Best Small Towns In North Carolina To Retire


Mount Airy Yesteryears Mayberry Transformed For Today

Morganton, NC – A Best Place For Small Town Living

Whats more classically American than apple pie? Andy Griffith and his namesake show, of course. While the iconic setting of Mayberry was fictional, you can retire in the hometown that served as his inspiration, Mount Airy. Dip your fishing line in the Ararat River or stroll along the pastoral Emily B. Taylor Greenway, and you may find yourself happily whistling the beloved theme song.

This North Carolina town of 10,000 fully embraces the simple charms. Come to Wallys filling station and take a ride in a vintage squad car. Stroll down Main Street to encounter Floyds Barbershop, Snappy Lunch, and Rockford General Store which has been operational since 1890.

Just because Mount Airy has a leisurely pace doesnt mean its dull. Partake in weekly jam sessions, watch outdoor bluegrass performances, or attend one of the towns many live theater productions. Plus, youre never far from more first-rate adventures residents can find themselves at three different state parks or Winston-Salem, all within a forty-five-minute drive. Start your morning at a nearby golf course, spend the afternoon at Old Salem Museums & Gardens, and savor a sunset atop the cliffs of Hanging Rock State Park.

Isle Of Palms South Carolina

– Population: 4,360 – Median household income: $122,228- Median home value: $852,700 – Median rent: $1,994

This laid-back barrier island community is close to Charleston, South Carolina, and offers a plethora of outdoor activities including golf, tennis, fishing, and dog walking. Clean beaches and lovely homes are the hallmarks of this affluent community.

– Population: 8,852 – Median household income: $181,667- Median home value: $842,000 – Median rent: $2,846

Dubbed Gateway to Orange County, Woodbury is a community brimming with natural beauty and lots of shopping. The Schunnemunk Mountain and Woodbury Creek that weave through the valley create an ideal backdrop. It is the home of Woodbury Premium Outlets, which features over 220 upscale shops.

The Good Life: Retirement In South Carolina

When it comes to retirement hotspots, many of South Carolina’s best vacation destinations also make for great places to retire. That’s why South Carolina has become “Destination: Retirement” for so many former visitors.

Many people who visit the state once-or many times-return as retirees or pre-retirees. According to Patrick Mason, co-founder of The Center for Carolina Living and, about 110,000 people made South Carolina their new home in 2017-and approximately two-thirds of them were over the age of 50.

These new South Carolina residents who were once happy visitors are nearing semi-retirement or retirement-or they’ve already retired to the good life in the Palmetto State. Mason has dubbed visitors who are potential retirees as Turbo-Tourists, in that they are planning relocation, second homes and new businesses while visiting more often than typical tourists. It’s obvious that what these new residents enjoyed about the state when they were younger brings them back for good. Quite simply, South Carolina is a playground for the young and the young at heart.

Also Check: Big Retirement Community In Florida

Biltmore Forest North Carolina

– Population: 1,473 – Median household income: $180,781- Median home value: $910,400 – Median rent: $1,083

Tucked into the Blue Ridge Mountains, Biltmore Forest is less than 3 square miles in size, offering a quaint respite from the hustle and bustle of nearby Asheville. When price is not a factor in the buying decision, beautiful real estate and an affluent community awaits retirees here.

– Population: 3,388 – Median household income: $69,279- Median home value: $330,100 – Median rent: $1,284

For those who enjoy the energy and accommodations of a university town, Pantops is just 4 miles from the University of Virginia. For easy travel, local bus routes can transport residents to nearby Charlottesville and its commuter airport that connects to larger airports.

– Population: 10,557 – Median household income: $97,055- Median home value: $380,700 – Median rent: $1,366

The quiet town of Timonium is about 20 minutes away from Baltimore. The quaint suburb is close to Towson, which has abundant shopping centers, entertainment options, and eateries.

Great Neck Plaza New York

The 10 Best Places To Retire In North Carolina

– Population: 6,957 – Median household income: $92,260- Median home value: $364,400 – Median rent: $1,958

Great Neck Plaza has a lot going on for a village that is only about a third of a square mile. Easy to access via the Long Island Railroad, the village features over 260 retail stores, upscale shops, and restaurants.

Don’t Miss: Homeland Retirement Home In Harrisburg Pa

Lower Median Home Prices

One of the most compelling reasons you might want to move to a small town is also one of the most practical: median home prices. Although this isnt always the case, small towns generally have much lower median home prices than large cities, making it much easier for homebuyers with limited budgets to buy a home.

As we mentioned above, this is not always the case however, it usually rings true. The most important thing is to simply check the median list and sale prices in the area youre planning to move to. With a little research, you can easily find out what to expect from the real estate market in the area and whether or not to factor this into your decision making process.

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 reasonable cost of living across the board. Other key indicators we consider for this list include:

  • Crime rates
  • Medical care
  • 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 your financial stability throughout your retirement. Read on to learn more about the best places to retire in North Carolina today.

