Retiring in North Carolina may be a dream for many, but for those relying solely on Social Security, there are cities and towns in the state that may strain their budget. GOBankingRates has compiled a list of 15 places in North Carolina where Social Security alone may not be enough to cover living expenses. The list takes into account factors such as average monthly rent, total cost of living, and livability ratings sourced from AreaVibes.
Cary, a town in the state’s Triangle area, offers a vibrant tech scene and proximity to universities, but its average monthly rent of $1,865 puts it out of reach for Social Security-only retirees. Gastonia, on the other hand, has the lowest average monthly rent and cost of living on the list, but its low livability score of 59 may not make it an ideal choice.
Other cities like Goldsboro, Concord, and Charlotte, all located in the greater Charlotte area, have average monthly rents and total cost of living that may be difficult to manage on Social Security alone. Wake Forest, Sanford, and Apex also have costs of living that may strain retirees’ budgets.
Statesville, located in the Charlotte area, offers affordability with an average monthly rent well below the national average. However, its low livability index of 56 may not make it the ideal retirement destination.
Wilmington, known for its coastal living and historic district, has a cost of living just below the national average, but healthcare costs are higher than the median. Hendersonville, a small city with a population of about 15,000, offers proximity to Asheville but has expensive healthcare costs.
While these cities in North Carolina may offer various attractions and amenities, retirees relying solely on Social Security should carefully consider the cost of living and livability factors before making their retirement plans.
Sources: Social Security Administration, Sperlings Best Places, Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 Consumer Expenditure Survey, AreaVibes.