Did you know that North Carolina receives almost 40 million visitors annually? It just serves to highlight how well-known the Tar Heel State has grown. People simply can’t get enough of its breathtaking state parks, mouthwatering barbeque, magnificent coastline, and many cultural possibilities. As you near retirement, are you also lured to North Carolina? Would you like assistance choosing the best places to retire in North Carolina? In this article, we have compiled the 17 best places to retire in North Carolina.
Why so many retirees are relocating to North Carolina is partly explained by its great quality of life and countless attractions. Indeed, there is a term for northerners who first migrated south, to states like Florida, before arriving in North Carolina. They are referred to as “halfbacks” since they only returned home partially.
Why should you Retire in North Carolina?
1. Tax Breaks for Seniors
There are hardly many states on the list of those who do not tax retirement income. Only seven states at the moment can make that assertion, and North Carolina is on that coveted list. For those eager to explore their entrepreneurial spirit, North Carolina offers minimal corporate income tax, no state estate tax, and an exemption from income taxes on all Social Security retirement benefits.
2. Low Cost of Living
Living in North Carolina might be rather inexpensive from a purely financial perspective. The cost of living is lower in North Carolina than it is nationwide. It becomes significantly more inexpensive to take use of the state’s various advantages and activities when housing, utilities, and transportation costs are reduced.
3. Ocean, and Coastline, and Beaches
Drink in hand, toes in the sand. drifting off to the waves’ mesmerizing nighttime crashing. The best areas to retire close to a beach can be found in North Carolina. A retirement community can benefit from more than 300 miles of white sand beaches, picturesque coastal towns, and a variety of family-friendly beach resorts, walking paths, and boardwalks to distant islands.
4. Two Words: Island Living
Set up shop away from the mainland and take advantage of the Outer Banks’ expansive open oceanfront. Hatteras Island, Ocracoke, Roanoke Island, and Bodie Island are among several barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina.
Sand dunes, wildlife exploration, a rich history, and even shipwreck diving encompass everything that makes island living so enticing. They are a well-liked vacation spot but may also be a terrific area to retire in North Carolina.
5. Majestic Mountains
The Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the vast Appalachian mountain range that stretches across western North Carolina, are home to some charming mountain towns.
There is plenty of clean mountain air to breathe in North Carolina, regardless of whether you prefer a more relaxed lifestyle with some of the best scenery in the nation or a more active retirement that includes skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer.
What are the Best Places to Retire in North Carolina?
- Wesley Chapel
- James City
- Roanoke Rapids
- New Bern
First on our list of the best places to retire in North Carolina is Lumberton. Lumberton is a town located right in the center of North Carolina’s breathtaking natural environment. In Lumberton, as a retiree, you can lead a fulfilling life by staying active and enjoying the great outdoors. This great community had more advantages in terms of a secure atmosphere and a decent cost of living.
2. Wesley Chapel
Do you wish to live in a historic village close to Charlotte? Wesley Chapel is the ideal solution. Retirement residents are drawn to the Union County neighborhood’s family-friendly atmosphere, low crime rate, and reasonable cost of living.
If you are seeking a relaxed lifestyle, Kinston is a great place for you. If you are an active person, you can unwind in this lovely riverbank neighborhood, which is also very affordable. Start looking for a new home in Kinston right now and live life on your own terms.
Eden is a beautiful small village west of Greensboro. It is your ideal haven if you wish to spend your retirement years in peace and quiet. With its inexpensive cost of living, reasonable median housing process, and low crime rate, it is a popular choice for many retirees.
This charming city is located in Anson County. If you are in search of a bustling but suburban sprawl, this is the neighborhood for you. On a fixed income, and without breaking the bank, you can live the life you love. This city can help you make the most of your newfound freedom. Begin looking for a home in Wadesboro right away.
6. James City
If you appreciate nature, you will love James City. With its many parks and large open spaces, this suburban area has a rural atmosphere. Choose James City if you are looking for peace and economy of living in this age-friendly city.
7. Roanoke Rapids
If you are looking for a small-town ambience, this Halifax County community is great for you. There are a lot of things you can do in the Roanoke Rapids. You can go bowling, visit the historical buildings, the art center or even a bird park. In the Roanoke River, you can camp, boat and even fish, while meeting and connecting with fellow outdoor enthusiasts. Roanoke Rapids is the perfect place to live with friends and family.
