Moving to South Carolina? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Thinking about retiring in South Carolina? Here are a few things to know before making the move.

Considering a move to South Carolina? Here’s everything you need to know about the state from taxes and climate to places to live and popular active adult communities to consider.

Retiring in South Carolina Pros and Cons

Reedy River through Downtown Greenville in South Carolina
South Carolina has no shortage of things to do to stay outdoors and active.

Pros

Quality healthcare. There are several prominent health care systems throughout the state that have been nationally ranked for different specialties, including cardiac surgery; rheumatology; ear, nose, and throat; and cancer.

Low taxes. South Carolina has relatively low property taxes compared to the rest of the country. Also, there are several tax exemptions as well as tax deductions available for seniors.

Plenty of outdoor recreation. From world-class golf courses and historic sites to a myriad of water sports along the coast and mountains in the Upstate, South Carolina has no shortage of things to do to stay outdoors and active.

Mild winters. Mild winters make it possible for residents to stay active outdoors throughout the coldest months of the year.

Cons 

The heat and humidity. While winters are mild, summers are intensely hot and humid with high temperatures starting as early as May and averages in the 90s during July and August.

Hurricane season. Because of South Carolina’s location along the eastern seaboard, the state is typically impacted by at least one hurricane a year. Coastal towns are often hit the hardest with major flooding, including the popular areas of Myrtle Beach and Charleston.

High housing prices. Though the state has some of the lowest property taxes in the country, the most popular areas of the state—especially along the coast—often have high price tags on homes.

South Carolina Climate

Sunset over Waterfront Park in Charleston, South Carolina
The warmest months of the year see averages between 91 and 93 degrees.

Residents can expect to find a humid subtropical climate in South Carolina with mild winters and hot and humid summers. According to US Climate Data, the average high is 75 degrees, and the annual low is 52 degrees. The warmest months of the year—July and August—see averages between 91 and 93 degrees. Colder months see averages between 58 and 60 degrees.

Hurricane season can often cause problems for coastal towns during September with high winds, flooding, and possible hail damage.

South Carolina Taxes

The South Carolina State House in Columbia, South Carolina
South Carolina doesn’t tax Social Security benefits and boasts some of the lowest property taxes in the country.

There are a number of positive benefits that come with living in South Carolina when it comes to finances. The state doesn’t tax Social Security benefits, and it boasts some of the lowest property taxes in the country. There’s also a substantial retirement income deduction in regards to state income taxes. Additionally, there are no inheritance or estate taxes, and there are other perks for qualifying seniors.

South Carolina Property Taxes

According to SmartAsset, “The average effective property tax rate in South Carolina is just 0.55 percent, with a median annual property tax payment of $980.” That’s a much better rate than the national average. Currently, households in the U.S. spend an average of $2,471 on property taxes each year, according to WalletHub.

South Carolina Retirement Income Taxes

Social Security benefits are exempt from taxation in South Carolina, and the state income tax offers some very good deductions on retirement income for residents.

South Carolina Tax Exemptions for Seniors

Senior homeowners may qualify for a homestead exemption that allows the “first $50,000 of a property’s fair market value to be exempt from local property taxes,” according to Kiplinger. There are also no inheritance or estate taxes, which often affect widows and widowers.

South Carolina Health Care

Prisma Health Baptist Hospital in Downtown Columbia, South Carolina
South Carolina has a range of top-notch health care facilities. (Image credited to Nolichuckyjake / Shutterstock.com)

South Carolina has a range of health care facilities that vary from large hospital systems and general practitioners to rehabilitation centers and clinics. Some of the most well-known health care facilities in the state include The Grand Strand Regional Medical Center as well as the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), which is renowned and nationally ranked for three adult specialties: rheumatology; ear, nose, and throat; and cancer.

Where to Live in South Carolina

The community sign for Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head in Hardeeville, South Carolina
South Carolina has it all when it comes to where to live.

Take your pick from a charming coastal city drenched in history, a bustling state capital, or a small town in the Upstate—South Carolina has it all when it comes to where to live.

The Coast

If the tranquil miles of coastline and Southern hospitality aren’t enough to convince you to consider moving to the South Carolina coast, maybe the area’s rich history, renowned culinary scene, or world-class golfing might do the trick.

Myrtle Beach is home to 60 miles of shoreline, virtually endless entertainment options, countless championship golf courses, and popular shopping destinations. There are also three hospital systems in the area—Grand Strand Regional Medical Center, Georgetown Hospital System, and Loris Healthcare System. Communities to consider in the area include Del Webb at Grande Dunes Myrtle Beach, Berkshire Forest, and Myrtle Beach Golf & Yacht Club.

