Until late 2007, throngs of baby boomers and seniors were choosing Charlotte as their new home. Like many newcomers, they saw climate and amenities as major attractions.But one of the most important reasons that so many retirees were moving here was familial. They wanted to be near adult children who already lived in the Charlotte area.Then the recession hit. And that steady retiree stream slowed to a trickle.But since 2010, the number of retirees relocating to Charlotte is on the rise again, says Dan Owens, director of the Charlotte-based National Active Retirement Association. In recent months, Marian Ingram, a real estate agent in Keller Williams’ Ballantyne office, has watched as more seniors from around the country look for new homes here. Ingram specializes in working with people 55 and over. “The prices might not be as high as sellers would like, but the market has certainly picked back up,” she says. Many are still choosing the Charlotte area to be near children and grandchildren who already live here. Retirement industry professionals refer to these seniors as “trailers,” because they’re following their children.Retirees who settle here appreciate that Charlotte has a large, diverse population but the friendly feel of a smaller city. They also like the climate – warm, but without Florida’s sweltering heat. Ingram is a senior transplant. She is Owens’ mother, and she moved here about seven years ago from Oklahoma to be near Owens and his brother. Many homes she sells are in Del Webb’s Sun City Carolina Lakes, an active adult community in Lancaster County, S.C., just south of Charlotte. With more than 2,000 homes, Sun City is the area’s largest senior-focused community, and it’s still growing. More than 3,000 homes are planned. Aging newcomers will find a variety of senior housing in the Charlotte area. They range from developments that cater to active seniors to continuing care retirement communities equipped with assisted living and nursing facilities.If you’re searching for housing, Senior Living Resource Magazine is a good place to start. Available free at local stores and supermarkets, it lists active adult and independent housing options as well as assisted living, dementia care and nursing homes. Several new senior communities also are in the works. They include Waltonwood Providence, on Providence Road across from Providence Country Club, and Brightmore of South Charlotte. Waltonwood is slated to offer independent and assisted living as well as memory-care units. Brightmore, at 8440 Rea Road, will provide independent and assisted living and nursing care.
Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012
More retirees heading to Charlotte area
Resources for seniors Senior Living Resource Magazine: Publishes a Charlotte edition three times a year with information on housing and services for seniors. Free copies available at supermarkets and stores around Charlotte or by calling 877-995-0272. Just 1 Call: Mecklenburg County’s information and referral service for seniors and adults with disabilities. 704-432-1111; www.just1call.org. Elderly General Purpose Transportation and Rural General Purpose Transportation: These county programs offer affordable rides to people 60 and older in Mecklenburg County. 704-336-3000, then press 5. Centralina Area Agency on Aging: Ombudsmen advocate for residents in assisted-living centers and nursing homes. They also can answer questions about long-term care. 704-372-2416; www.centralinaaging.org. Levine Senior Center: 1050 Devore Lane, Matthews. 704-846-4654; www.levineseniorcenter.org. Senior Center@Shamrock: 3925 Willard Farrow Drive. 704-531-6900; www.cmseniorcenters.org. Tyvola Senior Center: 2225 Tyvola Road. 704-522-6222; www.cmseniorcenters.org. North Mecklenburg Senior Services: The Solid Rock Christian Church, 16601 Old Statesville Road, Huntersville. 704-875-1270; www.cmseniorcenters.org.