More and more these days we are meeting people who have very definite ideas about where they want to retire. They have worked hard in their lives and have gotten to the point of knowing what they want in place to retire. Still there are always trade offs when deciding on the "perfect" place to live. Some people want lots of night life, and others would rather have plenty of options for having active fun during the day. The Crystal Coast has become a very popular place for retirees. Many who have moved here are enthusiastic about their decision. Yet everyone has different reasons for loving this part of North Carolina's Southern Outer Banks.So why did my wife and I choose the western end of Carteret County after considering all of the east coast from Chincoteague Island to Oak Island?
1. The area, especially from the water, is one of the most beautiful spots on the east coast.
2. Outsiders are welcome and even encouraged to come to the area.
3. It is a chance to live once again in small town America.
4. The climate is remarkably temperate. We can play outside all months of the year.
5. The recreational opportunities are almost limitless if the outdoors is your playground.
6. Property taxes are low.
7. Property values are reasonable and have grown over time.
8. Access to services, shopping, and medical care is very good.
9. Many people in the area care about the environment.
10. The area is safe with generally low crime and few disastrous events.
Of course I can and often do expand on these points when talking to potential newcomers. While the area does not have as many good full time jobs as it needs, most retirees have little trouble finding a part time job to keep themselves occupied.
The period just before you retire is a wonderful time with the chance to make some choices that might not have been available during your career.
Along the way to retirement lots of other concerns and questions need to be answered. Sometimes we find out something that suggests another area might be better for someone. It is part of our job to explain the trade offs so that everyone ends up happy.
No area is perfect, but over two years after moving to the Crystal Coast, I have no regrets. I think we came as close as possible to finding our perfect spot in the sun. Being able to drop the boat in the water and be in the Intracoastal in ten minutes has not hurt nor has having the swimming pool across the cul de sac.
It is pretty hard to beat an area with almost no traffic, lots of services, great beaches and plenty of places to fish.