Deciding where to retire is a major life decision, and soon-to-be retirees definitely have a lot to think about when it comes to choosing the right location. Housing affordability, access to quality hospitals, and the overall desirability of a location should all be taken into account.
U.S. News ranked Durham among the top 15 best places to retire in the U.S. for 2018. It is a comfortable city, and while it is often known as a college town, the pace is relatively slow and the vibe is quaint. Summers can be hot and humid, but Durham experiences hardly any snow, if any at all, during a given winter. If you are among the seniors ready to downsize and prepare for retirement, here are some of the major reasons why they choose Durham as their top destination:
1. Affordability for All Budgets
Durham offers better value than similarly sized metropolitan areas across the US when you compare housing costs to median household income. The median home value in Durham is $221,7000, which is just a hair over the overall national median price of $221,500. This is great value when considering Durham is a metropolitan area with many amenities and conveniences for dwellers. The property taxes are relatively low in Durham, with the current tax rate being 1.23%. You can expect to pay $2.727 in annual taxes on a home valued at the median value.
Seniors with an income lower than $38,000 per year should know they are not priced out of Durham. Earlier in 2018 the Durham County Commissioners unanimously voted to approve nearly 300 new apartments in the downtown area for people who make less than 80% of the area income median.
2. Top-Notch Medical Facilities for Seniors
Durham has been aptly nicknamed “The City of Medicine” because the area has impressive healthcare offerings – in part due to how close the medical, nursing and pharmacy schools at UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University are. For Veterans and families, it’s also important to know there is a VA hospital within 30 miles of the city. Seniors can take comfort in the following statistics, published in the most recent Durham County Community Health Assessment:
· The physician-to-population more than 4 times the national average
· More than 3,700 licensed physicians and interns, plus more than 6,000 nurses
· 46% of all biotech firms in the US are based in North Carolina
· 33% of US hospitals to the recognized by the American Hospital Association for leadership and innovation in quality, safety, and commitment to patient care are in North Carolina
· Facilities serve more than 200,000 veterans statewide
If you have health concerns that go beyond what you think you can easily manage on your own, there are a host of assisted living facilities and other senior care options in the Durham area. These facilities can provide peace of mind for people who currently need or may soon need assistance with activities of daily living.
3. Abundant Opportunity for Social Activities
Research has long supported the claim that loneliness of a lack of social support can ultimately lead to declines in both mental and physical health in seniors. Durham recognizes the need for older adults to live a healthy, active lifestyle and fulfills this need through the Durham Center for Senior Life. Through the Center you have access to services including congregate meals, transportation, adult education, exercise classes, socialization, health promotion, caregiver support services, information referrals, and case assistance. Such services can help you stay happy and healthy while also giving you an opportunity to meet new friends in your new town.