Top 10 Reasons to Retire in North Carolina

by Robert Borges on October 23, 2018

What is it like to retire in North Carolina? Picture a gorgeous, sprawling landscape ranging from beaches kissed by the waves of the Atlantic to the rugged beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. A dedicated professional and college sports scene, the vibrant streets of Charlotte—and everything in between—there is no shortage of North Carolina retirement communities that appeal to every lifestyle. 

Retirement living in North Carolina can be rewarding on many levels, so let’s take a look at some of the reasons the Tar Heel State might be right for you.

1. Tax Breaks for Seniors. If you’re looking for which states do not tax retirement income, the list is pretty limited. Currently only seven states can make that claim—and North Carolina is on that sought-after list. North Carolina exempts all Social Security retirement benefits from income taxes, has no State Estate Tax, and low corporate income tax for those looking to indulge their entrepreneurial spirit.  


2. Low Cost of Living. From a pure cost standpoint, it can be pretty cheap to live in North Carolina, relatively speaking. North Carolina has a lower cost of living than the national average. Paying less on housing, utilities, and transportation makes enjoying the state’s many benefits and activities that much more affordable.


3. Ocean, and Coastline, and Beaches, Oh My! Toes in the sand, drink in your hand by day. Drifting off to the hypnotic crashing waves by night. North Carolina offers some of the best places to retire near a beach. More than 300 miles of white sandy beaches coupled with charming coastal towns offer retirement communities with everything from family-friendly beach resorts to walking trails and boardwalks to remote islands. 


4. Two Words: Island Living. Set up shop off the mainland and enjoy a wide expanse of open beachfront on the Outer Banks. These barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina include Hatteras Island, Ocracoke, Roanoke Island, and Bodie Island. A popular holiday destination, they can be a great place to retire in North Carolina as well—sand dunes, nature exploration, a rich history, and even shipwreck diving embody everything that makes island living so alluring. 


5. Majestic Mountains. The great Appalachian mountain range sprawls along the western part of North Carolina and boasts some quaint mountain communities within the Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains. Whether you’re looking for a more active retirement with skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer, or simply prefer laid back living with some of the country’s best scenery—there’s plenty of fresh mountain air to breath in North Carolina. 


6. A Rich and Storied History. History buffs, unite! How North Carolina became a state is among the most intriguing stories in United States history, and several historical sites throughout North Carolina showcase its rich colonial heritage. Civil War battlefields, the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, Battleship USS North Carolina, International Civil Rights Museum…should we go on? Ok, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Reed Gold Mine, Daniel Boone’s old stomping grounds…


7. Unique Cuisine. Ask the locals, and there’s just no contest. North Carolina’s famously distinct vinegar-based BBQ sauce is by far the best you’ll find in the nation—and probably the world. We’ll leave it up to you to decide, but if going “whole hog” and indulging your taste for not only barbeque, but fresh seafood, and all sorts of comfort food is what you crave, you’ll like your mouth-watering menu options in North Carolina. 


8. The Wide World of Sports. Sports enthusiasts have plenty to be enthusiastic about with 21 professional and minor league teams. The NFL, NBA, and NFL are represented among North Carolina’s professional sports teams, and the college scene is second-to-none. Baseball is huge with 10 minor league teams, and of course there’s the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Charlotte motor speedway if you have the need for speed. 


9. All Four Seasons. If you’re a sucker for the seasonal swings of planet earth and plan to settle in for permanent retirement living, North Carolina has got you covered. And let’s be clear, the weather’s still pretty moderate. You can avoid the bone-chilling winters while still enjoying mountain snow. It all rejuvenates with springtime blooms, transitioning to summer on the beach, giving way to the colorful crispness of autumn. An active retirees dream, really.


10. Variety of Retirement Community Options. From exclusive, high-class communities all the way to more budget-friendly cities with retirement communities well below the national average for cost of living, North Carolina welcomes all retirees, regardless of your income, area preference, or care needs. 

Start searching for your ideal North Carolina retirement community today!