We like heat climate, a lot of out of doors actions, not a lot visitors. We additionally desire a medium-sized metropolis near the seaside. The place ought to we retire?


We are retired and currently live in North Georgia. We’re looking for a move within 30 to 40 minutes of the beach, preferably near the family in the south of Virginia or the Tampa area.

We like warm weather, little traffic and lots of outdoor activities and social groups. We also prefer to live in or near a medium-sized city with lots to do. We prefer a place that is not too conservative and religious. We can tolerate moisture, but we don’t love it.

We’re debt free, have a few million, and a housing budget of $ 850,000 to $ 1 million. We’re not really just looking for a 55+ community. We don’t have children, but we don’t just want seniors.

Any ideas?


Dear Melinda,

What about a radical proposal: spend six months near family in Tampa (pick the least humid six months and qualify as a citizen without paying state income tax) and then see the world? Spending a month or more in one place, living like a local, and then indulging your friends with your adventures during your six month stay in Florida?

Or are you using this residential budget to buy two houses, one close to each family member, so you don’t have to pick favorites? Just talk to everyone about how often you’d like to see them (and how often you expect them to drive over to you). I’m a fan of the test run, so consider renting each of them around for a few months to see if that’s really what you want.

Testing a community during its least engaging time, not just visiting as a tourist, is a smart strategy no matter where you look.

Read: Before moving to a new town on retirement, check out the local Walmart – and 5 other hard-learned lessons

Also, can I suggest that you spend more time thinking about how important the beach is to you? Would you like to look out over the water or feel the sand between your toes? Could a lake work too?

If you plan to go to the beach frequently and don’t like traffic, consider getting as close to the water as your living budget allows.

Whatever you do, congratulations on your budget which gives you a lot of flexibility. I have three suggestions to start with. I don’t like repeating myself so please check other “Where should I retire?” Columns here.

Dunedin, Florida

Dunedin is the Toronto Blue Jays’ spring training home.

Getty Images

This 37,000-inhabitant city has a waterfront and easy access to the hustle and bustle of Clearwater (to the south), St. Petersburg and Tampa. It likes to boast of its Scottish accents, including its own version of the Highland Games, and often lands on the list of the best places to retreat.

Take art classes at the Dunedin Fine Art Center, watch the Toronto Blue Jays spring training, and explore sections of the still expansive 50 miles of paved Pinellas Trail that runs through Dunedin to either St. Pete or Tarpon Springs.

Choose your place carefully if you want to be with people of all ages. According to the Census Bureau, nearly a third of Dunedin’s residents are 65 years or older. If you’re looking to be younger, try St. Pete, which is less than 20% senior. Upscale neighborhoods include Snell Isle, Old Northeast, and Coquina Key.

Don’t overlook these other caveats. The Tampa-St. The Pete-Clearwater subway area is home to over 3 million people, so there’s no getting away from the traffic. And of course, there’s Florida’s summer humidity along with average summer highs in the upper 80s. Make sure you are good with this before committing to it.

On the other hand, the average winter highs are in the upper 60s.

The average list price for a Dunedin home as of August was $ 399,900, according to Realtor.com, which, like MarketWatch, is owned by News Corp. is. You can filter by properties in your price range and by some functions.

Chesterfield County, Virginia

Pocahontas State Park, just 20 miles from downtown Richmond, covers nearly 8,000 acres.

Courtesy Richmond Region Tourism

If you want to be near the beach and live in Virginia, be sure to check out the Hampton Roads / Tidewater area. Think Williamsburg (avoid the tourist areas) and South Hampton Roads, for example. Just be prepared for the traffic as this area is home to nearly 1.8 million people and then there is beach traffic all summer. Again, if the beach is that important, consider getting as close to it as you can.

Sticking to your idea of ​​Virginia, I will instead suggest an option near a lake in an area smaller than the Virginia Beach or Tampa subway areas and where traffic is only afterthought.

Outside of Richmond, the state capital, check out the lakeside settlements near Swift Creek Reservoir in Chesterfield County – places like Brandermill and Woodlake (both non-town). If you want it lifted right, check out Lake Chesdin on the south end of the county. That may cost your entire housing budget, but generally speaking, you can live in this metropolitan area of ​​1.3 million people for a lot less money.

If you want more outdoors, Pocahontas State Park, the largest state park with lakes, hiking, and mountain biking trails, sits between these two areas.

Whichever lake you choose, you’ll be close to Richmond, home to around 230,000 people, and all of its cultural attractions – theater, ballet, symphony, festivals, college sports, and more.

If city activities beat water fun, consider moving to Richmond or neighboring Henrico County. Richmond’s Fan District merges with the Museum District; there you will find a combination of the college town atmosphere (Virginia Commonwealth University is there), cultural attractions and many restaurants. Church Hill to the east of the city is a more historic neighborhood and closer to the James River and the parallel Richmond City Canal.

East of Richmond is the Virginia Capital Trail, which runs 52 miles to Jamestown.

And if you want the ocean, Virginia Beach is about two hours away. You can only go there for a day or rent a house for a long time.

You will get some snow – more than if you were in South Hampton Roads or Williamsburg – but in general it doesn’t take long. The average winter highs are closer to the beach in the upper 40s rather than the 50s. The average summer highs are in the upper 80s.

The average list price for homes in Chesterfield County in August was $ 360,000, or slightly more than Tampa, according to Realtor.com. Here’s what’s on the market right now.

Morehead City, North Carolina

One of Morehead City’s historic homes

Courtersy Crystal Coast Tourism Authority

With 10,000 residents, Morehead City, the largest beach town on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, also known as the southern Outer Banks, is smaller than what you described. But listen to me

Thanks to the beach, you may find more amenities than you expect in a county of just 70,000. The population is growing with second home owners and visitors, so you’ll find plenty of restaurants and bars (but only a few boxes), as well as an aquarium and a maritime museum.

There’s golf and fishing, of course, but there is also wreck diving, where you can explore boats and submarines that have sunk in the sea.

The local hospital is in Morehead City; Carteret Health Care is the first North Carolina facility to join the Mayo Clinic Care Network, giving it special access to Mayo Clinic expertise.

No question about it, the beaches are the reason to consider Carteret County, where roughly a quarter of the population is 65 years or older. If not Morehead City, you could check out Emerald Isle, a beach town with golf carts on the streets, or historic Beaufort (not to be confused with a town in South Carolina of the same name but a different pronunciation – which in North Carolina is Bug- Away).

Wilmington is 2 hours away and Raleigh is almost 3 hours away. Once the freeway is turned into an interstate, Raleigh could be reachable in 2 hours.

The winter highs are in the mid-50s and the average summer highs are in the upper 80s.

The average list price for homes in Morehead City is $ 359,500, and Carteret County boasts of having the lowest property tax rate in the state. Here’s what’s on the market now in Morehead City.

Curious about Beaufort, SC? Read about it here.

Reader, where should Melinda and her husband retire? Leave your suggestions in the comment section.

More ideas for retirement

We want to retreat to the Carolinas or Virginias, to a pedestrian-friendly city that is neither too big nor too small – where should we go?

We want to retreat to “an area like the Berkshires, but warmer” – where should we go?

I want to buy a house in a warm place near the beach for $ 350,000 – where should I retire?

“Work and a few vacations a year is all we’ve done for the past 34 years” – This couple has $ 2.6 million and no idea where to retire

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