North Carolina has long attracted would-be residents with its top-notch universities, thriving economy, and beautiful natural landscapes. In 2022, it was named the best US state for business by CNBC.
Check Out: 6 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable
Check Out: 9 Safest Places to Retire Abroad for Under $2,000 a Month
Still, those who call it a day for business may have the most to gain in North Carolina.
Retirees can move to the Tar Heel State as it boasts a relatively low cost of living and offers impressive tax breaks for senior citizens. It’s also, as mentioned, a beautiful place, so if nature walks are a priority for your golden years, North Carolina will certainly deliver.
But North Carolina is a big place, and there are so many cities and towns to choose from when moving. Which are the best settings for retirees living on Social Security – or really anyone on a strict budget?
GOBankingRates has found the six best places to live in North Carolina on less than $2,500 a month.
A one-bedroom house in Raleigh costs an average of $1,295. Monthly groceries cost $441 and monthly health care costs $431. 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 65 or older – the lowest percentage on this list.
Take our survey: Are you struggling to pay your utility bills?
In Garner, Wake County, one-bedroom rents average $1,280. Monthly groceries are $429 and health care is $431 per month, the same price as in Raleigh. Garner is renowned for its down-to-earth charm and proximity to the famous Research Triangle Park. Fifteen percent of the population is 65 and older.
Pictured: neighboring Raleigh, North Carolina
Wilmington is famous for its pre-war and Civil War history, as well as its relevance in pop culture (it’s the setting of the TV show “Dawson’s Creek” and the movie “Cape Fear”). A one-bedroom apartment costs $1,132 here, while monthly healthcare will set you back $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 per month, while monthly groceries cost $435 and monthly healthcare costs $445. Fifteen percent of the city’s population is 65 or older. Durham is known as the city of medicine, as healthcare is its biggest industry.
Concord is the second most affordable city to live in for $2,500 a month, but it actually has the highest livability score of anyone featured. Maybe it has to do with the fact that it’s a cultural epicenter, with tons of art galleries and museums. A one-bedroom house in these areas costs $1,057 per month, groceries cost $429, and health care costs $433.
If you’re on a budget of $2,500 a month, you’ll get your money’s worth living in Greensboro, where a one-bedroom apartment is $1,069, groceries are $420, and healthcare costs hover around $423. . Greensboro is also known as Tournament Town, in light of its abundance of sporting venues.
Methodology: GOBankingRates determined where to live in North Carolina on less than $2,500 per month based on (1) the average monthly benefit for retirees, from the Social Security Administration; and ApartmentList data to find (2) the average rent for a room in 2022 in North Carolina cities. GOBankingRates then searched Sperling’s Best to find the cost of living index for each city listed, looking at (3) the index scores for grocery stores and (4) the health care index. GOBankingRates also used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 Consumer Expenditure Survey to find the amount of annual expenses for groceries (“food at home”) and healthcare costs for people aged 65 years and older to determine how much a person aged 65 and older would spend on groceries and health care in each city on a monthly basis. GOBankingRates then added monthly housing, grocery, and health care costs. For a city to qualify for the study, its (5) population had to be 10% or more over the age of 65, according to the US Census Bureau; and (6) have a livability score of 65 or higher, from AreaVibes. All data was collected and updated on October 11, 2022.
More from GOBankingRates
This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 6 Best Places to Retire in North Carolina on Under $2,500 a Month