Historic downtown Charleston is another popular retirement destination for active adults looking to settle down near the ocean. The charming city is full of things to do and interesting sites to see from Revolutionary and Civil War forts to some of the most beautiful architecture in the South. Along with plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options, the city is also home to MUSC, giving residents easy access to top-notch health care. A few 55+ communities in the area include Cresswind Charleston, Del Webb at Cane Bay, and Del Webb Charleston at Nexton.

Similar to both Myrtle Beach and Charleston, Hilton Head, offers residents everything from resort-style communities and celebrated golf courses to pristine shorelines. Some of the largest active adult communities in the state are located in Hilton Head, and they have very impressive amenities, including the 8,000-home Sun City Hilton Head, Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head, and Alston Park at New Riverside.

Northwest and Central South Carolina

The northwestern part of the state known as the Upstate area sits along the I-85 corridor between the major cities of Charlotte, NC and Atlanta, GA, giving residents easy access to everything in each city, while allowing enough space for residents to enjoy a slower pace of life in smaller towns and suburbs. Active adult communities in the Upstate include Annadale Estates, Edgewater The Cottages, and Four Seasons at Gold Hill.

The state capital of Columbia is teeming with cultural amenities from museums to an expansive zoo. It’s also home to charming tree-lined streets that are dotted with local boutiques, antique shops, and eateries. And, because of its central location, Columbia residents have easy access to the coast and Upstate. Popular communities in Central South Carolina include Hulon Green, Lexington Villas, Peach Grove Villas, and Savannah Lakes Village.

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

Financing is the difference!

Get the details in The 62+ Loan Homebuyers Guide.

55places Mortgage is a joint venture between Mutual of Omaha Mortgage and 55places.com.
Details here.

Share this post:

We're here to help! (800) 928-2055

Call us to speak with a customer service representative.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get Weekly Updates

I agree that 55places and its affiliates, partner providers or agents may call, text, or email me about my inquiry, which may be made with automated means. I understand that my consent is not a prerequisite for buying a property. I may revoke my consent at any time by contacting [email protected] Message/data rates may apply. I also agree to 55places.com’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

The Best Places to Snowbird in 2021

We’ve gathered 25 of the best places for snowbirds, including cities in Florida, Arizona, California, Texas, South Carolina, and Nevada. For each entry, we’ve also provided a list of recommended 55+ communities in the area. If you’re ready to find your own winter retreat this season, here are some of the best places to consider.

A group of older adults socialize within their 55+ community.

Top 10 FAQs About Living in 55+ Communities

We’re here to answer all of your questions about joining a mature living community, so you can feel empowered in your decision. This is the next great adventure of your life, and we’re firm believers in leaving the stress out. Check out these top 10 FAQs about living in 55+ communities.

A senior couple takes a hike in a low-humidity state they chose for their retirement.

Retirement: What Are the Top 5 States With the Lowest Humidity?

There are many factors in deciding where to retire, and the weather can be one of them. Luckily, many of the states with nice weather also offer additional benefits for people over 60 and have several exciting active adult communities. Here are the four best states for a low-humidity retirement.

Lake view during autumn at dusk of Table Rock Mountain in Pickens, South Carolina.

5 Reasons To Consider a South Carolina Retirement

What does South Carolina have to offer active adults? A selection of over 80 active adult communities is just the beginning. These five reasons to consider a South Carolina retirement just might convince you that this southern coastal state has everything you’re looking for in a 55+ community.

The Best Places to Retire in South Carolina

South Carolina is known for having some of the best golf courses in the country, but that’s not all it has to offer active adults. The state has a rich history and culture, a wide selection of entertainment and recreation, and miles of beaches and coastal living.

North Carolina vs. South Carolina

The Carolinas are a power couple when it comes to maintaining an active lifestyle in an amazing climate, but they’re separated by more than just a border. A side-by-side comparison of the two can quickly show which is better for you when it comes to your interests and needs.

Exterior view of a model home at Del Webb Carolina Gardens, Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina on a sunny day.

55+ Communities With New Homes for Sale Near Raleigh

If you’re in the market for a new construction home in Raleigh, North Carolina there are plenty of options to consider. We’ve put together a list to help you start your search for the perfect neighborhood with new homes.

About 55places

We’re changing the way people 55 and older are searching for their perfect next place. With a national network of hand-selected real estate experts, plus comprehensive information, unbiased content, and on-the-go insight about thousands of communities across the country, we’re a trusted resource paving the way from here to home. Whether you’re interested in a low-maintenance single-level residence, an active lifestyle or age-qualified community, an intimate enclave, or anything in between, we can help you make your next move the best one yet.

Scroll to Top