Charleston : South carolina


What It Is Like to Retire in Charleston

Charleston. “The Holy City”, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S. as well as being one of its top tourist attractions. Located on the coast of South Carolina this city of many prominent churches was founded in 1670. Until  the mid 1800's it was one of the 10 largest cities in North America. Today the city has a population of 150,227, (2020 Census) with over 400,000 people living in the county.The College of Charleston and The Citadel are just two of the institutions of higher education that are located here.

Charleston’s popularity as a tourist destination is based on its long and colorful history as well as its streets lined with majestic and Spanish moss draped live oaks. Historic pastel-colored homes look out over the waterfront. The city is also an important port, boasting the second largest container seaport on the East Coast. Here is more information about how to retire in South Carolina.  Use this link to find out why baby boomers are increasingly retiring to SC's "Low Country".

Enjoy this short Youtube video prepared by Southern Living:

Where to Retire in Charleston and Home Prices

The city and the surrounding area up to Hilton Head is a popular area retirement. The area is developing rapidly with many upscale communities aimed at retiring baby boomers and others looking for vacation homes.  Most of these new planned communities are heavily oriented towards golf, but retirees can also choose to live in the city in apartments, condos,  or restored historic homes.  The 55+ housing choices are as ample as anywhere in the country.
National Association of Realtors reported the median sale price of a home was $391,000, during the 4th quarter of 2021, in the Charleston-North Charleston area.


What Is Special about Charleston

Charming old city with central squares. The Old Exchange and Customs House. Many plantations are open to the public. Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter. Milder winters. 5 downtown squares and a number of parks.


What Is Not Special about Charleston

Some northerners might find the southern atmosphere too much; hot, humid summers; winters aren't nearly as warm as Florida's.


Who Will Like Retirement in Charleston

Charleston attracts a community of people who either want to live in a charming and historic old city, or nearby in the many new developments springing up for retirees. Many people from the Northeast are moving to Charleston. It has been designated as the “most polite” city in the nation.

Local Economy Is Driven by

The economy is very strong due to tourism and its nearby military bases. It is also becoming a prime location for technology jobs and corporations.

Climate and Physical Environment

The city of Charleston is located at the mid-point of South Carolina's coastline near the Ashley and Cooper Rivers. The area has many harbors, wetlands and rivers. Charleston Harbor leads to the Atlantic Ocean. The average July high is 89 and the average January low is 42. August is the rainiest month.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The Gibbes Museum of Art is one of the country’s oldest art institutions. The Charleston Museum was the first Museum in the Americas. The Spoleto Festival USA is a 17-day art festival. The College of Charleston and the Citadel are located in Charleston.


The crime rate in Charleston is below the U.S. average.


Medical Facilities

There are 7 hospitals in Charleston.


Charleston AFB/ International

Valuable Links

Charleston, SC

Wikipedia page on Charleston has many photos, facts, and figures

College of Charleston





What people are saying about Charleston

Anyone have input about Charleston area?
Is there anyone in Charleston, SC that loves it there? Are the winters mild? Don’t mind humidity. We are planning on checking out that area in April. Want to find a rental single family, one story that has pool access. (Community if not in the back yard!) Want to have our own yard. Hard to find especially when we’ve never been there. Not opposed to Savannah, Ga., but feel it might be too old fashioned of a town without much happening (am I wrong?) or north of Charleston as long as we can still get to a beach! Any suggestions or opinions are welcomed!!
Posted by beisbach on March 22, 2019
Living in the Charleston, SC Area
I have to say that I agree with June. Charleston is a beautiful city and we had hoped to spend the rest of our lives here as well, but will not do so and there are many reasons. While you list the average cost of a home at around $202,000.00, you would be extremely hard pressed to find a home for that price in downtown Charleston, unless you wanted to dwell in one of the unsafe neighbhorhoods. You certainly wouldn't find much of a selection in Mt. Pleasant at that price either. Two of our largest and newest retirement communities are in the Summerville and Goose Creek areas, the Elms and Del Webb. For some who seek a new place for retirement, their adult children and their families sometimes relocate as well. Our public school system down here is one of the poorest in the country. We have consistently vied with Mississippi for last place, although the last I heard we were now third place from the worst schools in the country. Crime is another issue. We do have a high crime for an area as small as we are and that includes violent crime such as murder and assault. If you need to work a few more years, the job availability and payscale is something else to consider. While some of us earned $9.00 an hour twenty years or so ago, many, many companies in this area pay $9.00 an hour and some want you to have a bachelors degree as well! These types of jobs far outnumber the good paying positions. A visit to the area you are considering is always a wise idea, but likewise, seek information from a variety of residents who already live in the area you are interested in. I will say that except for hot and humid summers, the weather is nice. We experience a bit of four seasons with our winters being fairly mild.
Posted by Lil on September 13, 2008
Charleston is a beautiful city and very easy to fall in love with, however, surface looks can be very deceiving. This is our 16th year in Charleston and we are exploring other options for our 'golden' years. Without even considering the oppressive heat and humidity the summers bring there is the fact that crime is very high in this area, regardless of time of day or night and the traffic is the third most congested (per capita) in the nation. There are other issues as well, but I won't go in to them. Suffice it to say that we are sad that the Charleston we fell in love with many years ago no longer seems to exist. We will and do miss the city we fell in love with! :cry:
Posted by June on March 14, 2008

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