SmartAsset recently released its seventh annual study of the top 10 places in North Carolina for people looking to retire. All of the 10 places are small towns, and Marion again came in third behind Hendersonville and Hickory, according to the study.
The study analyzed communities across multiple criteria, including: tax burden, access to medical care, recreational opportunities and social activity opportunities.
Marion was one of six western North Carolina towns named to the list, which recognized areas that were not only affordable for retirees, but also offered them access to health care and social activities. None of North Carolina’s major cities made the list.
The list states Marion has a 15.7% tax burden with 3.3 doctor’s offices per 1,000 people. There are 1.3 recreation centers for 1,000 people and .8 retirement centers per 1,000 people. Marion has a 16.6% senior citizen population, according to SmartAsset.
“In spite of COVID, Marion is doing quite well,” said Mayor Steve Little to The McDowell News. “We are continuing to grow and revive. Not every store and business is recovering as much as I would like, but a lot are making good progress. Plus we have new things going on downtown.”
For example, the second floor of the Burrito Bros. building on North Street has gotten new windows and this means a brighter future for that downtown landmark. And further down the street, the small storefront next to the Westmoreland Funeral Home parking lot has gotten a fresh coat of paint and will have a new use.
“We have things that are happening and developing and building,” said the mayor. “It’s a good place to be and I am very proud of the people and workers and developers. The numbers are still way too high for COVID so we have to be safe and take care of each other. I think as a whole I am very proud to be living in Marion, North Carolina.”
Other towns on the list include: Hendersonville, Hickory, Brevard, Roxboro, Pinehurst, Williamston, Forest City, Reidsville and Black Mountain.