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How about North Carolina?
Old 04-27-2005, 09:27 PM   #1
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How about North Carolina?

Interested to get thoughts (pros and cons) from those in the know about either the Greensboro or Chapel Hill/Durham areas for early (age 50) retirement. Raised in Midwest and lived in CA for 20 years now so know there will be an adjustment.
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Re: How about North Carolina?
Old 04-28-2005, 07:52 AM   #2
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Re: How about North Carolina?

Our son went to college and now lives permanently in Chapel Hill. When we were looking for retirement locations we visited alot of places in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area. I can tell you that housing there is much cheaper than in the D.C. area. If you are a golfer, take a look at Pinehurst N.C.

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Re: How about North Carolina?
Old 04-28-2005, 09:40 AM   #3
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Re: How about North Carolina?

Before retiring to a new state I suggest you review the tax and cost of living structure of the place. I've looked at three recently, NC, SC and GA. Each has their pros and cons and, in all fairness, quality of life concerns has to be the deciding factor. All things being equal I found that in order of expense, those three states fall, from high to low; NC, GA, SC. One advantage of GA is, as of 2007 that state will not tax up to $65,000 dollars in retirement income. Just a thought.
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Re: How about North Carolina?
Old 04-28-2005, 10:56 AM   #4
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Re: How about North Carolina?

Chapel Hill is the place to be out of what you listed. It is a liberal part town & I don't know if that bothers you. But it is very lively are very diverse. Homes will cost a bit more there than others but the quality of life is good. I have an aunt who lives in the Chapel Hill area and I know quite a bit about the South. You will be surprised at how cheap it is to live in the South. Just one thing I hate about the area...UNC/Duke basketball. Both of them try to steal the spotlight away from my alma mater's rich basketball tradition. No, only kidding of course.
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Re: How about North Carolina?
Old 04-28-2005, 11:02 AM   #5
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Re: How about North Carolina?

Of all the places in the U.S., there are only two places that would tempt my wife to move from San Diego. One is Hawaii and the other is the Chapel Hill area. She was working a long term study at Duke (she's in Biotech) and she fell in love with the place.
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Re: How about North Carolina?
Old 05-01-2005, 07:34 PM   #6
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Re: How about North Carolina?

A relative of mine graduated UNC Chapel Hill some years ago. Hasnt left yet. She loves it there.

We have a townhouse near Wilmington, NC....love it!
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Re: How about North Carolina?
Old 05-01-2005, 09:10 PM   #7
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Re: How about North Carolina?

Hi-

Re North Carolina, and Wilimington specifically - please help keep the secret, but that area still looks like a good deal to us. We are hoping to escape to there in the next couple of years.

RP
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Re: How about North Carolina?
Old 05-01-2005, 09:29 PM   #8
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Re: How about North Carolina?

I've been in Wilmington, NC for a 6 month assignment and I will be happy to get the hell out of dodge when my time is up. Why don't I like this backwater town?