Every kind of retiree may find something to enjoy in Hamlet, and it also boasts a reasonable cost of living! Hamlet, spilling over with southern warmth will give you that wonderful small-town feel. Spend a day with friends and engage with your neighborhood as you appreciate a straightforward and perfect living.
If you want to have an active lifestyle, beautiful Sawmills in Caldwell County will grant you that opportunity. You will be able to unwind and reestablish a connection with nature. Sawmills is close to Asheville and Charlotte, which makes it an excellent place to invest in a quiet pleasant lifestyle while still having quick access to cities.
Reidsville is another great location if you want an active lifestyle. The Haw River’s historic town is surrounded by miles of walking trails. Hiking is a great way for retirees to stay active while they are in their golden years and take in the stunning environment. You can enjoy riverbank entertainment and Mother Nature at its best at both Lake Reidsville and Haw River State Park.
Durham is a mid-sized city with about 275,000 inhabitants and has all the thrill of a contemporary metropolis with less stress. It strikes a lovely balance between the hustle and bustle of a big city and a little town. It is bike-friendly, walkable, and teeming with parks, pubs, restaurants, museums, and entertainment options. Durham is also the home of Duke University and the Durham Bulls minor league baseball franchise.
The area’s reasonably priced home and world-class university medical facility are two particular benefits for retirees. The Duke University offers an outstanding lifelong learning program in Durham, and golfers will enjoy the abundance of courses that are scattered throughout the city. Durham deserves a spot on any list of the greatest locations to retire in North Carolina for all of these reasons and more.
In Henderson County’s Blue Ridge Mountains, there is a little, charming city called Hendersonville. It’s a bustling town that exudes southern charm and would be a paradise for seniors and outdoor enthusiasts looking for a slower pace of life.
This area is also a pedestrian-friendly one with broad, tree-lined avenues and a wealth of neighboring hiking and biking paths. The “Cheers! Trail,” which connects 25 various craft beverage-tasting experiences in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the DuPont State Recreation Forest are two of them.
Do you like Hendersonville, but prefer to live in a city? Asheville will be a great fit for you. It has many of Hendersonville’s attractions. For instance, Asheville, which is situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains, has the Great Smoky Mountains National Park right outside its front door.
David Berns of True Advice Wealth Management asserts that Asheville has a lot to offer:
“With its mountain views and thriving food culture, Asheville, North Carolina, is a great spot to retire.”
Asheville is home to many creative people. You will get to enjoy the talents of musicians, writers and artists who love to create their art live in the neighborhood. Finally, Asheville has mild winters which you will definitely love.
14. New Bern
New Bern, which is a portion of the Inner Banks region on the North Carolina coast, is situated in Craven County. It’s also the second-oldest town in the state! This historic area, which was founded in 1710, is brimming with ancient sites and buildings, including the magnificent Tryon Palace.
Some of New Bern’s top attractions are highlighted by Jay W. Rishel, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) with Overman Capital Management:
“It offers an economical location/cost of living near the meeting point of the Trent and Neuse Rivers, as well as a bustling and historic city.”
There is something for everyone in this neighborhood both young and old. This town is blessed with fewer traffic jams, better weather, and lower taxes than the Northeast.
Another coastal community with a lengthy and interesting history is Beaufort, which serves as Carteret County’s county seat. Indeed, during the 1700s, this was the residence of the notorious pirate Blackbeard.
Despite its swashbuckling past, Beaufort is today best recognized for its old-world charm, world-class fishing, and stunning beaches on adjacent barrier islands. There are many wonderful restaurants, historic buildings, and hospitable residents. Anyone looking for a peaceful waterside retirement would find it ideal because it is small, walkable, and picturesque.
The 41,000-person city may be found in Catawba County, to the west. Named for the Hickory Tavern, which was the first structure built there, Hickory is frequently included on lists of the greatest places to retire in North Carolina. Additionally, it ranks third on U.S. News’ list of the greatest places to live in the state.
