Best places to retire on the east coast
Whether you're on the brink of retiring or fantasizing about your bucket list, Stacker rounded up a few places to consider fulfilling your retirement dreams. The East Coast is a strong contender—a region sparkling with sunny states, beautiful beaches, natural splendor, and a mix of affordable and upscale lifestyle options.
Using Niche's 2019 Best Places to Retire as a guideline, Stacker followed their lead to develop the list for what would be important to people thinking about retiring. Variables included weather, safety, housing expenses, and access to places like eateries, golf courses, recreation facilities, and health care. Listed here are numbers for the general population along with a look at percentages of people ages 55 to 64 and 65 and over, along with median household income, median household value, and median rent.
While the East Coast includes Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, only 10 states were included in the top 50 places to retire on the East Coast. To give the list more variety, only the top 10 places from each state were considered for the ranking.
Stacker's team notes that while many of the places are located in sunny states like Florida and North Carolina, states like New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania made the list with small-town charm, dining, and cultural activities, giving retirees good reasons to retire in a specific area.
Take a tour of the 50 best places to retire on the East Coast, whether you are looking to spend your golden years with your toes in the sand, swinging a golf club, or enjoying the bounty of natural beauty in this region of America.
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#50. Isle of Palms, SC
- Population: 4,333 (22% age 55-64 and 30% age 65+)
- Median household income: $102,656
- Housing: $805,900 median household value and $1,938 median rent
This laid-back barrier island community is close to Charleston, S.C., and offers a plethora of outdoor activities including golf, tennis, fishing, and dog walking. Clean beaches and lovely homes are the hallmarks of this affluent community.
#49. Merrimac, VA
- Population: 2,017 (9% age 55-64 and 31% age 65+)
- Median household income: $32,965
- Housing: $111,200 median household value and $476 median rent
Along with a picturesque mountain setting, the college town boasts a fine arts community and great health-care amenities. The small town is close to Roanoke and offers a plethora of outdoor recreation.
#48. St. Simons, GA
- Population: 14,261 (16% age 55-64 and 32% age 65+)
- Median household income: $78,782
- Housing: $351,300 median household value and $1,207 median rent
Award-winning St. Simons Island is an idyllic spot to retire brimming with Southern charm, history, and a wide variety of outdoor activities. Couples looking for a beach lifestyle full of natural beauty will love calling St. Simons home.
#47. Flat Rock, NC
- Population: 3,267 (18% age 55-64 and 51% age 65+)
- Median household income: $69,732
- Housing: $398,400 median household value and $1,274 median rent
Looking for a quaint and historic village for retirement? Flat Rock, about 33 miles south of Asheville, is brimming with local charm. Dubbed the “Little Charleston of the Mountains,” this quaint village has galleries, shops, and eateries, and was also the home of poet Carl Sandburg.
#46. Calabash, NC
- Population: 1,503 (15% age 55-64 and 31% age 65+)
- Median household income: $42,107
- Housing: $121,900 median household value and $914 median rent
Nicknamed the Seafood Capital, the coastal town of Calabash was incorporated in 1972. The fishing village is one of North Carolina's Brunswick Islands and a great place for couples who enjoy golf and beaches.
#45. Greenville, DE
- Population: 2,305 (14% age 55-64 and 29% age 65+)
- Median household income: $98,125
- Housing: $667,400 median household value and $1,334 median rent
While Greenville is actually a suburb of Philadelphia, it is part of the state of Delaware. Along with great access to doctors, this peaceful community has a small-town vibe and is close to many recreational activities, including golf.
#44. Timonium, MD
- Population: 10,548 (12% age 55-64 and 28% age 65+)
- Median household income: $89,007
- Housing: $360,900 median household value and $1,485 median rent
The safe and quiet town of Timonium is about 20 minutes away from Baltimore. The quaint suburb is close to Towson, which has abundant shopping centers, entertainment options, and eateries.
#43. Emerald Isle, NC
- Population: 3,705 (19% age 55-64 and 31% age 65+)
- Median household income: $65,541
- Housing: $363,000 median household value and $1,175 median rent
The slogan “Nice Matters” gives a sense of the kind vibe in the beach community of Emerald Isle. Located on the Outer Banks, halfway between South Carolina and Virginia, Emerald Isle is celebrated for its unspoiled beaches.
#42. Chevy Chase Village, MD
- Population: 1,984 (17% age 55-64 and 23% age 65+)
- Median household income: $250,001
- Housing: $1,605,500 median household value and $3,501 median rent
This historic community of 721 homes sits on about a half square mile bordering the District of Columbia. Brick sidewalks, tree-lined streets, and open green space are just a few of the village's charms. Residents can walk to public transportation, shopping, and restaurants.
#41. Little River, SC
- Population: 9,208 (21% age 55-64 and 33% age 65+)
- Median household income: $47,866
- Housing: $182,500 median household value and $834 median rent
The oldest town along the greater Grand Strand awaits those who enjoy a slow pace of life, historic oak trees, and freshly caught seafood. About 20 miles north of Myrtle Beach, Little River is close to golf courses, entertainment, and shopping outlets.
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