Retirees Head for the Hills in Asheville & Western North Carolina

The popular Kiplinger newsletter recently featured North Carolina as a top retirement destination and included CBK’s Terri King’s assessment of the state’s mountains as a place to consider. North Carolina ranks in the top five for net migration of people 60 and older, according to the Census Bureau. In 2018, North Carolina was number three, behind Florida and Arizona.

In “Head for the Hills in North Carolina,” Kiplinger writer Bob Niedt singled out Asheville and other adjacent communities as an attractivecouple dining pic area for retirees to consider, offering the following:

Asheville’s ceaseless charm, laid-back vibe, and four distinct seasons atop the Blue Ridge mountains make the artsy town a perfect (and popular) place to lay down retirement roots.

“The city of Asheville and the surrounding area of western North Carolina have long attracted retirees for the natural beauty, welcoming vibe and active lifestyle. . . consistently ranking among America’s top retirement choices,” says Realtor Terri King, president and owner of Coldwell Banker King in Asheville.

UNC-Asheville is a small campus of about 3,700 students, but it has an outsize influence on retirees (students will be returning to campus this semester for in-person teaching with rigorous guidelines in place because of the pandemic).

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute offers more than 350 courses a year, usually in six- to eight-week terms, when face-to-face learning is back in place. In the past, one of the institute’s most popular programs, says director Catherine Frank, was its Creative Retirement Exploration Weekend (it is canceled this year because of the coronavirus). When it's up and running, the weekend is designed for working people who are considering relocating when they retire. It’s an influencer, though fewer than 10% who attend the weekend end up moving to Asheville, Frank says, but they are “our most faithful volunteers” (Osher is online-only currently, as “we just don’t feel face-to-face is very safe right now,” says Frank).

Housing choices in Asheville are wide: Historic neighborhoods, eclectic downtown condos, and retirement communities.

But mountain-loving future retirees shouldn’t limit themselves to Asheville. Nearby small towns are also charming and extremely affordable, including Hendersonville, Weaverville, Black Mountain and Brevard.

For more information on retiring to Western North Carolina, contact a CBK agent or office.