Top 10 Best Place to Retire in North Carolina on a Budget

The Southern states are particularly appealing to people who want to spend their golden years in comfort within a close-knit community, even though the United States offers some of the greatest retirement destinations in the world. This historic state offers top 10 best place to retire in North Carolina on a budget, a rich tapestry of natural beauty ranging from the charming areas in the North Carolina highlands to the quaint seaside towns to the state’s less visited but equally gorgeous locations.


  • From the majestic mountains to the quaint coastal villages, North Carolina has a wide variety of quaint retirement communities that offer a rich tapestry of natural beauty.
  • North Carolina’s pleasant temperature, reasonable cost of living, availability of top-notch healthcare, and lively cultural scene make it a desirable place to retire.
  • With its own attractions and conveniences, the best areas to retire in North Carolina include Asheville, Wilmington, Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh, Boone, Brevard, Southern Pines, New Bern, and Greensboro are some of the greatest places in North Carolina to retire.

This region of the South is unquestionably among the best places in the US to retire, largely due to the moderate weather that makes for year-round comfort and enjoyment.

Another big benefit is affordability, as the cost of living is cheaper than in many other states. In addition to providing access to first-rate healthcare, many of North Carolina’s best retirement communities also provide lots of chances for recreational and intellectual stimulation due to the state’s thriving cultural landscape.

All facets of North Carolina are permeated with a pervasive feeling of rustic charm. What those who love North Carolina the most find appealing is that feeling of coziness. In retirement, North Carolina’s traditional beauty and allure will make a wonderful combination with the affordable cost of living the state has to offer. Retirees in North Carolina can find comfort from the physically taxing work that they did for decades after working for decades. The cost of living, amenities, green spaces, senior activity opportunities, and accessibility to healthcare make these the best place to retire in North Carolina on a budget, the greatest affordable retirement destinations.

North Carolina’s stunning beaches and Blue Ridge Mountains attract a large number of retirees. During your retirement years, you might enrol in courses at a prestigious research university, indulge in the performing arts, or support your preferred professional sports team. Moving to North Carolina could benefit your retirement financially because of the state’s low cost of living and affordable housing. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cape Hatteras National Seashore are two of the most stunning destinations in North Carolina, and they are both completely free to visit.

Consider packing up and relocating to any of the top 10 best place to retire in North Carolina on a budget, which are listed below, if you’re searching for a charming area to spend your golden years.

Top 10 Best Place to Retire in North Carolina on a Budget:

  1. Greensboro
  2. New Bern
  3. Southern Pines
  4. Brevard
  5. Boone
  6. Raleigh
  7. Durham
  8. Chapel Hill
  9. Wilmington
  10. Asheville

Top 10 Best Place to Retire in North Carolina on a Budget in Detail:

10. Asheville, North Carolina

A city that has a thriving artistic community. This town is a great place to live because of its mild climate and outdoor activities.
A perfect retirement destination, Asheville is located in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and offers a unique combination of culture and natural beauty. The city has an artistic, carefree atmosphere and a strong sense of belonging.

The charming mountain town of Asheville is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The community is a great starting point for visiting the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Asheville is known for its inventive food and drink scene, which creatively incorporates locally produced foods.

Artists, writers, and musicians visit the area frequently in search of inspiration from the surrounding natural beauty and opportunities to collaborate with other creative individuals.

Retirees have access to a wide range of outdoor pursuits, such as the stunning hiking trails in the Asheville region and the lively arts scene. Additionally, it’s the ideal location for people who have always wanted to live in a town with moderate temperatures. Retirees also have lots of opportunity to keep involved and active in this friendly city thanks to its vibrant food scene, several parks, and several cultural events.

