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Old 26th January 2013, 11:42   #1 (permalink)
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Retirement Location Evaluation NC, SC, GA, FL

I am starting to evaluate a potential retirement move down to the southern USA and have targeted the states of NC, SC, GA, and FL. I would like to hear from divers that live in those area their opinion on what they like and dislike about the area from a retirement location perspective.

Some of the specific things I would like to know in addition to diving opportunities include. local activities, medical facilities, tax issues, cost of housing and living. If you previously lived in the NE USA a comparison would be great. Please respond either in the thread or send me a pm. Also, include the specific city/town you live in.

All opinions good or bad are appreciated as I will be doing an exploratory drive to visit some interesting city areas in these states during late Feb.

John
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Old 26th January 2013, 12:03   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Retirement Location Evaluation NC, SC, GA, FL

love it here in florida!
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Old 26th January 2013, 16:40   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Retirement Location Evaluation NC, SC, GA, FL

Quote: (Originally Posted by jkaterenchuk) View Original Post
I am starting to evaluate a potential retirement move down to the southern USA and have targeted the states of NC, SC, GA, and FL. I would like to hear from divers that live in those area their opinion on what they like and dislike about the area from a retirement location perspective.

Some of the specific things I would like to know in addition to diving opportunities include. local activities, medical facilities, tax issues, cost of housing and living. If you previously lived in the NE USA a comparison would be great. Please respond either in the thread or send me a pm. Also, include the specific city/town you live in.

All opinions good or bad are appreciated as I will be doing an exploratory drive to visit some interesting city areas in these states during late Feb.

John
John,

I am originally from Boston (family is still there) and I have been in Charlotte for the last 12 years. I would give a serious look at NC, especially the Raleigh area. From there you are an easy drive to the coast with epic wreck diving at your fingertips. You are also an easy drive to the mountains and there is tons to do there (hiking, skiing, whitewater, mountain biking, etc.). Charlotte is a little further from the water and closer to the mountains. Cost of living is comprable in both areas and MUCH cheaper than up north. Same goes for taxes, real estate, insurance, and pretty much every aspect of daily expenses. Charlotte is a little more cosmopolitan with better food and nightlife (personal view) but Raleigh is close to all the major NC universities so there are lots of hospitals and research dollars. Charlotte is 5 hours from High Springs, 7 from Jackson Blue if you are into cave diving so both are doable for a weekend. I can't say enough about the offshore diving in NC, much better than SC and GA (although Murrell's Inlet in SC is right up there- but also an easy drive from Charlotte).

Cons- It's not New England. Futher from the water, no big cities, and the countryside is not as quaint. Generally speaking, things are more spread out than they are up north. If you live on the NC coast (e.g. Wilmington, New Bern, etc.) you give up a lot in terms of amenities and access to services (again my opinion, having lived in one of the bigger cities in those states).

Another spot to check out is Charleston, SC. Not a great place for diving, but close enough to Murrell's Inlet to the north and just a couple hours to cave country. But the city is amazing, my favorite in the south. Good hospitals, amazing food, lots of options to live near the water, and one of the best preserved historic downtown's in the country.

Hope this helps!
Ryan
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Old 26th January 2013, 21:01   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Retirement Location Evaluation NC, SC, GA, FL

Have you considered retiring to NZ? Surrounded by some of the best diving anywhere. Some challenging wrecks - Niagra, et al. Deep, shallow, what have you.

Great dive club in West Auckland!
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Old 26th January 2013, 22:24   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Retirement Location Evaluation NC, SC, GA, FL

Have to agree with Fl. I bought a condo down in West Palm Beach a few years ago, practically giving them away then. Prices are still down. Not sure about pvt home situation tho.
Diving is great there. everything from reefs to wrecks.
Later,
John

Last edited by DepthCharge; 26th January 2013 at 22:50.. Reason: spelling
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Old 27th January 2013, 10:42   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Retirement Location Evaluation NC, SC, GA, FL

I appreciate the responses so far. Some specific cities on the initial list include. Raleigh NC, Greensboro NC, Charlotte NC, Columbia SC, Greenville SC, Augusta GA, Athens GA, Valdosta GA, St Marys GA, Jacksonville FL, Gainsville FL and Clearwater FL.

Trying to avoid areas of direct hit by hurricanes and driving to dive is not a problem.

John
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Old 27th January 2013, 12:30   #7 (permalink)
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I live in Charlotte and there is a great group of guys and gals diving in a local quarry. It's a bit chilly but fun for a weeknight or a dive on the weekend that is close by. Look up Lake Norman and you will find beautiful houses and property. The Quarry is right next to the lake.
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Old 27th January 2013, 15:05   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Retirement Location Evaluation NC, SC, GA, FL

Quote: (Originally Posted by jkaterenchuk) View Original Post
I appreciate the responses so far. Some specific cities on the initial list include. Raleigh NC, Greensboro NC, Charlotte NC, Columbia SC, Greenville SC, Augusta GA, Athens GA, Valdosta GA, St Marys GA, Jacksonville FL, Gainsville FL and Clearwater FL.

Trying to avoid areas of direct hit by hurricanes and driving to dive is not a problem.

John
Highland Beach Florida!
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Old 27th January 2013, 15:17   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Retirement Location Evaluation NC, SC, GA, FL

Quote: (Originally Posted by jkaterenchuk) View Original Post
I appreciate the responses so far. Some specific cities on the initial list include. Raleigh NC, Greensboro NC, Charlotte NC, Columbia SC, Greenville SC, Augusta GA, Athens GA, Valdosta GA, St Marys GA, Jacksonville FL, Gainsville FL and Clearwater FL.

Trying to avoid areas of direct hit by hurricanes and driving to dive is not a problem.

John
Ft Meyers... I would think that you would also want a location that is warm most of the months.... Northern Florida gets pretty chilly....
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Old 27th January 2013, 15:57   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Retirement Location Evaluation NC, SC, GA, FL

Quote: (Originally Posted by diverklondike) View Original Post
Ft Meyers... I would think that you would also want a location that is warm most of the months.... Northern Florida gets pretty chilly....
Ft. Myers is below me.....Sarasota.
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