Charlotte Area: An Attractive Place To Retire?

Feb 17, 2014

Five of the top ten places to retire in North Carolina, according to a real estate site, are in the Charlotte area. Only one, Sanford, is on North Carolina's certified retirement community list.
Credit Tasnim Shamma

The online real estate research site Movoto says five cities/towns in the Charlotte-area are among the top 10 places in North Carolina to retire. That's half the list! 

Top 10 Places To Retire In N.C.

1. Morrisville 
2. Mount Holly
3. Apex
4. Holly Springs
5. Kings Mountain
6. Mint Hill
7. Stallings
8. Harrisburg
9. Sanford
10. Matthews

Movoto published the list (scroll to the bottom of their post) using Census figures and five criteria: cost of living, crime, amenities, weather and distance to an international airport. Davidson ranked 13th and Huntersville came in at 17th. Charlotte ranked 30th. 

Only one of these cities (Sanford) ​is actually a North Carolina Certified Retirement Community. Other certified communities are Lumberton, Asheboro, Marion, Mount Airy, Pittsboro and Eden. 

Mount Airy, fictional home of the Andy Griffith Show, was the most recent addition, when it was "certified" in January. 

“Beyond being the inspiration for the Andy Griffith Show, our people, location, climate, and health care providers make Mount Airy an ideal place to call home," said Mayor Deborah Cochran.  "We are excited about this designation and hope it will attract even more people to our great city."

This really confused me. Why would any town or city want this designation? (You mean you don't actually want broke, college-educated millennials drowning in student loans to flock to your city?) From what I can tell, the major perk here seems to be free marketing and promotion from the state's division of tourism.