. It is also adjacent to the University of South Carolina Bluffton campus which has the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
    The community consists of many different housing options in all price ranges, from cottages, villas, single family homes, estate homes and custom built homes. There are over 200 clubs, 2 restaurants, 2 golf courses, sports park, performing arts center, 4 pools, tennis, bocci, pickleball, softball, walking trails, and so much more.
    Before you make up your mind on a community, you must check out Sun City Hilton Head.

    by Margaret Fallon — August 10, 2010

  5. I have a suggestion – if you can’t find the one perfect place to retire, why not split your retirement time. We have some residents who summer in Maine and then go to a warmer climate in the winter. In Orono, we have the University of Maine, walking trials, great summer weather, a good variety of restuarants here and in Bangor, along with arts, music, and lobster festivals – how could you go wronmg with that? Good luck on your search, but think about making a stop here and I’ll buy you dinner. Dirigo Pines

    by Dirigo Pines in Maine — August 10, 2010

  6. My husband and I were looking for similar things for our retirement. When we discovered Willow Creek in Sweetwater, TN, we found it all. We had our home built and moved in one month ago from Costa Rica. Willow Creek is not a subdivision; it is a true community.

    There is a mixed diversity of ages, about half retired and half not. We have sidewalks and front porches everywhere and the most friendly neighbors. The day we moved in we got a plant from one neighbor, fruit basket from another and a lasagna spinach casserole from another; we had not even met these good people yet. We have a beautiful clubhouse for less than $50 per month which includes a pool, tennis, basketball, full gym along with lots of parties and various meeting groups, including poker every week.

    Downtown Sweetwater is a charming historical small old town where everyone is so accepting of us; there are lots of local southern events going on regularly. Sweetwater has local restaurants for easy access, with Athens and Knoxville not far away so we get to enjoy a big city without having the expenses of living there. It was extremely difficult to leave our beautiful mountain home in Costa Rica, but health problems demanded we do so. I knew the moment we visited Willow Creek we had found our new home; we shall not move again.

    by JOY KOBER — August 10, 2010

  7. Ela writes a good letter. We’ve found a wonderful town in Florida that would appear to satisfy her urban desires. It’s Lake Mary, Florida, and specifically, the Heathrow community, so large it has its own zip code. You get a lot of house for the money, it’s really pretty with lots of lakes all around, the amenities are bountiful, and there’s shopping galore with restaurants whose quality matches the big restaurant cities, like New York, Chicago, etc. Houses outside of Heathrow in Lake Mary proper are even less expensive, and she can go as close to the town center as she likes. It’s a little more driving and a little less walking to the urbs, but recreational walking in Heathrow is heaven, with old trees, lakes and birds galore. I loved the tall red-headed cranes that crossed our path one Sunday afternoon. When we finally settle down from our motor home travels, this will definitely be a place we’ll consider.

    by Betty Fitterman — August 11, 2010

  8. Ela’s list closely resembles the one created by my husband and I. We, too, are looking for a city that has preserved its architectural heritge (i.e., has many historic homes and hopefully an historic downtown), numerous and diverse restaurants, and biking and walking trails. To that list we would add four-season interest, a gardening-friendly climate, many musical events, and a sense of forward momentum. Unlike Ela, we’d like to move north of our current state of Tennessee. All suggestions welcome!

    by Debbie Denton — August 11, 2010

  9. Ela, why not visit Hendersonville, NC about 24 miles south of Asheville along !-26. With an historic downtown, NC State Theatre in Flat Rock, apple growing center of NC, several local farmer markets, horse farms, mountains, excellent hospitals, local colleges, summer concerts each Friday evening, downtown street dances each Monday evening, H’ville has a lot to offer with the quality of life and low cost of living and taxes. Spartanburg and Greenville, SC as well as, Charlotte, NC are very close by.

    by John Meyer — August 11, 2010

  10. We have been looking in the south west (Utah,St.George) Were ever you go make a few trips and maybe rent before making the final purchase. I was turned off on the south after working south of Nashville for 10 years. People were not very friendly to us DAM Yankees. Maybe it was just were we located but it was a downer for us and many of my coworkers. Check for blog insight.

    by Willie G — August 11, 2010

  11. I really enjoyed Ela’s article and appreciate you bringing it to us, John. My husband and I are traveling a similar path. We have “the old homeplace” (great, but way too big) in Pensacola, Florida; had a summer home for 7 years near Waynesville, NC and have regretted selling it ever since we sold it in 2004.

