Cary : North carolina


What It Is Like to Retire in Cary

Cary is located in the heart of North Carolina's Research Triangle Park, west of Raleigh and southeast of Chapel Hill. This city of 174,721(2020 Census) grew 80% between 2000 and 2019 and is one of the fastest growing towns in the U.S. Many of those moving here are people from the northeast looking for a retirement home.  Locals often joke that Cary stands for "Containment Area for Relocated Yankees". The employment market here is one of the strongest in the nation.  Photo of Jordan Lake State Recreation Area, North Carolina, USA courtesy of Wikipedia and Mike Turner (public domain)

Here is the Topretirements Mini-Retirement Guide to North Carolina


Where to Retire in Cary and Home Prices

There are many active adult communities in the area, including surrounding towns like Apex, Raleigh, and Durham. Check out those towns and see Cary Active Communities link at left.
According to Zillow, housing prices in Cary have been on the rise the last several years, with the median home value at $598,737 in mid-2022, up 37% over the past year.


What Is Special about Cary

Being in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina makes Cary a desirable place to live. Money Magazine has chosen Cary as one of the 10 best places to live (2006), it also won an award as one of America's safest cities. In addition to being named bicycle-friendly, Cary has an extensive network of parks and greenways.

What Is Not Special about Cary

For the south, real estate prices in Cary are fairly high. To date there has been no housing correction.

Who Will Like Retirement in Cary

People who want to live in the bustling Research Triangle area near many universities.

Local Economy Is Driven by

Cary has a diversified economy thanks to its location within the Research Triangle area of NC.

Climate and Physical Environment

Cary is located in the central Piedmont section of NC. The average July high temp is 89 and the average Jan low temp is 30. The wettest month is July with about 4" of precip.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Here in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, there are 3 large universities - NC State, the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and Duke University in Durham. The Lazy Daze Arts Festival is always fun. Sports is a form of culture in Cary, and there is plenty of that with fields, golf courses, tennis courts, and nature trails. There is a wide variety of restaurants from just about all of the national chains to some interesting local ones. Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh all tend to merge together so there are many cultural and gastronomic choices.



Crime rate is very low.

Medical Facilities

Wakemed - Western Wake Medical Center serves Cary.  Hospitals are also available in nearby Raleigh.


There is public transit available throughout the area. Cary has Amtrak service to just about anywhere in the country. The Raleigh-Durham Airport is very convenient. Cary has been designated a bicycle friendly city.

Valuable Links

Town of Cary

Cary Chamber of Commerce


What people are saying about Cary

Another minor correction
Nice my correction was noticed. :<) But since this article was just once again listed in the newsletter, it may help to know that while not far from Chapel Hill and Durham, Cary is most definitely much more a part of Raleigh. Immediately adjacent to Raleigh, it shares connecting roads and is basically on the other side of I-40 from Raleigh city. Chapel Hill and Durham, on the other hand are on the other side of RTP about 30 minutes and 20 miles away.
Posted by richlife on April 18, 2018
Big Error
This article is pretty accurate except for one thing. Whoever wrote it clearly knows NOTHING about the local universities. As a proud and loyal Tar Heel (class of \'69 and \'75), let me tell you that the University of North Carolina is in Chapel Hill -- not Durham -- which is the home of Duke University (sort of a rival in all things). Both are about 25 miles from Cary and about 7 miles apart. Closer to Cary is North Carolina State University (say 5 miles). These universities are all highly regarded and enjoy intense sports rivalries which qreatly enhances the local spirit. My wife and I are 66 year old retirees living near Pittsboro about 20 miles west of Cary. She is a NC native and I got here as soon as I could (at 15). As you get farther from the metropolitan Research Triangle area (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill), home prices and property taxes get lower but you would be farther from the amenities and more into the South (that is not bad, just different). Editor's Note: Thanks for bringing this error to our attention. We knew that, but somehow really goofed. Have corrected the location of the universities.
Posted by richlife on January 15, 2014

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