15 Best Places To Retire In South Carolina | 2023

After decades of working and raising a family, many individuals look forward to retirement. After that excitement, picking where to spend that valuable time might be difficult.

So, Stacker used Niche data and rankings to build a list of the greatest areas to retire in South Carolina.

Niche ranks retirement destinations based on several characteristics, such as cost of living, health care, recreational opportunities, and weather.

Many seniors are looking for easy access to indoor and outdoor activities, such as walking paths and lake access, as well as museums and theaters.

Many appealing retirement places are also close to big cities, which are rich in arts, culture, and healthcare resources.

However, those desirable locales have a high cost of living, typically related to high housing costs, and will not suit retirees on fixed incomes. Low crime rates also make a difference.

While you wonder the best places to retire, this article lists the best places to retire in South Carolina in 2023.

Read on.

Is South Carolina A State To Retire To?

South Carolina is a pleasant state to live in or retire to due to its pleasant temperature and low cost of living.

According to a survey conducted by Retirement Living, South Carolina is the fourth best state for retirees.

South Carolina boasts a reduced cost of living and several lovely, warm beaches almost yearly.

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Is South Carolina A Good Place To Retire Financially?

South Carolina is friendlier to retirees than North Carolina for taxes. According to Kiplinger, South Carolina is one of the most tax-friendly states for retirees.

Like North Carolina, South Carolina does not impose a tax on Social Security benefits.

Other sources of retirement income are also exempt from taxation in the state.

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What Are The Pros And Cons Of Retiring In South Carolina?


  • Healthcare of high quality: Several significant healthcare systems around the state have received national recognition for various specialties, including cardiac surgery, rheumatology, ear, nose, and throat, and cancer.
  • Taxes are low: Compared to the rest of the country, South Carolina enjoys modest property taxes. Seniors can also take advantage of several tax exemptions and deductions.
  • There’s a lot to do outside: South Carolina offers no shortage of things to do to keep outdoors and active, from world-class golf courses and historic sites to a variety of water activities along the coast and mountains in the Upstate.
  • Winters are mild: Winters allow inhabitants to keep active outside even during the coldest months of the year.


  • The oppressive heat and humidity: Summers are extremely hot, with high temperatures beginning as early as May and averaging in the 90s between July and August. 
  • Hurricane season is upon us: South Carolina is hit by at least one hurricane per year because of its location along the eastern seaboard. Major flooding frequently affects coastal towns, including the popular resort towns of Myrtle Beach and Charleston. 
  • Housing costs are high: Despite having some of the lowest property taxes in the country, the state’s most attractive areas—particularly along the coast—often have high home prices.

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What You Need to Know Before Moving To South Carolina

They are:

South Carolina Has Great Weather

Moving to South Carolina will be a welcome change if you’re coming from a place where winters are bitterly cold. While the winters are moderate, particularly along the coast, the summers in the South can be a shock.

The Job Market Is Performing Well

If you’re considering moving to South Carolina for a better job, you’ve come to the correct place.

Housing Is Inexpensive Here

Many people who move to South Carolina are relieved to learn that the average property price here is $166,000, over 15% less than the national average.

South Carolina Has the Most Pristine Beaches

Myrtle Beach is in the middle of the Grand Strand, which features 60 miles of white sand beaches and various attractions.

South Carolina is a golfer’s dream come true.

If you play golf regularly, you will enjoy this state. South Carolina has some of the country’s best golf courses, so you can enjoy both casual play and tournaments.

South Carolina vs. Clemson Is the Most Epic Rivalry

The rivalry between the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Clemson Tigers has a lengthy history beyond college sports.

Sweet Tea’s Origin South Carolina

They know it around the world as the birthplace of sweet tea. As a result, they repute tea in this state as “sweet,” and they do not serve unsweetened tea in the afternoon.

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What is the Benefit of Retiring In South Carolina

Due to there being no Social Security taxes in South Carolina, your retirement income will stretch much further.

You can deduct up to $10,000 from your retirement income.

Aside from not paying taxes on Social Security, those over 65 can deduct up to $10,000 in retirement income from pensions, IRAs, and other sources.

