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What It’s Like to Retire in Wilmington, NC

Stores on a street corner

Located in the southeastern part of North Carolina, the historic port city of Wilmington offers a peaceful but dynamic lifestyle that’s perfect for retirees.

Are you thinking of spending your golden years in this beautiful coastal community? Take a look at some of the wonderful surprises waiting for you:

  • It has great weather and beaches

    With an average temperature of 64°F, Wilmington’s climate is mild and pleasant with sea breezes cooling the summer heat. In winter, the average temperature is only in the mid-40s to 50s, so hitting the beach is a year long activity.

    With the Cape Fear River bordering one side of Wilmington and the Atlantic Ocean on the other side, the city has gorgeous, uncrowded beaches, such as Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach.

  • It’s relatively affordable

    Wilmington has a relatively low cost of living and most places in the city are within walking distance, so you don’t have to spend too much on gas or transport. Real estate in the city is also generally more affordable compared to similar waterfront areas, making it a great bargain for retirees. If you’re looking for a gorgeous home that opens out to breathtaking views and pristine waters, you’ll find plenty of options in Wilmington.

    Furthermore, North Carolina has a flat income tax rate of only 5.75% and offers tax exemptions on all Social Security retirement benefits, making The Tar Heel state one of the best states to retire to.

  • It has amazing cultural and historic attractions

    Downtown Wilmington boasts 39 art galleries, showcasing the works of longtime and upcoming artists. Two historic institutions, the Bellamy Mansion of History and Design Art, and the Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts, have been around since the 1850s. In addition to their historic significance, these venues host numerous events and
    performances each year, including music, ballet, theatre, musicals, operas, and film screenings.

    Wilmington has a long, rich history that dates all the way to 1525, and many Colonial and Antebellum buildings still stand tall in the Wilmington Historic District. The district features horse-drawn carriages that take guests around 230 blocks with over 900 buildings, sites, and structures, including Bellamy Mansion, Latimer House, and Burgwin-Wright House and Gardens.

  • It offers great shopping and dining

    Downtown Wilmington features the Riverwalk, a boardwalk that winds along the shoreline with gorgeous vistas of the Cape Fear River. The boardwalk features interesting stores, restaurants, and famous landmarks like the USS North Carolina Battleship, which has been docked here.

    As a college town, Wilmington offers a wealth of dining options, bars, and breweries. The Mayfaire Town Center has over 50 stores for great shopping opportunities, while the Cotton Exchange in the historic district boasts specialty boutiques and great restaurants.

  • It provides opportunities for continuing education

    Education in Wilmington is not limited to college degrees. The University of North Carolina – Wilmington houses an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), which offers courses and lecture series designed specifically for adults over 50. They cover a wide range of studies, including STEM subjects, social sciences, the humanities, outdoor activities, international travel, and more.

    In addition, Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) offers over 85 Community Enrichment Classes ranging from learning a foreign language to boating safety. If you are looking to expand your horizons and learn something new, classes at CFCC are very affordable and range from $30 to $200. Find a full list here beginning on page 20 : CFCC REACH CATALOG.

    Lifelong learning courses are also available at the Cameron Art Museum and Bellamy Mansion.

  • It’s a golf haven

    Wilmington is a paradise for golfers, with more than 50 private, semiprivate, and public golf courses scattered throughout the city or just within an hours’ drive. The city has a municipal golf course set amid picturesque rolling hills, offering a fun and challenging golfing experience.

  • Get in touch with a Realtor who knows Wilmington and can assist you in finding the perfect home in your retirement. Contact Thirty4 North Properties Group at 910.821.3510 or email us at kfreeman@thirty4north.com.