Cashiers, North Carolina
Tiny Cashiers (the town, not people) sits at 3,485 feet in the western North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains. The population is roughly 250 people, so the town is easy to miss if not paying attention. But it is not a place to roll past since it offers a peaceful high-altitude retirement lifestyle in a very pretty location. The cost-of-living is roughly 35% above the national average, and the median home price is about $395,000. Cashiers (pronounced “cashers”) is known as a resort community, and its population grows significantly in the summer as vacation and second-home owners come to enjoy the cool mountain air. Of the population, 50% is age 45 or better. The crime rate is well below the national average, and the median household income meets the national average.
Getting to Cashiers can be a bit of a challenge since it is surrounded by mountains and is only accessible by narrow two-lane roads that twist through forests and along tall cliffs. The drive is not for the faint of heart.
Speaking of heart, Cashiers has a big one even though it is a little place. It is a welcoming spot, with plenty of outdoor recreation close at hand. Favorite retiree activities include golfing, fishing, hiking and rafting. Although the population grows in the summertime, winters are peaceful and the perfect time for cross-country skiing or contemplation in the quiet woods.
Politically, Cashiers leans a bit to the left. Of the residents, 25% have a college degree or better. Churches are not in great abundance but enough are here to meet the needs of most residents.
Cashiers is the kind of place where residents have to make their own entertainment. Retirees seeking an action-packed retirement or one filled with lots of cultural amenities and nightlife will not be happy here.
There is no public transportation, which many retirees will consider a drawback.
Cashiers does not have its own hospital but just 5 miles away in Highlands, the Highlands Cashier Hospital has 25 beds and is accredited by the Joint Commission.
Thanks to its elevation, Cashiers has a relatively cool climate. The average January high is 46°, and the average July temperature is 82°. The area receives a lot precipitation, about 90 inches each year, roughly 12 inches of which is snow. Autumns are simply breathtaking.
With its scenic location, four season climate, low crime rate and beautiful mountainside homes, Cashiers should be considered for retirement, although the lack of public transportation and the small hospital should be taken into consideration