Best Places To Retire In The Carolinas


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The 10 Best Places To Live In North Carolina – Job, Retire, Family & Education

Weve gathered 25 of the best places for snowbirds, including cities in Florida, Arizona, California, Texas, South Carolina, and Nevada. For each entry, weve also provided a list of recommended 55+ communities in the area. If youre ready to find your own winter retreat this season, here are some of the best places to consider.

North Carolina Retirement Guide

If you have been looking for the best places to retire in North Carolina this website has the helpful answers you need. Choose from dozens of North Carolina towns and communities that are popular with active adults 55+. For each community – from Asheville to Winston-Salem – you will find helpful community reviews. Don’t miss our dueling retirement article and all of the comments to it: “What is the Best State for Retirement: SC or NC“? Updated Aug. 2021.

Asheville North Carolina Scenery


North Carolina is one of the top states for retirement and active adult retirement communities. This fast growing state of almost 10.5 million people , 16.7% of its population is 65 or over. The State 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 unparalleled scenery and recreation. Many new residents are so called “halfbacks” – people from the Northeast who moved to Florida only to become disillusioned, who then move half-way back north to the Carolinas. Read this article to find out “How North Carolina Overtook Florida as #1 Retirement State”. Here are more basic facts about what it’s like to retire in North Carolina.


Sales Tax: Sales tax is 4.75%, but almost every county adds at least 2% to that.

Chapel Hill North Carolina

There are only a handful of towns in North Carolina as vibrant and energetic as Chapel Hill. With the University of North Carolina, this city has rapidly grown into a destination that features some of the best food, events and scenery in the state.

Franklin Street is the center of Chapel Hill, with coffee shops, restaurants, bars and museums. This city isnt just a college town anymore, it has also become one of the best places to retire in North Carolina.

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Landfall Wilmington North Carolina

Located in the heart of the historic coastal town of Wilmington is Landfall a premier gated community in the Southeast. With more than 2,200 acres, the community showcases the beauty and serenity of coastal living.

This gated community has opportunities for any lifestyle. The Landfall Country Club has two clubhouses, 45 holes of championship golf designed by Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus, and practice facilities to improve your golf game. There are also 11 tennis courts, an Olympic sized swimming pool, and fitness facilities, all promoting the active way of life at Landfall.

Best Places To Retire In North Carolina

Best Places to Retire in South Carolina: The Top 5

If youre dreaming of retiring within sight of the Blue Ridge Mountains but not far from the ocean, North Carolina is an ideal destination. The combination of the relatively low cost of living and the beautiful surroundings, with many different options for staying active and pursuing your interests during retirement, make the Old North State a desirable location for either living in a retirement community to buying your own amazing home.

Where are the best places to retire in North Carolina? Weve rounded up some of the top locations that marry up great natural surroundings, facilities, climate and more, to come up with this list:

  • Kill Devil Hills
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    South Carolina Taxes For Retirees

    South Carolina is a relatively high-tax state. A recent study from the Tax Foundation ranked it 31st in the nation for low taxes, and they do partially tax retirement distributions like 401, IRA, and pensions.

    But there is still some good news for retirees when it comes to South Carolina taxes. The state doesnât tax Social Security and offers a $15,000 taxable income deduction for senior citizens who receive any other type of retirement income.

    On top of that, South Carolina boasts some of the lowest property taxes in the U.S. and provides a homestead exemption for homeowners 65 and older, which exempts the first $50,000 of your primary residenceâs value from taxation. The state also hasa state sales tax rate of only 6%.

    River Town: Chattanooga Tennessee

    The Tennessee River is a source of power, a passageway for thousands of boats and barges, a refuge for wildlife, and a watery wonderland for kayaks, canoes, rowers, and paddleboards. It’s also the ever-changing landscape for hundreds of daily walkers, runners, cyclists, and observers of it all. This river has convinced many a visitor to make Chattanooga home.

    With an artistic, youthful vibe in its restored historic downtown, the location of this medium-size city between Nashville and Atlanta makes it a touring stop for national acts. There’s a mix of people of various ages, from retirees to college students, and the manageable size of Chattanooga, the scenery of the river and the mountains, and the lifestyle add to its allure.

    Median home value: $271,782*

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    The Cliffs At Mountain Park Marietta South Carolina

    Another community at The Cliffs to consider is The Cliffs at Mountain Park. Located 25 minutes from Greenville, and recognized as one of the best places to live in the US, this private luxury community exudes the mountain spirit. There are cozy homes tucked away in the forest, mountain top estates, and expansive homesites to build your luxury mountain home to your exact expectations.

    To stay active, the links-style golf course designed by Gary Player offers avid golfers a rustic, yet modern experience. With waves of native grasses, a flowing river, and dramatic mounding, the course is authentic to the landscape of the area. Additionally, members of the community have access to the state-of-the-art wellness center located in The Village at Mountain Park.

