Where to Retire: Hendersonville, North Carolina


Hendersonville, North Carolina has a long-standing reputation as a health and summer resort has contributed to its becoming the leading retirement center of North Carolina’s mountainous west. Hendersonville retains a unique identity from nearby Asheville and Brevard, yet it is close enough to them for its residents to easily access their many attractions, making it a desirable place for retirement.

Landscape: Hendersonville has a beautiful setting in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Much of the county is forested, while the valley offers a visually appealing mixture of land uses.

Climate: Hendersonville’s climate is mild yet variable enough to be stimulating. It features four clearly defined seasons, frequent changes in weather and moderate levels of sunshine.

Quality of Life: Excellent. The city’s nicely landscaped, revitalized downtown is delightful. Residents are friendly and helpful and seem anxious to welcome visitors and potential residents alike to their city.

Housing: A great variety of housing is available. Many desirable neighborhoods reveal attractive homes in wooded settings or perched on hillsides offering breathtaking views.

Goods and Services: Groceries, utilities, transportation, health care and miscellaneous goods and services are all priced slightly below their national averages.

Taxes: State and local taxes are about 10.1% of income compared to the U.S. average of 9.7%. Property, sales and excise taxes are below national norms whereas income taxes are above average.

Transportation: Most residents drive. Buses connect downtown with the hospital, mall, and airport. Jet service is available from Asheville Regional Airport and Greenville–Spartanburg Airport. Amtrak service is available in Greenville.

Retail Services: Historic downtown Hendersonville, the heart and soul of the city, is home to an ideal mix of specialty shops, antiques stores and service and eating establishments. Blue Ridge Mall offers additional shopping.

Health Care: Pardee Hospital provides very good medical care. Nearby Asheville offers excellent additional medical resources.

Community Services: Opportunity House provides lectures, arts and crafts courses, exercise classes, bridge, sports, trips, dinners and dances. Also notable is the Henderson County Public Library.

Cultural and Educational Activities: The performing and visual arts are well represented in Hendersonville and the surrounding area. College courses are fielded by Blue Ridge Community College.

Recreational Activities: Hendersonville is renowned for its recreational advantages, including its proximity to Great Smokey Mountains National Park and Pisgah National Forest.

Work and Volunteer Activities: Part-time jobs are available in retail and service industries. Volunteers work at the local hospital, library, visitors bureau and various cultural and educational venues.

Crime Rates and Public Safety: Hendersonville and Henderson County are among America’s most crime-free places.

Conclusion: Hendersonville, North Carolina is a desirable place for retirement for those wishing to live in a friendly small city offering many amenities typical of larger places. Its gently rolling landscape in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is beautiful and its mild climate will appeal to many. The delightfully refurbished yet traditional downtown is a joy. Most services and amenities essential for upscale retirement are well represented in Hendersonville and are easily augmented in nearby Asheville. Finally, all these blessings are available at a moderate cost of living in a virtually crime-free environment.


About Warren Bland

Warren R. Bland, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Geography at California State University, Northridge and author of Retire in Style: 60 Outstanding Places Across the USA and Canada, Next Decade, Inc., 2005. For more information about Dr. Bland’s books, go to Next Decade

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