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Best and Cheapest Places To Retire Besides Mars

Updated on August 9, 2016
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish offers 25+ years successful experience in Medicine; Health- and I/O Psychology; STEM courses, and Aerospace Education (CAP).

Free Retirement On Mars - Not Enough Slots

In the mid-2010s, Mars One in Europe and a few other projects planned to send individuals toi Mars to colonize and spend the remainder of their lives. After the Great Recession of 2008 - 2010, this sounded like a good idea to many people.

The selection process was very long and drawn out, ending in a reality show gig and many iof the people who would liked to have participated were either ruled out or lost patience with the time line. Therefore, affordable retirement options are still needed on Earth.

Cuts and Delays in Social Security

Some of those who praised Reaganomics are angry that they now have to wait longer for Social Security Retirement and that their monthly check will be for less than expected.

Best Retirement City: Asheville Downtown Historic District

Historic Woolworth Lunch Counter and store, National Register of Historic Places.
Historic Woolworth Lunch Counter and store, National Register of Historic Places. | Source

Ronald Reagan Planned Older Retirement Ages and Longer Lives

If they did not already know, Baby Boomers found out in 2011 and 2012 that the Social Security Retirement ages increased, per a plan set into action decades in the past (reference is here).

The US Congress under the Reagan Administration saw to it that the country would save money by raising retirement ages. Reductions in monthly payments were proposed 2012 - 2016 Under the Obama Administration and raises were frozen.

Now, some of those who praised Reaganomics are angry that they have to wait and that their monthly check will be for less than expected.

Full benefits for Boomers born 1945 - 1964 begin at ages 66 and 70 since 2005, depending on their ages, if letters received in the 2000s from the SS Administration can be believed.

The younger members of the cohort are required to work longer than those born in 1945 - 1954, with the ultimate retirement age to rise to 75 or our Millennial generations (Generation Y). I've already received notices of this for two years running and the difference in cash payment at ages 66 and 70 is quite a large difference.

Baby Boomers will be looking for cheaper places to retire through 2034, the age that the youngest of the cohort begin to retire at full benefits at age 70. I expect the age for full benefits to be 75 by that time, so the year will move forward to 2039 and we will have been on Mars as a nation about 10-15 years by that time.

Aerospace mining efforts began in 2012 with former Google leaders and James Cameron, Richard Branson; and Planetary Resources, which is always looking for engineers.

Woolworth's at 25 Haywood St. in Downtown Asheville NC is now an arts center.
Woolworth's at 25 Haywood St. in Downtown Asheville NC is now an arts center. | Source
5 stars for City of Asheville NC

Mars or North Carolina?

A real chance exists for some Baby Boomers to travel to the moon and Mars to set up living habitats and expand into colonies. In fact, between 2011 and 2015, lunar landers were prepared for the moon and outer-space habitats were built and kept at the ready by a number of private aerospace companies.

Actor and Boomer Tom Hanks announced that he would be the first to sign up for a mission to settle Mars, but whether he did so is still unknown. Regardless, a number of senior citizens and others will spend the rest of their lives on Mars beginning in the 2020s. However, not everyone can retire to Mars.

Top 10 of the Top 100

1. Asheville NC
2. Sarasota FL
3. Austin TX
4. Venice FL
5. Prescott AZ
6. Ft. Myers FL
7. Beaufort SC
8. Paris TN
9. San Diego CA
10. Green Valley AZ

In the 1990s, a short lived NASA project tested the effects of living in space on the oldest senior citizens and their adult children in their 50s and 60s (reported in the Columbus Dispatch). One of the reasons for the test must be these new opportunities in space for seniors. The work on Mars would be long-term and the volunteers would not return to Earth. That's one way to solve the retirement living problem. Still, only a few people will be able to go in the 2020s.

For others of us, Asheville NC, the filming site for the film The Hunger Games with Jennifer Lawrence, was named to the Number One position among the Top 100 Best (and cheapest) Places to Retire published by in 2012. The city has remained high on Top 100 lists ever since,.

American Style Magazine chose Asheville NC as the Number One Small City in the USA for Art in 2011.

Asheville is also home to the greatest shopping cart race in the world every November - The Iditarod. It includes a food drive and a lot of chaos as teams of 5-person costumed Idiots tie themselves to their carts and run among themed floats. This is all part of the River Arts District - see the list of artists and studios here.

Carts of Darkness
Carts of Darkness

A ROUSING DOCUMENTARY ABOUT SHOPPING CART RACES. North Carolina has its own version of Alaska's sled dog race, the Iditarod, and it is done with shopping carts. Fun or danger?


Between Tennessee and Georgia

A markerAsheville NC -
Asheville, NC, USA
get directions

Real Estate and Rental Living

According to Trulia, the real estate site with its own SmartPhone app, a number of dwelling are for sale in Ashville most of the year. The price range on 1,000 homes that are single family styles, condos, or apartments for sale is $29,900 to $4.9 Million. The median price is $209,000.

Apartments for rent in Asheville appear in the range of $285/month for an efficiency to $2,000/month for a condominium in the Downtown area. Median price is $975 (2 bedrooms and 2 bath).

