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Which is the Best Carolina for Retirement

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

February 2, 2012 — We have just updated our 2010 article that compared retirement in South Carolina vs. North Carolina. Since you might have trouble finding it that far back in our Blog, we are publishing the link here:

The article compares cost of living, taxes of all types, housing prices, regions, climate, and best places to live. There are lots of comments too.

Posted by Admin on February 2nd, 2012


  1. I enjoyed reading your recent updated article on North Carolina vs. South Carolina retirement. My wife and I are planning on visiting North Carolina in early April and specifically the towns of Asheville, Brevard and Hendersonville (and surrounding areas). Can anyone recommend some Active Retirement communities that we should visit, please. We are not golfers but do enjoy outside activities. Thanks.

    by Ralph — February 3, 2012

  2. Hi Ralph,
    We plan to retire in Hendersonville, NC in a few years and have made 5 trips to Hendersonville and surrounding towns. Here’s links to the Chamber of Commerce, newspaper and a couple of retirement communities in the area. There is a new community that is being built but won’t be available until 2013-2014. People are very friendly, lots of outdoor things to do in and around the area. Flat Rock Playhouse, Hendersonville Orchestra, Brevard ( 20+ miles away) has a college of music. Asheville is 20+ miles north with all their attractions. Also there are 2 hospitals in Hendersonville, and a VA hospital in Asheville. Hope this helps.

    Chamber of Commerce
    Hendersonville, North Carolina (NC) – Sperling's BestPlaces
    Hendersonville & Flat Rock, NC | Henderson County Travel & Tourism | Welcome Center | Tourist Bureau
    Henderson, Transylvania and Polk Counties – North Carolina –

    by Robert Wright — February 4, 2012

  3. Hi Ralph, here’s the retirement communities

    Beetree village cliffside:

    Whiteoak village:
    Carriage park:

    by Robert Wright — February 4, 2012

  4. Hi Robert Wright:

    I very much appreciate your prompt and excellent response to my e-mail regarding possible retirement communities in the Henderson, Asheville and Brevard areas. I will internet-research all that you mentioned. You also mentioned a new community that was being built that will be available in 2013-2014. Does that community have a name, please?

    Many thanks,


    by Ralph — February 4, 2012

  5. Hi Ralph,

    Sorry about not having the name upfront. It’s the Legacy at Mill River. Try this link Also, you may want to check the for a phone list sometimes with website information.

    Rob: Thanks for the tips and the suggestion of Legacy at Mill River! This is great when our members contribute their knowledge and experience. We have added this community to our database – it can be found in our North Carolina Directory of Active Communities under Henderson. John

    by Rob — February 5, 2012

  6. Hi Robert:

    I did explore Legacy at Mills River a few months ago both online and by telephone. They sent me their Marketing materials and I ended up putting down a modest deposit to get on their waiting list. I don’t believe they have started construction yet as you pointed out in your previous e-mail but they do have a Sales Office which we will be visiting in early April along with other communities. I realize you’re not going to retire for a few more years but do you and your wife have a favorite community thus far or a “top” 2 or 3 list? Thank you.

    by Ralph — February 5, 2012

  7. Hi Ralph, glad to hear the information helped. We plan to visit again the end of March and will talk to the folks at Mills River, look at the property location, etc. We don’t have a favorite community thus far. We are looking at areas surrounding Hendersonville (primarily west of town) to rule them in or out for further research. Since we won’t move for another 2 -3 years we haven’t narrowed the field to a favorite yet. We did look at a couple of locations last time there. I’m out of town and don’t have my list but will give you the 1 or 2 we really liked when I get back. We are also looking at renting before we buy a home or decide on a community. Hope this helps.

    by robert — February 5, 2012

  8. Thank you for your recent “update,” Robert – your helpful commentary is much appreciated. In addition to our planned visit to Legacy at Mills River, we are also going to visit Cummings Cove in Hendersonville and College Walk Retirement Community in Brevard, NC. Anxious to hear about any that you have visited and liked.

