Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Retire in Oak Island, North Carolina?
Overview: Founded when Long Beach and Yaupon Beach consolidated in 1999, Oak Island is a classic, unhurried beach town. It stretches along a barrier island on the southern North Carolina shore but also has a cozy mainland section that is accessible via a bridge across the Intracoastal Waterway.
The town's year-round population is small, but it swells to 40,000 in the summer months. Amenities include 10 miles of sparkling sand, two public boat launches, a marina, a golf course and more than 50 access points to the beach, the Intracoastal Waterway and the Davis Canal. Two fishable piers, one public and one private, extend into the Atlantic. Charter boats, antique shops, art galleries and live oaks dot the town's landscape. Oak Island maintains numerous people parks, a dog park, a heron look-out and two nature centers. A bird sanctuary and a sea turtle sanctuary are also here. Local waterfront restaurants serve up tasty shrimp and fresh blue crab, but there are some chain restaurants, too. A farmers' market sells dairy products, eggs, preserves, baked goods and more, but a Food Lion has more selection.
Residents enjoy a July 4th Beach Day celebration and the annual U.S. Open King Mackerel Fishing Tournament, which hosts 500 boats.
Many homes are stilt homes with a garage underneath the house.
Population: 7,500 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 57%
Cost of Living: 4% above the national average
Median Home Price: $260,000
Climate: This area has hot, humid summers with temperatures in 80s and 90s and mild winters with temperatures in 40s, 50 and 60s. On average, it receives 56 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No but J. Arthur Dosher Memorial Hospital is five miles away in Southport and accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but J. Arthur Dosher Memorial Hospital is five miles away in Southport and is accredited.
Public Transit: The county provides a reservation-based van service.
Crime Rate: Meets the national average, although the property crime rate is above the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
Is North Carolina Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Somewhat
Cons: Five hurricanes have hit the island in the last 60 years and damaged both dunes and private property. Hurricane Matthew took destroyed a town pier (which has since been rebuilt). Hurricane Florence flooded some homes and tore off some roofs in 2018. Hurricane Dorian caused little damage in 2019.
Notes: Oak Island has grown by 8% in the last deacade, but racial diversity is still minimal.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
The Tar Heel State was one of the first to instruct its Continental Congress delegates to vote for independence from British rule. After the Revolutionary War, it entered the Union on November 21, 1789 and started developing an extensive slave plantation system. It became a major exporter of cotton and tobacco. North Carolina was one of 11 states to secede from the Union and to spark the American Civil War.
Bordered by South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, and the Atlantic ocean, North Carolina's geographic regions range from the barrier islands and low plains of the eastern Atlantic coast to the mountainous regions of the west. The rolling hills and waterfalls of the Piedmont lie in between. Because of a wide variance in altitudes, North Carolina's climate can be hard to predict. Winters, especially on the coast, can be warm and mild.
The state has 17 major river basins and is rich in hydroelectric power. Tobacco, sweet potatoes, hogs, trout, and turkeys are a few of its agricultural products. The arts and culture industry has become an economic driver. It supports more than 43,000 jobs and generates almost $120 million in state and local revenue.
North Carolina is the home of several firsts. Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run in Fayetteville. The Wright brothers launched the first manned, self-propelled airplane from a cliff near Kitty Hawk. Pepsi was invented and first served in New Bern. Vernon Rudolph first sold Krispy Kreme doughnuts in Winston-Salem.
Population - 10,147,788
Persons 65 years old and over - 16%
High school graduates, age 25+ - 86%
Bachelor's degree or higher, age 25+ - 25%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 10%
White persons, not Hispanic - 63%
Median household income - $46,868
Median home value - $162,500
Social Security taxed? No
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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