If you relocate to Hickory, you’ll fall in love with the city’s mountain scenery, comfortable weather, vibrant arts scene, and reasonably priced housing. Another significant benefit is its closeness to the Appalachian Mountains and the beautiful Lake Hickory, not to mention the city’s thriving economy, two medical facilities, and convenient location near Charlotte.
The high crime rate in Hickory is the only drawback. However, it will be difficult to locate a retirement community that is more cost-effective.
Last but not least on our list of the best places to retire in North Carolina is Charlotte. North Carolina’s largest and most populated city is Charlotte. And with good cause! As the Queen City, it enjoys pleasant climate, excellent outdoor activities (such Little Sugar Creek Greenway and Lake Norman), and a never-ending schedule of sporting events.
Indeed, Charlotte is the origin of NASCAR in addition to being the home of the Hornets, Checkers, and Panthers. There are also a ton of pubs, eateries, cafes, galleries, and museums.
Even though Charlotte has a higher cost of living than other areas of North Carolina, it’s still rather reasonable, especially if you’re moving from a state like Florida (like many “halfbackers” do). Your medical needs would be in good hands because Charlotte is home to many Magnet-rated healthcare facilities.
What is North Carolina’s Health Care for Retirees?
The United Health Foundation ranks North Carolina as having the 33rd-best overall health in the country as of 2021. The study identified various health advantages for North Carolina, including high vaccination rates for the flu and a low incidence of falls.
These are two crucial areas for seniors, and they are unquestionably good news. However, North Carolina also showed a high frequency of food insecurity and a high rate of avoidance of medical care because of the expense.
In a chart from U.S. News & World Report, North Carolina is ranked 38th for Medicare quality, which is also below average.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that since Original Medicare is a federal program, it is practically the same in every state. The effectiveness and accessibility of the Medicare Advantage plans, which are offered locally and are sold privately, are reflected in North Carolina’s Medicare quality ranking.
Overall, North Carolina’s healthcare system isn’t poor by any means, but it also doesn’t compare favorably to the best-ranked states.
What is the Cost of Living in North Carolina?
North Carolina has a low cost of living for many retirees, especially when you consider the state’s population and large cities. The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center’s analysis places North Carolina’s cost of living at number 22 nationwide.
That is much less than the majority of the states that make up the Northeast, Midwest, and West Coast, and is on par with states like Wyoming or Wisconsin in terms of cost of living.
In North Carolina, $100 is equivalent to $109.53 in spending power, according to a Tax Foundation study. This indicates that compared to the typical U.S. state, your money will go a lot further in North Carolina.
For retirees, this is absolutely great. Finding the greatest place to invest your money may be a key factor in deciding where to retire. Finding a location that offers a dynamic post-retirement lifestyle while also having a reasonable cost of living might be challenging, but North Carolina hits both criteria.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are seniors tax-friendly in North Carolina?
Your Social Security benefits are not taxable in North Carolina; nevertheless, the majority of your retirement income is subject to a flat tax of 5.25%.
How much money do you need in North Carolina to retire?
You will need to have saved at least $65,000 if you want to retire in North Carolina comfortably starting today.
Which state is better for retirement: South Carolina or North Carolina?
Given that every state provides a different set of benefits, the answer truly depends on what you’re looking for in retirement. In general, North Carolina has a wider range of geographical features, from bustling towns and sandy beaches to rugged mountain ranges. Retirement candidates may be concerned by South Carolina’s notably higher crime rate.
How much money do you need in North Carolina to retire?
Particularly if you are accustomed to a Northeast quality of living, North Carolina is a usually affordable state where your money will go a long way. North Carolina’s median salary is roughly $56,000.
Why do retirees relocate to North Carolina?
As the state has evolved, North Carolina has become a well-liked retirement location, offering a substitute for regions with extreme heat, including Florida and Arizona. North Carolina has seasons, but not as frequently as northern states do. It also has a lot to offer retirees, from bustling cities to small-town mountain towns.
Because of its low taxes, North Carolina is a desirable state for retirees. You can stretch your savings here. Unknown beaches allow you to enjoy a relaxed seaside retirement without having to pay the high cost of living in Florida or California. Additionally, lively cities offer you a fun area to spend your time.
The top 17 best places to retire in North Carolina were identified by us. Finding the ideal location for this great new chapter in your life requires making an investment in both your present and your future.