Best Places to Live in South Carolina

South Carolina has a fierce race to see who will take the top spot in city rankings. While newcomers to the state may believe Charleston is the capital, this is not the case.

However, it is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, making it an excellent area to live.

Columbia is also edging closer to the top rank as it continues to develop each year.

A few more places in the state compete for the finest place to live; see the list below.

1. Greenville

Greenville, as its name suggests, has a lot of green spots where you can go hiking on the weekend or camp during the holidays.

It also has a lot to offer people looking for a way to unwind from their hectic lives. As a result, it is one of the best places to live in South Carolina.

It’s also renowned as the cultural capital of South Carolina, with one of the state’s most well-known museums.

The downtown area also has a lot of coffee shops and restaurants, which are ideal locations to relax while gaining a sense for the city.

Greenville has much to offer, so it’s no surprise that many individuals are considering moving here.

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2. Five Forks

According to recent research, five Forks is one of the greatest areas to live in the state. The city is open and hospitable, contributing to its large population, and newcomers find it easy to integrate.

It has pleasant weather and a clean atmosphere, free of the pollution and noise of big cities.

It’s also well-known for being a great place to raise a family. Raising a family in this city is simpler, especially since it has a better educational system than the rest of South Carolina.

Finally, there are many activities that children can take part in after school to help them flourish in areas other than academics.

2. Spartanburg

They regard Spartanburg as being a fantastic place for young professionals to start their careers.

This city has various job prospects with major worldwide corporations, such as BMW, Adidas, and Michelin.

Spartanburg has a high educational level, and residents can enjoy riding bikes throughout the city on weekends, one of the city’s primary kinds of exercise.

You can visit and live in several great places even as a retiree.

3. Aiken

This city, home to one of the University of South Carolina campuses, looks youthful and feels everyone can appreciate it.

It is one of the two largest cities in the Central Savannah River Area, along with Augusta, Georgia.

Aiken’s educational system is likewise constantly expanding, placing it among the best in the state. The region also has a low crime rate, making it suitable for families with children.

Aiken is well-known outside of the state for its horse racing events. As a result, the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum play a significant role in the city’s identity.

If you enjoy horse racing, this city is a great place to call home.

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4. Columbia

Columbia, the state capital of South Carolina, is ideal for young professionals and families since it offers diverse employment options and a top-notch educational system.

The University of South Carolina will also allow you to experience the dynamic city life and the youthful energy.

Visitors may enjoy the hospitality of the residents in the downtown area, which is lined with restaurants and pubs.

Columbia is also a brilliant spot to visit with the family on weekends because there are so many exciting activities to participate in.

Many major tourist attractions, such as massive zoos and the world’s largest entertainment stadium, are located here.

5. Hilton Head

They know Hilton Head Island for having one of the best family beaches in America, with 12 miles of sand.

Like many other coastal South Carolina communities, Hilton Head has experienced tremendous expansion. Many people are drawn to the laid-back lifestyle, beautiful beaches, and world-class golf.

Residents value preserving natural environments, and the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge salt marsh between the island and the mainland is home to deer, alligators, and birds.

Hilton Head Island is South Carolina’s most southern beach; Savannah, Georgia, and Beaufort, South Carolina, are both within a 45-minute drive apart.

The Harbour Town Lighthouse is one of Hilton Head’s most famous and photographed structures. The RBC Heritage is held at Harbor Town Golf Links and has been held annually since 1969.

They currently hold it the week after The Master.

Year after year, Hilton Head Island will continue to grow as tourists and new residents flock to the island.

6. Charleston

Charleston is the place to be if you’re looking for Southern Hospitality. Locals and visitors alike will find that the residents of this city are friendly and hospitable.

Furthermore, the culture here is unrivaled, with wonderful food defining their culture and fantastic events held throughout the year.

Finally, a short walk from the city will lead you to the sandy white beaches that are attracting an increasing number of visitors.

7. Myrtle Beach

As previously said, Myrtle Beach is one of South Carolina’s most popular tourist destinations.

It has established itself as a popular vacation destination for locals and visitors, making it a popular choice for those seeking a less expensive alternative to Florida.

