Columbia is an affordable, lively city located in Central South Carolina. As a capital city, Columbia is brimming with entertainment options, boasting museums that showcase local history, art, and culture. Active adults can also enjoy choosing from a wide selection of shops and restaurants to visit within the city. Columbia features several serene parks and forests, offering residents plenty of space to enjoy outdoor activities at their leisure.
Climate & Geography
The city has a humid subtropical climate, characterized by hot, humid summers and cold to mild winters. Residents can expect more rainfall than the national average, almost no snowfall, and approximately 217 sunny days throughout each year.
Columbia is situated in the Piedmont region of South Carolina, which mostly consists of gently rolling hills and mixed forests in the central part of the state. Lake Murray is located just west of Columbia and the Broad River and Congaree River run through the city.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
Columbia residents that enjoy getting outdoors will find that there are many local parks nearby. The Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park allows for a peaceful stroll or bike ride along the Broad River. Harbison State Forest is a wooded area where active adults can hike along the trails or kayak in Broad River.
Retirees that prefer to stay indoors have plenty of entertainment options as well. Downtown, active adults can catch a show at the Nick, a popular theater within the city, or enjoy picking out fresh produce and handcrafted goods at the Soda City Market every Saturday. Besides that, Columbia offers many museums, such as the South Carolina State Museum, Columbia Museum of Art, and the Mckissick Museum.
Cost of Living & Taxes
The overall cost of living in Columbia is lower than both the state and national averages. The cost of groceries, housing, and transportation in Columbia are all lower than the national average, although health care and utilities are just above.
South Carolina does not tax Social Security benefits, however all other forms of retirement income are subject to taxes. Starting at the age of 55, retirees can take deductions up to $3,000 on retirement income, and this limit increases to $15,000 for residents who are 65+. Property taxes are some of the lowest in the country, and some residents may qualify for a homestead exemption after they turn 65 to help reduce this cost even further. Sales tax, on the other hand, is slightly higher than the national average.
Columbia is home to multiple high performing hospitals, offering retirees convenient access to quality health care. Providence Hospital is rated the No. 6 hospital in South Carolina by U.S. News, and is recognized as high performing in six procedures and conditions. Palmetto Health Richland is also rated high performing in two procedures and conditions.