    We are once again looking at Waynesville and also (per John Meyer) Hendersonville. I just looked up Hendersonville’s “walk score” and it is one of most highly rated for walkability in the country. Looks to me like their downtown core has made some vibrant moves since the last time I was there.

    We would like to have one spot for most of the year, but all options are one the table. We’re even considering completely selling out of Pensacola. “Ela’s List” has just about all our wants and needs. Great food for thought!

    by Elizabeth Westmark — August 11, 2010

  12. Ela, What you are looking for is right here in Sun City Hilton Head, Bluffton, SC.A retirement community for active adults, 55 and over..We have it all, just as Margaret Fallon has stated. It is the best “bang for your buck”. You calendar can be as filled as you want it to be, each day you will be wondering if you are on a permanent vacation. We have so much to offer you. Email me, and I would love to show you around. frannie

    by frannie — August 11, 2010

  13. Thanks for opening this forum – so much to say –
    We also want cultural opportunities, a historic downtown, a population of at least 100,000, music, dance clubs, reasonably priced gym classes, water to look at, swim & kayak in, a place to garden, not enough snow that we have to shovel it & no lawn to mow. A place we could walk. A place with vegan restaurants, other interesting restaurants – I don’t mean chain restaurants, CSA’s… but someplace we wouldn’t stand out as ‘those weird people who walk to the farmer’s market’; frankly we would like Some like minded folks. We like co-housing, but they’re just not springing up fast enough, and once they do, they’re sold out. The developers seem to think we’re looking for our parent’s or grandparent’s idea of retirement living. Like if they throw the word green in there it’s all ok; but as much as possible we want to live in a place that’s off the grid, & uses solar, wind, geothermic heating & cooling. And I don’t mean a 5 acres in the middle of nowhere or a suburb way out of town; we like people. A place with a good library & a ‘Trader Joes’& a southwest airport within an hr. drive. Ahh… it’s just a dream. We’ll just have to join the over 50 couch group and get the low down from real people living out there to figure it out.
    Is this never, never land or does someone know this place?

    by St.Clair — August 11, 2010

  14. It looks like Sun City, SC has a following. However, it’s too far south for us. We want the same thing as Ela. My husband would like to get his PHD so we need a close college and I’d like to throw out my college education and do catering. We will be bidding ado to Michigan next summer when we both turn 55. We are focusing on the Chesapeake Bay area.
    We checked out New Bern, NC, it was recommended. Way too quiet. We want near the ocean with 3 1/2 seasons.
    Does anyone have any recommendations?

    by Pat Filbert — August 11, 2010

  15. We are moving to the Knoxville, TN area within the next year. We love the historic feel to Downtown Knoxville, plus the great hospitals and sports that University of Tennessee brings. We are building in a community called Tellico Village.

    by Suzanne — August 11, 2010

  16. Pat Filbert said: “My husband would like to get his PHD so we need a close college and Iโ€™d like to throw out my college education and do catering. We will be bidding ado to Michigan next summer when we both turn 55. We are focusing on the Chesapeake Bay area.
    We checked out New Bern, NC, it was recommended. Way too quiet. We want near the ocean with 3 1/2 seasons.”
    The principal cities for the Chesapeake Bay are, of coures, Washington, Baltimore, Richmond, the greater Norfolk area, and, arguably, Wilmington, DE. Only the Norfolk area could be described as being close to the ocean. The other four are about a 3-hour drive +/-. These metropolitan areas are where there would be colleges that would have doctoral programs. Real estare in and around Washington tends to be costly. Crime is in an issue for all of them, albeit to a greater or lesser degree depending on location. Dulles (IAD), BWI and Philly (PHL) all provide international flights. And Amtrack goes through all but Norfolk. There are charming communities of middling size scattered about the area, e.g., Annapolis, Chestertown, Williamsburg, and Alexandria — each with their own flvor and pros and cons. If you want to do catering, then I assume you can’t go too far afield so the smaller towns, like the many charming places on VA’s Northern Neck would not qualify and would likley be too “New Bernish” for you anyway. Sound like you might want to do a road trip around the Bay for towns and check out relevant doctoral programs on the web. FWIW.

    by Glenn — August 12, 2010

  17. If Ela could spare the time, I think it would be instructive for us to hear her reasons for rejecting the hotspots she named. Is it about inherent drawbacks about the cities themselves or does it concern the “fit” with her particular needs/choices. More info on that might help us all further triangulate how to go about deciding upon the “where” to retire. TIA to Ela if she can spare the time.

