relaxing on the beach

Crystal Coast Tourism Development Authority

Retirement isn’t what it used to be, and the Crystal Coast has long been a preferred destination for retirees of all ages. Long gone are the days of the parting gift after 30 years and a ride into the sunset. (Although if riding into the sunset is your thing, it doesn’t get better than the Crystal Coast!)

There isn’t even a word that captures what “retirement” means anymore. For some, it can mean consulting, pursuing an echo career or investment management. For others, it may mean volunteering or philanthropy. And for FIRE (Financially Independent, Retire Early) devotees, it may mean moving to a place you love, working when the mood strikes you, and spending your days doing something that is fulfilling.

Regardless of what you choose in the next chapter of your life, the Crystal Coast has opportunities as endless as our ocean! You can choose to live in one of Carteret County’s 11 municipalities, each of which has its own personality. And the unincorporated areas of Carteret County support thousands of full- and part-time residents who prefer a more rural lifestyle. Your choices of where to live and what to do are boundless!

Certified Retirement Community

Fishing Rods on boat

Crystal Coast Tourism Development Authority

Aquarium Volunteer

Carteret County has created a Retiree Attraction Committee and is pursuing a Certified Retirement Community designation through the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, which is part of the Retire NC program of North Carolina Certified Retirement Communities. Certification is anticipated in 2019, but don’t wait; thousands of people have already chosen Carteret County as their destination of choice in “retirement.” In fact, recently ranked Morehead City as the sixth ranked fastest growing retirement hot spot in the country.

Joan Lamson

“My husband and I fell in love with Carteret County as we drove through here on our way home from a vacation on the island of Ocracoke in 1982, and it wasn't long before I was writing down contact information for real estate. Within 30 days, we were back here and made an offer on a piece of property in Pine Knoll Shores. After a few years of vacationing here on the Crystal Coast, we also purchased a beach house in Emerald Isle. Upon my husband's retirement, he came here to "build our house." We moved here full-time in 1994. We found Carteret County to be a friendly, welcoming place. He became involved in town leadership and I, missing my ownership of my own little company, became involved in the community. I served on the board of the Carteret Arts Council and the Carteret Community College Foundation and later, the Carteret General Hospital and the Carteret Health Care Foundation. Somewhere along the way, I served 3 terms as Mayor of Pine Knoll Shores and still live in the home we built. Carteret County is a wonderfully gentle place to live. The "Kids," (3 biological, 3 step-, 15 grandchildren and 11 great-grands) love coming here and have established special reunion weeks, along with friends and other family members who are "smitten" with Carteret County. We call ourselves "Opals," Older People with Active Life Styles.”

Joan Lamson