retirement

Why Hickory, N.C., Is a Great Place to Retire

Flanked by the Appalachian Mountains, Hickory's milder weather makes it pleasant to live in year-round.

Population: 40,567

Nearest large city: Charlotte

What $300,000 will buy: 4-bedroom, 2-bath historic home in downtown Hickory with hardwood floors, updated kitchen

The median home price in Hickory is $148,000; the entry level of the market (up to about $300,000) is very tight, but buyers have more to look at in the $300,000-to-$400,000 range. A home with a single story or most of its living space on the first level will run about $300,000 to $500,000 in a golf-course community and $450,000 to $750,000 on Lake Hickory, says Mike Kelly, a real estate agent. The area has few condos and one 55-plus community, Abingdon Glen. The median property tax in Catawba County is $957.

In 2014, Charles and Gwen Elmore, 68, formerly of Norfolk, Va., relocated to Hickory to be near his extended family. They settled on a single-story home with four bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms for $319,000. “People here, as a rule, are so kind and not in such a hurry,” says Gwen. The couple love Hickory’s many restaurants and enjoy RV camping with their dogs. “Coming from the coast, I dreaded being landlocked, but when you drive down the road and see the mountains in front of you, it’s just gorgeous!” she says.

Hickory has two hospitals: Catawba Valley Medical Center and Frye Regional Medical Center, which is part of the Duke LifePoint Healthcare system. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, the largest hospital in the state, in Winston-Salem, and Carolinas Medical Center, in Charlotte, are both about an hour away.

North Carolina has a flat income tax rate of 5.75%. Social Security benefits are exempt from income taxes, but most other retirement income is taxable. The state has no estate or inheritance tax.

Most Popular

Child Tax Credit 2021: Who Gets $3,600? Will I Get Monthly Payments? And Other FAQs
Coronavirus and Your Money

Child Tax Credit 2021: Who Gets $3,600? Will I Get Monthly Payments? And Other FAQs

People have lots of questions about the new $3,000 or $3,600 child tax credit and the advance payments that the IRS will send to most families in 2021…
May 17, 2021
Thinking of Buying an RV or Motor Home? Think Again!
personal finance

Thinking of Buying an RV or Motor Home? Think Again!

A Lemon Law attorney has some insights on the downsides of RV ownership you should think about before putting your money down and hitting the road.
May 16, 2021
2021 Child Tax Credit Calculator
Tax Breaks

2021 Child Tax Credit Calculator

See how much money you'll get in advance under the new child tax credit rules for 2021. Payments will start July 15.
May 17, 2021

Recommended

Today is the Last Day to Fund Your IRA and Cut Your Taxes
Tax Breaks

Today is the Last Day to Fund Your IRA and Cut Your Taxes

Although you need to act quickly, you still have a few hours to make a 2020 IRA contribution and lower your tax bill.
May 17, 2021
Contributing to Your HSA Today Could Lower Your Tax Bill
Tax Breaks

Contributing to Your HSA Today Could Lower Your Tax Bill

If you haven't already contributed the full amount to your HSA for 2020, you have a few more hours to do so and potentially reduce your tax bill at th…
May 17, 2021
33 States with No Estate Taxes or Inheritance Taxes
retirement

33 States with No Estate Taxes or Inheritance Taxes

Even with the federal exemption from death taxes raised, retirees should pay more attention to estate taxes and inheritance taxes levied by states.
May 13, 2021
Taxes in Retirement: How All 50 States Tax Retirees
Tax Breaks

Taxes in Retirement: How All 50 States Tax Retirees

We rated every state, plus Washington, D.C. on how retirees are taxed. We considered taxes on Social Security and other retirement income, tax exempti…
May 13, 2021