Charleston SC Metro 55+ Active Adult Retirement Communities

18 Communities near Charleston SC Metro

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To imagine all the most idyllic parts of the Old South is to imagine Charleston. The city’s warm, friendly folks and easy southern charm have given Charleston the enviable title of being the best-mannered city in the United States. At the same time, its mild winters and exceptional senior tax breaks regularly bring Charleston near the top of Money Magazine’s list of best places to retire. Charleston’s retirement communities offer all the modern amenities, nestled amid beautiful neighborhoods lined with stately oaks. From premier golf courses to lazy beaches, this gracious city has it all.

Climate & Geography

With its humid subtropical climate, Charleston has short, gentle winters and long, lingering springs and autumns. Summers are warm and humid, with thunderstorms commonly bringing over 5 inches of rain each month. A tropical storm can easily double this amount. The tall pines and ancient oaks lining the streets of Charleston’s historic neighborhoods keep average yearly temperatures in the 70s. It is common for summer daytime temperatures to reach the high 80s, perfect weather for strolling through one of Charleston’s many historic neighborhoods or enjoying a relaxing game of golf. Although winter temperatures can drop below freezing, snow is rare.

Recreation, Social & Culture

South Carolina has long been famous for its golf courses. There are so many world-class golf courses between Charleston and Myrtle Beach that you could play on a different golf course every day for an entire year. There are more golf courses per square mile in Myrtle Beach than anywhere else in the world. Outlying areas of north and south Charleston feature their own beaches, with popular tourist destinations such as Hilton Head just a short drive south from Charleston’s active adult communities. Other popular outdoor activities include tennis, hiking, and some of the best fishing around. A delightful variety of shopping abounds throughout Charleston. Afterward, enjoy a relaxing evening at one of the many award-winning restaurants in the region. History buffs will find Charleston a veritable paradise, with dozens of museums and cultural institutions exploring South Carolina’s pivotal role in much of American history, including Charleston’s close connection with many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. The annual Spoleto Festival USA, Cooper River Bridge Run, and MOJA Arts Festival will appeal to art and music lovers.

Cost of Living & Taxes

The cost of living in Charleston is 6.8% above average for the United States as a whole. South Carolina levies some of the lowest overall tax burdens of any state in the country, making Charleston among the best tax havens in the United States for retirees. State income tax brackets range from 2.5% to 7%. However, South Carolina allows a retirement income deduction of $10,000 per resident as well as an age deduction of up to $15,000 for residents over 65 years of age, creating an effective 0% tax bracket for low-income seniors. Social security benefits are entirely exempt, as is income earned out of state. Charleston County real estate property is taxed at 4% of appraised value on a primary residence. Taxes are based on an appraised value approximately 75% of the property’s actual value, further discounted by a $20,000 homestead exemption for residents 65 and older.

Health Care

The laid-back Charleston lifestyle is just part of why the quality of life in the area’s active retirement communities is among the best in the United States. As the primary medical center for coastal South Carolina, Charleston has six major research hospitals, affiliated with the largest medical university in South Carolina.

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