Charlotte’s pleasant weather, beautiful scenery, and rich cultural heritage make it an attractive retirement destination for today’s senior population. Many retirees are pleasantly surprised to learn that the cost of living in Charlotte is actually lower than the national average, despite the high quality of life that the city offers. Local seniors can take advantage of tax exemptions on Social Security income, while certain elderly and disabled adults may also qualify for tax breaks through the Elderly or Disabled Exclusion. Low health care costs, inexpensive transportation options and more also help Charlotte seniors to save each month.
The price of housing varies throughout Charlotte’s different suburbs and districts, but costs tend to be relatively high. The median price of a Charlotte home in 2016 was $205,300, according to Forbes. Prices are expected to rise in the next few years as the city gains popularity among both young professionals and retirees alike. Local rental prices also tend to be high, with a single bedroom apartment costing $1,206 per month as of October 2016. Low-income seniors may qualify for affordable, income-based housing offered at more than two dozen Charlotte Housing Authority (CHA) rental complexes.
If you need day-to-day assistance with personal maintenance, chores, or other household tasks, you may be thinking about moving into an assisted living facility. Charlotte area assisted living tends to be relatively expensive, costing residents an annual median of $45,600 as of 2016.
Medicare spending in Mecklenburg County totaled $8,873 per beneficiary in 2014, which was just a little bit less than nationwide spending patterns. Nationally, Medicare spending amounted to $9,500 per person. Despite Charlotte’s lower health care costs, you should still budget and choose a provider carefully. Not all providers who accept Medicare accept the program’s fee-for-service rate, and you may end up having to pay for a portion of your medical bills out-of-pocket. If you have questions about your Medicare coverage, you can contact a benefits expert at the Centralina Area Agency on Aging for answers and advice.
If you drive, you can expect to pay low prices for gasoline in Charlotte. Insurance rates, on the other hand, are slightly higher in Charlotte than in neighboring cities. Residents pay an average of around $765 per year for coverage. You can shop around to see which local insurance agent can offer you the best deal.
Not all seniors are able to drive, but luckily, affordable public transit options make it easy to travel around town. There are a number of ways that the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) helps locals to get from Point A to Point B.
CATS local buses cost just $1.10 each way for seniors over 62, while community buses cost $0.45 for a one-way ride.
Express buses offer a quick and convenient way to get around town. Seniors pay just $1.50 for a one-way ride.
The LYNX Light Rail costs just $1.10 per trip for seniors and disabled adults.
Door-to-door Special Transportation Services (STS) are available for seniors who need assistance traveling. Rides cost $3.50 for travelers of all ages.
Explore the great outdoors without spending a dime by visiting the U.S. National Whitewater Center, or enjoy special events held at the charming Romare Bearden Park. You can also bring the whole family to learn about local wildlife through free programs offered at three Mecklenburg County Nature Centers.
Find assisted living in Charlotte near you.