Best and Cheapest Places To Retire Besides Mars
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
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.
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
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 TopRetirements.com 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.
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
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
Asheville Transit System
- Transit: The ART
More than 15 different bus routes run through Asheville Monday thru Saturday from 5:30 AM to 10:30 PM. Buses to the two nearest colleges run later on Thursday, Friday, Saturday. ART station is beside the Post Office Downtown. Fare just $1.00 in 2012.
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"
Attractions in the City
- Asheville Chocolate & Arts Festival - Take the Chocolate Tour In December. The race and arts exhibition are held at the Civic Center in early December every year.
- Biltmore Estate & Biltmore House Guide - See photos, video and tips for visiting Biltmore Estate with this guide to the Biltmore House, gardens and winery in Asheville North Carolina. Biltmore Village supports 40 different shops in a retail district.
- Biltmore Park Town Square - This is a multi-use complex several square blocks in area that supports retail, entertainment, dining, hotels, services, living spaces, and several special events every year.
- Blue Ridge Mountains | Blue Ridge National Heritage Area
- Christmas at the Biltmore - Guests can purchase tickets online to Biltmore in Asheville, N.C., an 8,000-acre estate that features America's largest home, gardens, a winery, a four-star inn, and much more.
- DOWNTOWN ASHEVILLE - This is a fun historic district to visit, with retail establishments, eateries, and plenty of things to see.
- Grove Arcade — Local Shops & Outstanding Restaurants in one of Asheville's Architectural Centers
- Haunted Trolley Tour - From ghostly ladies to Nazi Agents around Asheville.
- The Museum of the Cherokee Indian - In Cherokee, North Carolina, I purchased my first double recurve bow made of native woods by the Cherokee people. Today the people have a museum and a traditional village as well as other installations and a Pow Wow.
- National Gingerbread House Competition - Held every November at the Grove Park Inn complex. (exploreasheville.com)
- The North Carolina Arboretum
- Thomas Wolfe Memorial Historic Site- This area pays tribute to the author of "Look Homeward Angel." Very inexpensive admission.
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
- Mission Health System and Hospital
- City of Asheville Government
- The Biltmore Company - Museums and Historical Sites
- Buncombe County Government
- The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa
- Ingles Markets, Inc. (HQ in Buncombe County)
- VA Medical Center-Asheville
- BorgWarner Turbo & Emissions Systems
- CarePartners Nursing Facilities
- Eaton Corporation - Electrical Division
Largest Hiring Companies, 2012 - 2016
- CRST Expedited Trucking - Trucker Driving in the Number One job advertised 2014 - 2016.
- Care-partners Health
- Gordon Trucking
- Mission Health
- Omni Hotels
- Bayada Home Health Care
- Pizza Hut - Managers and Crew. Other dining outlets also need workers.
- CVS/Pharmacy; Dollar General - Managers and Sales Clerks
- Harris Teeter Grocery Stores
- Biltmore - Historical sites need workers.
© 2012 Patty Inglish