The decision about where to retire should not be made lightly. Ideally, it involves research and visiting various locations to determine which best fits your lifestyle and budget. Retire NC collected answers to commonly asked questions to further assist with your decision-making.
Retirement Finances and Taxes in North Carolina
The age of retirement in North Carolina follows national guidelines. Individuals born after 1960 can “officially” retire at 67-years-old, meaning they can qualify for all related benefits. However, we welcome forward-looking individuals to explore their options prior to this age, especially considering the many 55+ communities found within our state.
The simple answer is yes, predominantly due to the reasonable rates for housing and day-to-day needs. In fact, when considering the cost of living index, North Carolina performs nearly ten points better than the national average. Utilize our expense calculator for a more detailed review of how North Carolina compares to your current home.
Good news, retirees! North Carolina does not tax your social security retirement benefits.
North Carolina is one of the many states that taxes seniors when they withdraw from their retirement savings account. However, the overall lower cost of living helps compensate.
Property taxes in North Carolina are significantly lower than the national average. The state itself doesn’t tax properties, meaning that the specific amount depends upon the county you choose. As a bonus, there are no estate or inheritance taxes.
Yes, North Carolina taxes pension incomes.
Military pensions are not taxed in North Carolina. The state’s General Assembly passed legislation in 2021 making military pensions for all veterans exempt from state taxes. Previously, only veterans who served at least five years prior to August 12, 1989 were exempt from taxes on their military pensions.
Housing and Retirement Accommodations North Carolina
As of August 2021, the average house in North Carolina costs $260,597. While this rate has increased in recent months, it still is significantly lower than the national average, an estimated $303,000. Keep in mind, North Carolina’s average housing costs factor in booming city environments and larger houses designed to cater to growing families. Retirees who don’t need to commute to an office or accommodate a family of five can be flexible regarding housing location and size, letting them choose from more affordable options.
Flood insurance is not legally required for North Carolina homeowners. However, your mortgage lender may insist you purchase it if you live in an area deemed at higher risk. The rate will depend upon the home’s location, size, and age, as well as whether you are in one of the 76 communities using the Community Rating System, leading to discounts. Your real estate agent or insurance provider can help you estimate the exact cost of purchasing flood insurance.
Like many states, North Carolina makes it the buyer’s responsibility to negotiate for any repairs the seller makes, meaning that there are no preliminary housing updates the previous owner must complete before selling the property. This should not discourage you from making a purchase. However, it does emphasize the importance of having a trustworthy team of professionals. A seasoned home inspector can identify problems, and your real estate agent can either negotiate for repairs or a lower asking price.
Starting a Business
North Carolina nurtures the enterprising spirit, especially among older adults. Many renowned universities and local organizations offer free classes and seminars to further your personal development, and the state has multiple grant programs for opening small businesses. Learn about the ways North Carolina can support your entrepreneurial dreams. (https://edpnc.com/start-or-grow-a-business/start-a-business/).
North Carolina Retiree Healthcare
North Carolina offers Medicaid, a financial assistance program to help those in need with medical expenses. These and similar services can help participants travel to appointments and even cover nursing home costs when it’s deemed a medical necessity.
North Carolina is home to numerous hospitals ranked among the top 50 in the nation. Specialties in which our medical facilities excel include cancer, rehabilitation, cardiology, diabetes, gynecology, and orthopedics. North Carolina’s healthcare leaders have locations throughout the state ensuring retirees are never far from quality care.