Delaware - A Small State With A Large Appeal For Retirement Living
It is fairly safe to assume that most people dreaming of a retirement home near the beach would not necessarily have Delaware at the top of their list. However, more and more seniors from metropolitan areas along the East Coast have, in fact, selected the state as their retirement destination.
Here, retirees from the area can enjoy living on or near the beach and experience a relaxed, quality lifestyle and relatively low taxes and still be close to family and friends. Many, seeking to escape the fast-pace and congestion of city life, have discovered the allure of such places as Milton, Lewes, Bridgeville and Rehoboth Beach. These are rural and resort communities, all quietly tucked away in a corner of Southern Delaware and brimming with history, charm and personality. An added plus is that the urban conveniences of cities like Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Baltimore are just a couple of hours away.
With a population of less than 4,000, Lewes, situated where the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean meet, may not be as well known as neighboring Rehoboth Beach, but it is considered by some to be the most livable of the Delaware resorts. It is clearly a walking town with a complex of shops and residences in beautifully restored historic structures. There are opportunities for all types of boating and fishing, as well as swimming on the ocean beaches. Nearby Cape Henlopen State Park offers miles of nature trails and bird sanctuaries, adding to the area's reputation as a great spot for outdoor enthusiasts.
Anyone who plans to spend part of their retirement bicycling along scenic back roads might find the quiet, pastoral village of neighboring Milton a great place to retire. Here country roads and flat, panoramic farmlands provide easy going for riders of any caliber. Also, a number of artists and crafts persons have found this scenic area a particularly inviting and inspiring place to live and work. Milton is a thriving community of small businesses and lovingly restored historic homes. Although not on the ocean, it sits at the head of the Broadkill River and attracts significant tourist traffic, but its relatively lower real estate costs and mild weather add to its desirability as a retirement destination.
Yet another small beach town, Rehoboth Beach, was recently named in a prominent national magazine as one of five "dream retirement towns." Although real estate prices here, as with any beach location, are rather expensive, the area is still viewed as a retirees' haven, with a median age of 57 and 38 percent of the population over 65. At least two upscale master-planned golf communities are now under construction nearby, and with the retirement-age population of Delaware expected increase by 75 percent in the next 25 years, more retirement communities and resort developments are certain to materialize.
While the state can by no means be considered as the most popular retirement area in the country, it is clear that it has much to offer for retirees. Weather is obviously a major factor to consider, but with average temperatures of 68 in the summer and 41 in the winter, Delaware affords a comfortable option for anyone not interested in the heat and humidity of the Deep South. And the convivial atmosphere and relaxed lifestyle of its small towns, the beauty of its rivers and beaches and favorable tax structure make for a pleasant environment for retirement living.
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