Jim Slusser: Retirees’ mass exodus

August 5, 2013 

Retirees’ mass exodus

Watching our elected GOP senators and representatives during this legislative session has been disappointing to say the least. As far as retirees go, they might as well have posted a neon sign on the legislative building saying “retirees not wanted in N.C.”

They floated the idea of taxing Social Security but didn’t get very far on that one. They did, however, take away the $2,000 exclusion for withdrawals from IRAs while also making most of N.C. state retiree’s pension benefits taxable.

Let’s compare that with our neighbor just to the south. South Carolina seems to like and want retirees there. If you’re 65 or over, they give each person a $15,000 exemption from state income tax, they don’t tax Social Security payments and there’s no estate tax. Doesn’t take much to figure out that your average retiree 65 and over in S.C. doesn’t pay a state income tax.

With baby boomers retiring in large numbers and looking for Southern states to move to, state income tax is a major issue (guess why Florida is a big retirement destination – no state tax!). N.C. just lost big on this issue and will lose millions of dollars in future years as retirees (including N.C. retirees) choose to move to states that want them and give them tax incentives to come.

Jim Slusser

Buies Creek

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