6 Best Places To Retire in North Carolina on Less Than $2,500 a Month
North Carolina has long attracted future residents with its world-class universities, thriving economy and beautiful natural setting. In 2022, it was named America’s Top State for Business by CNBC.
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But perhaps those who are retiring on business have the most to gain in North Carolina.
Retirees can relocate to the Tar Heel state because it advertises a relatively low cost of living and offers great tax breaks for seniors. It’s also, as mentioned, a beautiful place, so if nature walks are a priority during your golden years, North Carolina will definitely deliver.
But North Carolina is a big place, and there are so many cities and communities to choose from when relocating there. What’s the best attitude for retirees living on Social Security — or really for anyone on a tight budget?
GOBankingRates found the top six places to live in North Carolina for less than $2,500 a month.
A one bedroom home in Raleigh averages $1,295. Monthly groceries are $441 and health care is $431 per month. Raleigh is known for its rich history, including being home to the first all-black college, Shaw University. In Raleigh, only 12% of the population is aged 65 and over – the lowest percentage on this list.
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Over in Garner in Wake County, one-bedroom rents average $1,280. Monthly groceries are $429 and health care is $431 a month — the same as in Raleigh. Garner is known for its down-to-earth charm and proximity to the famous Research Triangle Park. Fifteen percent of the population is 65 years and older.
Pictured: Neighboring Raleigh, North Carolina
Wilmington is famous for its antebellum and Civil War history, as well as its importance in pop culture (it is the setting for the TV show Dawson’s Creek and the movie Cape Fear). A one-bedroom apartment here costs $1,132, while monthly health care costs $539 — the highest on this list. Groceries are also expensive at $438 per month. Wilmington has the highest percentage (18%) of people 65 and older on this list.
A one-bedroom apartment in Durham costs $1,181 a month, while groceries for the month are $435 and health care is $445 a month. Fifteen percent of the city’s population is 65 years of age or older. Durham is known as the city of medicine as healthcare is the most important industry.
Concord is the second cheapest city to live at $2,500 a month, but it actually has the highest quality of life of any featured. Perhaps that has to do with the fact that it’s a cultural epicenter, with countless art galleries and museums. A one-bedroom house in these areas costs $1,057 a month, groceries cost $429, and health care costs $433.
If you’re on a budget of $2,500 a month, you’re getting the most bang for your buck living in Greensboro, where a one-bedroom apartment is $1,069, groceries are $420, and healthcare costs are $423 US dollars lie. Greensboro is also known as Tournament Town due to its numerous sporting venues.
Methodology: GOBankingRates determined where in North Carolina one should live on less than $2,500 a month based on (1) the average monthly pension for retirees obtained from the Social Security Administration; and ApartmentList data to determine (2) the average one bedroom rent in 2022 for cities in North Carolina. GOBankingRates then researched Sperling’s Best to find the cost of living index for each city listed, looking at (3) food and (4) health index scores. GOBankingRates additionally used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2020 Consumer Expenditure Survey to determine the annual amount spent on both groceries (‘eating at home’) and health care costs for people aged 65 and over to find out how much a person spends 65 would spend monthly on food and health care in every city. GOBankingRates then added together the monthly housing, grocery and healthcare expenses. For a city to be eligible for the study, according to the US Census Bureau, 10% or more of its (5) population had to be over 65 years of age; and (6) have a habitability rating of 65 or higher as obtained from AreaVibes. All data was collected on October 11, 2022 and is current.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 6 Best Places to Retire in North Carolina on Less than $2,500 a Month