Charlotte, North Carolina – a Top Retirement Destination
As dreams of a relaxing and fulfilling retirement start to become reality, many seniors decide they want a completely new place to live – a retirement destination. With its mild climate, accessible location and dynamic sports, cultural and dining scenes, Charlotte, N.C., easily sits at the top of the list of best places to retire in the U.S.
No. 1: Charlotte is a highly sought-after destination.
Charlotte, North Carolina, is consistently ranked by Forbes as one of the best places in the U.S. for people ages 55 and up to retire. Boasting a rich history and a thriving economy, Charlotte is the cultural, economic and transportation center of the surrounding metro area.
As home to the corporate headquarters of Bank of America and Truist Financial, Charlotte is well known for being the second-largest banking center in the U.S. It is also home to several leading colleges and universities, including The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Davidson College, Queens University of Charlotte, Winthrop University and Belmont Abbey College.
With a lower than average cost of living, and reasonable housing and real estate prices, Charlotte boasts six Life Plan Communities (or Continuing Care Retirement Communities or CCRCs) in the metro area, including Generations at Shalom Park.
No. 2: Leading-edge healthcare is supported by top teaching hospitals.
The Charlotte area is filled with several magnet hospitals, making it possible to find medical specialists for anything you might need.
Carolinas Medical Center is the flagship hospital of Atrium Health. It serves as the region’s only Level 1 trauma center and is an approved transplant center for the heart, kidney, pancreas and liver. It has been named a Best Regional Hospital by U.S. News & World Report four years in a row, making it Charlotte’s best-ranked hospital. They also serve as one of North Carolina’s five Academic Medical Center Teaching Hospitals, providing residency training for more than 200 physicians in 15 specialties.
Other top hospitals in Charlotte include:
- Carolinas Healthcare System Pineville.
- Carolinas Healthcare System Union.
- CaroMont Regional Healthcare Center.
No. 3: A mild climate, four seasons and endless outdoor activities.
When it comes to climate, Charlotte offers ideal weather with few extremes. Moderate and pleasant with an annual average daily Fahrenheit temperature of 71 degrees (high) and 49 degrees (low), Charlotteans are big on the outdoors and enjoy their four distinct seasons.
The gently rolling hills of central North Carolina offer breathtaking places to explore and plenty of things to do in and around Charlotte. Here are just a few …
McMullen and Lower McAlpine Creek Greenways: Mecklenburg County made a decision years ago to unite the city of Charlotte via a web of parks and green spaces. They’ve poured lots of money into the project, and the result is something beyond amazing. Over 30 miles of greenways have been developed and almost 150 miles are still being planned. The greenway system is quickly becoming the country’s finest and proudly welcomes people of all ages and abilities.
Lake Norman: With 520 miles of shoreline and a surface area of more than 32,475 acres, Lake Norman is where Charlotte’s water lovers come to spend summer weekends. Located just north of Charlotte off I-77, it is the largest man-made lake in North Carolina. Fishing abounds, but if you’re not having any luck, several “float-up” restaurants are easy to find.
The Charlotte Museum of History: The museum educates visitors about the settlement of the Carolina Backcountry and the ideas and events that led to the American Revolution. As the steward of The 1774 Hezekiah Alexander Rock House & Homesite, The Rock House is the last home of a framer of North Carolina’s 1776 Constitution and Bill of Rights and the oldest surviving house in Mecklenburg County. It is consistently ranked as one of the top places to visit in Charlotte.
No. 4: A vibrant, diverse and award-winning dining scene.
There’s plenty to “do” in Charlotte, but if your idea of fun is a great meal in a welcoming spot, then you will love it here! One of the main reasons behind Charlotte’s reputation as a gourmet destination is it is home to the famed Johnson & Wales University. Culinary students from the university are often employed by local restaurants, making the Queen City’s cuisine hard to beat.
The best culinary reviews testify to Charlotte’s outstanding cuisine. Check out these articles and be prepared to drool!
No. 5: Charlotte’s professional sports scene has taken off.
In 1988, the Charlotte Hornets debuted as the area’s first NBA basketball team, changing the reputation of Charlotte as only a NASCAR town. Then in 1995, the Charlotte Panthers became the area’s first NFL team. With the buzz around Michael Jordan buying the Hornets in 2010, and the Panthers making it to the Super Bowl in 2003 and 2015, sports fans are waiting not-so-patiently for a major championship win.
Charlotte soccer fans have also been doing a bit of waiting – for the first season of the Charlotte Football Club. Originally expected to start in 2021, CFC fans will have to wait until 2022, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, to see their team’s long-awaited first kickoff.
In total, nine professional and semi-professional sports teams call Charlotte home, including the Charlotte Knights, a minor league baseball team of the Triple-A East and the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. Other sports you can find in the Queen City are hockey, lacrosse, indoor lacrosse, women’s soccer and indoor football.
No. 6: You’ll have plenty of reasons to welcome visitors!
One other reason that makes retiring in Charlotte a smart idea is it is close to so many other towns and cities with other endless lists of things to do. Here are the approximate driving times from Uptown Charlotte:
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport – 15 minutes
- Asheville, N.C. – Two hours
- Blowing Rock, N.C. – Two hours
- Brevard, N.C. – 2 1/2 hours
- Chapel Hill, N.C. – Two hours
- Durham, N.C. – Two hours
- Myrtle Beach, S.C. – 3 1/2 hours
- Raleigh, N.C. – 2 1/2 hours
- Sugar Mountain, N.C. – 1 1/2 hours
- Wrightsville Beach, N.C. – 3 1/2 hours
Whether you want to host friends for a long weekend or take a family vacation, living in Charlotte puts you close to mountains, cities, the country or the ocean. As the saying goes, you’ll only run out of things to do if you want to! As a senior living destination, Charlotte should be at the top of your list.