Why Charlottesville Is the Happiest Place to Retire

Why Charlottesville Is The Happiest Place To Retire

By Greg Lohr, MBA and Ethan Lohr, CFP®

When people think of retirement, Florida is usually the first place that comes to mind. The tax advantages and escape from winter weather may be enticing to many retirees, but the unbearable heat and the long distance away from family are enough to send many retirees right back up I-95 toward an unlikely candidate for retirement: Charlottesville, Virginia.

In 2019, Charlottesville was ranked No. 1 in Kiplinger’s “10 of the Happiest Places to Retire in the U.S.” (1) Here are some reasons Charlottesville earned the title of “happiest place to retire in the U.S.”

A Rich History

First settled in the 1730s, Charlottesville was a tobacco-trading point and later became famous for being the home of Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. Overlooking the city is Monticello, Jefferson’s Palladian Neoclassical home. Jefferson went on to found the University of Virginia at Charlottesville in 1819 and designed their buildings, which were later used as hospitals during the civil war. 

It’s Perfect for All Kinds of Retirees

Living in Charlottesville offers retirees a mixture of an urban, suburban, and rural feel. If you are outdoorsy, love the city, or love a little bit of both, Charlottesville offers it all.

A Bustling City

It’s walkable neo-classical downtown has art museums, over 150 restaurants, and live performances. Although it is a Southern town, the university attracts people from all over the world, giving Charlottesville cultural diversity while still maintaining its Southern charm. 

Outdoor Recreation

Charlottesville is in the Piedmont region of Virginia and adjacent to the Blue Ridge Mountains. The temperate Virginia climate and Charlottesville’s proximity to mountain ranges makes it the perfect place to hike and enjoy the outdoors. 

Medical Facilities

Living near a prestigious university has its perks. Aside from football games and cultural experiences, the University of Virginia Medical Center is ranked as the No. 1 hospital in Virginia. (2) UVA was rated “high performing” in nine common conditions and procedures common for patients 65 and older. The facility also ranks in the top 10% for specialties such as cancer, gastroenterology, and urology. With the increased need for medical care as retirees reach their golden years, Charlottesville offers some of the best care around. 


Although Virginia does have an income tax, its effective tax rate on median income households is less than the national average and significantly lower than states like California, New York, and Illinois. (3) Income taxes are not the only taxes that matter, especially to retirees. The combined sales tax in Virginia is about 5.73%, which is way below famously “tax-friendly” states like Texas (8.19%) and Tennessee (9.55%). (4) Additionally, Virginia no longer has an estate tax or inheritance tax, which means you can preserve the wealth you have built to pass down to your family. (5)

Need More Retirement Advice?

At Lohr & Company, our goal is to help people plan for a rewarding, well-deserved retirement. Take the first step toward your dream future by scheduling a complimentary introductory meeting online or reaching out to us at 434-260-6742. 

About Greg 

Greg Lohr founded Lohr & Company, a multi-generational financial advisory firm, in 1993 to help more people plan for a rewarding, well-deserved retirement. Before he entered the financial services industry, he worked as an electrical engineer. But after spending a few years as an engineer, he decided to follow his heart and return to school for an MBA in finance from the College of William & Mary. Although he originally entered the finance industry because he was excited about the personal opportunities, it was the satisfaction of seeing people at peace with their money that has kept him here for his entire career. He is passionate about building lifelong relationships with his clients and walking with them as they navigate financial decisions and milestones. 

When he isn’t working, Greg enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife and their adult children. In addition to managing their family farms, Greg and his wife also manage a growing Airbnb venue. In the cold weather months, you can find Greg hunting whitetail deer in the breathtaking Virginia landscapes. To learn more about Greg, connect with him on LinkedIn.

About Ethan

Ethan Lohr always knew his dream was to follow in his father’s footsteps and carry out his same mission: to help more people find financial peace and security in retirement. Ethan started practicing for his future career quite early, at the age of 6, advising his sisters on their savings with the help of his trusty calculator. But it wasn’t until he graduated from James Madison University that he truly began developing his talent as a financial advisor at Lohr & Company. Ethan is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.

Ethan is most fulfilled when he’s helping clients develop a sound plan and then executing that plan. He knows that pre-retirees often have many unanswered questions and may be feeling trepidation about retirement—and rightfully so. Retirement is one of life’s greatest transitions and Ethan knows how important it is to get everything right the first time. He works to ease his clients’ fears, provide them with confidence, and help them take the necessary actions to move forward. 

When he isn’t serving clients, Ethan enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons. You can also find him practicing his swing on the golf course, exercising, and hunting with his dad. To learn more about Ethan, connect with him on LinkedIn.

Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Fixed insurance products and services offered through Lohr & Company, LLC or CES Insurance Agency.







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