Small Town Living

Retirement Living in Small Towns : Is It for You?

Some people looking forward to retirement have their sights set on adventure and travel. Others may want the hustle and bustle of a big city, to enjoy cultural pursuits they never had time for during their working years. Many, though, would like nothing better than to relax in a quiet, homey environment with friendly neighbors and low stress. If this is you, small town retirement may offer the peace and quiet you seek, as well as a surprising number of other benefits you may not have considered:

Lower housing costs. Rural land is generally less expensive than that close in to urban areas, homes usually cost less to build, and property taxes are often significantly lower than those in the city.  Some retirement communities in small towns.

Lower cost of living. Although transportation of goods may mean that some groceries and household items cost a bit more outside of urban areas, most other expenses of daily life are lower. In general, utilities, insurance, home maintenance, car repair, and many other goods and services are less expensive in smaller towns.

Lower crime rates. With less concentrated populations, small towns avoid much of the crime you might experience in big cities.

More park like, natural setting. If you are invigorated by exposure to the outdoors, trees, and wildlife, you can get these benefits by stepping right outside your door into your back yard. You could even plant your own garden to reap more benefits of the time you spend outdoors. Small towns are less densely populated and because of the virus, some are moving away from the cities to small towns.

Peace and quiet. Unlike living in the city, you don’t hear “noise pollution” such as sirens, yelling, traffic, horns, and the general rumble of thousands of people living in close quarters. The lights you see at night come from the moon and stars instead of the “overglow” from neon signs, traffic lights, street lamps, and headlights. The reduced sound and light distractions can lead to less stress, and an improved ability to relax and sleep.

More Personable – People  in the small towns seem to be more friendly.  They say Hi to you on the street. Some people are more accessible  to you, for example you can even phone up your mayor or state representative and talk.

Many small towns have 55+ communities within their borders or just outside of town. Even if you choose to live in your own home outside of a retirement community, small towns may provide similar benefits: a close-knit community, helpful and friendly neighbors with similar lifestyles, and a town center where you can engage in social activities. For a retiree seeking rest and relaxation, a small town retirement is a lifestyle worth considering.

Advantages of Small Towns
More Reasons to Live in a Small Town

Originally posted 2020-09-06 08:09:22.

Retirement Homes

5 Ways to Save Money on Retirement Housing Costs

In this economy baby boomers nearing retirement are looking for affordable housing as never before.  Here are some ways to do so.

Retirement Home

1. Move to a Small Town where housing costs, property taxes and cost of living are all lower.  This will save you money.

2. Downsize to a new smaller more efficient home which will save you money on utilities and have less upkeep & maintenance repairs.  It will be a long time before you spend money on appliance replacements or have to replace the hot water heater, furnace, air conditioner or roof.

3. Buy a resale home from a realtor or the owner rather than buying from the builder / developer.  You can get a resale at a better price. There are previously occupied homes in every community, even new communities.  Most resales have been improved by their owners.

4. Age in place in your current home making some improvements to make your house  more livable.  Check into changes in home design and function – many resources are available on the Internet.  Visit your neighborhood senior center or active adult center for programs and activities that will help you stay active, learn, exercise and socialize right in your own neighborhood.

5. Also check out 55+ communities and senior communities that may better serve your housing needs into the future. Being pro-active and acquiring long-run sustainable housing can save you money by avoiding emotional, maybe rash decisions about housing later in life.

Although seeming more expensive age qualified communities many times include services, meals, transportation, exercise facilities and much more that you are paying for now, so overall may be a good value for you

Originally posted 2011-08-12 08:07:13.


Retirement Status: Is it Not Politically Correct to Say You are Retired?

Explaining to someone who inquires that you are retired and free for the day prompts an observer to later say “Quit saying that!  People are tired of hearing you say that.”

Say what?  That I am retired.  Did I put a little too much happiness into revealing my retirement status?

It seems these days proclaiming that you are retired especially if you are still in your 60’s, may bring out resentment or at least envy from others who often then longingly reply “One day maybe I can retire.”

It may not be that they are sad you are retired, but they immediately think of their current situation and prospects for their own retirement, which may have been dimmed in this prolonged Great Recession.

Saying you are retired is like saying I just bought a new BMW!  People will smile and act like they are happy for you, but secretly they feel bad because they want one too.  Has retirement become a status symbol?

So what are you supposed to say or is it the way you say it that is just as important?  If you plainly report your status as retired without any smile or indication that you may in fact be actually enjoying retirement, would that be better?  Probably.

It is hard enough for you to start saying you are retired in the first place.  You start off with saying you are trying to retire, or transitioning to retirement, then semi retired, then finally simply retired.  Now you discover you better be sensitive to others in reporting your “retired” status or at least do not show too much happiness in doing so.  Makes sense to me.   Has anyone experienced this?

Originally posted 2010-08-25 15:26:15.

North Carolina

Best North Carolina Small Towns

North Carolina has some of the very best small towns to relocate to. Such a varied state is NC. You have the Western Mountains (blue ridge mountains) which are beautiful, the Beaches, the large metro areas and more.

We just visited Asheville NC and noticed many new retirement communities around the area. We took the Asheville Food Tour and enjoyed the eclectic downtown area as well.

Hendersonville NC is another area we visited and walked down their wonderful Main Street and visited the Visitors Center where they were very help. Lots of retirees moving to Hendersonville. But here is another town you may want to consider for NC.

Best Small Towns for Retirement in North Carolina

Charlotte Area – All around Charlotte metro area seems to be the place for Active Adult Communities: Trilogy Lake Norman up on the Nortwest side of Charlotte,  Lennar at Imagery at Mount Holly, Tree Tops also by  Lennar Homes on the Southside down by Sun City Lakes which is all resales by now, Cresswind Charlotte a 55+ community over on the East side next to the hospital, Carolina Orchards, a Del Webb Community down on the Southside at Fort Mill. These are the big five retirement communities near Charlotte NC.

