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North Carolina's Tax Incentives Make it a Top Retirement Destination


North Carolina has long been a popular state for retirees, and more so every year. With hip towns like Ashville, Boone, Chapel Hill, and, of course, Charlotte that offer big city culture, access to the great outdoors, and an affordable cost of living, it’s no wonder that more and more seniors are choosing the Tarheel state for their golden years. Charlotte especially has earned a reputation as a vibrant city for all ages, its Visitor Association slogan being “Charlotte’s Got A Lot” that makes it easy to travel anywhere in the country and enjoy plenty of fun and excitement in your own back yard.

Another reason North Carolina is such a popular retirement destination, however, is because of its financial incentives for seniors. The state has wooed Baby Boomers with tax breaks that are hard to beat. They were recently improved in 2013, with measures such as lowering the income tax rate to 5.8% in 2014 and 5.75% in 2015 with future drops possible in coming years. Social Security is not included in the types of income that are taxed.

North Carolina also recently ended its estate tax, an especially relief for anyone with 5.25 million dollars or more set aside, which was the previous limit for exemption. This is a huge boon for anyone who had planned and saved beyond the immediate living costs of retirement or anticipates passing along property or other assets. With that extra peace of mind, it’ll be even easier to relax and enjoy all the fun that Charlotte, and North Carolina, have to offer.

 

 

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2014-01-28 14:17:13
 

Seniors Gain Independence By Getting Online

Did you know that “43% of Americans over 65 use at least one social networking site, compared with 26% in 2010 and 1% in 2008?” according to a PEW research study? Seniors are currently the fastest growing demographic on social media platforms, finding them (and other online tools) valuable assets to leading independent, well-connected lives. According to the PEW study, “Older people are looking to maintain ties with their family, particularly those who live far away. They want to see pictures of their grandchildren. Seniors also look up old friends and connect with people who share similar hobbies. The majority of seniors on social media are using Facebook.”

That’s no doubt in part because Facebook is such a great one stop shop that makes it easy to do a lot of things with one account. You can share pictures, find out about local events, create private groups to talk with family, friends, or your craft circle, share articles and interesting content, and more. There are fun online games and contests that work through Facebook, too. Its’ a great place for seniors to maximize their online activity with relative simplicity.

While it might have been true years ago that older folks weren’t tech savvy, today’s retirees were only in their 40s at the advent of the internet. They may not have adopted a tech-heavy lifestyle as fast as younger generations, but many still gained computer and web skills on the job or simply as the internet grew more widespread in everyday life. Now many seniors are taking the time to learn or improve web skills as the internet makes it easier than ever to refill prescriptions, manage money, get in touch with friends, and share memories.

Often the first place many businesses update their contact info, hours, and other crucial information is on their websites or social media pages. Fewer and fewer phone books are distributed, and these days paper media is often out of date shortly after it is published. Even many newspapers and magazines are moving online. One of the best gifts you could give a senior loved one this year is the gift of helping them get online or manage their web life more easily so they can stay up to date and in control of day to day affairs with online tools.

 

Whether your loved one lives alone or in a supportive retirement community, their independence will be increased simply by being able to use online tools to get in touch with friends and family all over the world and having all the information they need at their fingertips about senior living facilities, area events, vacation plans, medications, investments, and more.

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2013-11-29 10:57:57
 

Enjoying the Holidays As You Age

It can be stressful dealing with the holidays as you get older. You may be less independent or mobile than you once were, and find daily household tasks a challenge, much less the added effort of decorating the house, baking and cooking for holiday parties, and hosting big family gatherings. Living in a retirement community can alleviate much of the stress of the holidays, allowing you to spend more time enjoying good company and good fun. With a little planning ahead of time you can avoid holiday stress and make the most of new traditions.

It can be a huge reduction in stress just to plan out what your ideal holiday would be instead of automatically launching into your usual preparations. Write down what you would most like to do for the holidays, and then check with family and friends to see if that overlaps with their vision. Create the holiday you want, not the holiday you’ve always had. Especially if you’re moving to a senior living facility or visiting others for the holidays, this is a great opportunity to create celebrations that suit where you are right now, or to plan ahead for how you’ll handle it when you meet a situation that’s raising your blood pressure.

Plan to do your shopping early before the crowds get big.  Black Friday deals are often not as good as they appear and by doing your Christmas shopping bit by bit in the fall, you can avoid the major budget crunch of doing all your holiday spending at once. If you are traveling for the holidays this also gives you ample time to ship gifts to their destination with plenty of buffer in case something is lost or broken along the way, or if there is a delay due to holiday volume.

Most of all, treat yourself. The holidays should be an enjoyable time full of making great memories. Plan ahead of time as much as possible how you can ensure you are well rested, eat right, and have all the medications you need on hand. Don’t be afraid to take downtime during the day or rest up for evening festivities. If you will be traveling for the holidays, make sure everyone knows what your needs are so that you don’t find yourself in a situation that frustrates your mobility or ability to manage things like oxygen tanks. Just be communicating with those you’ll be sharing the holiday with well ahead of time, you can make for an easy season for all.

 

 

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2013-10-30 14:47:28
 

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