North Carolina has quietly become one of the most popular states in the country for retirement. Not everyone wants to move to Florida: North Carolina is blessed with a varied topography, from seacoast to mountains; an equable, four-season climate; and a choice of social settings ranging from quiet small towns to booming and vibrant cities. Add in the wide array of cultural and recreational choices, and North Carolina is virtually a microcosm of America.
Living costs in the state are 6% cheaper than the national average and home prices are lower than those in most states. The weather varies with cold winters and hot, humid summers.
New Bern, the town that inspired many scenes from the classic Nicholas Sparks romance novel-turned movie, The Notebook, is the second oldest town in North Carolina. New Bern has four distinct historic districts and 160-plus homes on the National Historic Register, some dating back to the 18th century. The town is also ideal for active seniors, with plenty of opportunities for boating, rafting and other water activities.