Also Check: How To Start A 403 B Retirement Plan

Trent Woods North Carolina

– Population: 4,050 – Median household income: $90,119- Median home value: $237,800 – Median rent: $1,292

Residents of Trent Woods can enjoy a quiet town with easy access to amenities in neighboring communities. The small North Carolina town sits right alongside the Trent River and enjoys all four seasons.

Tarboro The Historic Heart Of Eastern North Carolina

New Bern named one of the best small towns in NC

Tarborosituated less than 45 minutes from Wintervilleis another North Carolina town catering to retirees social, lifestyle, and healthcare needs.

Residents are a mere hour from both metropolitan Raleigh and the Albemarle Sound. Still, with ample options for active or cultural exploration, Tarboro retirees rarely feel the need to wander far from this lively community. You may be surprised to learn a town of only 11,000 has North Carolinas largest historic district, consisting of 45 blocks and over 300 buildings and landmarks. Downtown Tarboro blends 18th and 19th Century exteriors with 21st Century energy, leading to first-rate shopping and dining experiences set against enchanting backdrops.

The towns beating heart is the town common, established in 1760. Here, retirees stretch their legs or simply pick a bench on which to watch tall oaks leaves change colors with the seasons. Its also the chosen location for a number of community events, such as craft markets, classical music concerts, and local festivals complete with food trucks and entertainment.

The town common is one of many outdoor gems in the Tarboro area. The Tar River itself can lead you toward adventure at whichever pace you prefer paddle its gentle waves, cycle by the waters edge, or simply stay put at the Riverfront Park and fish for bass, crappie, perch, catfish, and bluegill.

Don’t Miss: Oak Park Retirement Salisbury Nc

The 10 Best Places To Live In North Carolina Near The Beach

North Carolina is the kind of state that offers a little something for everyone. The cities are vibrant, the towns are charming, and the landscape will leave even the most jaded city slicker a little breathless. Chief among its attractions are its beach towns. Whether youre looking for something small and quaint or big and boisterous, theres a North Carolina beach town to match. If youre considering making your next visit the permanent kind, check out these 10 best places to live in North Carolina near the beach.

Most Charming Small Towns In North Carolina

North Carolina is a state of many contrasts. Historically, its been a state thats caught up between North and South, meaning heavy fighting during the American Civil War. Naturally, North Carolina is a mixed bag it has one side firmly placed adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean, complete with an unfathomably complex coastline including the famous Outer Banks area and it tapers inland, with borders at the mighty roots of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Theres no doubt then, that the most charming towns in North Carolina possess a host of history and heritage in their foundations, with towns featuring everything from grand stately homes and hotels for Americas first New Money, to religious buildings and humble cottages.

Also, the villages provide visitors access to the most beautiful and serene as well as rugged and awe-inspiring natural spots that this exciting mountainous coastal state has to offer.

Get your hiking boots ready, the small town of Bryson City county seat of Swain County in western North Carolina is the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Wild streams and hill-walking await intrepid explorers, whilst the Tuckasegee River is a playground for enthusiasts of white-water rafting.

Recommended Reading: Best Way To Withdraw From 401k After Retirement

Best Places To Retire Near Charlotte Nc

Charlotte, NC is a bustling, vibrant area with much economic opportunity. It regularly ranks among the top communities in the nation for economic growth. These facts drive many young professionals to Charlotte and its suburbs. If youre nearing retirement age and are looking to retire near your kids and grandkids, chances are high theyve made their way to the Charlotte region. By making a move to the city, you can spend your retirement days close to the people you love most.

Yet perhaps city life isnt quite right for you. If you want to live near your kids, but dont relish the thought of living in a major urban center like Charlotte, then one of the citys many suburbs may be the right fit. Yet not all suburbs are created equal. Heres a look at some of the best suburbs for retirees in the greater Charlotte area that are well worth your consideration as you seek the best place to settle down.

What Makes A North Carolina Town A Certified Retirement Community

The 10 Best Places To Retire In North Carolina

Each location within this article is a Certified Retirement Community, verifying they are equipped to meet the unique needs of 55+ adults. In order to be considered, the community has emergency medical services within 30-miles and a proven support network including local businesses, social and faith institutions. Additionally, community leaders share future initiatives that will further enhance the quality of life for retirees.

Don’t Miss: Meadowlark Retirement Village Sparta Mi

Top 10 Cities To Retire In North Carolina

Skip Ahead

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.

Lake Success New York

– Population: 3,119 – Median household income: $177,500- Median home value: $1,194,200 – Median rent: $3,501

The name Lake Success is brimming with positivity. A village town in Great Neck, it is also a hub for the medical field while still being close enough to New York City.

– Population: 1,752 – Median household income: $73,558- Median home value: $417,900 – Median rent: $1,986

Hillsboro Beach, located on a peninsula between the Intracoastal Waterway, is just 3 miles long and 900 feet wide. The mainly residential town is a paradise for beach lovers who delight in sea turtle sightings and lighthouses.