    by Glenn — August 12, 2010

  18. I run and/or bike daily and also like to kayak. Ela’s description of Carmel, IN caught my eye and I just checked out the city’s website. Below are links to maps of Carmel’s impressive array of bike paths.
    I would love to relocate in a few years to a vibrant area where I could walk or bike to shopping, dining and entertainment venues. But can anyone recommend such a community that enjoys a normal temperature range between 40-80 F, low humidity with mountains and ocean/lake nearby?

    by Cincinnati G — August 12, 2010

  19. I was born and raised in the metro Atlanta area; I agree with a comment earlier: many residents in cities in the South unfortunately reference ‘yankees’, are racist, very religious, and I myself am growing tired of the ignorance. Politicians reference ‘gays’ and ‘religion’ as a basis for their campaigns. I am tired of this ignorance, and long to go elsewhere. Any suggestions?

    by Margie — August 13, 2010

  20. Cincinnati G sounds like he is discribing San Diego, CA. That’s my home and as a military wife have lived many places including Oahu and now am in NC but my heart will always be in SD. Miss it so much.

    by Dona — August 15, 2010

  21. Margie,
    I don’t think there’s any panacea. If you leave the South, you’ll trade its species of ignorance for other deficiencies. The Northeast and the West coast have the most live-and-let-live vibe but you’ll loose manners and low crime and low housing costs, etc., relative to the South and the Bible belt in general. It seems to me that you may need to do a bit of traveling and find out what feels like “home” to you. Or maybe you should seek out a better class of acquantances. Although not a Southerner myself, I have a hard time believing that there is not a fair sampling of educated and fair- minded people in the South. So another option might be to “travel” in and around Atlanta to find them. Good luck.

    by Glenn — August 16, 2010

  22. Great synopsis. We like similar characteristics. A college is important for affordable sporting and cultural events. Being walker friendly is important as is having dependable publich transportation (to maintain independence should we have to give up that coveted driver’s license). Just as important is minimal maintenance so that the last third of our lives can be spent in what I view as more productive ventures. I have heard many good things about Chattanooga, TN, Greenville, SC (used to live there), Athens, GA., and Austin, Texas (one son is moving there). Enjoy hearing from all angles. pax George

    by George Gorman — August 16, 2010

  23. New to this site, and thanks so much for all the great comments. My husband and I are looking to relcate/retire from the Wyoming area. Tire of six/seven months of winter and wind!

    Looking for a costal town with walkability, ocean close, and some seasons…been looking in NC, SC area. Any ideas for us? Also may sound odd but would like a 50+ community that may not be ‘pet friendly’…sorry if I affended anyone but we are really tired of barking dogs all day and night and stray cats.

    by TT — August 18, 2010

  24. Could anyone tell us more about Tellico Village that Suzanne mentioned
    ?? We are going to visit soon and would love as much input as we can
    possibly get!
    Thanks for any help/information/food for thought you can give us!

    by Kate — August 20, 2010

  25. We’re looking to retire in a little under 4 years. We’ll be spending the warm months in our beloved Sylvan Beach, NY, but are looking south to spend the cold months. We are targeting several small-to-midsize towns in Pinellas Co., FL, including Safety Harbor and Dunedin. We’ve visited both and really like what we saw. We’re also considering further south toward Venice, Port Charlotte, and Cape Coral/Ft, Myers, but have read that these areas are not as desirable right now because of high unemployment and the problems that come with it, even though houses are a real steal. Any thoughts/experiences you can share? Also, looking into some alternatives to FL but are wary of the social attitudes Margie expressed above. As Glenn said, the whole populace can’t be like that. Suggestions on a few areas that might be more receptive to a couple of Northeastern Yankees?

    by Ray — August 23, 2010

  26. Hi Ela
    You mentioned that you are considering Sarasota FL. I’ve lived here since 1987 and truly find it to be a wonderful community with just about everything to do that you would want. While we don’t have a lot of great 55+ communities, the average age in Sarasota is 58…so there you have it. Friendly folks, sophisticated town with the cultural arts, fine dining and great shopping. Golf courses galore! See for more info.

    by nicki conway — August 25, 2010

  27. Wow – I could have written that – especially concerning the close proximity to an airport. I also want good local transportation because I want to get away from having to drive a car every day.

    by donna — August 25, 2010

  28. Great article and great comments. We too are looking to retire in about 3 years. Our requirements are quite similar, more urban than suburban. Want to walk/bike to restaurants/shops and get away from driving everywhere as we have to do now in SoCal. Looking to go back East; thinking of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. SC just too far from family in NJ. Want major airport close by and of course quality healthcare nearby. 55+ would be OK. Major desire is to be VERY close to water, ocean front or at a minimum WALK to beach. Can anyone out there help us with suggestions? Thanks!

