South Carolina Best Places to Retire - A Guide

If you are thinking about the best places to retire in South Carolina this website is your source for information and insight into the best places to retire in South Carolina. The Palmetto State is many people's first choice for retirement. This state of 4.7 million people in 2012 has a mild winter climate, low cost of living, and plenty of recreational activities. There are 4 regions in the state: Low Country near the ocean, Sand Hills, Piedmount, and Upstate - which contains an escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It also has southern charm and history.  Don't miss our retirement duel article: "What is the Best State for Retirement:  SC or NC"?

Traditional Town of Charleston SC

Charleston SC - a great retirement community

Best retirement towns in South Carolina
Here are some of the top retirement towns in South Carolina:
- Beaufort
- Bluffton
- Charleston
- Hilton Head Island
- The golfing capital of the world - Myrtle Beach
- The college town of Clemson 
- Lancaster
- Aiken
- Summerville

Many national and local builders are busy building active adult communities for active adults over 50 in  towns all over South Carolina. 

South Carolina Climate
The South Carolina climate is called humid-sub-tropical. Summers are hot and humid and winters are mild. It is a bit cooler near the ocean and in the western mountains.

South Carolina Taxes

Tax Burden: South Carolina is a very tax-friendly state with the 9th lowest tax burden in 2011 according to the Tax Foundation.

Marginal Income Tax Rates.  Income tax ranges from 3% - 7%, with the highest bracket kicking in at $13,800. Those brackets are quite low, so for people with significant income, income taxes are high.

Retirement Income Exemptions.  Residents 65 and over have an exemption for the first $15,000 of income, of which up to $10,000 may be retirement income. People up to age 65 can deduct up to $3000 of qualified pension income. Most disability services are not taxable.  Retired military can deduct up to $10,000 of their military benefits.

Social security exemption. Social security is not taxable. 

Sales Tax: State sales tax is 6%, local communities can additional sales taxes up to 2.5%.

Property Taxes: SC is the 37th highest state for property taxes.

Homestead Exemption. People over 65 might be eligible to exclude $50,000 of market value from property taxes.

Estate and/or Inheritance Taxes. The state does not collect inheritance taxes or estate taxes.

This link goes to a tax guide for new residents of South Carolina.

SC Cost of Living and Economy
Living in South Carolina is less expensive than many other states. Inflation adjusted 2007-11 per capita income of $23,854 was well below the national average. The median home price in SC in early 2012 ($114,900 statewide average as reported by Zillow) was $63,000 below  the national average. Prices can be higher in selective active adult communities in places like Hilton Head. In Columbia during the 3rd quarter of 2013 the median home selling price was $138,200 whereas the median price in the Greenville area was $149,100.  In the Charleston Metro median selling price was $203,300 (Source: NAR). Cost of living in Greenville was 88, below the national average of 100.

Certified Retirement Communities
South Carolina does not have a certified retirement community program.

Free eBook - Baby Boomers Guide to Selecting a Retirement Community - 16 Factors
Download this free eBook and use its fun exercises to help you find your perfect active adult retirement community.

Click on the South Carolina Retirement Community reviews on the right. Or to find other guides to the best retirement states


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