When people reach the point in their lives where they start thinking about places to spend their retirement, one thing becomes very clear, the warmer the better. No one wants to deal with the snow and cold weather of the Northeast or the Midwest during their “Golden Years” after most of them have had to deal with it all of their lives.
Here are 5 of the most popular places in America to retire:
Asheville, North Carolina
A lot of people choose Asheville, North Carolina when it comes time to retire. Asheville is a flourishing mid-sized city in the Blue Ridge mountains of western North Carolina.
Asheville sits just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469-mile, limited-access highway that curls through stunning scenic overlooks that link the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in western North Carolina to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.
The largest private residence in America, with its 250 rooms, the Biltmore Estate was built by the Vanderbilts not far from Asheville. The Biltmore House offers acres of scenic walking paths through gardens and along the creek and pond.
There is rarely a lack of something to do in this idyllic mid-sized city. The renovated historic downtown Asheville is packed with art and craft galleries which run the gamut from folk to contemporary; there are also unique locally owned shops and roughly 500 restaurants.
Residents of Asheville include artists, musicians, corporate executives, merchants and entrepreneurs.
Overall, North Carolina’s state income tax recently dropped, from between 6% to 7.75%, down to a 5.8% flat tax of 2014. However, the cost of living is 4.8% above the national average.
The median price of homes in Asheville is $175,600. In 2014, residential homes have appreciated at a rate of 4 percent.
In 2014, Asheville had a population of 83,796, and it has experienced a property growth rate of 13% since 2012.
Sarasota is one of the best places to retire in the United States. This town of 52,501 people on Florida’s Gulf Coast is home to the Ringling Museum of Art and several buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, which is why it is often referred to as the cultural capital of the Sunshine State.
The cost of living is very attractive here as well with a median home price of $151,400, which is well below the national average, although last year saw a 14.9% appreciation in home values.
Property taxes in the state are roughly $1,800 a year for the average home and there is also no income tax in Florida, all of which makes this little slice of sunshine very economical.
Sarasota is surrounded on most sides by water, and the tropical weather means warm and pleasant winters are the norm. However, this ideal winter weather also means the tourist traffic picks up during these months and the summers tend to be hot.
Not without its downside, Sarasota has a crime rate higher than the national average. However, the unemployment rate in the city is 5%, which is lower than the national average of 6.3%. Recent job growth is positive, due to the 5.19% job increase in the city.