- still part of the dirty south. racial tension seems to be pervasive.
- economy has not recovered from the flight of tobacco, textile, and furniture jobs to china. instead of trying to retrain the workforce and attract new talent, the state govt spends its time arguing over whether NC should have it's own lottery. Great job guys! *:
- among the nation's highest state income tax, up to 9%. the schools here still suck, so what are they spending all that money on? Higher taxes are supposed to help improve the economy somehow? This isn't going to attract new workers to move to the state, that's for sure. I've also heard that they've had a problem keeping UNC grads in the state after graduation, but they can't seem to put 2+2 together and figure out why there are so many better opportunities elsewhere.
- lack of a decent airport. The only places you can get direct flights to are Atlanta and Charlotte. With the current state of airlines, connections are hit or miss and if you miss the last flight of the day because your previous flight was delayed, you're hosed.
- lack of a decent highway. In order to get to a major interstate like I-95 (if you want to get to I-20 to go to atlanta), you have to drive west FOREVER on two lane roads where the speed limit is 45-55 mph. Takes a LONG TIME. Why isn't this city connected to the rest of the nation?
- no other offsetting advantages that I can think of. the beaches are fine, but they're still not as nice as FL. cost of living seems doesn't seem to be any cheaper than the other cities I've been in.
- Annual "azalea festival" is their main claim to fame. I watched some of the main parade on local TV and it seemed to be nothing more than a showcase for local businesses...they had a string of tow trucks coming down the street at one point...then the pest control vehicles. Oh, but they did show "miss sweet potato 2005" sitting on the back of a corvette at one point! That must make it all worthwhile! I went down to the riverwalk later and it was mostly crappy arts & crafts booths...nothing I haven't seen before, I didn't even see anything with unique local flavor. I think they had other events where you could tour the plantations - who doesn't want to relive the period when slavery was the way of life? *: Just awful.
- They make a big to do about Wilmington's film and TV industry because Dawson's Creek was filmed here several years ago...they give producers big tax breaks, as if the lifeblood of the economy is a few crappy WB shows. Do they really think Wilmington can compete with NYC, LA, Vancouver, etc.? Get real, and try attracting industries that actually have some long-term growth potential.
- city is not friendly for pedestrians or bicycle riders. Sidewalks are hard to find and there is not a single paved bike trail. They have a few signs that say "share the road" but there's not even a shoulder on the two-lane road so cars will just come whizzing by you with 5 inches of clearance. Most intersections do not have a crosswalk nor do they have signals for pedestrians. I ride my bike to the grocery store and wal-mart, and it is like taking your life in your own hands dealing with these drivers. Even Houston was more bike-friendly than this town.
- large portion of the population is in college, so there is lots of reckless driving and drinking-related accidents.

Sorry for the anti-wilmington diatribe...I don't have anything against the south...will be happy to go back to Atlanta or anywhere in FL, at least they have a veneer of culture, decent jobs, and decent infrastructure. NC might be better for someone who is retired (I'm in my mid-twenties) and enjoys a slower pace of life, doesn't work, doesn't drive anywhere, doesn't fly anywhere, doesn't use the K-12 education system, and doesn't mind seeing a large portion of their income diverted to worthless politicians.
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Re: How about North Carolina?
Old 05-01-2005, 09:41 PM   #9
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Re: How about North Carolina?

LOL! Don't hold back, Soupcxan! It just goes to show one man's trash is another's treasure. I have a friend who I grew up with in L.A., I live in San Diego now, love it, and think L.A. is a cesspit. He still lives in L.A., loves it, and thinks San Diego is a cultural wasteland. Anyone who is thinking of a major reloctation for retirement should live there in a rental for six months and make sure....
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Re: How about North Carolina?
Old 05-02-2005, 07:23 AM   #10
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Re: How about North Carolina?

Whoa Soup sorry if I touched a nerve. I did enjoy your post tough. Quite a bit of truth there. I was one of those towed from the festival. Hey, its a Sunday fer chrissakes, why not park in a closed businesse's lot. And don't get me started on the newspapers! The non-editor is a moron. He spells arson "arsen" six times in a single article. Hes an arse.

But it is the #10 favorite RETIREMENT destination nationwide. Heres the changes we've seen. Boomers move in. Boarders, bagel shops, and Starbucks appear. Libraries and healthcare institutions enlarge. Big bucks equals big taxes equals clout. Then comes Election Day... new positions are now often held by newcomers not local handwringing backslappers. I've met some good caring public servants and some real jerks. The non-performers are short timers.

Anyway screw all that Soup. Lets just go fishing. Its something how a boatload of rednecks, yuppies and boomers all get along.

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Re: How about North Carolina?
Old 05-02-2005, 09:17 PM   #11
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Re: How about North Carolina?