There are plenty of things to do in Myrtle Beach, including various bars and restaurants.

Retirees can afford to live near the ocean due to low housing costs. Condos on the beach or a golf course, new housing complexes, and retirement communities are all viable possibilities for retirees.

Many retirees on a budget can take advantage of the area’s dining and entertainment opportunities by keeping housing costs low.

8. Pawley Island

Pawleys Island is directly on the shore in South Carolina’s Grand Strand Region. This sliver of heaven is a haven where you may relax, remain active, and relax on lovely beaches.

Pawleys Island, long favored by the wealthy, is an upscale destination for visitors looking for a South Carolina vacation.

Litchfield Beach is a popular tourist destination with beautiful sand dunes and a lengthy stretch of clean white sand.

The several golf courses, some of which offer unrivaled sea views from the tees, are also intriguing.

9. Greenwood

If retirement in a pleasant college town sounds like a dream come true, Greenwood is the place to be.

Invigorating opportunities to engage with your new community include the Railroad Historical Center, Emerald Farm, and the Uptown farmers’ market.

Greenwood makes it simple to stay active and involved in your community.

10. Orangeburg

Orangeburg is in a great location, sandwiched between Columbia and the seaside city of Charleston.

This lovely hamlet provides seniors with convenient access to various urban hubs while also providing a serene and private environment.

If you don’t want to compromise in your retirement, Orangeburg offers the best of both worlds, and a low cost of living.

11. Gaffney

Gaffney is a lovely Spartanburg suburb conveniently between the city and the gorgeous Cherokee Falls, allowing energetic folks to live a life they like.

Gaffney has a lovely natural setting, plenty of places to explore, and a local outlet mall, so you can stay busy no matter how you plan to spend your retirement.

12. Sumter

On the banks of Swan Lake, it is a historic town. Nature lovers will appreciate being surrounded by state forests, a lovely lake, and a lovely iris garden.

Retiring in Sumter means never getting weary of experiencing the beautiful outdoors and remaining active and involved in your new town.

13. Anderson

It provides the best possible living for retirees. With close access to a major urban hub, this Greenville neighborhood has tranquil and secluded neighborhoods.

Anderson is the perfect area to start your next adventure if you don’t want to compromise throughout retirement.

14. Irmo

When you retire to Irmo, SC, you can enjoy lakeside living.

This lovely Columbia suburb rests on the tranquil banks of Lake Murray, while also offering residents a vibrant urban lifestyle.

This neighborhood provides retirees with a beautiful lifestyle at an affordable cost of living, making it a true win-win situation!

15. Cayce

It provides retirees with a low-cost, enjoyable urban retirement.

This growing Columbia neighborhood offers inexpensive housing and a variety of recreational opportunities to keep you busy.

Residents can also enjoy a peaceful and private environment in the charming city.

When you retire in Cayce, you may start enjoying a life you love.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is South Carolina a retirement friendly state?

South Carolina is one of the most tax-friendly states for retirees. Almost all kinds of retirement income are tax-free or offer significant tax deductions, and property taxes are among the lowest in the country.

In South Carolina, when do you cease paying property taxes?

South Carolina’s homestead exemption provides a tax credit for the first $50,000 of your home’s Fair Market Value if you are 65.

Is there a tax retirement pension in South Carolina?

The state of South Carolina is tax-friendly for retirees. They tax wages at conventional rates, which include a 5.90 percent total state tax rate. Pension income, both public and private, is taxed in part.

Is it cheaper to live in North Carolina or South Carolina?

North Carolina’s overall cost of living is lower than the national average but slightly higher than South Carolina’s, according to BestPlaces. Groceries, housing, utilities, and transportation prices in North Carolina are lower than the national average, while healthcare costs are slightly higher.

What is the minimum amount of money required to live comfortably in South Carolina?

According to the Economic Policy Institute, the annual cost of living for a single person without children is $2,332 per month. In South Carolina, if you’re single, you’ll need to earn $14.72 per hour to make ends meet.


South Carolina retirees love pleasant winters, Atlantic Ocean beaches, and a low cost of living, which is why any of the cities or towns on the list cut.


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