By Silvia Ascarelli
My wife and I are both 57 and looking to retire at 62. We will get approximately $1,700 a month each from Social Security. We currently have approximately $750,000 in 401(k) and cash.
We are looking to get out of New Jersey for obvious reasons. We are looking in both North Carolina and South Carolina to retire. We are not looking at areas near the shore. We do not need a lot to survive and live well within our means.
Can you suggest some nice areas, with affordable housing, low crime and low taxes?
Congratulations for being on track for a comfortable retirement and starting to think about your dream retirement spot.
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 nonprofit 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.
With that being said, here are three suggestions for you:
You can have easy access to Asheville but be away from the crowds by living in nearby Henderson County. About 115,000 people live in the county, including 14,000 in the county seat of Hendersonville, which offers a cute downtown and plenty of chains on the outskirts. An unexpected historical site just outside of Hendersonville is poet Carl Sandburg’s house , now a national historic site.