How Far is Coastal North Carolina?

Map of Coastal North Carolina

How far is Coastal North Carolina?

As millions of people search for an idyllic place to retire, the number of factors to be considered can be overwhelming. Healthcare, weather, cost of living, friendliness, available dining & retail and culture are just a few items that typically are on the matrix. But, so is distance back to ground zero – and that is where you currently live.

Town Clock

Moving is one of the most difficult tasks that one can take on, and the older we get, the harder it is because we have ‘set up shop’ someplace for 20 – 40 years and well, we know who are neighbors are; can drive to see our kids & grandkids; know where the Bakery and Butcher are located; have attended our place of worship for decades and, still remember where we go to get our diver license renewed. This is part of why leaving home is so difficult.

So, to add insult to injury, if you move far away from all this and more, than it’s like cutting the umbilical cord to your childhood and adulthood, once and for all. A good example is growing up in New Jersey and moving to Florida. How often do you really think you will come back? For example, just this morning Doug booked a flight to Boston for a weekend and his roundtrip airfare is over $400 and a rental car was $350. Doug lived in Boston for 7 years during the 90s and will be having a mini-reunion on the Cape one evening, however, flying back for weekends can be very expensive!

Drive Time to Take in Consideration

Drive time to your retirement destination is important, as not only will you endure the travels several times a year but, so will family and friends who come to visit you. And as we age, it seems most of us pretty much tap out at 12 hours of driving per day, with the sweet spot being less. The key though is to head far enough south, for the most part, to where the weather is significantly better and the prices are also in your favor.

Packed Cars for a Trip

The below chart of drive times is from places I have lived to, Wilmington, North Carolina. I have also added in Hilton Head and Orlando, Florida, just for comparison.

Driving Time Between Cities

  Wilmington, NC Hilton Head, SC Orlando, FL
Ridgewood, NJ 9 hrs 18 mins 12 hrs 10 mins 16 hrs
North Andover, MA 12 hrs 35 mins 15 hrs 20 mins 19 hrs 10 mins
Knoxville, TN 6 hrs 53 mins 6 hrs 16 mins 9 hrs 19 mins
Atlanta, GA 5 hrs 59 mins 4 hrs 7 mins 6 hrs 13 mins
Milwaukee, WI 15 hrs 42 mins 15 hrs 40 mins 18 hrs 14 mins

When one’s destination by car is 2 days away, you have to use 4 days of your vacation on transportation, and that stinks – especially considering the majority of Americans take 7-day vacations. And as parents or grandparents, living more than 12 hours away from your family and loved ones means that someone (as in Grandma and/or Grandpa) has to fund the cost of airline tickets for the whole family, and that can be expensive, especially if their visit(s) are more than once a year.

Moral of the story: keep in mind the drive time distance between your current home and your idyllic place to retire, as not only does a shorter distance provide you more face to face time w/family & friends but, can cut down transportation costs quite significantly. (as in, imagine the cost for a family of 5 to fly from LaGuardia to West Palm Beach 2-3 times per year? Ouch!) We understand that finding a retirement home can be challenging but our experts look forward to helping you and your family.

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