15 Best Places To Retire In North Carolina | 2022

Of recent, North Carolina has constantly been ranked and rated quite high as one of the places to retire. A lot of people are looking to retire there so much that even some retirees moving there have earned the nickname, “halfbacks” as retirees from Florida move halfway back home to the mid-Atlantic and mid-South states.

Drawing people from all over the country with its beauty, stunning coastline, and southern hospitality, there’s a lot to love about retiring in North Carolina.

Have you heard people expressing their desire to retire in North Carolina and you are wondering why?

Are you planning to retire yourself and wondering where the best place to retire in North Carolina could be? This article has outlined all you need to know about retiring in North Carolina, including the cost. Keep reading.

Why should you retire in North Carolina?

Retirees want to retire somewhere quiet with a low level of crime. North Carolina is one such place. The most important reasons you should consider retiring to North Carolina are-

  • In North Carolina, there are great tax breaks for retirees. There is no tax on social security income, neither is there state estate tax. The corporate income tax is also on the low side.

    Retiring in North Carolina brings tax benefits, with a great outlook on jobs for retirees looking to start their own business or begin a second career.
  • North Carolina has beaches and great environs, suitable for family reunions and weekend getaways. Each beach has a distinct vibe and feeling and many are surrounded by quaint coastal towns. There are also a lot of relaxation spots.
  • Charlotte, North Carolina is the most populous city in the state and offers residents a big city feel with small-town charm. The city mixes the old with the new in an innovative way, bringing history to life. Experiencing this for yourself on a day-to-day basis is one of the reasons to retire in North Carolina. 
  • North Carolina is home to the Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Best known for the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian Trail, the mountains of North Carolina also boast stunning waterfalls, one of the oldest rivers in North America, farm-fresh foods, and even some of America’s best craft beer.
  • In North Carolina has one of the best weathers for retiring. In North Carolina, you would experience summers on the beaches, winters in the mountains, breathtaking views in the fall, and beautiful blooms in the spring 
  • In North Carolina, the cost of living is relatively lower than the average cost of living. Housing, utilities, and transportation costs all fall below the national average while groceries and health care fall slightly above the national average. 
  • Also, one of the attractive things about retiring in North Carolina is The Blue Ridge Parkway which starts in Cherokee, North Carolina through Asheville, and Blowing Rock into Virginia. The parkway is a total of 469 miles and is world-renowned for its biodiversity featuring extremely rare habitats.
  • In North Carolina, there are several historical sites that you would truly love seeing. You could see battlefields from the Civil War, the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, the first documented gold find in the U.S., and the Battleship USS North Carolina. 
  • Finally, as a retiree, you are getting old. You need to watch many sports and participate in the ones you could participate in.

    Retiring in North Carolina gives you the leverage to do this. North Carolina is home to a combination of 21 professional and minor league teams, North Carolina has a football team, minor league baseball teams, basketball, and hockey teams. 

What is the cost of retiring in North Carolina?

Before you retire to North Carolina, you should ensure you have enough money and a little extra in case of excesses. The average cost of living in North Carolina can be classified as-

  • Mortgage: $1,314
  • Rent: $907
  • The estimated monthly expenses for a couple in Charlotte are $1,898.46.
  • The inflation rate is currently at 1.6% for the past year in the Southeast region of the United States.
  • Federal Taxes are between 12% and 24% on average
  • State Taxes are 5.25%.
  • The cost of Medicare starts at $148.50 a month and can reach up to $504.90 per month.
  • In North Carolina, the average cost of a traditional funeral is $7,461.
  • For long term care, the average cost of care per year in the state of North Carolina was-
  • Homemaker Services: $45,760
  • Home Health Aide: $48,048
  • Adult Day Care: $15, 340
  • Assisted Living Facility: $45,600
  • Nursing Home Semi-Private Room: $87,600
  • Nursing Home Private Room: $96,725

15 best places to retire in North Carolina

#1. Eden

Eden is a charming small town outside Greensboro. It’s the most recent annual number of property crimes is 513 and violent crimes are 88.

There are also three hospitals within 25miles of Eden. Eden has a low cost of living, affordable median home prices, and a low crime rate. It is the best place to retire in North Carolina. 

#2. Spring Lake

With 5.4% being the percentage of the population over 65 in Spring Lake, Spring Lake is one of the best places to retire. Its median home value is $94,300 with its most recent annual number of violent crimes at 73.

Spring Lake is a delightful town on the outskirts of Fayetteville and Fort Bragg. This delightful community lets retirees looking to live a life they love on a fixed income make the most of their newfound freedom without blowing their budget. Spring lake is peaceful, calm, and bustling with life. 

#3. Hendersonville

Hendersonville is a great place for anyone who loves to support local businesses and communities. The city’s historic downtown offers a bustling business hub of shops, restaurants, museums, farmers markets, and entertainment centers.

Hendersonville has about 10 hospitals, with its median home value at $100,100. It is beautiful and one of the best places you should retire to in North Carolina. 

#4. Henderson

Henderson is a town outside of Raleigh. It would be perfect for you if you are looking for a place with a small-town feel. The percentage of the population over 65 has been estimated to be 16.5% and it has at least 4 hospitals within 25miles of the city.