Chapel Hill – If you are seeking the perfect small town retirement location, and are drawn to the moderate climate and Southern charm of North Carolina, the small city of Chapel Hill may be the place for you. Chapel Hill, located in North Carolina’s “Research Triangle” (home to three renowned universities, teaching hospitals, and one of the largest research parks in the nation), offers everything a retiree desires. Not only are there cultural activities, medical facilities, and other senior-friendly amenities galore, but the area’s four distinct seasons draw retirees from across the country.

Chapel Hill, situated in the hills of central North Carolina, enjoys close proximity to three thriving institutions of higher learning – the University of NC at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State, and Duke University. College towns in general are enriching and invigorating places to retire – with art, music, education, a wide variety of dining options, and a “young” atmosphere – and Chapel Hill offers these benefits threefold.

The proximity of the universities also means that stellar medical care is available only minutes away from downtown Chapel Hill. Both the University of North Carolina and Duke University have large, modern teaching hospitals, and the large number of seniors moving to the area have drawn even more world-class health facilities into the region.

As a popular retirement destination, the Chapel Hill area boasts a number of 55+ communities that offer resort retirement living, although the cost of housing here is higher than in many small town retirement locations. There are golf communities, mixed-generation neighborhoods with a senior-friendly focus, and assisted living facilities. Closer to downtown, retirement condominiums and apartments are also available. Active retirees can enjoy the vibrant cultural scene in and around the city, or pursue recreational activities among the nearby mountains and beaches, both just a couple of hours’ drive away. With many social activities and dining establishments in town, meeting other retirees and making new friends can be easier than in smaller or more rural settings.

If you are considering North Carolina as a retirement destination, this charming small city with a cosmopolitan atmosphere may appeal to you. You may want to look into the city of Chapel Hill proper, or one of the many 55+ communities nestled among surrounding towns such as Carrboro and Durham.

NC Small Towns 
Great Small Town Main Streets NC

Asheville NC
Asheville NC

Originally posted 2020-09-02 09:47:51.


Home With Southern Charm in Bogart (near Athens GA)

Bogart GA

Last weekend I went to a wedding in Bogart Georgia which is located off the Atlanta Hwy just outside Athens.  The house where the wedding took place was in a large house that has been turned into a special events facility.  Getting outside Metro Atlanta and visiting this place took me take to my Southern roots.  I was born in Middle Georgia and went  to the University of Georgia in Athens.

This house as you can see from the picture of the front porch was Southern style through and through.  Very nice wedding took place there but first we had cocktails on the back patio overlooking the gardens and little court yard areas with small buildings around.  Inside had hardwoods floors and nice windows.  The house was nice but I think it was the outside which impressed me.  I took some more pictures, but I don’t want to be tacky and post someone’s wedding photos so I will stick with these two.

It was a very peaceful  setting to have a wedding.  The thought occurs about living in a house like this one and how  neat that would be.

Maybe if it was in Athens which is one of the most charming towns in Georgia but Bogart is a little remote for me.  But I do like those Southern Style homes and wouldn’t mind living in one.

wedding day

Actually, it is called The Thompson House and Gardens and here is a better picture.

Bogart house

Originally posted 2013-10-13 23:51:58.



Atlanta Zoo

MLK Tomb
MLK Tomb

Oval Office at Carter Presidential Center

Retirement Activities in Your Own City

Many times we boomers travel and discover the attractions of other cities in the US and around the world, most often during our short vacations in our working years.  We just want to get away for a few days and do something different. We visit remarkable museums and landmarks and wonder what it would be like to live in other places.

In retirement I have noticed that I can experience some of these discoveries right here in my own city, during most any mid week day for very little money but get the same thrill and pleasure of visiting some new places.  Most people do not take in the sights in their own city when they are working as they do not have the time or can’t get away for many reasons.  But every city has attractions enjoyed by out of town visitors but not fully enjoyed by the city’s own residents.

For example last weekend I visited the Atlanta Zoo with my wife, our nephew and his wife and two kids.  Beautiful fall day with blue skies and made a day of it, ending up with dinner in the trendy Virginia Highlands neighborhood.  Got the senior discount at the zoo.  Took plenty of pictures. It has been 23 years since I last visited the Atlanta Zoo, so this was like a new trip for me.

Woke up today a few days later, with another beautiful Fall day with powder blue skies and decided to go two places that I have never visited before and always wanted to: Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site and the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum.

I researched on the Internet and then headed down GA 400 to visit the Martin Luther King , Jr, National Historic Site.  It is a short block off I-75 in downtown Atlanta.  Plenty of free parking and walked over to the King Center and toured the museum (free admission) before walking over to Dr. King’s Tomb and Eternal Fame. A film crew was filming. A couple of doors down is the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church Heritage Sanctuary which is being renovated for a 2011 opening.

Next back in the car for a short 1.5 mile trip down Freedom Parkway to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum.  Wow, this is a large complex with the Carter Center (not open to visitors) and then the library and museum.  After paying the $8 senior admission fee I toured a very interesting museum.  Man the stuff the other nations give our Presidents as gifts is amazing!  Had lunch right there with fried chicken and two sides for $5.50.  Enjoyed the nice grounds and the lovely Koi pond.

Back home this afternoon thinking this was really something and wondering why I haven’t visited these two huge attractions after living here most of my life. But this week confirms to me that a large benefit of being retired is the ability and interest to get out and see and do things in my own backyard that maybe I didn’t do earlier.

– Robert Fowler

Originally posted 2010-10-21 17:36:09.