    Discover the other two communities in The Mountain Region at The Cliffs The Cliffs at Glassy and The Cliffs Valley.

    Most Popular Carolina Retirement Cities

    Top 5 Places to Retire in North Carolina

    22 Carolina cities recently made the list of 100 Most Popular Places to Retire put out by our friends at

    The Carolina cities on this years list include Asheville, Beaufort , Charleston, Myrtle Beach, New Bern, Brevard, Bluffton, Murphy, Summerville, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Aiken, Southport, Clemson, Greenville , Hilton Head, Mt. Airy, Hayesville, Hendersonville, and Lake Keowee.

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    Where Are The Best Places To Retire In North Carolina

    From shoreline cities to the countryside, North Carolina can provide for various walks of life. The Outer Banks is a popular destination for beachgoers, while Raleigh is full of entertainment and the highlights of city life. No matter where you settle in North Carolina, you cant go wrong with the tax-friendly exemptions and a reasonable cost of living. Other key indicators we consider for this list include:

    • Culture and art

    Retirees have a much different set of needs than those still in the workforce. As you get older, you will likely begin to put more value into cost of living, tax rates and medical care options in your area. Moreover, its important to find a balance that ensures financial stability throughout your retirement. Read on to learn more about the best places to retire in North Carolina today.

    Top 10 Cities To Retire In North Carolina

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    Percentage of the Population Over 65: 20.0%

    Median Home Value: $87,500

    Most Recent Annual Number of Violent Crimes: 88

    Most Recent Annual Number of Property Crimes: 513

    Number of Hospitals Within 25 Miles of the City: 3

    Eden is a charming small town outside Greensboro. If youre looking to enjoy peace and quiet during your retirement, Eden will be the perfect paradise for you. Retirees love Edens low cost of living, affordable median home prices, and its low crime rate.

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    What Is Special About Santee

    Santee is known for great fishing, and water recreation as it is located on the largest freshwater lake in South Carolina, and calls itself an “Oasis of Recreation”. Boaters can travel from Santee to Charleston as Lake Marion connects to Lake Moultrie. The small town also offers several golf courses, hiking, biking and bird watching.

    Kiawah Island Club And Real Estate Kiawah Island South Carolina

    Best Places to Retire in the South

    Home to one of the most exclusive communities in the state, Kiawah Island Club and Real Estate is an elegant, luxury coastal community in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Located just 21 miles north of Charleston, the Kiawah Island community affords a retirement lifestyle you simply can not find anywhere else. From golf to racquet sports, fine dining and spa and wellness amenities, this island has it all.

    The golf experience on the Island is characterized by five public courses and two private golf courses. The first private course is known as River Course. Designed by Tom Fazio, six of the holes run along the rivers edge, making for an exciting challenge for players of all skill levels. The second course, Cassique, is a links-style course with a strong Celtic influence. Designed by Hall-of-Famer Tom Watson, players make their way through maritime forest and along marshes where the Kiawah River meets the Atlantic Ocean. Both offer players a natural golfing experience that makes it one of the best places to golf on the East Coast.

    To start planning your retirement on Kiawah Island, take a look at the beach cottages, villas and homesites to build upon.

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    Can You Use Retirement Funds For College Expenses Without Penalty

    Money in an IRA can be withdrawn early to pay for tuition and other qualified higher education expenses for you, your spouse, children, or grandchildrenwithout penalty. The amount of the IRA withdrawal cannot be more than the qualifying expenses. You will still be required to pay income taxes due on withdrawn funds.

    Need To Sell Your Current Home

    Selling a home, moving, and buying a new home involves spending a lot of your hard-earned money at once â something that can particularly affect new retirees who are just cashing in on their retirement fund.

    Our friends at Clever Real Estate have already negotiated with North Carolina’s best realtors to give you low listing fees of just 1% . In fact, the average Clever customer saves $9,000 on their home sale! Thatâsthousands back in your pocket to help you cover moving expenses, splurge on your grandkids, or simply save for a rainy day.

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    Best Cities To Retire In North Carolina In 2022

    With mild weather and plenty of scenic destinations, North Carolina has become a popular place for relocating retirees.

    Stephanie Faris

    Key Takeaways

    • North Carolina has a little bit of everything, from a mild climate to beaches and mountains.
    • There are plenty of options for retiring in North Carolina, whether youre looking for a scenic coastal town to a large city.
    • When looking for good places to live in North Carolina after retirement, consider healthcare, access to amenities, and the 65-plus population in the area.

    With mild weather and plenty of scenic destinations, North Carolina has become a popular place for relocating retirees. From beaches to mountains to big-city living, the state has a little bit of everything.

