North Carolina Retirement Guide
If you have been looking for facts about North Carolina retirement this website has the answers you need. Choose from more than a dozen North Carolina retirement communities that are popular with active adults 55+. For each community - from Asheville to Winston-Salem - you will find community reviews written by active adults, not marketers. Don't miss our retirement duel article: "What is the Best State for Retirement: SC or NC"?
Asheville North Carolina Scenery
North Carolina is one the top states for retirement and active adult retirement communities. This fast growing state of almost 8.9 million people offers plenty of outdoor activities, hundreds of best places to retire - from livable cities to quaint harbor towns like Beaufort, and small towns in the mountains like Hendersonville. The Blue Ridge Mountains in the western part of the state offer unparalled scenery and recreation. Many new residents are so called "halfbacks" - people from the Northeast who moved to Florida only to become disallusioned, who then move half-way back north to the Carolinas. In a 2010 poll North and South Carolina became the most popular places to retire among baby boomers, beating out the traditional leaders, Arizona and Florida. Read this article to find out "How North Carolina Overtook Florida as #1 Retirement State". This page will acquaint you with some basic facts about what it's like to retire in North Carolina.
Best retirement communities
North Carolina offer a combination of coastal beaches, Piedmont cities, and western mountains - so it is sure to have a retirement community for just about everyone. Here is a partial list of best retirement towns reviewed at Topretirements (see full list in right column):
The North Carolina climate is characterized as humid sub-tropical. Winters are mild and summers are hot and humid. Climate in the western mountains is a bit cooler.
Per Capita Income and Economy
In 2007 North Carolina inflation adjusted per capita income was just over $23,767, in the bottom third of all states. Real estate and the general cost of living is below average compared to the total U.S. The Zillow Home Value Index in the state in early 2012 was $129,200. Real estate values in North Carolina have not been hit as hard during the 2008-9 recession as many other states. Durham's median home selling price was $166,900 in 2011's third quarter; in Charlotte it was $288,800, and in Raleigh it was $228,300 (per National Association of Realtors). Manufacturing, services, and agriculture are important in North Carolina.
The North Carolina state and local tax burden is 16th highest in the country (The Tax Foundation). Its top marginal income tax rate is one of the higher rates (7.75%). Sales tax is 5.75%., above the national average. Property tax burden is well below average. Social security benefits are not taxed.There are some income tax exemptions for pensions, particularly for those with careers in the public sector and/or military pensions. The maximum exemption for public sector pensions is at least $4000 (depending on length of service) and $2000 for private pensions. Military pensions are exempt if there was 5 years of service by 1989, otherwise the limit is $4000. The somewhat confusing pension exemption rules are located on this NC State Retirement page. There is a property tax homestead exemption for people over 65 who meet certain income criteria. Even better is a circuit breaker program for eligible people over 65 which limits your property taxes to 4 or 5% of your income. North Carolina does not have an inheritance taxes, the estate tax is pegged to federal law. For more information go to the North Carolina Department of Revenue
Certified Retirement Communities
North Carolina recently started a certified retirement community program through the N.C. Department of Commerce. Lumberton, Asheboro, and Mt. Airy are the first 3 cities to be officially certified. See Retire in NC
Get started exploring North Carolina now - use the handy links on the right.