Winston-Salem is a city in North Carolina popular for its history, affordable homes, and strong sense of community. Its local parks, boutique shopping, and plentiful golf courses make this city attractive for retirees.
Climate & Geography
Located in Central North Carolina, Winston-Salem experiences a humid subtropical climate: summers are hot and humid while the winters are mostly cool with some cold spells. There is more than average rainfall, a small amount of snow, and about 216 days of sunshine each year.
The city is in the northwest Piedmont area with rolling hills leading to woodlands and open country. The remains of the ancient Sauratown Mountains are just 30 miles north. Greensboro is to the east while Charlotte is southwest.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
Much of Winston-Salem’s charm and culture is rooted in its history. Residents can visit the Old Salem Museums and Gardens, which feature classic architecture and guided tours. The West End Historic District also has landmark buildings, carriage rides, restaurants, and antique shops.
Outdoor lovers enjoy the biking and walking trails of Salem Lake and the observation deck at Quarry Park. Shoppers can head to Hanes Mall for brand-name goods or downtown for local boutiques and community events.
Other popular amenities include numerous golf courses, several farmers markets, and local breweries. Charlotte, just over an hour away, is the nearest major city for even more shopping and dining.
Cost of Living & Taxes
Winston-Salem’s overall cost of living is below the national average. Factors like housing, transportation, groceries, and utilities are all below the state and national averages, while health care is just above.
North Carolina does not tax Social Security, but it does tax other forms of retirement income at a flat rate of 5.5 percent. Property and sales taxes are average, and groceries are taxed at 2 percent.
The Winston-Salem metro area ranks in the top 45 communities according to Gallup’s Well-Being Index. It scored well in the community factor, indicating residents feel pride in their community.
Although there are no nationally ranked hospitals in the city, there are several high performing hospitals, according to U.S. News. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is the No. 1 hospital in the metro area and the No. 5 hospital in the state. The other high performing hospitals are Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center and Wake Forest Baptist Health-High Point Medical Center.