For many years, Greenville, South Carolina was in the shadow of its much larger neighbors: Atlanta and Charlotte. But recently, the mid-sized, southern city has taken on a new life, rapidly expanding its offerings for residents.
Greenville offers all the advantages urban living without the typical hassles that frequently come with living in a large city like overpriced housing, a high cost of living, and steep taxes. The area’s moderate climate and mild winters are also a big draw for retirees who want to avoid freezing cold temperatures. The city also provides plenty of ways for residents to stay active and social with a wide range of cultural amenities, shopping and dining destinations, and outdoor recreation options.
If you’re considering moving to Greenville, SC for retirement, here’s what you need to know:
Retiring in Greenville: Pros and Cons
- Low cost of living and affordable housing: Greenville’s cost of living is much lower than the national average. According to Bestplaces.net, Greenville’s cost of living is 10.2% below the U.S. average and everything (from grocery and transportation costs to utilities) is considerably lower than the national average.
- Affordable housing: In addition to the city’s low cost of living, Greenville’s housing costs are also significantly lower than the national average. BestPlaces.net reports Greenville’s median home price as $234,600 compared to the national median home price of $291,700.
- Mild winters: Greenville residents enjoy extremely mild winters where temperatures rarely drop below freezing.
- Crime rate: Greenville’s crime rate is higher than the national average. According to BestPlaces.net, the city’s violent crime rate is 36.2, while the national average is only 22.7.
- Limited public transportation options: Although the city does have the Greenlink Bus System most residents have to rely heavily on having a car to get around on a daily basis. Greenville’s downtown area is walkable, but the city’s overall walkability score is only 43.
- The summer heat and humidity: Summer temps can frequently reach the 90s with a high percentage of humidity.
Greenville has comfortable temperatures most of the year; however, like all Southern cities, summers are hot and humid with temperatures reaching the 90s. But the city’s mild winters make up for the heat. Even during its coldest month, Greenville’s temperatures rarely dip below freezing, and the average amount of annual snowfall is only three inches.
When the weather is nice, you can find residents enjoying a day at Falls Park on the Reedy—a 26-acre park located right in the middle of Downtown Greenville. Also, a little outside of the city, there's Paris Mountain State Park and the Swamp Rabbit Trail—a 22-mile hiking and biking trail that runs along the Reedy River.
In addition to having a lost cost of living and affordable housing, Greenville’s taxes also work in residents’ favor. Both the state’s and county’s property taxes are some of the lowest in the country, Social Security benefits are not taxed, and there are several tax breaks available to active adults 65+.
Greenville Property Taxes
You won’t find many states with property taxes lower than South Carolina. According to SmartAsset, South Carolina’s property taxes are almost half the national average—sitting at 0.55% compared to the U.S. average of 1.07%. Greenville County’s property taxes are also lower than the national average with an average county tax rate of 0.690%.
Greenville Retirement Income Taxes
South Carolina doesn't tax Social Security benefits or Railroad Retirement, but other forms of retirement income are taxed like pensions and 401(k)s.
Greenville Tax Exemptions for Seniors
There are a number of tax exemptions available to South Carolina residents. According to kiplinger.com, taxpayers 65+ can exclude up to $10,000 of retirement income and deduct $15,000 from all taxable income.
Qualifying active adults who are 65+ can also take advantage of the state’s Homestead Exemption Program, which exempts the first $50,000 of a primary residence from all property taxes.
Greenville Health Care
Along with an assortment of local physicians and family practices, Greenville is home to two health care systems—Bon Secours St. Francis Health System and Prisma Health Alliance.
The Bon Secours St. Francis Health System has five distinct health care facilities in the city, where patients can find a wide variety of services ranging from emergency services and physical therapy to radiology and imaging services. The list of Bon Secours facilities includes St. Francis Downtown, St. Francis Eastside, St. Francis Millennium, the St. Francis Outpatient Center, and the Upstate Surgery Center.
Prisma Health Alliance also offers Greenville residents a vast selection of medical facilities with a regional medical center, five acute care hospitals, a Level 1 trauma center, a rehabilitation hospital, and a 55,000-square-foot community wellness center.
Where to Live in Greenville, South Carolina
Situated in Upstate South Carolina, Greenville is located halfway between Atlanta and Charlotte and within driving distance of both the Blue Ridge Mountains and the scenic beaches of the East Coast. For a mid-sized city, Greenville has a lot to offer its residents, from cultural amenities and attractions to greenspaces and outdoor recreation options.
Greenville’s downtown area serves as the heart of the city, boasting more than 100 restaurants, a myriad of attractions like Liberty Bridge at Falls Park on the Reed, plus a mixture of museums and art galleries. Popular greenspaces in the city include the 26-acre Falls Park on the Reedy, the 22-mile Swamp Rabbit Trail, and the 122-acre Cleveland Park.
Fortunately for active adults who are considering moving to Greenville, there are several 55+ communities in the area. Here’s a sampling of what you can expect to find:
Low $200s - High $200s
Annandale Estates features 123 single-family homes with prices ranging from the low $200s to the high $200s. The community has four available floor plans that range from 1,150 to 1,694 square feet with two to three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and two-car garages.
Annandale Estates’s residents have access to a number of outdoor amenities, including a gathering area with a fire pit, plenty of greenspace, and easy access to the popular Swamp Rabbit Trail.
Low $200s - Low $400s
Swansgate is a gated, age-restricted community that features a mixture of 24 condos and 165 single-family homes. There are several available floor plans. Condominium options range from 1,028 to 1,809 square feet and have one to two bedrooms and one to two bathrooms. Single-family floor plans offer two to three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and attached one-car garages.
Amenities within the community include a clubhouse, an activity room, a library, a game room, an exercise room, and a locker room. Outdoor amenities include a pool and patio, a tennis court, a scenic pond, and walking and biking trails.
High $200s - High $300s
Located 15 minutes from Downtown Greenville, The Ravines at Camellia Village is a small, tight-knit community with only 48 attached homes. Available floor plans typically range from 1,600 to 2,000 square feet and offer two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and two-car garages.
Amenities within the community include a clubhouse, an exercise room, and an outdoor pool and patio area. In addition to its amenities, The Ravines at Camellia Village is conveniently located across from the Furman University Golf Club and has easy access to the Swamp Rabbit Trail.
Rent Starting At $1,399
Overture Greenville is an age-restricted apartment complex that’s ideal for active adults who want to live a low-maintenance lifestyle. Situated less than 10 miles from Downtown Greenville, the apartment complex features 189 units. One-bed, one-bath units range from 598 to 959 square feet, while two-bed, two-bath units range from 958 to 1,251 square feet.
Overture Greenville has an impressive list of amenities that includes 10,000 square feet of community space where neighbors can gather and socialize, plus a great room, a fitness center and yoga studio, a demonstration kitchen, and Nosh—an on-site coffee bar and bistro.
Outdoors, residents have access to a number of other amenities, including a heated swimming pool and sun deck, a pickleball court, a putting green, and a dog park.
Ready to Make the Move? 55places Can Help.
To discover more exciting 55+ communities in Greenville, we invite you to contact us at 800-928-2055 or visit 55places.com. Our experienced team of real estate experts will guide you through the top options in your area and help you make a seamless transition from your current home to a 55+ community. We look forward to helping you make your next move the best one yet!