    by Ralph — February 6, 2012

  9. Hi Ralph, as promised here’s our impressions of a couple retirement communities we visited in April last year. Best one we saw was Lake Point Landing 828 693-7800 33 Thompson St). IT is behind a shopping center that has a large grocery store and many shops. It has independent through assisted living capability. Very new (last 3-5 years?) Several independent homes were for sale by owner. Depending on the home location, many had a view of the mountains (important to us). Very friendly folks at the office. We also looked at Carolina Village 9 828 233-0602) which is right next door. No mountain views, looked dark with dark brown shingles and siding on all apartments/residences. Looked older. We looked at White oak village (888 821-2934), looks like manufactured homes. Spring harbor is a rehabilitation facility only, no long term residences. We also looked at College Walk (in Brevard 100 N. College Row 800 280-9600 Very nice, much like Lake Point Landing except it is NOT close to shopping like Lake Point. Shopping is in Brevard, but didn’t see any walmart or large shopping center in Brevard. We are going back to look west of Hendersonville in late March. Will also look the other retirement communities we haven’t seen. at Hope this helps.

    by Rob — February 11, 2012

  10. […] See also “Which is the Best Carolina for Retirement“, particularly the […]

    by » One Year Later: Artie’s Observations on Moving to the Carolinas from New York Topretirements — February 11, 2012

  11. Hi Robert:

    Much obliged for the “feedback” on the Retirement communities referenced in your note and yes, proximity to shopping is very important. If your next visit to NC postpones until the April time frame, please let me know as I would love to treat you and your wife to lunch or dinner somewhere. We will be in that area from April 8th to April 12th.

    by Ralph — February 12, 2012

  12. Hi Ralph, glad that the information was helpful. thanks for your very nice offer for lunch. We’ll let you know if our plans change. Would love to meet you and your wife if the timing works. I’ll share more on the west side of Hendersonville sites after our late March trip. Also, if you like concerts/plays, not only is Asheville close, but Flat Rock theater has great plays/concerts in 3 different venues. Hendersonville has its own orchestra too.

    by robert — February 13, 2012

  13. Thanks for your offer to share your thoughts and observations following your March trip. Thus far, I have scheduled appointments to visit Legacy at Mills River, Lake Pointe Landing, Cummings Cove, College Walk and Givens Estates. Probably all I can squeeze in during our three and 1/2 day visit but please let me know if you come across something wonderful. Pleased to hear about the great cultural sites in Flat Rock and Hendersonville.

    by Ralph — February 13, 2012

  14. We have been in FL for 20 yrs with my wife from NC and I from Michigan. We have owned property in Brevard NC (Glen Cannon, Pisgah Forest) for 10 years anticipating retirement. Over the years we have viewed the US to validate our decision. In our travels we find unique favorable features in other locals such as: the Cost of living, taxes, politics, housing, deep water, jobs, ect.. But, No where have we found more sincere caring people, 250 water falls, national and state forests, trout fishing, mountains, outstanding restaurants, hiking, churches, arts, a college, golf and 4 esay seasons. People of all ages walk the downtown streets, tube the rivers, hike Looking Glass, stand in line for ice cream, take in a symphony, test Glen Cannon’s links, have a cold Guinness at Dugans or a glass of wine at the Square Root. Yes these a few things we enjoy. All this in a town of 6,000 folks which more than doubles in the summer.
    The hospital is staffed with professional care givers and functions as an extension to Misson Hospital Hospital in Asheville. The VA hospital is a 35 minute drive to Asheville.
    A quick summary to anyone from Michigan; The Brevard NC area is the “up nort” to industrial South Carolina. Greenville/ Spartanburg/Charleston are booming with the likes of BMW, GE, Michelin, Boeing and others. So, if your looking to expand your life go north but if your still looking for a job head to SC and get a cottage in the NC mountains.
    Now, for our eminent retirement,we need to decide rather to build or buy. The builders are real craftmen thus a new build speaks of quality and value while the older homes have good bones. Soon we’ll be on our way!

    by Rick — April 23, 2012

  15. Can anyone update us on what favorite communities are affected in South Carolina’s floods. South Carolina was on our list of places we were considering to move to! Now very doubtful.

