Best Places to Retire in North Carolina: All You Need to Know

Best Places to Retire in North Carolina: All You Need to Know

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North Carolina, the Tar Heel state is the land of beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and shimmering beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. If you are looking for a place to retire to, North Carolina offers some of the best options in America. North Carolina has a plethora of things to do for retirees. You can spend your retirement years taking classes at a major research university, immerse yourself in the performing arts or root for your favorite professional sports team. You don’t even have to break the bank for getting a house in North Carolina. Housing is cheap and the cost of living is extremely affordable. Even travelling in and around North Carolina is quite economical. As a matter of fact, some of North Carolina’s most attractive tourist destinations, Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Cape Hatteras National Seashore, don’t have any entry fees/tickets. If you are planning to retire in North Carolina, this post has got you covered. Without further ado, let’s get started.

What are the best places to retire in North Carolina?


Kicking off our list of the best places to retire in North Carolina, is Asheville. It is a beautiful town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. If you want to explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville is a fantastic place to setup as a base. Asheville is also very well known for its innovative food and beverage scene that uses locally sourced ingredients in creative ways.

The natural beauty of the area is a major attraction for artists, writers and musicians looking for inspiration and interaction with other creative people. According to Nortin Hadler, emeritus professor of medicine and microbiology/immunology at the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill and author of Rethinking Again: “Asheville is a thriving small city with a dynamic cultural life, for retirees seeking life in breathtakingly beautiful mountains, Asheville is no longer a secret.”


Next on our list of the best places to retire in North Carolina, is Winston-Salem. The place is very well known for its vineyards. The Yadkin Valley’s rich soil and mild climate make this an ideal place to grow grapes for wine. The scenic vineyards provide a great place for retirees to go on a scenic stroll. After the stroll, they can unwind and sip on some delectable wines afterwards. Kim Myers, owner of Laurel Gray Vineyards and Yadkin Valley Wine Company in Hamptonville said: “Our weather is wonderful because we do have seasonal change with beautiful foliage in the fall, a moderate winter with just enough snow that we get excited and enjoy our snow days, early spring and a very long Indian summer. The lifestyle in the Yadkin Valley is still rural and slow-paced but studded with small towns and beautiful vineyards.”

Winston-Salem was once the center of the tobacco industry. However, the economy has diversified over the years and noww has the headquarters of firms like BB&T Corporation, Hanes Brands and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. However, living in this wine haven is actually quite affordable. The median home price is only $147,100, or you could rent for a median of $676 per month.

Raleigh & Durham

Next on our list of the best places to retire in North Carolina, is the research triangle of Raleigh & Durham. It is named so because of the presence of three research universities in the Raleigh and Durham area: Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill. These elite universities have helped create a skilled workforce that works with the industry to foster innovation. Speaking about Raleigh and Durham, Nortin Hadler said: “The result is a concentration of highly educated and productive individuals for whom a world-class cultural mecca has come into being. The retirement communities take advantage of educational opportunities in retirement and have access to a respected center for the performing arts.”

North Carolina residents age 65 and older are eligible to audit courses tuition-free at NC State University. Duke University also has a community for retirees near campus. The universities also provide health care services to the community. Duke University’s hospital in Durham is one of the most reputed hospitals in America. The median home price in the area is $212,400.


Next on our list of the best places to retire in North Carolina is the largest city of the state. Charlotte is among the fastest-growing parts of the United States, and added 13,151 people between 2017 and 2018. “Growth is occurring because of the availability of jobs and the quality of life that you find here,” says Bill McCoy, retired director of the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute. Charlotte is a center for the banking industry and is home to Bank of America’s corporate headquarters. “Retirees come here often to be with family,” McCoy says. “Their kids move here, grandkids come along and then the parents come. The parents move to where their kids are.”

Charlotte is a city filled with museums and numerous performing arts venues, leading to a lot of volunteering opportunities. The cost of living is affordable, and the median home price is just $167,700. The median rent among people age 60 and older is $817 per month. If you are a fan of pro sports, Charlotte has got an NFL, NBA and NH Lteam. The Panthers, Hornets and Checkers. If you love the Panthers, you have superstar running back Christian McAffery to cheer for many years to come.


Rounding off our list of the best places to retire in North Carolina, is Greensboro. It is considered to be one of North Carolina’s more affordable places to live in. The median home price is only $140,200. Retirees with a mortgage pay a median of $1,091 in monthly housing costs, which drops to $376 among those who have paid off their mortgage. The median rent for people age 60 and older is $696 per month.

“Retirees are drawn to Greensboro because of its centralized location and because it’s a midsize city with a small-town feel. It has many of the great amenities and diversity of a larger city but without the congestion and costs,” says Matt Johnson, a certified financial planner at Defining Legacy Financial Advisors in Greensboro. “The cost of living in North Carolina in general is lower than the national average, and even compared to the other major metro areas in the state, Greensboro is an affordable place.”

So that was our list of the best places to retire in North Carolina. Hopefully, it will give you enough insight to make the right choice for your retirement days.

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