    The state doesnt tax Social Security income, so youll protect a little more of your retirement income. But for those who choose to move to North Carolina, often its more for quality of life reasons than saving money. Here are 10 top places to look at if youre considering a post-retirement move to North Carolina.

    The Cliffs At Walnut Cove Asheville North Carolina

    Study: Carolinas among top states to retire

    Given its temperate climate, breathtaking views, and artistic spirit, its no surprise that Asheville is not only one of the best places to travel to, it is also recognized as one of the best places to retire.

    Located a short distance from downtown Asheville is The Cliffs at Walnut Cove, a private luxury community that is nestled right in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are a variety of properties to choose from, including comfortable townhomes, ideal if you are looking to downsize. Within the community is a new neighborhood called Meadowview. It consists of twelve built-for-sale homes and gracious homesites, making it perfect for those looking to build their custom luxury mountain home.

    At The Cliffs, staying active is fundamental to the lifestyle. Within the community gates, members have access to the signature Jack Nicklausgolf course, known to make players feel as though they are playing through a national forest. In addition to golf, the community has an impressive wellness center with indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, and fitness programs. But, what truly stands out about club membership at The Cliffs is that it is comprised of seven different communities, opening the door to not one but seven world-class golf courses, clubhouses, and wellness centers throughout the Carolinas.

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    Not Sold On South Carolina Consider These Alternatives

    Austin, Texas. Austin is famous for its tech companies and arts scene, but itâs also a top destination for retirees, thanks to its excellent walkability, numerous recreation options, and balmy weather.

    Asheville, North Carolina.This jewel of the mid-Atlantic has a huge retiree community and offers low property taxes, high walkability, and endless opportunities for recreation and entertainment.

    Tampa, Florida.This sunny Florida city might have the best weather in the entire U.S., and has a huge retiree community already thriving.

    How To Choose The Best Place To Retire In South Carolina

    Every person is unique, so you might be looking for a very different atmosphere than another retiree. But whether youâre looking for decent health care or gorgeous outdoor activities, weâve put together a list to help you narrow down yourchoices.

    • ð° On a budget? Check out Columbia for its low housing costs and all-around affordable cost of living.
    • ð Looking to meet people? Check out Myrtle Beach which has a population of 60+ of 35%.
    • ð¥ Want the best health care?Greenville has access to many grade-A hospitals.
    • ð Like going out?Hilton Head and Charleston both have tons of things to do.
    • âï¸ Want great weather? Charleston boasts consistently moderate weather.
    • ð Looking for the best overall city to retire to in South Carolina?Greenville is affordable, fun, and has world-class health care access!

    Buying a house in a different city or state can be tough when you arenât familiar with the local market. A good local real estate agent will know the market front-to-back and can help you find the perfect neighborhood and home for you.

    Our friends at Clever Real Estate make it simple to find the best South Carolina real estate agents from top-rated brokerages such as Keller Williams, RE/MAX, and more. Their fully licensed concierge team will learn about your preferences and goals to connect you with the right agents for your specific needs. Get matched with local real estate agents today!

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    The Best Places To Retire In South Carolina

    Home Regional Real Estate The Best Places to Retire in South Carolina

    South Carolina has some of the best golf courses in the country, but thats not all it has to offer active adults. The state has a rich history and culture, a wide selection of entertainment and recreation, and miles of beaches and coastal living.

    From small fishing towns to thriving beach cities, choosing the right retirement destination in South Carolina can be tricky. Thats why we collected this list of the best places to retire in the Palmetto State.

    See South Carolina For Yourself Book A Discovery Visit

    These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire To In South Carolina

    Whether you base your decision to relocate on a pros and cons list, or simply decide to go with your heart, you should visit a few places before taking the plunge. South Carolina offers beautiful planned communities that focus on health and wellness and are close to charming seaside towns like Beaufort.

    Many happy people are living in South Carolina, and you could be one of them.

    Ready to have a look for yourself? Contact us at 843.379.9095 and find out about booking a Discovery Visit.

    Three days to explore Beaufort and Celadon, with two nights in your choice of one of three of Beauforts finest inns or hotels.

    We cant wait to show you around!

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    Beach Town: Virginia Beach Virginia

    “This is really the first place you hit coming down from cities like D.C., New York, and Boston that’s warm enough to be a year-round beach town,” says Realtor Will Layton. That makes Virginia Beach a viable seaside alternative to Florida, one that’s closer to northern metro areas . The area’s pleasant weather is ideal for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and swimming because this city of 459,470 offers 28 miles of public shoreline on both the Chesapeake Bay and the open ocean.

    With a very low crime rate, no state tax on Social Security income, and no Virginia estate tax, full-time life in this popular resort town feels like a really sweet deal. Plus, Virginia Beach’s healthy and varied employment base and its pro-entrepreneurial climate create fertile terrain for next-act careers.

    Median home value: $367,667*

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