    by Louise — October 8, 2015

  16. Louise – Cane Bay Plantation in Summerville, which contains among other neighborhoods Del Webb, had badly flooded streets. Talked to a few friends who live out there and they said that water reached their garages and in some cases their back porch. Some of the Del Webb residents reported that their roofs leaked. Streets in Cane Bay were badly flooded (picture in the local paper) and the road in and out was closed for several days. Heard that Del Webb was offering van rides for residents to the neighborhood supermarket if they were running low on supplies, and they also had a fire engine ready to take anyone to a doctor or hospital if necessary because (I was told you) needed an SUV to get in and out of Cane Bay as late as Wednesday. Much flooding in the area! However, new houses are being built to different specifications, mainly that they have a higher elevations. In these neighborhoods streets tended to flood but the homes stayed dry. Would not recommend living anywhere near downtown Charleston or the beach area. On a good day it’s below sea level. Stick to surrounding communities and you’ll probably be okay. Also, flood insurance isn’t a bad idea either.

    by Alice — October 9, 2015

  17. Yes I would like some info on South Carolina and the damage the storms have left to coastal communities. We had planned to go to SC about the time of the storm. Can you imagine what homeowners insurance will coast now. Does anyone know anything about The Cottages at Ocean Isle, North Carolina, we may not be looking at Myrtle Beach after all?

    by Ginger — October 9, 2015

  18. Louise – In which part of SC are you looking? Here in the upstate (Greenville/Spartanburg) things were not too bad, but the coast around Charleston and mid-state around Columbia sustained the worst flooding. Of course, living along the coast is a “storm waiting to happen.”

    by Fionna — October 9, 2015

  19. Louise
    Moved from Long Island NY in July and did allot of investigation prior to moving to Murrells Inlet.
    Always stay away from towns that have levies, rivers dams and peninsulas as they are susceptible to severe flooding and over flooding.
    Charleston is a peninsula and experienced severe flooding in many areas. (12-16inches of rain. The same for Columbia. Greenville , GeorgeTown and other areas as you may have seen on the weather channel.
    Here in Myrtle Beach and Murrells Inlet we did get about 8-10 inches of rain with some localized street flooding but not severe.
    Beach erosion on the entire mid Eastern Coast.
    Hope that helps.
    Beautiful weather from Wednesday until Saturday


    by Michael — October 9, 2015

  20. Not bad south of Charleston…our house on Dataw Island in Beaufort had no issues and it is not elevated.

    by SandyZ — October 9, 2015

  21. I live in Del Webb at Cane Bay and was able to drive my car out of the neighborhood on Tuesday. Cane Bay Blvd was closed at the highway but people were able to get around that by going through the Publix parking lot. We personally had no issues nor did anyone I spoke with. Please remember this is a 1000 year flood so don’t let that deter you if you are interested in SC. The worst damage has been done to older homes and mobile homes that were built under older rules. Del Webb Cane Bay is a wonderful community to live in.

    by Kathy — October 9, 2015

  22. After visiting Hilton Head, SC for many years, we knew we wanted to retire there someday. We looked at Sun City Hilton Head and really thought that would be where we would settle. We visited Hilton Head Lakes last month while on vacation in HHI. Loved it!!! We are in the process of buying a lot! We can buy the lot, and build in a few years when we are closer to moving. We are excited and wish we could build now.

    by Pauline — October 9, 2015

  23. No problems at all around the Sun City Carolina Lakes in SC near Charlotte. It was a nice rainy weekend – good for sleeping in and reading. The roads were quiet for a change as I ran errands. About 75 miles South in Columbia though, my company’s offices were shut down for 3 days due to flooding of roads.