Active Lifestyle Retirement Gated Communities

  • The Fitzgerald: 290 Macon Avenue. This is close to Downtown and the Groveport Inn Spa. Fitness Center, Swimming Pool, Golf Course, Tennis Courts.
  • Crest Mountain: 90 Ben Lippen School Road. Walking Trails, Fitness Center, Pool, Clubhouse, Waterfall Park in the center of the complex, special events.
  • The Ramble: 5 Valley Springs. Plenty of wooded areas and cleared walking paths afford active retires with open green spaces. This is part of the original estate of George W. Vanderbilt. Fitness Center, Pool, Community Center, Tennis Courts, special outdoor events.

55+ Active Living Centers

  • Bella Vista: 55 Piney Mountain Drive. 828-348-7002.
  • Carolina Bay: Under Construction. 1202 Eastwood Road; Wilmington, NC 28403. 866-455-0599.
  • Laurels of Summit Ridge: 100 Riceville Road. 877-455-9003.
  • Vanderbilt Apartments: 75 Haywood Street in the Downtown Historic District close to the Woolworth's store. 828-254-1754.

The Downtown Historic District

A markerHaywood St, Asheville, NC 28801, USA -
75 Haywood St, Asheville, NC 28801, USA
get directions

Ages 65+ Are Exempt From Personal Property Tax

The North Carolina Department of Taxation and the County Departments that include Asheville's Buncombe County tell us that Senior Citizens ages 65 and over, as well as the permanently disabled are excluded from Personal Property Taxes in this state. Those that must pay this tax must do so only on the following items, and I quote:

"Individual Personal Property includes:

  • Home and Additions/Remodeling,
  • Unlicensed vehicles, which are those not having an active North Carolina registration on January 1 of a year, including automobiles, trucks, trailers, campers and motorcycles
  • Boats, Boat Motors, Jet Skis, etc.
  • Mobile Homes
  • Aircraft, including Hot Air Balloons, Ultralights, and Gliders; and
  • Vehicles with permanent multi-year tags issues by the NCDMV"

The French Broad River at the Swannanoa, Asheville, N.C.
The French Broad River at the Swannanoa, Asheville, N.C. | Source

Attractions in the City

show route and directions
A markerBiltmore Park Town Square -
Town Square Boulevard, Asheville, NC 28803, USA
get directions

B markerDowntown Asheville District, Asheville NC -
Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, 36 Montford Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801, USA
get directions

C markerGrove Arcade, Asheville NC -
Grove Street, Asheville, NC 28801, USA
get directions

D markerBlue Ridge Parkway, Asheville NC -
Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center, Blue Ridge Parkway, 195 Hemphill Knob Road, Asheville, NC 28803,
get directions

Selected Attractions

Look Homeward, Angel
Look Homeward, Angel

Wolfe said that Look Homeward, Angel is "a book made out of my life." He went on a quest out of his hometown to look for a larger intellectual life. Readers recognize the characters in their own hometowns.


Cherokee NC Pow Wow

Local Colleges and Universities

  • Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College
  • Black Mountain College
  • Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock
  • Brevard College in Brevard
  • Mars Hill College in Mars Hill
  • Montreat College
  • Shaw University College of Adult and Professional Education (CAPE)
  • University of North Carolina at Asheville
  • Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa
  • Western Carolina University in Cullowhee

Largest Employers in Asheville

  1. Mission Health System and Hospital
  2. City of Asheville Government
  3. The Biltmore Company - Museums and Historical Sites
  4. Buncombe County Government
  5. The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa
  6. Ingles Markets, Inc. (HQ in Buncombe County)
  7. VA Medical Center-Asheville
  8. BorgWarner Turbo & Emissions Systems
  9. CarePartners Nursing Facilities
  10. Eaton Corporation - Electrical Division

Largest Hiring Companies, 2012 - 2016

  1. CRST Expedited Trucking - Trucker Driving in the Number One job advertised 2014 - 2016.
  2. Care-partners Health
  3. Gordon Trucking
  4. Mission Health
  5. Omni Hotels
  6. Bayada Home Health Care
  7. Pizza Hut - Managers and Crew. Other dining outlets also need workers.
  8. CVS/Pharmacy; Dollar General - Managers and Sales Clerks
  9. Harris Teeter Grocery Stores
  10. Biltmore - Historical sites need workers.

North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville
North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville | Source

© 2012 Patty Inglish


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    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 4 years ago from Jamaica

      The Idiotarod race? Really???? LOL LOL LOL.....that one is too funny hahaha.. Sign me up for Mars or Maybe Ashville please!!!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 4 years ago from North America

      Cardisa - Yes, all over the USA these things are happening, and different times of the year. NYC has a large one.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 4 years ago from North America

      To dispel incorrect NC personal property tax rumors, according to the NC State Dept. of Taxation, only these items are taxable as personal property (and Senior Citizens age 65+ and the permanently disabled are excluded):

      "Individual Personal Property includes:

      -Homes and Additions/Remodeling

      -Unlicensed vehicles, which are those not having an active North Carolina registration on January 1 of a year, including automobiles, trucks, trailers, campers and motorcycles

      -Boats, Boat Motors, Jet Skis, etc.

      -Mobile Homes

      -Aircraft, including Hot Air Balloons, Ultralights, and Gliders; and

      -Vehicles with permanent multi-year tags issues by the NCDMV."

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      We fell in love with Asheville this past summer and would love to go back although we are not ready to retire just yet. Great hub on a great area. Voted up!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 4 years ago from North America

      Thanks a million! I first visited when I was 13 never forgot the place. Never will!

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