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Retire in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina?
Overview: On the southern North Carolina coast, the small, casual seaside village of Ocean Isle Beach sits on a barrier island about 10 miles from the South Carolina border. Not much was here until the late-1950s when a developer bought the island and incorporated it into a town.
Ocean Isle Beach retains much of its early character, thanks to its neo-traditional clapboard houses. Homes are in named, gated neighborhoods, and nearly every house backs to a canal and has a boat dock. Ocean Ridge Plantation is a beautiful community with five golf courses and a private oceanfront beach club. The summer population swells with tourists, as they come to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the clean, wide seven mile beach. It has a fishing pier, a public boat launch and public access every 500 feet. Residents enjoy a museum, a planetarium and the new Ocean Isle Beach Park, which has an amphitheatre, tennis courts, a picnic area and more.
Shopping is of the beachwear and souvenir variety, but national retailers are just six miles inland in Shallotte. A handful of waterfront grilles and restaurants serve up all kinds of tempting seafood. Thirty golf courses are within a short drive.
Population: 600 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 67%
Cost of Living: 15% above the national average
Median Home Price: $265,000
Climate: This area has hot, humid summers with temperatures in 80s and 90s and mild winters with temperatures in 40s, 50s and 60s. On average, Ocean Isle Beach receives 56 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center is 14 miles away in Supply and accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center is 14 miles away in Supply and is accredited.
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Well below the national average
Public Library: No
Political Leanings: Conservative
Is North Carolina Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Somewhat
Cons: The region is vulnerable if a hurricane strikes.
Notes: This area has grown by 15% in the last decade or two but is still very quiet in the winter.
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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