    Congrats, Pauline. I was talking with someone in my office last week who also found the “perfect” place recently. They had done multiple visits to communities in SC, NC, GA and FL over the last two years, and finally found a community in FL that met everything on their wish list. He said that had probably visited 40 communities, but when they visited the one they chose it was literally an AHHHHHH moment. It’s encouraging to hear from people who have found their Nirvana.

    by Ted — October 10, 2015

  24. What was the Nirvana in FL that was found? We have visited about half that and are still looking. Not that their Ahhh moment would be ours but would be intersted to know the community. Thanks.

    by Carol — October 10, 2015

  25. Carol – they chose Valencia Lakes.

    by Ted — October 11, 2015

  26. Thanks so much to your info on communities in SC. I don’t necessarily have to live on the coast but east of I nterstate 95 for trips back to NJ. What about the weather in the summer. We cannot stand the heat in Tampa, Fl is SC as bad? Anyone’s info is appreciated.

    by Ginger — October 11, 2015

  27. Ginger,
    We live at Dlel Webb Charleston, near Summerville. We moved here the end of June 2013 and it as a pretty hot and steamy summer. The past 2 summers were easier as we transitioned through the seasons. It does get hot but we plan our errands for the morning and try to spend the afternoon at the pool or in the a/c. Now when it gets down to 70, I want to put on my jeans!

    by Kathy — October 11, 2015

  28. The last few days of posts here regarding the flooding in South Carolina remind us that buyer beware when it comes to information posted in these types of discussion groups. Alice writes that Cane Bay was pretty much a mess and virtually impassable, with water to “garages and back porches.” She cites friends who live there as the sources. Kathy, who actually lives there, paints a less dramatic picture. As described, Cane Bay could be two different communities. Kathy also, along with Michael, make important points, that these rains and the consequent flooding are historic. People looking for a place to retire should get a grip; strictly speaking, you are really not safe anywhere. Hurricanes along the coast, mudslides in the Carolina mountains, tornadoes in the flatlands, Sandy in New Jersey…pick your poison. I write this from Vermont where they suffered horribly from the remnants of Hurricane Irene a few years ago; Vermont for Pete’s sake. And I own a condo in Pawleys Island, SC, just below Myrtle Beach, where we had two feet of water in the road near the entrance to the community, making it tough to get in and out for a couple of days; but this was more an inconvenience than a disaster. Stuff happens, and if you are aiming to find a place where no bad weather will ever intrude, you will be looking for a long, long time.

    by Larry — October 12, 2015

  29. With all due respect Larry, my post was accurate. This was a deadly and costly flood which cost some people their lives, while others their possessions. In addition, according to the Post & Courier, floods such as the one Charleston just experienced are likely to become more common as sea levels continue to rise.

    by Alice — October 13, 2015

  30. Thanks all. I should have learned my lesson by now when it comes to water. In the last 40 years I have been in floods and storms the last Sandy. I didn’t lose what most people have and always had insurance, now I am to old to cope. I want to leave Tampa we bought here 10 years ago with no thought to retirement. That was silly but when still working and going back and forth seems like a vacation, now our beautiful house is devalued and the heat has gotten to us. I cannot live inside and want a community for over 55 the activities in my community are geared for young people. With that said that is why South Carolina seems the place to be, but now with the flooding ??????
    Does anyone know about Delaware for retirement???

    by Ginger — October 13, 2015

  31. Ginger,
    Everyplace has weather issues. You have to choose your location by why beat fits your needs. If you do choose SC then make sure you select a community that is newer, built to the higher specifications that are in place now. And remember this was a thousand year flood! The really low lying areas of most coastal states will continue to have flooding issues as global warming gets worse. I went to a Del Webb Charleston community meeting on Monday and found out that one house actually had water in the garage and quite a few had the water get pretty close to the house. The house that had water in the garage was in the older section, built under the old rules. For the most part in our community, the storm and flooding was a minor inconvenience, not the catastrophe that it was in many other places in our state.

    by Kathy — October 14, 2015

  32. Thanks Kathy, I think we will go back to NJ for Christmas so on the way back we will take our time and stop at a few communities. I have been sending for info. When we are finished I will report back to this blog.

    by Ginger — October 15, 2015

  33. Not everyone is afraid of global warming or believes the “facts”. If it was a thousand year flood and I believe it was, don’t panic.

    by Dick — October 15, 2015

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