Table of Contents
Loading...

South Carolina is a beautiful coastal state full of rich history, friendly people, and a relaxed way of living making it a great state to consider retirement in. The state has a low cost of living, low tax rates, and plenty of different retirement options for people looking to be close to the water. South Carolina’s charm combined with its vibrant culture makes it one of the best states for retirees.

If you’re considering retiring in South Carolina, we have compiled a list of the best 15 places (cities) for retirement in South Carolina. Our list also includes important information about each city along with an idea of how retirement might look in each city. This guide will help you get a better idea of the area and whether or not it fits your budget, style of living, and what you are looking for in retirement.

How We Compiled Our List of Best Places to Retire In South Carolina 2022

Our research of the best cities to retire in South Carolina was carefully selected by screening other top studies performed about retirement in South Carolina. We also used an extensive search to determine important factors that makes retirement enjoyable for people. Some of the factors included in our research are:

  • Median household income: This will provide you with an idea of how much other families make in that area.
  • Median Monthly Mortgage Cost: Can help to give you a good understanding of the living costs associated with the city.
  • Median Monthly Rent Cost: If you plan to renting instead of buying your residence, knowing the monthly rent costs can help you budget accordingly.
  • The population of the city Helps to determine the overall size of the city
  • Median home value – Gives us an idea of the affordability and cost of living of the area
  • The number of hospitals within a 25-mile radius – Provides us with information about the level of available health care for that area.
  • Annual property and violent crimes – This gives us information about the safety of the city
  • Quality of life and value factor – These factors provide us with an idea of the overall value and quality of life associated with retiring in each city based on local attractions available for retirees, retirement communities, and more.

Our list is in no particular order and each city offers unique retirement options. The values derived in our tables come directly from the United States Census Bureau. The estimated median home values are pulled from Realtor.com.

These factors help to provide us with a fair assessment of how retirement might look in these cities. It’s important to note that not all of these cities are considered affordable to retire in. Our study includes cities that are considered affordable and ones that are more expensive.

1. Bluffton

Bluffton
Bluffton

Bluffton Community Data

  • Median Household income (2022) – $85,844
  • Median Monthly Mortgage Cost (2022) –$1,810
  • Median Monthly Rent Cost (2022) – $1,747
  • Population – 33,627 – (2022)
  • Median Home Value – $449k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 7+
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022) – 199
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022) – 25
  • Affordability Retirement – 7.5/10
  • Quality of Life – 9/10
  • Value – 8/10

Bluffton Retirement Conclusion:

Bluffton is a city full of unique charm and elegant style. Commonly known as “the gateway to Hilton Head”, the city has a diverse and friendly culture. It is considered one the best seaside towns to retire to. Although the cost of living is a bit higher in Bluffton compared to other spots on our list, it offers incredible value and plenty of activities for retirees to enjoy.

If you enjoy seafood this is a great destination to retire to. The city has amazing restaurants where fresh fish and plenty of bars along with beautiful art and incredible galleries. Bluffton also has a 0% sales tax which is a fantastic benefit for retirees. Another great part about retiring in Bluffton is that the beach is only a 15-minute drive. An additional benefit to retiring here is the many retiring communities available for people to chose from. Overall, it’s hard to beat the location of this city as a retirement oasis. 

Bluffton Local Attractions:

Some of Bluffton’s most popular local attractions and things for retirees to do include:

What is Bluffton Best Know For

Bluffton is best known for it’s unique and eclectic style. The city is full of amazing art galleries, festivals and parades that give it a lively feel.

Recommended Reading: 15 Best Places to Retire in North Carolina in 2022


2. Newberry

Newberry
Newberry

Newberry Community Data

  • Median Household income (2022) – $39,125
  • Median Monthly Mortgage Cost (2022) – $1,050
  • Median Monthly Rent Cost (2022) – $1,200
  • Population – 10,019 – (2019)
  • Median Home Value – $168k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 4+
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022) – 392
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022) –103
  • Affordability Retirement – 9/10
  • Quality of Life – 8/10
  • Value – 8.5/10

Newberry Retirement Conclusion:

Newberry is a very affordable and quaint town to consider retirement in. The city has a small-town feel with a laid-back environment that is ideal for retirees. Newberry features a historic downtown district that is the staple of the local community.

There are large residential and retirement care facilities well suited for all stages of retirement. Newberry has plenty of different festivals year-round which offer residents different ways to stay active and busy during their retirement.

