Find out how much it costs to live in Wilmington.

Cost of Living

North Carolina is appropriately rated as "Mixed" by Kiplinger's for tax attractiveness for retirees. While it features no social security or estate taxes, it does have a moderate income tax and tax pensions. Raleigh fortunately makes the situation more attractive-it features a low cost of living.

Kiplinger Rating:


State Income Tax:


Social Security Tax?


County + State Sales Tax


Property Tax Rate *


Property Tax Ranking (County Property Tax rank out of 2,773, higher rank=lower rate) *


* 2008-2010

Cost of Living Index (100=average):


Housing + transportation costs as % of income:


Tax Details

State Sales Tax Breaks for Seniors:


Pensions Taxed?


Tax burden: % income going to state and local taxes:


Inheritance and estate taxes (per Kiplinger):


Taxing of other retirement income (per Kiplinger):


Property Tax Break for Seniors (per Kiplinger):

To qualify for the Elderly or Disabled Exclusion, a homeowner must be at least 65 years old or totally and permanently disabled, with income of no more than $28,600 for 2014. The program 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 state’s Circuit Breaker Tax Deferment Program limits property taxes to 4% of an owner’s income for those 65 years and older who make less than $28,600 a year for 2014. For those making between $28,600 and $42,900 for 2014, property taxes are limited to 5% of their income.


For more detailed tax information from Kiplinger, visit

Real Estate

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Work Potential

With a low unemployment rate, and a high percentage of 65+ year olds employed, retirees who want to stay in the workforce have some options in Wilmington. With approximately a 70-30 split, more individuals 65+ choose to work part time rather than full time, so those looking to keep busy with a part time job are in good company. New Hanover Regional Medical Center, New Hanover County Schools, and General Electric are some of the area's largest employers.

  • Area
  • National Average

5 Largest Companies

  • New Hanover Regional Medical Center
  • New Hanover County Schools
  • General Electric
  • University of NC Wilmington
  • PPD, Inc

GDP Growth Last 3 Years


Income Growth Last 3 Years


Employment Growth Last 3 Years


Top Industries Hiring

  • Retail trade
  • Administrative and waste management services
  • Health care and social assistance
  • Local government
  • Finance and insurance

Breakdown Fulltime vs Part Time over 65 (%)

  • Part Time over 65
  • Full Time Over 65

Occupation Breakdown (%)

  • Management, Business, Science & Arts (MBSA)
  • Natural Resources, Contruction & Maintenance (NRCM)
  • Production, Transportation, Materials & Moving (PTMM)
  • Sales & Office (S&O)
  • Service

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