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Retire in Southern Shores, North Carolina?
Sandwiched between Kitty Hawk and Duck on North Carolina's central Outer Banks, secluded Southern Shores started out as a resort in 1946. It has a stylish seaside vibe and is mostly residential.
Town boundaries stretch from the Atlantic Ocean to Currituck Sound and Ginguite Creek. Neighborhoods are peppered with large two and three story homes, many gray or white with deep porches and lengthy outside stairways. Most oceanfront residences are protected by a dune line. Although commercial development is minimal, residents do have a specialty food store, a small shopping center, a handful of restaurants and a nearby art gallery. The Southern Shores Civic Association manages a tennis club and a boat club. Miles of bike paths meander through wooded areas, and a walking path parallels Highway 12. Ginguite Creek flows into the Sound and is popular with kayakers. The golf course at Duck Woods Country Club is known throughout the region.
Southern Shores has four beautiful beaches, two of which have public access, but it does not attract the summer crowds that some of its neighbors do, leaving the often uncrowded sand to the locals.
Population: 3,100 (city proper)
Percentage of Population 45 or Better: 60%
Cost of Living: 45% above the national average
Median Home Price: $640,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 30s and 40s. The area receives 51 inches of rain per year, on average.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Nags Head, 15 miles to the south, has a hospital that accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited By Joint Commission? No, but Nags Head, 15 miles to the south, has a hospital that is accredited.
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: No
Political Leanings: Conservative
Is North Carolina Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Somewhat
Cons: Hurricane Florence in 2018 brought mandatory evacuations and flooding, and Hurricane Dorian in 2019 brought flooding and property damage. Hurricane damage will most likely occur in the future as well.
Notes: Racial diversity is minimal. Southern Shores has grown by 5% within the last 10 years. Many homes are vacation properties. Home prices have increased by 31% since just last year.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes, although the hurricane threat is real.
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.
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