Top Reasons for Seniors to Retire in Durham

Written by: Barbara Thompson, Senior Care Advocate

Getting closer to retirement can be both a scary and exciting time. You will likely have the opportunity to choose a new city, possibly in a new part of the country. If Durham, NC is not already on your short list, it definitely needs to be added.  The 2018 U.S. News rankings for best places to retire in the United States placed Durham among the top 15. It is a vibrant, comfortable city for living. The average annual temperature is 60 degrees and snow is quite rare. Durham is a very desirable and practical for any senior looking to downsize and prepare for their retirement. Beyond what’s already been mentioned, here are some of the top reasons why you should choose Durham:


1.  Durham Housing Ranks Among the Most Affordable

Housing in Durham is more affordable than most similarly sized metropolitan areas across the United States when you compare housing costs versus median household income. Zillow, a real estate website, calculates the median home value in Durham to be $221,7000, which is just slightly above the overall national median price of $221,500. Durham offers much more than your average US town, so value you can get from your home in this city versus other places is worth noting for seniors. Additionally, you can also expect to save on property taxes in Durham. The current tax rate is 1.23%, so for an average priced home, you will pay about $2.727 in annual property taxes.

If you do not have a lot of income or retirement savings, Durham could still be the right place for you. The city government takes measures to promote better housing accommodations for those of limited means. Earlier in 2018 the Durham County Commissioners unanimously voted to approve about 300 new apartments in the downtown area for people who make less than 80% of the area income median.

Of note, North Carolina does not tax social security benefits, which means if you qualify for these benefits when you turn 65 you will be keeping more money in your pocket than you would if you were to choose most other states.


2.  Healthcare Access in Durham is Virtually Unmatched

Durham’s nickname is “The City of Medicine,” which is extremely fitting given the healthcare access residents enjoy. The city is near an impressive array of healthcare settings and offerings. This is primarily due to the proximity of the medical, nursing and pharmacy schools at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University. If you are a veteran or have a loved one who has served, it’s worth noting that there is a VA hospital within 30 miles of Durham. The most recent statistics collected by the Durham County Community Health Assessment really speak for themselves when it comes to healthcare access. The city boasts:


  • A physician-to-population that is more than 4x the national average

  • More than 3,700 licensed physicians and interns, plus more than 6,000 nurses

  • Innovation. 46% of all biotech firms in the US are based in North Carolina

  • Pedigreed hospitals. 33% of US hospitals to the recognized by the American Hospital Association for leadership and innovation in quality, safety, and commitment to patient care are in North Carolina

  • Facilities that serve more than 200,000 veterans statewide


If you have health concerns that go beyond what you think you can easily manage on your own, you should know that Durham has more housing options than just regular homes. There are many assisted living facilities and other senior care options in the area. These options are most appropriate for seniors who currently need or may soon need assistance with activities of daily living. These facilities can provide peace of mind for seniors and their families.


3.  Durham Offers Social Programs and Opportunities for Seniors

The facts are pretty much undeniable: being lonely or not having enough of a social life or a social support system can greatly affect a senior’s physical and mental welfare as the years go by. As a city, Durham recognizes the need for seniors to live a healthy, active lifestyle, and it fulfills this need through the Durham Center for Senior Life. The center offers access to essential services, such as congregate meals, transportation, adult education, exercise classes, socialization, health promotion, caregiver support services, information referrals, and case assistance. These services can help you stay happy and healthy while also giving you an opportunity to meet new friends in your new town.

Many people refer to their retirement as their “golden years,” and there’s no reason why shouldn’t experience the same thing. Contact Us if you’d like more detailed information on your neighborhood in Durham, to see your home’s value, or to receive automatic emails when new listings go for sale in your neighborhood


Barbara Thompson
Senior Care Advocate

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