Newberry Local Attractions:

Below are some of the most popular local attractions in Newberry:

What is Newberry Best Know For:

Newberry is well known for it’s rich history and was once an important railroad route from Columbian to Greenville. The city is also well known for its preserved beauty and small town charm.

Recommended Reading: 15 Best Cities to Retire in Michigan


3. Greenwood

greenwood
Greenwood

Greenwood Community Data

  • Median Household income (2022) – $33,500
  • Median Monthly Mortgage Cost (2022) – $1,050
  • Median Monthly Rent Cost (2022) – $750
  • Population – 22,545– (2020)
  • Median Home Value – $252k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 6+
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022) – 1,247
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022) – 298
  • Affordability Retirement – 8.0/10
  • Quality of Life – 7.5/10
  • Value – 8.0/10

Greenwood Retirement Conclusion:

There are many mixed opinions from people about retiring in Greenwood. However, we believe that the city offers retirees many affordable options other cities don’t. The cost of living and retiring in Greenwood is 15% less than the average cost of the whole state of South Carolina. Greenwood is also very affordable if you want waterfront property and views.

Another great thing about retiring in Greenwood is the large variety of homes at different price points. You can live in a gated golf community like Grand Harbor and Stoney Pointe. If you want waterfront access, there are plenty of communities and condos to accommodate that.

The city also has a beautiful downtown area packed with amazing restaurants, shops, and breweries. If you’re an active person there are plenty of lakes for recreational fishing and trails for hiking. On top of that, Greenwood has a strong health care system that offers great options for retirees.

Greenwood Local Attractions:

Some of Greenwoods’ most popular local attractions and things for retirees to do include:

What is Greenwood Best Know For:

Greenwood is known as “Emerald City” and is considered the municipal gemstone of South Carolina. This is due to the high density of green trees in the area and is partially how the town derived it’s name.


4. Charleston

Charleston
Charleston

Charleston Community Data

  • Median Household income (2022) – $72,500
  • Median Monthly Mortgage Cost (2022) – $1,850
  • Median Monthly Rent Cost (2022) – $1,318
  • Population – 426,958 – (2022)
  • Median Home Value – $450k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 10+
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022) – 3,369
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022) – 662
  • Affordability Retirement – 7.5/10
  • Quality of Life – 9/10
  • Value – 8/10

Charleston Retirement Conclusion:

Charleston is considered by many as one of the best places to retire in South Carolina. Charleston is also the oldest city in all of South Carolina. The city offers an infamous southern charm along with a relaxed coastal vibe ideal for retirees. On top of amazing weather, Charleston has plenty of tax breaks and exemptions for retirees that are looking to get the most out of their retirement income.

The city of Charleston also has a robust health care system which is great for retirees looking to have easy and affordable access to health care. It’s also a fantastic place to raise a family and prides itself on southern values and culture. Although the cost of living is generally higher in Charleston, it’s an amazing place to retire.

Charleston Local Attractions:

Charleston has many unique attractions all over the city. Some of the most popular local attractions include:

What is Charleston Best Know For:

On top of being known as the oldest and largest city in South Carolina, Charleston is also well known as the “Holy City”, having over 400 churches along with beautiful historic buildings, monuments and museums.

Recommended Reading: 15 Best Places to Retire in North Carolina


5. Spartanburg County

Spartanburg
Spartanburg

Spartanburg Community Data

  • Median Household income (2022)$48,500
  • Median Monthly Mortgage Cost (2022) – $1,150
  • Median Monthly Rent Cost (2022) – $850
  • Population – 336,729– (2022)
  • Median Home Value – $222k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 6+
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022) – 2,292
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022) – 536
  • Affordability Retirement – 8/10
  • Quality of Life – 9/10
  • Value – 8.5/10

Spartanburg Retirement Conclusion:

Located by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Spartanburg is a great retirement destination. Nicknamed the “Hub City”, Spartanburg is a lively city full of rich history and amazing people. The city has plenty of retirement communities along with a great downtown area with constant events going on.

Spartanburg has a low cost of living and is very affordable for retirees. Another great feature of Spartanburg is its top-of-the-line health care system. It also has plenty of fitness centers available for locals to stay active.

Spartanburg Local Attractions:

Spartanburg county has many ways for retirees to stay active and busy. Some of their most popular attractions include:

What is Spartanburg Best Know For:

The city has a rich history and was originally founded as a “courthouse village”, which was mainly used as a spot for locating a courthouse for land disputes.


6. Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach Community Data:

  • Median Household income (2022)$43,700
  • Median Monthly Mortgage Cost (2022) – $1,390
  • Median Monthly Rent Cost (2022) – $913
  • Population – 39,515 – (2022)
  • Median Home Value – $272k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 9+
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022) – 3,108
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022) – 492
  • Affordability Retirement – 8/10
  • Quality of Life – 8/10
  • Value – 8/10

Myrtle Beach Retirement Conclusion:

Myrtle Beach can be a fantastic place to retire if you enjoy warm coastal living coupled with an abundance of retirement activities. The cost of living in Myrtle Beach is 30% below the national average and the city offers residents a strong health care system for easy access to affordable health care.

Myrtle Beach has zero social security tax for residents, very low property taxes, and allows for up to $15,000 per year in tax deduction for residents over the age of 65. Although the city is a popular tourist destination it still offers plenty of great options for retirees.

The city has amazing golf courses and plenty of ways for you to stay active around the beach during retirement. There’s a wide range of restaurants and places to sit down and enjoy some delicious food. There are also plenty of outlets and shopping centers for residents like Broadway at the Beach.

Myrtle Beach Local Attractions:

Myrtle Beach is a place like no other in South Carolina. There are countless local attractions to explore around the beach. Some of the most popular attractions include:

What is Myrtle Beach Best Know For:

For the most part, Myrtle Beach is well known for being a popular tourist destination in South Carolina. It has amazing sprawling beaches, golf courses and fantastic restaurants and shopping centers.


7. Summerville

Summerville
Summerville

Summerville Community Data:

  • Median Household income (2022)$61,250
  • Median Monthly Mortgage Cost (2022) – $1,480
  • Median Monthly Rent Cost (2022)$1,215
  • Population – 54,556 – (2022)
  • Median Home Value – $349k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 6+
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022) – 1,498
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022) – 182
  • Affordability Retirement – 7.8/10
  • Quality of Life – 8.5/10
  • Value – 8/10

Summerville Retirement Conclusion:

Summerville is a small beautiful suburb of Charleston and an old charming town that is fantastic for retirement. It offers retirees an active lifestyle with beautiful natural spaces along with plenty of health care facilities. The city is considered extremely safe and is in close proximity to nature.

Another advantage to retiring in Summerville is that it’s in close proximity to pretty much everything you need as a retiree. It’s close to Charleston airport, countless golf courses, an hour away from the beach and so much more. It’s also in great proximity to major hospitals which gives the city a massive convenience factor over other retirement destinations in South Carolina.

Summerville Local Attractions:

Summerville has amazing local attractions with a small town feel. Some of their most popular local attractions include:

Summerville Best Know For:

Summerville is known as “The Flower Town in the Pines” and also as the birthplace of sweet tea.


8. Garden City

Garden City
Garden City

Garden City Community Data:

  • Median Household income (2022)$45,500
  • Median Monthly Mortgage Cost (2022) – $1,200
  • Median Monthly Rent Cost (2022) – $1,062
  • Population – 10,669– (2022)
  • Median Home Value – $284k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 7+
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022) – 72
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022) – 40
  • Affordability Retirement – 8.5/10
  • Quality of Life – 8/10
  • Value – 8/10

Garden City Conclusion:

Garden City is a fantastic place to retire in South Carolina. This is evident as 39% of the population in Garden City is above the age of 65. Located about 8 miles south of Myrtle Beach, Garden City is well known for being a chill and relaxing destination for people to retire to.

It offers retirees plenty ways to stay busy year round with activities like fishing, boating, birding, crabbing and more. Being so close to the water, Garden City offers residents amazing seafood options and an amazing pier. The cost of living is 20% below the national average and has a very low crime rate. Overall, this is a great place to retire to if you like slow paced living with a mellow vibe.

Garden City Local Attractions:

Garden city has some beautiful coastal attractions for retirees to enjoy. Some of them include:

Garden City Best Know For:

Garden City is best known for being a surfside beach community with a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. It’s also know for being close to Myrtle Beach and an overall great place to visit if you like being close to the water.


9. Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms
Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms Community Data:

  • Median Household income (2022)$175,009
  • Median Monthly Mortgage Cost (2022)$4,500+
  • Median Monthly Rent Cost (2022)$1,900+
  • Population – 4,408 – (2022)
  • Median Home Value – $1.8m (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 5+
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022) – 39
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022) – 8
  • Affordability Retirement – 4/10
  • Quality of Life – 9.5/10
  • Value – 7/10

Isle of Palms Retirement Conclusion:

Isle of Palms is perhaps one of the most expensive places you can retire to in South Carolina. If you can afford it, Isle of Palms is an absolute oasis for retirees. Isle of Palms is a 7 mile strip situated between Sullivan’s Island and Dewees Island.

It’s an affluent community full of high class living. It’s boasts a family friendly atmosphere and is a great place to retire if you like being very close to the water. The crime rate is extremely low and the quality of life here is incredible.

Isle of Palms Local Attractions:

Isle of Palm’s most popular local attractions and things for retirees to do include:

Isle of Palms Best Know For:

Isle of Palms is best known for it’s beautiful beaches, top-level resorts and spas, along with great golf courses.


10. Sumter

Sumter
Sumter

Sumter Community Data:

  • Median Household income (2022)$41,200
  • Median Monthly Mortgage Cost (2022) –$1,170
  • Median Monthly Rent Cost (2022) – $920
  • Population – 41,500 – (2022)
  • Median Home Value – $223k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 8+
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022) – 1,459
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022) – 491
  • Affordability Retirement – 8/10
  • Quality of Life – 8.5/10
  • Value – 8.5/10

Sumter Retirement Conclusion:

Sumter is considered one of the most tax friendly retirement destinations in South Carolina. It provides retirees with a low cost of living along with plenty of ways to stay busy. The city features beautiful gardens and is well known for it’s hunting, fishing, water sports and golf. If you like to stay busy and active during retirement this is a great retirement destination to consider.

One thing to watch out for with Sumter is it’s higher than average crime rate. However, if you chose a quite retirement community this won’t be much of an issue for you.

Sumter Local Attractions:

Below are some of Sumter’s most popular local attractions for retirees to enjoy:

Sumter Best Know For:

Sumter is well know for it’s “Iris Festival” centered around Swan Lake and the Iris Gardens.


11. Greenville

Greenville
Greenville

Greenville Community Data:

  • Median Household income (2022)$57,120
  • Median Monthly Mortgage Cost (2022) – $1,580
  • Median Monthly Rent Cost (2022) – $1,050
  • Population – 76,002 – (2022)
  • Median Home Value – $318k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 8+
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022) – 2,986
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022) – 510
  • Affordability Retirement – 8/10
  • Quality of Life – 8/10
  • Value – 8/10

Greenville Retirement Conclusion:

Greenville is a great place to consider retirement in South Carolina. It’s a charming small-scale city with plenty of energy and activities to do. It has a great local economy, affordable access to health care, and plenty of tax benefits for retirees.

The city also has a great variety of food options around its downtown area ranging from Italian to classic southern cooking. The cost of living in the city is on par with the national average and it is generally considered a very safe city for retirees.

Greenville Local Attractions:

Below are some of Greenville’s most popular local attractions for retirees to enjoy:

Greenville Best Know For:

Greenville is well known for being a robust cultural and entertainment city in South Carolina. The city boasts an amazing downtown area with a massive 17,000 square foot performing arts center along with a giant 340,000 square foot convention and exhibition center.


12. Beaufort

Beaufort
Beaufort

Beaufort Community Data:

  • Median Household income (2022) – $55,120
  • Median Monthly Mortgage Cost (2022) – $1,612
  • Median Monthly Rent Cost (2022) – $1,020
  • Population – 13,604 – (2022)
  • Median Home Value – $325k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 3
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022) – 483
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022) – 69
  • Affordability Retirement – 7.5/10
  • Quality of Life – 8/10
  • Value – 8/10

Beaufort Retirement Conclusion:

Beaufort is considered one of the best coastal towns to retire to. It is commonly referred to as the “Queen of the Carolina Sea Islands” and lies in the low country area of South Carolina. Roughly 20% of the population in Beaufort is 65 years or older.

It’s a charming old town with a rich history. It boasts an array of different retirement communities for the upscale as well as those on a budget. Beaufort also has plenty of development in the works aimed at people looking for a vacation home or those looking to retire. The crime rate in Beaufort is extremely low, but it can be a bit more costly to retire here.

