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The Carolinas are a pleasant place for many to retire. Both North and South Carolina are in the top five for net migration of people 60 and older, according to the Census Bureau. According to a report on Kiplinger, North Carolina was the No. 3 place to retire behind Florida (No. 1) and Arizona (No. 2). The state of South Carolina was No. 5, behind Texas (No. 4). These statistics are from the year 2018.

According to a recent report from Kiplinger, retirees that moved to the Carolinas were interviewed in order to compile a list of 8 things you should know about retiring in the Carolinas. Real estate agents also commented on this feature. Here are 8 things you need to know ranked highest to lowest about retiring in North Carolina or South Carolina.

  • 8. Head for the Hills in North Carolina

    Located atop the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville’s charm, laid-back vibe, and four distinct seasons make it a popular retirement destination. There are many options for housing in Asheville: historic neighborhoods, downtown condos, and retirement communities. But mountain lovers shouldn’t limit themselves to Asheville. A number of nearby small towns are also charming and extremely affordable, including Hendersonville, Weaverville, Black Mountain, and Brevard.

  • 7. Myrtle Beach Area is Popping

    I grew up in New Jersey living on an inlet, so this probably would be the spot I would retire if I had to choose. There are several dozen active adult retirement communities in the Myrtle Beach area. This is the perfect place for golfers and beach lovers. The Grand Strand, a 60-mile stretch of beach along the Carolina coast around Myrtle Beach, is a great place for retirees to find plenty of beaches to explore. Local retirees also frequent beaches around Hilton Head, especially in the fall when tourism drops.

  • 6. Go For 55 and Older Communities

    There are numerous over-55 active adult communities in and around the Carolinas that are actively recruiting retirees. Local governments are friendly to developers of these communities. The Gables at Kepley Farm and Pinehurst Trace are both popular retirement communities in North Carolina. Brevard and Asheville are popular retirement towns in North Carolina, as are New Bern and Oak Island, as well as Southport, Carolina Beach, and Chapel Hill. As well as popular retirement destination towns such as Georgetown, Spartanburg, West Columbia, Greenville, and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina has a number of retirement communities.

  • 5. Following the Kids

    I never in my life heard of a baby-chaser, but apparently, it is a thing. Kiplinger points out that baby boomers are following their children (and grandchildren) who are moving to the Carolinas for lucrative jobs, usually in Charlotte, according to market research firm Meyers Research. I would just call this an overprotective parent/grandparent. Charlotte ranked No. 1 on the baby-chaser index for 2018 and 2020, is home to companies such as Bank of America, Lowes, and Red Ventures.

  • 4. Hurricanes Mean You Might Have to Evacuate

    North Carolina and South Carolina are no strangers to hurricanes. The Hurricanes are, after all, the region’s professional hockey team. (And yes, I am a big hockey fan!) If you move to the Carolinas by the coastal areas, you need to make sure you can handle the flood insurance and anxiety of possible hurricane damage.

  • 3. You Can Go Back to College for Free as a Retiree in the Carolinas

    I didn’t know this, but it’s awesome. On a space-available basis, students 65 and older can attend tuition-free classes at the University of North Carolina, as well as the state’s community colleges. Additionally, there are no registration fees, but there may be an application fee, depending on the college. Every semester, residents 65 and older can take up to six hours of credit courses at the state’s community colleges for free. The state of South Carolina offers free tuition to seniors 60 and older who apply on a space-available basis to any state-funded college. Both credit and audit courses are included. The school you’re interested in attending will require you to apply for enrollment, and any course fees, textbooks, and other materials will need to be paid.

  • 2. South Carolina Is Tax-Friendlier to Retirees Than North Carolina

    On Kiplinger.com, you can find the Retiree Tax Map — a state-by-state look at taxes on retirement income, state sales taxes, property tax breaks for seniors, and more. Learn how retirees are taxed in North Carolina here and in South Carolina here.

  • 1. The Carolinas Are a Popular ‘Halfback’ Destination

    The Carolinas and other states of the mid-South have been flooded with retirees for years. Some are northerners who chose the Carolinas as their retirement destination. Another group are those who initially thought Florida would be their retirement destination, landed there, and then decided to return halfway back, either to enjoy the four seasons in the Blue Ridge mountains or enjoy the mild weather along the Carolina beach fronts.