By Doug Callahan

Ready to retire here in North Carolina? Well, that’s cause for celebration!

There are plenty of good times ahead. In fact, the good folks at ranked North Carolina as Number 2 on their 2009 Best States For Retirement list.

One major factor in choosing a place for retirement is the climate. After all, you don’t want to spend these years snowed in, right? And how could you ask for better weather than the climate in North Carolina? This state is home to relatively mild weather year-round, with just enough variation to remind you what season it is.

In addition to the great weather, The Triangle has so much to offer right here. If you’re a history buff, there is plenty of rich history to explore around the Raleigh area, including Civil War sites and important places celebrating African American heritage. Or if you’re more into the outdoors, you could spend your retirement soaking up the sun at one of the area’s parks, lakes, or golf courses. Big fan of the arts? There’s certainly no shortage there either, with a thriving scene in both visual and performing arts. And the fun doesn’t stop there. You could spend a lifetime trying to take in all the shopping, eating, and nightlife that the Triangle has to offer.

And with such geographic variety in North Carolina, you could easily find time for a mountain getaway, some beach fun in the summer, and everything in between.

If you get bitten by the travel bug, there are plenty of awesome trips waiting for you in North Carolina. For a weekend trip in the summer, the Outer Banks are only a few hours away, and that stretch of land offers some of the nicest beaches on the East Coast. When fall rolls around, you could take a quick jaunt to Charlotte to take in a Panthers game. For a cold-weather getaway, head west and the Blue Ridge Mountains are waiting for you. And the springtime is the perfect time to enjoy the mountain-city charm of Asheville.

And living in the Triangle, your central location would make all of these trips easy on the wallet and the gas tank.

So, whether you decide to move into one of the beautiful retirement communities in this magazine, or stay at home and pursue some of the featured home care options, you’ve already made the best decision: to stay here in North Carolina!

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