Thinking of retiring in the Carolinas? They have a lot to offer retirees, with many nice areas that have both low taxes and low crime, not to mention several military bases with benefits that you can utilize!
Does North Carolina tickle your fancy?
Public Beach access on Kure Beach on North Carolina’s Atlantic coast | Fort Fisher AF Recreation Area
If you’re looking for somewhere on the coast, check out Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base near Jacksonville, or Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station, approximately 20 miles west of Morehead City/Atlantic Beach. You’ll also find the Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area, just south of Wilmington. Do you prefer to stay inland? There’s Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, or head to Fayetteville, where you’ll find several installations – Pope Army Airfield, Fort Bragg, and the Smith Lake Recreation Area for some R&R. Click here to see where they are on the map!
Is South Carolina more your speed?
There are several options! Coastal South Carolina has Charleston Air Force Base and the Charleston Naval Weapons Station. Short Stay Navy Outdoor Recreation Area is a nice place to stay and relax. Head a little further south and you’ll find the Beaufort Marine Corps Air Station, and Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot (with the Parris Island RV Park). If the coast isn’t for you, no worries, there are several installations inland, too. Just outside of Columbia, you’ll find McEntire Air National Guard Station and Fort Jackson. For some R&R there’s the Weston Lake Recreation Area and RV park. Shaw Air Force Base is about 40 miles east of Columbia. Click here to see where they are on the map!
Market Watch had a reader submit an inquiry about retirement in the Carolinas. Here’s what they had to say.
Market Watch ~ ” Many areas in the Carolinas qualify as nice and affordable with low taxes and low crime, so you may want to spend more time thinking about what else you’re looking for. Bigger city? Smaller town? And that’s just the start.
On taxes: Note that Social Security is not taxed in North Carolina. South Carolina exempts the portion of Social Security benefits included in federal taxable income, so you should expect to pay some taxes. If this is a big concern, talk to a tax professional.
South Carolina also relies more on property taxes to fund state and local government than North Carolina does, according to the National Tax Foundation. Of course, those taxes will vary by community and property.
You may want to ask about other costs as well. What will your air conditioning bill look like vs. what you pay in New Jersey? What’s the cost of a pool, if the house you buy comes with one?
Given that crime can vary by neighborhood or across a county, take the time to have a chat with the police department of communities that are on your short list.
And as always, take the time to really explore an area, including when the weather isn’t as ideal. A bad move is a costly mistake.” ~ Market Watch