9. Wilmington, North Carolina

Wilmington, with its charming riverwalk, historic downtown, and stunning beaches, is one of North Carolina’s most historic towns. Wilmington is another of the top retirement destinations in North Carolina; it provides retirees with a tranquil atmosphere thanks to its friendly community and moderate climate. The city’s picturesque riverwalk, historic downtown, and stunning beaches give it a coastal feel. There are plenty of things to do for retirees, like strolling along the waterfront or exploring the streets of the historic area.

Boat enthusiasts will have plenty of opportunity to sail along the Cape Fear River, making it the ideal place for them to call home. Wilmington has a bustling arts and culture scene that includes a variety of theaters, art galleries, and music venues.

Wilmington is well-known for its antebellum and Civil War past as well as its importance to popular culture (it served as the backdrop for the films “Cape Fear” and “Dawson’s Creek”). Here, a one-bedroom flat costs $1,132, and the maximum monthly cost on this list for healthcare is $539. At $438 a month, groceries are also very expensive. On this list, Wilmington has the largest proportion of individuals 65 and older (18%).

8. Chapel Hill, North Carolina

A town with plenty of cultural amenities and a strong sense of community. Chapel Hill, which is home to the University of North Carolina, is a great place to retire in North Carolina because it provides a special fusion of southern charm and intellectual stimulation. The city has a strong sense of community and a laid-back, college vibe.

Opportunities for lifelong learning, cultural activities, and dining selections are available to retirees. The town’s lovely parks and green areas make the ideal settings for outdoor pursuits. For individuals who want to stay involved, the adjacent Research Triangle Park provides a center for innovation and job opportunities.

7. Durham, North Carolina

The city is renowned for its innovative and creative society. Durham is a fun area to live and retire since it has a lot to offer both residents and visitors. Known as the City of Medicine because it has over 300 medical institutions, including the Duke University Hospital, prospective residents will be happy to learn this.

Along with a vibrant artistic scene and a wide variety of gastronomic options, the city also exudes an innovative and energetic attitude. Durham is also a resurgent centre for innovation due to its advantageous location in the centre of the Research Triangle. Retirees looking for things to do can visit the historic American Tobacco District, see shows at the Durham Performing Arts Centre, or take in the breathtaking scenery at Duke Gardens.

A one-bedroom flat in Durham costs $1,181 a month, while $435 is spent on groceries and $445 is spent on healthcare. The percentage of people 65 and over in the city is 15%. Durham is referred to as the City of Medicine since the healthcare sector is its most important business.

6. Raleigh, North Carolina

The State Capital Is Known For Keeping Historical Records. It should come as no surprise that Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina, has a lively atmosphere that includes cultural activities. Its many walking features make it the ideal place to explore on foot or by bicycle.

Raleigh, one of the greatest retirement communities in North Carolina, combines Southern friendliness, cultural diversity, and contemporary conveniences to provide seniors with a luxurious and fulfilling existence. Raleigh is well-known for its tech sector and research facilities, but it also offers chances for lifelong learning and intellectual stimulation.

In addition, residents can visit top-notch museums, stroll through the historic Fayetteville Street neighborhood, and take advantage of the city’s many parks and green areas.

In Raleigh, the average cost of a one-bedroom house is $1,295. Healthcare costs $431 per month and groceries $441 per month. Shaw University, the first all-Black college, is located in Raleigh, a city renowned for its rich history. Raleigh has the lowest percentage of people 65 and older on our list, at just 12%.

5. Boone, North Carolina 

A charming town nestled amid the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains. Grandfather Mountain and the Blue Ridge Parkway are two national attractions that are located in the city.

Nestled amidst the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains, Boone is an ideal retirement destination for anyone seeking a lifestyle focused on the outdoors. It is undoubtedly one of the most stunning places in North Carolina. The city is renowned for its stunning natural beauty and exudes a laid-back, mountain town atmosphere.

With hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities available, the town is a sanctuary for nature lovers. In addition, the town is well-known for its thriving arts community and cultural programs that strike a balance between leisure and education.

