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Retire in Surf City, North Carolina?
Overview: Twenty six-mile long Topsail ("Topsl") Island is a barrier island along the southern North Carolina coast, and laid back Surf City is in the center of it. Once a favorite pirate haunt, these days Surf City is is known for its miles of white sand beaches.
Surf City straddles two counties and is the largest and oldest of Topsail's three towns. It also has the island's only traffic stop lights and is connected to the mainland via a high-rise bridge. The beautiful, often uncrowded beaches can be accessed from 39 different points, and the long pier bustles with activity. Surf City is also home to most of the island's services, shops and open-air restaurants. Homes sit between maritime forests and the water, with many residences backing to either a canal or the beach. Many have walls of windows for unimpeded ocean views. Charters, guides, and pirate excursions are all available, and marinas are clustered along the Intracoastal Waterway.
Residents enjoy a community center and three parks, two of which have attractive boardwalks. The annual Christmas Flotilla features festively decorated boats and attracts a lively crowd. Nearby Permuda Island Reserve is shorebird sanctuary.
Population: 2,800 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 55%
Cost of Living: 18% above the national average
Median Home Price: $360,000
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, it receives 56 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No. The closest hospital that accepts Medicare patients is 23 miles away in Burgaw.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No. The closest hospital that is accredited is 23 miles away in Burgaw.
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: The violent crime rate is below the national average, but the property crime rate is above the national average.
Public Library: No
Political Leanings: Conservative
College Educated: 44%
Is North Carolina Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Somewhat
Cons: Hurricanes are always a possibility.
Notes: Surf City empties out in the winter, leaving about 750 year-round residents. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune is 15 miles to the north. The town has little racial diversity. Jacksonville, the only nearby city of any size, is 25 miles away.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes, although the distance to a hospital is a concern.
"Esse quam videri" is the motto of North Carolina, also known as the Tar Heel State. It was the 12th state to be admitted to the Union, joining the other states on November 21, 1789. North Carolina was also one of the Thirteen Colonies and was originally named the Province of Carolina. It was the second to the last state to declare its secession from the Union during the Civil War.
The state is situated in the Southeastern region of the United States and is bordered by South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia. The capital is Raleigh, but the largest city is Charlotte.
The historical people of North Carolina include the Chowanoke, Roanoke, Pamlico, Coree and Cape Fear Indians. The Revolutionary War impoverished the state of North Carolina for several years.
Charlotte is on a rapid growth streak thanks to its banking industry. North Carolina is also home to several universities, including the University of North Carolina, Duke University and North Carolina State University.
The state hosts more than 80% of the NASCAR racing teams and is the site of the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Carolina Panthers represents North Carolina in the National Football League, and the Charlotte Bobcats play in the National Basketball Association.
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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