Let’s face it, “best places to retire” lists are a dime a dozen.
Everybody’s got one, but somehow, I think that’s a good thing.
While each list is different because they use different data to come to their conclusions, it’s great to check them all out because they can bring different places to your attention.
To come up with their best places to retire list, U.S. News & World Report analyzed data for the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the USA to assess how well they meet Americans’ retirement needs and expectations.
Top criteria include the happiness of local residents, housing affordability, tax rates and healthcare quality.
Here are the places in the Carolinas that made the list, and a snippet of what they said about each place:
#13: Greenville, SC
“Greenville encompasses big-city amenities without attracting the same unpleasantries that come with a more populated, urban metro area. The 10-block stretch of Main Street is lined with a variety of boutiques, restaurants, businesses and bars.”
#17: Raleigh-Durham, NC
“Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill also encompass beautiful green spaces, family-friendly museums and a growing art and music scene defined by monthly gallery walks, summer concerts and music festivals like Hopscotch.”
See Also: Retirement Spotlight: Durham, NC
#18: Charleston, SC
“Its unique brand of Southern style shines in the bespoke boutiques that line downtown’s King Street, while Southern hospitality radiates from the award-winning dining establishments.”
#22: Charlotte, NC
“You’ll still hear “y’all” dropped into casual conversation, but Charlotte is a metro area on the rise, and has its own culture, culinary sophistication and unique feel that’s making it a more enticing place for people from all over the world to settle down.”
See Also: Retirement Spotlight: Charlotte, NC
#43: Greensboro, NC
“Greensboro, North Carolina, is one of those places that’s big enough to have everything you need, but small enough for you to regularly bump into people you know.”
“This slow-and-steady growth has preserved the region’s small-town feel while allowing for improvements like repurposing the old textile and tobacco factories into loft apartment spaces, and building the new $48.7 million baseball park downtown.”
#82: Columbia, SC
“Columbia’s population of nearly 800,000 is small enough that traffic is relatively mild and the streets are rarely overcrowded, but large enough to support trendy shops, cafes, bars and other businesses that make urban life enjoyable.”
You might be surprised to see seven Carolina cities made the US News & World Report Best Places to Retire list, but keep in mind they studied metropolitan areas, not just cities by themselves.
That said, if the Carolinas is not your only consideration, their list gives you a bunch of other options to consider.