Quote:
Originally Posted by laurencewill
LOL! Don't hold back, Soupcxan! It just goes to show one man's trash is another's treasure. I have a friend who I grew up with in L.A., I live in San Diego now, love it, and think L.A. is a cesspit. He still lives in L.A., loves it, and thinks San Diego is a cultural wasteland. Anyone who is thinking of a major reloctation for retirement should live there in a rental for six months and make sure....
There are a few places in the LA area that I like: Santa Monica, Malibu, Passidena, Glendale. OJ is also good - Dana point, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrono.
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Re: How about North Carolina?
Old 05-02-2005, 09:22 PM   #12
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Re: How about North Carolina?

My friend lives in Pasadena, he loves it. Old town is nice. Don't get me wrong, the areas you mention are jewels in the crown, but the overarching smog, traffic, crime, drug culture etc. just turn me off to the whole place. I still go to J. Paul Getty Museum and Manns Chinese Theatre, places like that. But I'll never live there. You remember that video of two Russian Mobsters in full body armer with fully automatic assault rifles taking on some 50 police in front of the Bank of America they robbed? That was my neighborhood, and my bank! At that was supposed to be a nice part of town! (North Hollywood, Burbank area).
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Re: How about North Carolina?
Old 05-02-2005, 09:27 PM   #13
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Re: How about North Carolina?

soupcxan has a valid point about the South. That is, racial tension toward minorities still persists. This is also true for places like Idaho, Montona, and other rural areas in which the presense of minority may not be welcomed. Chapel Hill may be more amicable toward minorities since it is a college town.
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Re: How about North Carolina?
Old 05-02-2005, 09:32 PM   #14
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Re: How about North Carolina?

Quote:
Originally Posted by laurencewill
That was my neighborhood, and my bank! At that was supposed to be a nice part of town! (North Hollywood, Burbank area).
I would'nt live in the Hollywood area. The traffic is so congested. It took me almost 2 hours just to travel 10 miles on the freeway during commute hours.

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Re: How about North Carolina?
Old 05-03-2005, 06:35 AM   #15
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Re: How about North Carolina?

Hey, I know that neighborhood. Used to have business there
(North Hollywood). I believe the movie HEAT was based partly on that bank robbery.

JG
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Re: How about North Carolina?
Old 05-03-2005, 09:38 AM   #16
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Re: How about North Carolina?

HEAT is one of my favorite all time movies. No one captures the feel of L.A. like Micheal Mann!
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Re: How about North Carolina?
Old 05-03-2005, 10:02 AM   #17
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Re: How about North Carolina?

Somewhat OT, but on the racial tension...is it possible to find a place where there isn't racial tension?

I thought I knew a thing or two about racism when I first moved to Boston from Chattanooga, but I was shocked at how it is up here. Much, much worse. Open hostility, all the time, or at least it seems that way. The race card comes out of the deck on everything, faster than you can say "Viva la raza," "I have a dream," or "Erin Go Bragh!"

I use those three phrases because I live in a cool little district that's about one-third Caribbean Spanish, one-third Black, and one-third Irish. As a temporary resident and colorblind individual and hopeless tourist, I get to sample the best of all three cultures. But the long-term residents don't play together...hell, don't even speak to one another...and the whole neighborhood suffers as a result.

It's a shame.

Ed
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Re: How about North Carolina?
Old 05-03-2005, 10:13 AM   #18
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Re: How about North Carolina?

Go west, young man!

Seriously, the west coast has been the most racially tolerant place I've seen in the U.S., I grew up here and didn't even experience racism until I travelled. My neighborhood looks like sesame street, white, black, asian, hispanic etc. That's not to say racism doesn't exist here, but it's certainly not as big of a player as other regions. Heck, almost nobody is a native San Diegan, so nobody can say, "this used to be a good town when I was a kid, until the dang ****** moved in!"
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Re: How about North Carolina?
Old 05-05-2005, 01:16 PM   #19
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Re: How about North Carolina?

That's my intention to move back to the Bay Area. The West or the West Coast (though expensive) is the desired place for retirement.
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Re: How about North Carolina?
Old 05-06-2005, 07:28 AM   #20
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Re: How about North Carolina?

Just heard on NPR that Forbes mag named Raleigh/Durham as 2nd best US place for business, after Boise ID.
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