    by Marie K — August 25, 2010

  29. @ Marie: The Delmarva penninsula would seem to fit your criteria of being close to the ocean and within easy driving range of 3 international airports (PHL, BWI, and IAD). Perhaps the greater Norfolk area has a “major” airport. If so, the Virginia Beach side of the James River would give you ready ocean access. Delaware is a relatively low tax State, I understand. And housing, I hear, is also less expensive than Maryland. Northern Delaware has several urban areas, whereas the rest of the penninsula is rural and dotted with small towns. But Virginia Beach would give you both the relative urbanity and the ability to walk to the beach. Whatever, if you’re coming back from the SoCal, you might want to rent a while to see if you may want to recalibrate your priorities, cuz urban and ocean beaches in the mid-Atlantic are a rare commodity.

    by Glenn — August 25, 2010

  30. @ TT: See my reply to Marie, above, The Delmarva fits your criteria (as it has “some seasons” – whereas coastal NC and SC would have less so. There are several charming towns on the penninsula but the best (from my perspective) are not especially close to the ocean (but are close to the Chesapeake). There’s a thread elsewhere in the forums here that has a nice write-up on Princess Anne in the southern portion of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. But my favorite ES town is Chestertown. But the Delmarva is flat as a pancake; no Grand Tetons here (nor, alas, a Jackson Hole). ๐Ÿ™‚

    by Glenn — August 25, 2010

  31. Right now i am living in Irvine California and i strongly recommend here to be your retirement place. It’s so peaceful and wealthy that it’s like heaven on earth =) Crime rate is nearly zero and it’s quit and green, i guess best place to find tranquility.

    by top california community colleges — September 10, 2010

  32. […] See many helpful articles in Topretirements blog on “Active Communities” What One Couple is Looking for in a Retirement Community (don’t miss the Comments!) Forum: Various posts about The Villages – the largest Active […]

    by » Are You Active Adult Community Material? Topretirements — March 18, 2011

  33. I am new to this forum and everyone seems to be looking for similar things… We are in New York now and looking to retire in 3-4 years. Proximity to a city is important to us as is warm weather. Trying to decide between 2 condos, maybe one near Raleigh and the other in SE FL is an option. We are looking for a 55+ community with activities and homes under 300,000 if possible. Right now it looks like resale is the way to go. We’ve checked out The Villages, Solivita (currently a possiblity)in Poinciana, Lake Ashton (the middle of nowhere) but nice homes, Valencia Lakes and Sun City (both near Tampa), Savanna Club and Seasons at Tradition (Port St. Lucie for these 2) and A Lennar community in Melbourne. In November we’ll be in Charleston, SC and while there we will look at the DelwEB community in Summerville. The Sun City Hilton Head looks good as well as the The Haven at New Riverside. My only hesitation with DelWeb is they seem to charge extra for everything! Looking on this website, I thought that Boynton Beach might be a possibility; does anyone know anything about the area and the 55+ communities there?

    by Needapalmtree — June 26, 2011

  34. I have seen a couple of Del Webb communities and have not been impressed with the quality of workmanship.

    What is the community near Raleigh you are looking at?

    by nitneylion — June 27, 2011

  35. We have just returned from Willmington, NC and it has everything that Ella described. Our original destination was a new community, Brunswick Forest, but we ended up falling in love with Waterford of the Carolinas, a 1000 home all age community in Leland, 6 miles south of Wilmington. We were just 20 minutes from Wrightsville Beach and the city of Wilmington had a large historic district, plenty of restaurants and shopping and a riverwalk along the Cape Fear River. The community itself has 17 miles of canals you can kayak or canoe from your home. I also found the homes in the Carolinas to be built with a lot more “extras” than the places we have looked at in Florida. My only concern is the community seems to be lacking in a large amount of clubs. We’ll be staying there for a couple of weeks in January to see how we fit it, but hopefully our search has ended. You did peak my interest in checking out Sun City Hilton Head.

    by Needapalmtree — August 18, 2011

  36. Hi Needapalmtree (great user name!), thanks for the wonderful report about Wilmington and your trip there. We hadn’t heard of the Waterford of the Carolinas before so were glad to know about it. Just wrote up a short digest about it with links in our NC Active Adult Community Directory (under Wilmington). It looked to me like they do have some clubs, or at least that’s what the website says. Thanks again, and keep us posted on our travels.

