Lower Taxes, Higher Standard of Living

March 6, 2020

The lower the taxes, the more worry-free the lifestyle! Southeastern North Carolina has charmed thousands of people over the years with its pristine beaches and boundless Southern charm. However, there is another big reason people are flocking to Brunswick Forest, a quality that many aspiring homeowners are finding too good to pass up; lower taxes.

Brunswick Forest is a nationally recognized master-planned community in North Carolina. Many of our happy residents, originally hail from the Northeast and Midwestern parts of the country where higher costs of living are the norm. Extensive taxes are also a reoccurring obstacle for many who are trying and live their best lives on a fixed income. In the Northeast, taxes seem to be increasing every year and can wear down anyone after a period of time. You might love the area you currently live in, but if it doesn’t allow you to live your life to the fullest then it becomes less enchanting. Recently, Ideal-Living magazine, one of the leading resources in retirement and relocation, took a demographic poll during their 2020 winter retirement shows. The results they found were staggering; out of the thousands of people looking for a dream community to call home, a whopping 82% considering paying lower taxes a major part of their reasons for moving. According to a study by Bankrate, North Carolina ranked among the best states to retire.  The Tar Heel state comes in at number 6 in the nation. To compare each state, Bankrate looked at seven categories — cost of living, taxes, health care quality, weather, crime, cultural vitality and well-being.

In short, Southeastern North Carolina is the perfect haven for couples and singles looking to make it down South without having an extra layer of expenses to worry about. North Carolina has a generally lower than average tax rate when compared to many other states in the country. The tax laws in North Carolina are especially friendly to those who are ages 55 and over and looking to retire.  In 1998, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled in Bailey v. State of North Carolina that North Carolina could not tax retirement benefits for federal, state, and local government employees, including military, who were vested in the retirement system as of August 12, 1989.  North Carolina also exempts all Social Security retirement benefits from income taxes. Other forms of retirement income are taxed at the North Carolina flat income tax rate of 5.49%. The state’s average sales tax is also a moderate 6.95%.  There is no inheritance or Estate Tax in North Carolina either. According to a recent article in Kiplinger, Homeowners 65 and older can choose from multiple property-tax relief programs: The Elderly Exclusion excludes the first $25,000 or 50% of the home’s appraised value plus the value of up to 1.0 acre of land, whichever is greater, from taxation. The Circuit Breaker Tax Deferment Program limits property taxes due in a given year to a percentage of the owner’s income; the balance is deferred. Residents have to choose between the two, and income limits apply.

In addition to these lower taxes, the cost of living in North Carolina is lower on average than most states in the Northeast or Midwest. According to past data in 2013 collected by the American Chamber of Commerce Research Association, the cost of living in the greater Wilmington area was 1.4% below the national average. North Carolina’s housing cost index also falls an amazing 16% below the general average seen throughout the country. Property taxes are also lower on average for aspiring homeowners looking to make a location change. The Leland area of Southeastern North Carolina is amongst the lowest property tax in the state of North Carolina! Your average annual property taxes for a $400,000 home, for example, is just $2,376 a year! So, Brunswick Forest is right in the middle of some of the lower costs of living in a state that’s already below the national average.

Your energy burden would also be lower in the area where Brunswick Forest is located. In 2011 the tax burden in North Carolina was just $7,354 per capita, compared to more than $11,000 per capita on average for states like Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey or New York.

Overall, moving to Brunswick Forest is a win-win situation for both your mind and your financial situation. Why go on paying an increased amount of taxes, when you can have more for less? Brunswick Forest and the greater Wilmington area are the perfect blend of quality and value for your retirement. Schedule a visit using Brunswick Forest’s Coastal Discovery Tour and learn all about what living a coastal lifestyle can do to benefit you. Contact our team at: 855.983.9579