From the winding Blue Ridge Parkway and the scenic Appalachian Mountains, the wilds of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the windswept beaches of the Outer Banks Islands, there’s no shortage of vistas for retirees to enjoy.
The state’s low cost of living, and numerous small towns with creative, intellectual communities and in proximity to outdoor activities also attract retirees.
The state’s moderate climate is another bonus for retirees. North Carolina experiences 4 distinct seasons, though winters remain relatively mild — the average low is 49 degrees. This seasonable weather attracts golf fans to the state, who are able to enjoy North Carolina’s many golf courses year-round.
Con: High top state income tax rate
Best For: Outdoors and arts lovers
Cost of Living: 4% lower than national average
Median Home Cost: $134,300
Top State Income Tax: 7.75%
In addition to its natural wonders, retirees in North Carolina can also experience towns with strong arts and cultural attractions, including museums, symphonies, ballets and galleries. Lesser known, but no less enjoyable, the state is also home to a burgeoning wine scene, including 100-plus local wineries.
People looking to retire in North Carolina will have access to a range of communities, from well-heeled to more affordable, though it should be noted that the state’s 7.75% income tax can be considered high for retirees on a tight budget.