4. Brevard, North Carolina

It combines a vibrant music scene with nature. The city is well-known for its craft breweries and has over 200 waterfalls. Brevard provides convenient access to the Pisgah National Forest, making it a wise choice for anyone looking to spend time in the great outdoors. For seniors who want to retire to a small-town atmosphere that emphasizes outdoor life and a tight-knit community, this is one of the nicest towns in North Carolina.

Brevard is a paradise for nature enthusiasts, offering hiking, waterfall exploration, and an abundance of animals. It is well-known for being close to breathtaking natural treasures. The town is well-known for its numerous craft breweries, vibrant cultural scene, and music festivals.

3. Southern Pines, North Carolina

American golf’s birthplace, this city is well-known for its vibrant equestrian scene in addition to its golfing offerings.
The Sandhills region in which Southern Pines is situated lends the area a friendly vibe. Retirement seekers looking for a mix of outdoor activities and a close-knit community can find peace and quiet in Southern Pines thanks to the city’s year-round warm climate and beautiful splendor.

Golfers’ paradise, Southern Pines, is well-known for its superb golf courses, which include the renowned Pinehurst Resort. Several horse ranches and events are part of the town’s thriving equestrian sector.

2. New Bern, North Carolina

A magical town rich in heritage For history buffs, New Bern is the best place to retire in North Carolina. Retirement in New Bern is enticing because of its beautiful and historic surroundings. With a strong sense of community and southern warmth, the city has a beautiful waterfront environment. New Bern is well-known for its colonial past, its exquisitely maintained buildings and historic sites, including Tryon Palace, and for being the birthplace of Pepsi.

A wide range of activities are available in the town, such as bright art galleries, picturesque riverwalks, and different water sports. The town is made more culturally vibrant by yearly events like Mumfest and the Historic Homes and Gardens Tour.

1. Greensboro, North Carolina

A blend of cultural attractions compared to larger cities, this top city in North Carolina has a lower cost of living. For those looking to keep busy and occupied well into their golden years, Greensboro, North Carolina, is among the greatest places to retire in North Carolina because of its vibrant and diversified environment. The city is renowned for its top-notch medical treatment and affordability. Visitors can explore the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, which honors the city’s crucial role in the Civil Rights Movement.

With a large number of theaters and galleries, the city also has a thriving arts culture. Music, food, and cultural festivals are the main draws for attendees of annual events such as the Greensboro Folk Festival.

In comparison to Charlotte, Raleigh, and Durham, Greensboro is far more reasonably priced, but it also offers easy access to these bigger cities. Living in Greensboro will give you the most value for your money if you have a $2,500 monthly budget. Here, a one-bedroom flat costs $1,069, groceries cost $420, and health care expenses average $423. Because there are so many sporting venues in Greensboro, the city is also known as “Tournament Town.”

Frequently Asked Questions:

How much money do you need to retire comfortably in North Carolina?

The best deal in North Carolina is found in housing prices, which are $13,834 annually, about $3,000 less than the national average. But the expense of healthcare is expensive, at $7,117 annually. You would need funds of $1,164,237 in order to live comfortably in retirement in North Carolina for 20 years.

What is the cheapest state to retire in the US?

The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center lists Mississippi, Oklahoma, Kansas, Alabama, and West Virginia as the most affordable states to retire to since they have the lowest total cost of living.

Is North Carolina a good place to retire financially?

Regarding Social Security benefits, inheritance, and estate taxes, North Carolina is retiree-friendly because there are no taxes in these areas, meaning you can keep more of your money and leave more for your descendants.

Where do most seniors live in North Carolina?

There are pleasant winters and temperate summers in Asheville and Raleigh. The greatest proportion of people over 60, the best recreational opportunities in the state, and easy access to healthcare are all found in Asheville.

Which Carolina is best for retirement?

North Carolina is perhaps a fantastic option if you’re searching for a state with more activity. If you prefer a more rural atmosphere, South Carolina might be a better fit.

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