Pine Knoll Shores Takes Top Rank for Retirees in NC

Sandy pathway leading through tall grass and sand dune fences to the blue ocean

With the recognition of Pine Knoll Shores (PKS) as the top place for retirees in North Carolina by the online ‘ranking’ website, Niche.com, the secret is out.

To quote Brian Kramer, PKS Town Manager, “Now everyone else knows what the people in PKS have known for decades: It’s the best place in the world to retire.”

But Kramer said numbers and demographics “don’t speak to the greatest reason people want to retire here, and that is relationships – be it with neighbors, colleagues in volunteer organizations in the town and throughout Carteret County, church groups, golf/ tennis/ fishing friends or the legions of dog walkers.

Kramer credits the recognition to the type of person the town attracts: “I think the town attracts people who want to live right: they want a quieter lifestyle, yet they want to be active in their community. Pine Knoll Shores is the ideal place to do this.”

There are few better examples that embody the spirit of PKS residents than the Pine Knoll Shores Council on Aging.

The Council taps into this strong spirit of volunteerism and a genuine interest in helping others.

We focus on neighbor-to-neighbor relationships to reach out to those residents and their caregivers whose independence is threatened by job loss, illness, death of a spouse, etc. as they age.

We have the support of the Town’s government as well as our first responders.

PKS Resident Survey

In May 2022, a single question survey was emailed to all to identify barriers to staying in PKS as we age: What challenges have you faced – or anticipate – that would interfere with your ability to age successfully in this community? Grouping like comments suggested these broad categories.

These comments parallel the same issues identified by a variety of senior surveys. In order of the most often mentioned, the mission of the Council is to find or create solutions to address these topics specific to our residents:

Mobility/Transportation

Issues related to mobility/accessibility in and around town, the island and off island. Individuals expressed a strong need for regular/scheduled ‘public’ transportation to doctor appointments, pharmacy pick-ups, veterinary appointments and grocery shopping.

Not only was the need related to basic requirements, but to social opportunities as well.

Access to Public Areas

Comments related to mobility/safety in and around town. Responses referenced the need for sidewalks and crosswalks on Rte. 58. Our beach is a key feature of living here; Safely going and coming to the beach is top of mind. There was also an interest in marked bike lanes and a general safety concern for children.

Health Care

Expanded nearby healthcare/medical options. Residents commenting on this topic wanted more specialists, more trauma care options, and more professional health care workers nearby.

Home and Yard Maintenance

Home maintenance/repair and yard work. Property owners have a variety of needs related to their home, e.g., storm preparation and recovery, reliable/affordable indoor and outdoor maintenance, and help understanding building regulations.

Social Isolation

Social isolation. Some residents feel socially isolated. The lack of a community center where residents can casually gather with emphasis more on interaction with neighbors than specific activities was the comment made most often. Some see a community center as an alternative to the more expensive local country club.

Responding to the Survey

Building on the survey responses and knowledge of our community, this council serves as an advisory council to expand the discussion of ways we can positively impact the quality of PKS life for our senior citizens. The council also serves to inform and guide the Town government on key issues keys.

This is a work in progress. By working together – discussing each project as a group, agreeing on solution(s), implementing a plan into the community, publicizing the benefits – we are confident that we can solidify the sense of community that is a backbone of our town and positively impact lifestyles. We can make a difference!­­

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