    by Admin — August 19, 2011

  37. Have you every visited the Boone and Blowing Rock area of North Carolina? If you love the mountains and enjoy art and culture this is a fantastic area. We have property at Red Tail Mountain in Mountain City, Tennessee which has easy access to Boone and Blowing Rock. Lovely downtown areas with a University and plenty of golf and entertainment. Red Tail is currently on the market and it is a good time to get a lot at a reasonable price. It has a Tennessee adress which is great for taxes but is within 2 miles of Virginia and North Carolina. We can’t wait to retire there….worth looking into.

    by Mary Ellen Travis — August 20, 2011

  38. My husband and I have done several driving trips in the Mid and South Atlantic area for a semi-retirement place. One place we really liked is Tellico Village near Knoxville. Very involved, interesting people. Beautiful surroundings. Also, quite reasonable costs.

    by Christine DiMauro — August 20, 2011

  39. You have to rent first before you buy. We moved to Sun City Hilton Head expecting to buy. We found VERY POORLY CONSTRUCTED HOMES. Class action lawsuit due to stucco failure, other problems such as truss issues,cracked flooring etc. This was the rule not the exception. The indoor pool closed for repair for 1 year and not due to be finished for months. If your OK with this fine. Some people are. Don’t judge a book by its cover. PS The homes don’t stay warm in the winter.

    by rob — August 22, 2011

  40. John, your message at the top states that this was received by your site “last week.” Either there is something wrong with the dates on the comments or you are attempting to restart the discussion thread. I hope it’s the latter, because it appears to be a great bunch of comments so far … except for the few usual sales pitches. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Note from John: Good point Mad Monk. It was “last week” when I wrote it, but last week was a long time ago now! I have changed that. Thanks for being alert to sales pitches. We try to screen them out or edit so they are not too blatant. Many times they are helpful so we try to balance between that and being pure and draconian.

    by Mad Monk — October 28, 2011

  41. I still prefer the Phoenix area to all others I have lived in or visited. Very energetic, exciting and so many things to do and see. Population 3.5 million in metro area with lots of small cities as “suburbs”. An hour to the mountains, 4.5 to Vegas, 5 to Sand Diego. Summer days are hot but with very low humidity, it is only annoying, not oppressive like coastal areas. Az is a very retirement friendly state with insanely low house prices and real estate taxes. Most suburbs have very low crime rates and there are dozens of adult and retirement communities in the Phoenix and Tucson areas. Can’t wait to return in about 2 -3 years for good.

    by DRJCA1 — October 29, 2011

  42. Looks like it has been awhile since anyone posted but I wish this was still active! We have looked at Wilmington and suburbs and thought it had everything we were looking for, except, and it is a big except, there is a major chemical pollution issue with the Cape Fear River. Apparently, factories upstream in W.Virginia waived pollution restrictions to get’retain businesses and the chemicals that have floated downstream are toxic and cannot be removed from the water. This river, and its tributaries, are the major source of water for all purposes in the Wilmington area. While we can drink bottled water or get delivery, the long term effects on our health from the water at the beach that the river flows into, our garden, pets, etc. is a concern – AND would we be able to sell our house down the road if the toxicity is worse than they are letting people know at this point?? I don’t think it is another 3 mile island situation, but who knows? I hope people will keep contributing ideas. Anyone look at Traverse City, MI area? Too cold for year round for me but with Interlochen Center for the Arts there, great restaurants and wineries/breweries, outdoor activities, and lovely beaches, it is worth a look.

    by Ruth Stonecipher — March 14, 2018

  43. I currently live in Brooklyn NY and am definitely looking to leave when I retire in 2 yrs. I have been researching for abt 1 year now and have decided to move to Sun City AZ. I visited there a few months ago and fell in love with it – cost of living is great, weather is definitely better than NY ( I am sooo sick of the winters). I love Sun City’s rec centers, all the clubs, nice ppl, and most of all the cost of living and tons of sunshine.

    by Christine B — March 15, 2018

  44. Ruth – good for you identifying this critical water situation. IMO – I would avoid anywhere in the surrounding area. Besides this water not being safe for drinking I would even go so far as to question safety for shower/bathing purposes. Chemicals can be absorbed in the skin too.

    A few years ago, there was a water pollution problem in Albuquerque NM. The residents were warned not to drink the water. A news report showed where folks were unable to sell their homes. I don’t know what became of their final outcome. Buyer beware!

    by JoannL — March 15, 2018

  45. Looked up Sun City, AZ and WHOA, talk about huge! Not sure I like the zillions of homes all smushed together!

    Looks like you could get lost and never find your way out of there!

    by Louise — March 16, 2018

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