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Best and Cheapest Places To Retire Besides Mars

Updated on August 28, 2020
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish has 30 years' experience in medicine, psychology, STEM instruction, history, and aerospace education for USAF Civil Air Patrol.

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 of 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

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 -.


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

Haywood St, Asheville, NC 28801, USA:
75 Haywood St, Asheville, NC 28801, USA

get directions

Ages 65+ 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

Biltmore Park Town Square:
Town Square Boulevard, Asheville, NC 28803, USA

get directions

Grove Arcade, Asheville NC:
Grove Street, Asheville, NC 28801, USA

get directions

Downtown Asheville District, Asheville NC:
Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, 36 Montford Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801, USA

get directions

Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville NC:
Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center, Blue Ridge Parkway, 195 Hemphill Knob Road, Asheville, NC 28803,

get directions

Selected Attractions

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

  1. CRST Expedited Trucking
  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

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2012 Patty Inglish MS


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