15 Worst Places to Live in North Carolina With Just a Social Security Check | ET REALITY

[ad_1]
Downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, USA Drone Skyline Aerial stock photo

Kruck20 / iStock.com

Do you want to retire in North Carolina? If you plan to live solely on Social Security, there are cities and towns in the Tar Heel State that are probably out of reach.

GOBankingRates has compiled a list of 15 places in North Carolina that are likely to put a strain on Social Security’s dedicated budget. We’ve also taken livability ratings into account to help you choose which places to investigate as you plan for your North Carolina retirement.

According to the Social Security Administration, the average monthly benefit for retired workers is $1,790.56 ($3,581.12 for a couple). GOBankingRates took those numbers and compared them to plenty of other data, including the Sperlings Best Places Cost of Living Index and the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2021 Consumer Expenditure Survey. Livability ratings come from AreaVibes.

With all due respect to each city, here is a list of places where retirees on a tight budget may struggle:

cary

  • Average monthly income: $1,865
  • Total monthly cost of living: $3,126
  • Livability index: 90

There are a lot of things to like about Cary, a city of about 182,000 people with the highest livability score on our list. Located about 12 miles west of Raleigh in the Triangle area of ​​the state, Cary offers a vibrant tech scene, tree-lined streets, and proximity to universities such as Duke, North Carolina, and North Carolina State. However, your Social Security check alone may not be enough. Cary’s average monthly rent is the sixth highest on our list.

expense

  • Average monthly income: $1,584
  • Total monthly cost of living: $2,859
  • Livability index: 59

Gastonia has the second-lowest average monthly rent and lowest total monthly cost of living on our list, making it attractive if you’re trying to stretch that Social Security check. Unfortunately, its livability score of 59 is the second lowest on this list. On the plus side, Gastonia boasts numerous nationally recognized historic sites, a recently revitalized downtown, and proximity to Charlotte, about 25 miles to the east.

Goldsboro

  • Average monthly income: $1,482
  • Total monthly cost of living: $2,908
  • Livability index: 64

The city of Goldsboro, located in the eastern half of the state, has an affordable average monthly rent of less than $1,500. Food and utilities will also cost you less than the national average. Healthcare, on the other hand, costs about 28% more than the American average. That figure, along with a relatively low liveability index of 64, is worth considering for budget-conscious retirees.

Concord

  • Average monthly income: $1,845
  • Total monthly cost of living: $3,094
  • Livability index: 79

Concord, another gateway to the Charlotte metropolitan area, is home to the famous Charlotte Motor Speedway. Their total monthly cost of living, almost $3,100, makes it difficult to rely solely on Social Security. That said, food, healthcare, and utilities average slightly below the national average.

charlotte

  • Average monthly income: $1,851
  • Total monthly cost of living: $3,101
  • Livability index: 79

Charlotte, a bustling city with about 875,000 residents, professional sports and numerous cultural offerings, has more than doubled its population since 1990. Millennials are flocking. However, retirees who count on their Social Security check may have a harder time. Charlotte’s total monthly cost of living is on the higher end.

stele forest

  • Average monthly income: $1,924
  • Total monthly cost of living: $3,199
  • Livability index: 84

You’ll find Wake Forest (the city, not the university) in central North Carolina, just north of the state capital, Raleigh. More than 500 acres of parks, nearby Falls Lake, and a downtown touted as “quaint meets modern” contribute to a strong livability score. A monthly necessities cost of about $3,200 puts Wake Forest in the middle of the pack on our list, and possibly out of reach for retirees who rely solely on Social Security.

Statesville

  • Average monthly income: $1,663
  • Total monthly cost of living: $3,018
  • Livability index: 56

Statesville made our list in part because of its livability rating of 56, the lowest of the 15 entries. However, it offers affordability for retirees. You can get a month’s worth of food for around $350. Statesville’s average monthly rent is $1,663 and is well below the U.S. average of $2,030. Also located in the Charlotte area, Statesville has about 30,000 residents.

sanford

  • Average monthly income: $1,859
  • Total monthly cost of living: $3,139
  • Livability index: 69

Located between Raleigh, Fayetteville and Greensboro, the city of Sanford markets itself as “well centered.” Its 30,000 residents have access to numerous parks within the city and in surrounding Lee County. However, Sanford’s monthly cost of living (about $3,140) can strain exclusive Social Security budgets.

hunterville

  • Average monthly income: $1,937
  • Total monthly cost of living: $3,195
  • Livability index: 75

Another Charlotte suburb, Huntersville, will celebrate 150 years as a city in 2023. About 63,000 people live here, up from just 3,000 in 1990. An average monthly rent of nearly $2,000 can make things difficult if you rely solely on Social Security. Groceries will cost you about $380 per month, about 1.5% above the US average.

