6 Reasons Why Wilmington Is One of the Best Places to Retire in North Carolina

6 Reasons Why Wilmington Is One of the Best Places to Retire in North Carolina

North Carolina has been on the radar of many retirees for years. In 2023, it was ranked the #4 state that people retired to, following behind only Florida, Arizona, and South Carolina. But where is one of the best places to retire in North Carolina? Wilmington, North Carolina! Often referred to as the "Port City," this town is gaining popularity as one of the prime destinations for retirees. Among its charming coastal setting, favorable tax policies, and abundance of amenities, let’s explore why people choose Wilmington as their retirement haven.

Why Retire in Wilmington, North Carolina?

1. The Beach

One of the biggest draws of retiring in Wilmington, NC is its proximity to stunning beaches. Wilmington beaches offer miles of pristine coastline for leisurely strolls, soaking up the sun, or enjoying water activities such as swimming, fishing, and boating. Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, and Kure Beach are just a short drive away, offering endless opportunities for relaxation and recreation. The gorgeous waterfront of this small coastal town is also popular for film and television shoots, its annual festivals that draw crowds in the thousands, and a rich cultural history that’s accessed through museums and preserved historic buildings. There's always something fun and interesting to do, all year long.

2. The Weather

While North Carolina's weather is generally pretty awesome, it's different on the coast! In the warm summers, the balmy breeze of the Atlantic cools things off a bit (there's nothing like eating outside on a patio with an ocean breeze blowing), and the average winter highs are usually somewhere in the high 50s or low 60s. It’s an especially welcome change for those retiring in North Carolina to escape the harsh winters of further north states. Whether golfing, gardening, or simply enjoying an al fresco meal, Wilmington's favorable weather makes it easy to stay active and engaged throughout the year.

3. A Growing Area

The entire coastal region surrounding Wilmington is thriving and growing, a huge perk for retirees looking for somewhere new to go or something fun to do. Leland is well-known for its pickleball community and outdoor recreation, such as fishing, kayaking, and golf. Southport is "Home of the Salubrious Breeze," which promotes health and wellbeing. Hampstead is a fast-growing town known for its proximity to the ocean. Wilmington offers retirees access to a thriving community with ample opportunities for entertainment, dining, and cultural experiences. The city's vibrant downtown area is brimming with shops, restaurants, galleries, and theaters, ensuring there's always something new to explore. Additionally, Wilmington is home to top-notch healthcare facilities, providing quality medical care.

4. Tax-Friendly

Retirees love the low taxes in N.C. Social Security and Railroad Retirement benefits are not taxed as income! There are no inheritance, estate tax, or military retirement benefit taxes either. Retirement income, like a pension, 401(k), or IRA is subject to a flat 4.75% tax. Seniors 65 and older who are permanently disabled receive property tax relief from the Homestead Exemption program. Along with the low cost of living, the tax-friendly policies offer retirees the ability to stretch their retirement savings and enjoy a higher standard of living.

5. Free Education

Another huge benefit to retiring in NC for those 65 and older is free higher education. So if you ever want to learn a new skill, start a side business, or just brush up on your knowledge, North Carolina is the place to retire. You can audit classes tuition-free at the University of North Carolina and the state's community colleges. In Wilmington, that would be the UNC Wilmington and Cape Fear Community College campuses, and Brunswick Community College is nearby. You can also take as many as six hours of tuition-free, for-credit classes at the state's community colleges once per semester.

6. The Housing

Dream Finders is proud to build new home communities in the Wilmington area that offer beautiful homes with modern layouts, gorgeous designs and features, and convenient amenities. We also have several floor plans that are perfect for "right-sizing.”

Browse Our Communities of New Homes in Wilmington

Once you’ve decided Wilmington is one of the best places to retire in North Carolina, you’ll need to search for a new home to plant your roots. Dream Finders Homes offers a selection of new home communities in Wilmington close to Leland and Southport.

1. Country Walk (close to Leland)

Country Walk offers spacious single family homes in a serene setting only 10 minutes from the charming town of Leland and 20 minutes from beautiful beaches. With easy access to shopping, dining, golf, and many more recreational activities, Country Walk provides retirees with the perfect blend of convenience and tranquility. If you’d like to build your dream home, our options range from 1- and 2-story homes from 1,265 to 2,433 square feet. We also have several quick move-in homes for a faster move. You’re sure to find a home that fits your needs.

2. The Cottages at Olde Georgetowne (easy access to Southport)

Located just minutes from historic Southport, The Cottages at Olde Georgetowne has only one opportunity left. Passing the gate is a serene community with ponds and wooden bridges. Enjoy a laid-back coastal lifestyle with convenient access to beaches, marinas, and waterfront dining. The final home is a beautiful 2-story layout with 2,000 square feet of living space. From the bright kitchen and cozy fireplace to the first-floor owner’s suite and covered porch backing to a wooded area, the amazing features are endless.

3. The Groves at Olde Georgetowne (easy access to Southport)

The Groves at Olde Georgetowne is down to its final homes, most of which back up to tranquil tree-lined nature. Easily access Southport and several coastal city centers, along with a range of beaches like Oak Island, Holden Beach, and Ocean Isle Beach. With nearby golf courses, nature trails, and cultural attractions, this community is ideal for active retirees seeking adventure and relaxation. 

Connect with Dream Finders Today!

If you’re about to retire and trying to plan your next move, a new home in Wilmington, North Carolina offers retirees a unique blend of coastal beauty, cultural richness, tax advantages, and more. Dream Finders Homes is here to help you find the right home in this vibrant area and make sure you enjoy every moment of retirement to the fullest. Contact us today to explore our communities and available homes.

Categories: Wilmington NC