Sumter : South carolina


What It Is Like to Retire in Sumter

Sumter is a town of about 38,000 in central South Carolina, not too far from Columbia.  It is the county seat of Sumter County and home to Shaw Air Force Base. Sumter is noted for its lovely gardens and charming residential neighborhoods. It is part of the Santee-Cooper Lakes region, Sumter is renowned for hunting, fishing, water sports and golf. Sumter has a branch of the University of South Carolina. Photo of Main Street courtesy of Wikipedia and Prince Grobhelm, photo of Downtown Sumter courtesy of Wikipedia and City of Sumter; photo of O'Donnell House, a home in Sumter on the National Register of Historic Places, courtesy of Wikipedia and Doug Short, all three photos Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0/

Where to Retire in Sumter and Home Prices

You can live in the town or in one of the active adult communities in the area (see link at top right).
According to Zillow, the median home value in Sumter was $138,265 in early 2021. Sumter promotes itself heavily as a retirement destination.


What Is Special about Sumter

This is a low cost area. Swan Gardens is a large public park. Palmetto Tennis Center is the largest tennis center in the state and hosts the Palmetto Pro Open, a women's 10k  professional event. Morris College is a a private four-year liberal arts college in Sumter - there is also a 2 year technical college and a branch of the U of SC.

What Is Not Special about Sumter

Crime rate is very high.

Who Will Like Retirement in Sumter

Sumter would be ideal for people who are from the south and looking for a low-key, relatively inexpensive place to retire. Since the population is evenly split between African-Americans and Caucasians it might appeal to those looking for diversity. Finally, since it is home to an Air Force Base, retired military personnel will find it familiar and convenient.

Local Economy Is Driven by

Shaw Air Force Base is key to the economy, and retirement is a growing industry as well.

Climate and Physical Environment

Sumter is near the geographic center of South Carolina, 38 miles from Columbia. The average July high temperature is 92 and the average January high is 56 (the average low is 34). The wettest month is July (5").

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The City of Sumter hosts the "Iris Festival" which is centered around Swan Lake/Iris Gardens. The gardens are home to all 8 species of swans. The Sumter branch of the University of South Carolina offers cultural opportunities.


The crime rate is about twice the national average.

Medical Facilities

Tuomey Hospital serves the town.


I 95 is not too far to the east. Columbia is the nearest airport.

Valuable Links

Wikipedia for Sumter
Sumter Chamber of Commerce

What people are saying about Sumter

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