In Henderson, you can be sure of a plethora of activities for you to join in on. There are activities like bowling, taking in a movie at an outdoor theater, some fun rides at an amusement park.

If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you could get interested in spending time at Kerr Lake, where you can camp, boat, and fish. 

#5. Kinston

Retirees looking for a laid-back retirement will love life in Kinston, NC. This beautiful riverside community gives active adults the chance to relax in an unbelievably affordable city.

If you’re ready to live life on your terms, you should consider retiring in North Carolina. There are 3 hospitals within the 25miles range of Kinston. 

#6. Laurinburg

No matter the type of person you are, Laurinburg is a good place for you to consider retiring. The cost of living is very low, having its median home value at $103,200.

The city’s charming history and architecture will appeal to art and history buffs who want to step back in time.

Spend a day with friends and connect with their community while you savor the simple life. Retirees looking for high-octane fun can head over to the ATV park. It is one of the best places to retire in North Carolina. 

#7. Reidville

You would truly enjoy retiring to Reidville if you are active. You would have access to outdoor activities which would require you to walk miles through the historic town on the bank of the Haw River.

You can also hike while enjoying the beautiful environs. Both Lake Reidsville and Haw River State Park are prime locations where you can enjoy riverside entertainment and Mother Nature at her finest.

Reidville also has five hospitals within 25 miles of the city. It is one of the best places to retire in North Carolina.

#8. Lexington

If you like the idea of living in a historic and peaceful community, while still having easy access to metropolitan hubs, you will love life in Lexington, NC.

This charming suburb of Greensboro offers retirees a comfortable community and a low cost of living, without forcing them to sacrifice their lifestyle. It is one of the best places to retire in North Carolina. 

#9. Newton

Newton is a beautiful suburb of Charlotte, that gives active adults the chance to relax, recharge, and reconnect with nature during their golden years.

If you’re looking to invest in a comfortable life that still provides you with easy access to urban areas, you’ll love Newton. The median home value is $110,200 and the crime rate is quite low. It is one of the best places to retire in North Carolina. 

#10. Lumberton

Lumberton is a beautiful community nestled in the heart of North Carolina’s beautiful natural setting. Retirees looking to stay active and explore the outdoors during their golden years can live a life they love in Lumberton. Rounding out this wonderful neighborhood is a safe environment and a low cost of living.

#11. Pinehurst Village

Situated in the Sandhill’s, where pine trees abound, Pinehurst Village is a lovely spot for golf lovers as it boasts over 45 golf courses within its grounds and nearby.

It’s a great place to retire for all types of outdoor lovers, including those looking for hiking trails and quiet nature destinations.

#12. Durham

Durham is one of the cheapest towns in North Carolina with a low crime rate. In Durham, you would pay a bit less, and still have quite a lot of activities to choose from.

Whether you want to root for the Duke Blue Devils, run or bike the 22-mile American Tobacco Trail (12 miles run through Durham), or head to a gallery crawl that shows off the artists that give Durham a reputation as a creative haven. It is one of the best places to retire in North Carolina. 

#13. Asheville

Asheville is also on an impressive growth path, and the city is especially appealing to an older crowd, so if you are getting closer to retirement — or already retired — the city’s pace might be exactly what you are looking for.

Asheville came in second on LinkedIn’s recent survey of small cities with the highest number of people working remotely. It is also safe for retirees. If you are looking to retire, you should consider Asheville. 

#14. Charlotte

Although it’s North Carolina’s largest city, Charlotte is still attractive for retired people despite being a vibrant working community as well. It’s an easy place to be close to family working in banking, for example, without making it too unaffordable for retirees.

With many museums and performing arts venues, Charlotte is a retirement destination with lots going on while still being close to an incredible natural setting

#15. Williamston

Just around 28 miles away from Greenville, Williamston is one of the smallest towns on our list and a hub for an equine activity. If you like horses, Williamston is the place to retire: the town has one of the biggest agricultural centers in Eastern North Carolina, the Senator Bob Martin Agricultural Center.

You’ll be able to watch horseshoes and rodeos and other activities like monster truck shows. Williamston is one of the best places to retire in North Carolina. 


North Carolina is an attractive state for retirees and its low taxes allow you to stretch your savings. Undiscovered beaches let you enjoy a leisurely coastal retirement without a massive Florida or California price tag.

Plus, vibrant cities give you an exciting place to spend your time. If you have been looking for where to retire in North Carolina, go through the list above again. I hope it helped!

FAQs | Places To Retire In North Carolina

Yes. North Carolina is moderately tax-friendly for retirees. It does not tax Social Security retirement benefits. The state also has low property taxes and sales taxes near the national average

No. Social Security income in North Carolina is not taxed. However, withdrawals from retirement accounts are fully taxed. Additionally, pension incomes are fully taxed.

To retire comfortably in the state of North Carolina starting today, you will need to have saved at least $65,000.

Raleigh & Durham, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Asheville, amongst others. 

Only in Your State”, Kinston is a city that accounts for a far higher percentage of North Carolina crimes than anyone city has a right to. 


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