THE “BEST SMALL TOWN” TO RETIRE TO IN NORTH CAROLINA
No doubt Andy Griffith’s creation of the fictitious town of Mayberry instilled in many Baby Boomer’s psyches a romanced version of the ideal southern town -- complete with down-home hospitality, friendly neighbors and little to no crime. It is believed that Mayberry was based on Griffith’s hometown of Mt. Airy, in Surry County, NC, with a present-day population of just over 10,000.
The pursuit of “Mayberry” as your retirement destination is potentially tricky. What constitutes "Mayberry" for you? Many ask us what “the best small town” to retire to is. "Best," of course, is partly a subjective measure, but one that will likely include both tangibles factors (tax rates, housing prices, cost of living, etc.) and intangibles (is the town near water, golf, a large city, etc.)
And how do we define “small?” For the purposes of the comparison chart below, we define a “small town” as cities, towns, or CDPs (census-designated places) in North Carolina with populations between 6,000 and 20,000 residents, according to the 2010 census.
The Cost of Living Index for each location is referenced against the national average. So, for example, a city with a Cost of Living Index rating of -4% means that this town is 4% below the national average. The index is an overall rating, which includes food, housing, utility, transportation, health and miscellaneous costs.
NORTH CAROLINA SMALL TOWN COST OF LIVING INDEX