– Population: 6,140 – Median household income: $141,856- Median home value: $983,600 – Median rent: $1,479

Pelican Bay, a luxury community in Naples, is the ultimate spot to retire. Surrounded by 88 parks and leisure areas, its peerless amenities include an electric-powered tram system and exclusive access to lifestyle activities including golf, tennis, sailing, and fine arts.

Also Check: 401k Withdrawal Strategy In Retirement

Murrells Inlet South Carolina

– Population: 9,137 – Median household income: $59,429- Median home value: $264,000 – Median rent: $1,130

Murrells Inlet is a quaint fishing village brimming with history and natural beauty located 13 miles south of Myrtle Beach. This slice of paradise awaits golfers, art enthusiasts, fishing enthusiasts, antique collectors, and naturalists.

– Population: 8,763 – Median household income: $180,000- Median home value: $754,200 – Median rent: $2,180

Frequently found on best places to live rosters, South Kensington is lauded for its safety and a plethora of places to enjoy outdoor activities. The affluent town boasts six parks, shopping, and eateries.

– Population: 854 – Median household income: $87,083- Median home value: $497,300 – Median rent: $1,211

Bethany Beach is a small, affluent beach and resort town between Ocean City and Rehoboth Beach. Along with a small boardwalk, Bethany Beach has lots of restaurants, and Delaware Seashore State Park is just to the north of Bethany Beach.

– Population: 1,162 – Median household income: $170,417- Median home value: $554,100 – Median rent: unavailable

For true resort living, Dutch Island is a private, gated community with no rentals and just under 500 single-family homes ranging in price from the mid $300,000s to over $1 million. The community is managed by a board of directors and includes a swimming pool, tennis courts, boat ramp, pier, and dock for residents.

Best North Carolina Small Towns

These are the BEST NC Small Towns!
  • Post author

North Carolina has some of the very best small towns to relocate to. Such a varied state is NC. You have the Western Mountains which are beautiful, the Beaches, the large metro areas and more.

We just visited Asheville NC and noticed many new retirement communities around the area. We took the Asheville Food Tour and enjoyed the eclectic downtown area as well.

Hendersonville NC is another area we visited and walked down their wonderful Main Street and visited the Visitors Center where they were very help. Lots of retirees moving to Hendersonville. But here is another town you may want to consider for NC.

Read Also: Can You Borrow From Your Retirement Fund

Great Neck Estates New York

– Population: 2,852 – Median household income: $147,750- Median home value: $1,357,100 – Median rent: $1,865

In the safe, suburban, and affluent neighborhood of Great Neck Estates, most residents own their homes, and many are retirees. Residents feel safe walking and mingling with neighbors at local coffee shops and boutiques. Located in the town of North Hempstead on the North Shore of Long Island, it was the setting for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic Great Gatsby.

– Population: 2,540 – Median household income: $124,716- Median home value: $579,800 – Median rent: $2,000

Tourists love to visit this beautiful Hudson Valley river town for its waterfront, shops, restaurants, art galleries, and more. Located under an hour from LaGuaridia Airport, Piermont offers endless entertainment options and remarkable views at every turn.

Information About The Asheville Area

  • Asheville City Population: 92,500 people
  • Buncombe County Population: 259,000 people
  • Asheville MSA Population: 459,000. The MSA includes Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, and Madison Counties. Other towns in the MSA include Hendersonville, Waynesville, Biltmore Forest, Black Mountain, Canton, Clyde, Flat Rock, Fletcher, Hot Springs, Laurel Park, Maggie Valley, Mars Hill, Marshall, Mills River, Montreat, Weaverville, and Woodfin.
  • Elevation: Asheville is situated in a valley at 2,134 feet elevation, surrounded by much higher peaks including Mt Mitchell 6,684 feet, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River.

Read Also: What Retirement Income Is Taxable

Best Small Towns For Retirement In North Carolina

Charlotte Area All around Charlotte metro area seems to be the place for Active Adult Communities: Trilogy Lake Norman up on the Nortwest side of Charlotte, Lennar at Imagery at Mount Holly, Tree Tops also by Lennar Homes on the Southside down by Sun City Lakes which is all resales by now, Cresswind Charlotte a 55+ community over on the East side next to the hospital, Carolina Orchards, a Del Webb Community down on the Southside at Fort Mill. These are the big five retirement communities near Charlotte NC.

Chapel Hill If you are seeking the perfect small town retirement location, and are drawn to the moderate climate and Southern charm of North Carolina, the small city of Chapel Hill may be the place for you. Chapel Hill, located in North Carolinas Research Triangle , offers everything a retiree desires. Not only are there cultural activities, medical facilities, and other senior-friendly amenities galore, but the areas four distinct seasons draw retirees from across the country.

Chapel Hill, situated in the hills of central North Carolina, enjoys close proximity to three thriving institutions of higher learning the University of NC at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State, and Duke University. College towns in general are enriching and invigorating places to retire with art, music, education, a wide variety of dining options, and a young atmosphere and Chapel Hill offers these benefits threefold.

  • Tags

Share post:


More like this