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North Carolina among best states for retirement, study finds

A mild climate and affordability are some of the reasons people like to spend their golden years in the Tar Heel State!

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — When you think of retirement and the place you want to spend the rest of your life, what comes to mind? 

Is it right here, in North Carolina? If so, you might be onto something good. After all, what's not to love about living in the Carolinas? 

As it turns out, not much. That's why the Tar Heel State was named one of the best places to retire based on a study from Bankrate.com. 

"Yes, on our ranking, North Carolina was near the top," said Jeff Ostrowski, who works for Bankrate.com.

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North Carolina wound up No. 11 overall. The study looked at multiple categories — affordability, wellness, weather, culture and crime — and ranked each state based on their average score. 

"Weather and health care are two things we do look at but the most heavily weighted factor was affordability," Ostrowski said. 

Retirement locations can be subjective. Some people want to be near their kids and grandkids, while others put lifestyle, mobility, health care access and mild climates at the top of their list. Some people are lucky enough to get all of that. 

So, where's everyone coming in from? Mostly up north, where folks are cashing in and heading south. Most of the states near the top of the ranking are in the Southeast, including top-ranked Georgia. Ostrowski says it's all about affordability. 

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“A lot of the other southeastern states did well too," Ostrowski explained. "Georgia was No. 1, Florida was No. 2, and then North Carolina was No. 11."

As for the worst states, it's a mixed bag. Maryland was dead last, with Minnesota and Kansas joining it in the bottom three. 

WCNC Charlotte is always asking "where's the money?" If you need help, reach out to the Defenders team by emailing money@wcnc.com.

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South Carolina is also in Bankrate's top 20. While retirement is subjective, Bankrate's study collected data from the U.S. Census Bureau, FBI, NOAA. Another thing to consider when making the decision to retire is the Cost of Living Index

Contact Bill McGinty at bmcginty@wcnc.com and follow him on Facebook.