Wilmington

  • Average monthly income: $1,768
  • Total monthly cost of living: $3,156
  • Livability index: 69

Wilmington offers coastal living, an award-winning waterfront, and a 230-block historic district. Located in southeastern North Carolina, it is home to about 120,000 people. Its liveability score places it in the bottom half of our list of cities. Wilmington’s monthly cost of living (about $3,156) includes grocery and utility costs just below the national average. Health care, however, is approximately 18% above the national average.

Hendersonville

  • Average monthly income: $1,763
  • Total monthly cost of living: $3,198
  • Livability index: 73

Hendersonville, the smallest city by population on our list, is home to about 15,000 residents. It offers proximity to Asheville, about 20 miles to the north, a downtown with numerous historic buildings and a dozen different parks. However, healthcare is expensive here, costing almost 26% more than the national average.

Appendix

  • Average monthly income: $2,071
  • Total monthly cost of living: $3,334
  • Livability index: 87

The population of Apex has increased from about 5,000 in 1990 to about 72,000 today. Apex, a suburb of Raleigh, bills itself as the “peak of good living.” Its livability score of 87 is the second highest on our list, trailing only nearby Carly. However, the average monthly rent in Apex is the highest on our list, making it difficult on tight budgets.

Mooresville

  • Average monthly income: $1,839
  • Total monthly cost of living: $3,203
  • Livability index: 72

You’ll find NASCAR-loving Mooresville, nicknamed “Race City, USA,” about 25 miles north of Charlotte. The city’s population doubled from about 9,000 to about 18,000 between 1990 and 2000 and has since increased to about 53,000. A month of shopping in Mooresville will cost you about $375.

Clayton

  • Average monthly income: $1,949
  • Total monthly cost of living: $3,234
  • Livability index: 68

Located about 15 miles southwest of Raleigh and 30 miles southwest of Research Triangle, Clayton is home to about 26,000 residents. Costs for rent, groceries, health care and utilities are around the national average, but an average monthly cost of living above $3,200 will eat into most couples’ Social Security checks. Clayton’s livability rating of 68 is the fourth lowest on our list.

Ashville

  • Average monthly income: $1,954
  • Total monthly cost of living: $3,377
  • Livability index: 71

Living in Asheville is relatively expensive, making a Social Security-only budget difficult. Its monthly cost of living ($3,377) is the highest on this list. Its habitability index is the sixth lowest. Food and healthcare costs exceed national averages. That said, this western North Carolina city of about 100,000 people also has its charms. They include the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway, the historic (and massive) Biltmore Estate, college and little league sports, and white water kayaking.

Methodology: GOBankingRates determined the worst cities in North Carolina to live on only one Social Security check based on the average monthly benefit for retired workers, $1,790.56 ($3,581.12 for a couple), from the Social Security Administration. GOBankingRates first isolated all North Carolina cities with a real estate market size less than 1,000 (meaning it’s one of the 1,000 largest markets in the US). GOBankingRates then used Sperling’s Best Places to find the cost of living index for each listed city, analyzing health care and food index scores. Next, GOBankingRates used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2021 Consumer Expenditure Survey to find the amount of annual spending on both groceries (“meals at home”) and health care costs for 65-year-olds. or more, in order to determine how much it costs for a 65-year-old couple. and more they would spend monthly on food and medical care in each city. GOBankingRates then added up the monthly costs of housing, groceries and healthcare to find where a couple age 65 or older could survive on Social Security or less. GOBankingRates scored and combined living expenses and monthly needs, with the highest score being the worst. In the final calculations, the total monthly expenses on necessities were weighted 3 times. All data was collected and is current as of September 6, 2023.

More GOBankingRates Content

Leave a Comment