Beaufort Local Attractions:

Beaufort has some fun local attractions to keep retirees having fun and staying busy. Some of them include:

Beaufort Best Know For:

Beaufort is best known for being a charming old town and is well known for it’s luxurious golf course communities.


13. Lexington

Lexington
Lexington

Lexington Community Data:

  • Median Household income (2022) – $61,173
  • Median Monthly Mortgage Cost (2022) – $1,211
  • Median Monthly Rent Cost (2022) – $950
  • Population – 21,850 – (2022)
  • Median Home Value – $265k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 8+
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022) – 496
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022) – 47
  • Affordability Retirement – 8.5/10
  • Quality of Life – 8.5/10
  • Value – 8.5/10

Lexington Retirement Conclusion:

Lexington is another great retirement destination to consider if you prefer a suburban feel over the fast pace of a city. It is considered a very affordable place to retire with plenty of retirement community options.

Lexington also has a very low crime rate compared to the national average. On top of that, it has a strong health care system and is in close proximity to many other popular destinations. As a retiree, if you enjoy spending your time outdoors, Lexington has plenty of parks and museums for you to check out.

Lexington Local Attractions:

Lexington has some great local attractions for retirees to check out if you enjoy being active and spending time outdoors. Some of these include:

Lexington Best Know For:

Lexington is well known for being a political center and a great place for young professionals to get started in their careers.


14. Anderson

Anderson
Anderson

Anderson Community Data:

  • Median Household income (2022) – $33,500
  • Median Monthly Mortgage Cost (2022) – $1,052
  • Median Monthly Rent Cost (2022) – $780
  • Population – 27,500 – (2022)
  • Median Home Value – $235k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 4+
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022) – 1,473
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022) – 200
  • Affordability Retirement – 9/10
  • Quality of Life – 8/10
  • Value – 8.5/10

Anderson Retirement Conclusion:

Anderson is another charming small town in South Carolina that is perfect for retirees on a budget. It has a lower cost of living compared to other places on our list and is situated close to Lake Hartwell. Lakefront living and properties are in high demand in Anderson and many people enjoy spending their time outdoors.

The city of Anderson is full of plenty of different retirement communities. It was voted as one of the best places to live and retire in South Carolina by AARP.  The affordability factor in Anderson is ideal for retirees who need to stretch their dollar. Although a smaller city, it still offers plenty of great health care options for its communities.

Anderson Local Attractions:

Check out some of Anderson’s popular local attractions below.

Anderson Best Know For:

Anderson is positioned in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is often referred to by many as the “Electric City” due to making use of hydroelectric power. Elon Musk would approve.


15. Seneca

Seneca
Seneca

Seneca Community Data:

  • Median Monthly Mortgage Cost (2022) – $1,074
  • Median Monthly Rent Cost (2022) – $715
  • Population – 8,512 – (2022)
  • Median Home Value – $269k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 2
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022) – 234
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022) – 85
  • Affordability Retirement – 8.5/10
  • Quality of Life – 8/10
  • Value – 8/10

Seneca Retirement Conclusion:

Last on our retirement list is Seneca. A small, quiet yet beautiful town, Seneca is a great place to live and retire. If you enjoy a rural area with a small-town feel and friendly folks, Seneca is a great town to consider retirement in.

The cost of living is slightly below the national average and crime rates are also very low. If you enjoy being involved with your community and taking part in local events, Seneca offers plenty of that and more. Seneca puts on its local Jazz on the Alley hosted on the historic Ram Cat Alley. Jazz on the Alley runs every Thursday from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm and gives residents the opportunity to socialize, listen to music, drink good beer and enjoy local food. 

Seneca Local Attractions:

Below are some of Seneca’s most popular local attractions for retirees to enjoy:

Seneca Best Know For:

Seneca is well known for its antique shopping along with its rich history. It is also known for its small-town feel and its cultural museums.


Conclusion

As you can see, there are many amazing places to retire in South Carolina. Whether you want to retire by the coast and water, or by the mountains, South Carolina offers many great options. It’s a beautiful state, full of history, charm and amazing people.

FAQ’s


Are Pensions Taxable in South Carolina?

If you are a resident of South Carolina, your pension is subject to South Carolina tax. However, if you are age 65 or older, South Carolina allots a retirement deduction.

Are there property taxes in South Carolina?

South Carolina boasts some of the lowest property taxes in the country. The average effective property tax rate is just 0.55%, making it much lower than the national average of 1.08%

Share.

Comments are closed.