Is Charlotte a Good Place to Live?

The skyline of Uptown Charlotte and the lake at Marshall Park.
Is Charlotte a good place to live? We have the answer for you.

Charlotte is a good retirement destination for active adults who want to live in a lively city with a cost of living that’s lower than the national average. There are also lots of local attractions, cultural amenities, and outdoor recreation options to take advantage of.

Beyond its many amenities, the city also offers residents mild winters, top-notch health care facilities, and a convenient location near some of the state’s most scenic areas along the coast and the mountains. If this sounds like it might be a perfect fit for you, here’s the most important information to know about Charlotte to decide if it’s a good place for you to live.

Charlotte Cost of Living and Retirement Costs

The uptown cityscape of Charlotte, North Carolina at night.

Unlike most big cities, Charlotte is relatively affordable with a cost of living that’s 1.1% lower than the U.S. average, according to From grocery prices and utilities to transportation costs, Charlotte is more affordable than the average city.

Housing Prices

Charlotte’s median home price is around $301,300, which is lower than surrounding cities in both North and South Carolina. Both Charlotte and North Carolina’s property taxes are lower than the national average, making it even more affordable for retirees to own a home within the Queen City. 


Residents will appreciate the fact that there are no estate taxes and retirement benefits are tax exempt. Also, the North Carolina low-income homestead exclusion was created to help seniors 65+ with an income of less than $31,500 save $25,000 or 50% of—whichever amount is greater—their property’s taxable value.

Charlotte Climate/Weather

Charlotte, NC skyline as seen from Marshall Park.

Queen City residents are lucky enough to experience all four distinct seasons. Summers are typically very hot and humid, often lasting until the end of September. Spring is full of comfortably warm days, while autumns are full of balmy days with lots of vibrant foliage, and winters are mild with the rare threat of a snow storm.

According to U.S. Climate Data, the area’s average temperatures range from 49 degrees to 71 degrees with 41.63 inches of rain and 4 inches of snowfall annually.

Charlotte Outdoor Recreation

Bridge over Little Sugar Creek at Freedom Park in Charlotte, North Carolina.

When it comes to outdoor recreation in Charlotte, the U.S. National Whitewater Center is typically the first place to come to mind for most locals. The property spans 1,300 acres and offers an endless list of outdoor activities that range from hiking trails and rock climbing to paddle boarding and whitewater rafting. The city’s two lakes—Lake Wylie and Lake Norman—and The Quarry at Carrigan Farms are also great spots to spend a day outdoors on the water.

There are also plenty of options for those who prefer to walk, hike, or bike. You can always find people walking or biking the Little Sugar Creek Greenway or The Rail Trail—a 3.5-mile trail that snakes through the city past scenic pocket parks, vibrant cafes, art galleries, and charming neighborhoods. Additionally, there are several places to hike within a short drive of the city, including Crowders Mountain State Park, Lake Norman State Park, and Kings Mountain.

Charlotte Culture and Entertainment

NASCAR Hall of Fame building in Charlotte, NC.
Editorial credit: Bruce VanLoon /

Whether you’re looking for a city full of cultural attractions, a vibrant culinary scene, or lots of entertainment options, Charlotte has it all. From its long list of theaters and museums to its professional sports teams and award-winning restaurants, Charlotte has something for everyone to enjoy.

Dining Scene

The Queen City boasts a vibrant culinary scene with everything from upscale fine dining restaurants with decadent meals and rooftop views to hole-in-the-wall barbecue joints that have been local staples for decades. Whether you’re craving authentic French or spicy Cajun dishes, the freshest seafood and sushi rolls, or traditional Southern classics, you’ll be able to find it around town. 

Local Attractions

Some of Charlotte’s most popular attractions include its professional sports venues where residents can cheer on their favorite teams, including the Charlotte Hornets Spectrum Center, the Carolina Panthers Bank of America Stadium, and Charlotte Knight’s Truist Field. Racing fans also flock to the city for races at the Charlotte Motor Speedway and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Other noteworthy attractions include Carowinds, the Billy Graham Library, U.S. National Whitewater Center, and Discovery Place.

Big City Entertainment

There’s always something exciting happening in Charlotte throughout the year. On any given day, residents can score tickers to a Broadway performance at The Belk Theater, peruse the latest art installation at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, or watch a live concert at one of the city’s many music venues like the PNC Music Pavilion. Throughout the year, there are also plenty of celebrations for residents to take part in including holiday parades like the beloved Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade and annual street festivals like the Taste of Charlotte.

Charlotte Healthy and Active

Fountains at Thomas Polk Park in Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina.

Healthy Eating

Charlotte has a plethora of options when it comes to healthy eating. From specialty restaurants like Living Kitchen and Fern to health food stores like Berrybrook Natural Foods where residents can easily grab healthy options and ingredients.

Health Care

While there are many family practices and health care facilities spread throughout the city, there are two major hospital systems that serve Charlotte residents. Atrium Health has several specialties including, cancer treatment, cardiovascular care, organ transplants, and burn treatments. It’s also well-known for its medical research and has had a number of its rehabilitation centers nationally ranked as some of America’s Best Physical Rehabilitation Centers by Newsweek

Novant Health is the other major health care provider in the Queen City. Novant has a series of hospitals, urgent cares, clinics, and imaging centers as well as several specialty centers including, the Heart & Vascular Institute, the Cancer Center, the Women’s Center, the Stroke & Neurosciences Center, and the Rehabilitation Center and Behavioral Health.

55+ Communities

The lounge in the clubhouse at Cresswind Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Charlotte features dozens of active adult communities that are sure to fit into every lifestyle. From lakefront living to condos perfect for downsizing, there are options for those who want to be near the buzz of the city as well as several 55+ communities that are a little further out.

In Charlotte

High $300s - Low $600s

Cresswind Charlotte is another active adult community located within minutes of the heart of Charlotte. The neighborhood features 850 single-family homes with both new construction and resale options. Floor plans for Cresswind Charlotte range from 1,448 to 2,547 square feet and have two to three bedrooms, two to two-and-a-half bathrooms, and two-car garages.

Cresswind Charlotte’s list of amenities includes an 18,000-square-foot clubhouse, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a catering kitchen, indoor and outdoor pools, plus tennis, pickleball, and bocce courts. There’s also a full-time activities director who is dedicated to organizing and planning community events where neighbors can gather and socialize throughout the year.

Prices Starting At $1,600

Conveniently located within Uptown Charlotte, Overture Cotswold is a great option for potential residents who want to rent rather than own in a 55+ community. The gated, age-restricted condominium complex features 158 units with a dozen floor plans. Available layouts are single-level and range from 649 to 1,285 square feet and offer one or two bedrooms and one or two bathrooms.

Noteworthy amenities include a great room, a coffee bistro, a billiards and game room, and a movie theater. There’s also a yoga studio on-site, a fitness center, a hair and nail salon, plus a heated swimming pool outside.

Near Charlotte

Mid $200s - Mid 600s

Del Webb’s Sun City Carolina Lakes is situated just across the state border in Fort Mill—one of Charlotte’s fastest-growing suburbs. The large, age-restricted development spans 1,512 acres and features around 3,160 homes with both single-family and attached home options. There are over two dozen available floor plans that range from 1,090 and 2,597 square feet and have two to four bedrooms, two to three-and-a-half bathrooms, and two-car garages.

Sun City Carolina Lakes has a variety of desirable amenities, including two clubhouses, a sewing studio, a woodworking shop, a library, a computer lab, and an on-site restaurant. Outside, residents have access to several more amenities, including an 18-hole golf course, a pool, eight tennis courts, four bocce ball courts, two pickleball courts, walking and biking trails, plus 10 scenic lakes and a fishing pier.

High $200s - High $300s

The Polo Club at Mountain Island Lake is a small, gated, age-restricted community that’s within a 20-minute drive of Uptown. It features a total of 98 residences with a mixture of attached and single-family residences. There are nine distinct floor plans that range from 1,137 to 1,992 square feet and offer two or three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an attached garage

Amenities within The Polo Club at Mountain Island Lake include a clubhouse that features a multipurpose room, a catering kitchen, an exercise room, a lounge and a fireplace. Outdoor amenities include a pool and patio area, a community grill, scenic ponds, and walking and biking trails.

Charlotte Is a Great Place to Live

Charlotte is a great place to live for active adults who are looking for a city full of cultural amenities, endless entertainment options, affordable housing prices, and prominent health care facilities. 

Interested in retiring in Charlotte? Let us help you. Explore our blog to learn even more about the city, surrounding areas, and the myriad of real estate options available to active adults. Or, reach out to one of our knowledgeable agents directly from the website.

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

Financing is the difference!

Get the details in The 62+ Loan Homebuyers Guide.

55places Mortgage is a joint venture between Mutual of Omaha Mortgage and
Details here.

Share this post:

We're here to help! (800) 928-2055

Call us to speak with a customer service representative.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get Weekly Updates

I agree that 55places and its affiliates, partner providers or agents may call, text, or email me about my inquiry, which may be made with automated means. I understand that my consent is not a prerequisite for buying a property. I may revoke my consent at any time by contacting [email protected] Message/data rates may apply. I also agree to’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

The Best Places to Snowbird in 2021

We’ve gathered 25 of the best places for snowbirds, including cities in Florida, Arizona, California, Texas, South Carolina, and Nevada. For each entry, we’ve also provided a list of recommended 55+ communities in the area. If you’re ready to find your own winter retreat this season, here are some of the best places to consider.

A woman drinking her morning coffee on a balcony overlooking Downtown Miami.

Urban 55+ Communities: You Can Retire in These Cities

There are many benefits to living in a city, from having easy access to daily needs like grocery stores and pharmacies to having an assortment of cultural amenities and entertainment options nearby. Still not convinced? Here are some cities with urban 55 communities that just might pique your interest.

Happy mature couple dancing together in the kitchen at home in a 55+ community.

Top 10 Benefits of Living in a 55+ Community

Living in a 55+ communitiy is so much more than just convienent for active adult retirees. The right community will help them downsize, manage their finances, increase their activitiy, and meet new people. Check out all the benefits of living in a 55+ community.

View of Downtown Provo, Utah during autumn at dusk.

The Best Cities for Aging in Place

Deciding on where to retire is always a challenging question. What do you look for when searching for your ideal place to age in place? There are a variety of factors that come into play when looking for that perfect spot such as health care, wellness, general livability, transportation, or community engagement, just to name a few.

Closed up on a tiny wood home model on green grass with sunlight background.

This Month in Real Estate: A Housing Market Summary

The new year is showing that the predicted changes coming to the housing market were accurate and kept with the trend for 55+ homebuyers. If you’re just entering the housing market as a homebuyer, make sure you’re aware of the changes happening so you’re prepared to make the best purchasing decision. 

Aerial view of a picturesque olive plantation in Bakersfield, California.

The Cheapest Places to Live in California

With almost year-round sunshine, some of the world’s prettiest beaches, world-class shopping and dining, and a never-ending list of recreational and entertainment opportunities, it’s no wonder California is such as sought-after state to settle down in.

A sunset over Huntington Beach Pier in California.

The Active Adult Travel Guide to California

California is known for its diverse regions and cities. This means if you’re an active adult looking to vacation in the Golden State, you’ll have a lot of options. We breakdown the state into its three main regions and find everything you should do while on vacation.

About 55places

We’re changing the way people 55 and older are searching for their perfect next place. With a national network of hand-selected real estate experts, plus comprehensive information, unbiased content, and on-the-go insight about thousands of communities across the country, we’re a trusted resource paving the way from here to home. Whether you’re interested in a low-maintenance single-level residence, an active lifestyle or age-qualified community, an intimate enclave, or anything in between, we can help you make your next move the best one yet.

Scroll to Top