best places to retire in South Carolina

The 10 Best Places to Retire In South Carolina

South Carolina is one of the most popular places to retire in the United States, and it’s not hard to see why. It gives retirees the best of all possible worlds.

You can expect low taxes, affordable living, outdoor opportunities, a rich history and culture, mild winters, and a pristine Atlantic coastline. 

To show you what the Palmetto State offers retirees, we’ve compiled a list of the best places to retire in South Carolina. We’ll show you what makes each location desirable and why you should consider making the move.


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The 10 Best Places to Retire in South Carolina

1. Summerville

We’ll kick our list off with Summerville, also referred to as the “Flower Town in the Pines.” This scenic town is best known for its vibrant atmosphere, lush parks, wonderfully preserved gardens, and vintage houses.

Large parts of the town date back to the 1800s, helping Summerville combine modern comforts with old-school charm. Summerville is a great place to retire if you’re looking for somewhere quieter and a more comprehensive range of retirement options. 

However, you’ll still only be a 30-minute drive from the coast and cities like Charleston so you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

2. Gaffney

Gaffney in upstate South Carolina is jam-packed with Southern charm while still only being under an hour’s drive away from all the major cities, such as Charlotte and Greenville. When you’re not out exploring one of the surrounding national parks, you’ll find yourself enjoying the city. 

Home to the Gaffney Little Theater, there’s always something going on in the city, whether a play, musical, or theatrical event. 

Another great thing about Gaffney is the wide range of living options retirees can choose from. Offering every amenity you can imagine, Gaffney is home to private communities, assisted living communities, independent living communities, and more.

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

3. Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach could be perfect if you dream of retiring to the coast but don’t have serious wealth behind you. It is a stunning South Carolina coastal city and a popular retirement and tourist destination.

However, despite that, property values in the area sit right in the middle of the road, which is relatively unusual for a major city on the coast. To top things off, property taxes are lower than in other cities, and there are countless living options. Myrtle Beach is famous for its busy shopping scene, seafood restaurants, and white-sand beaches, so it’s fair to say you’ll enjoy your retirement.

Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

4. Conway

You can also enjoy everything Myrtle Beach offers without living amongst the crowds of tourists. You can do that by living in Conway, minutes away from Myrtle Beach’s most popular attractions.

Conway allows retirees to enjoy the coast in a quaint town packed with local history. The city has multiple museums, a history farm, watersports facilities, and a charming marina.

One thing retirees love here is the tight-knit community because Conway is only home to 23,000 people. It is also worth noting that the cost of living in Conway is lower than the national average.

5. Hilton Head Island

If you want to make the most of your retirement, consider retiring to Hilton Head Island, where you’ll find world-class golf courses, white sand beaches, and a vast range of recreation activities.

Admittedly, Hilton Head is quite pricey, but it makes up for that with its staggering range of things to do. There are golf courses, art galleries, art classes, museums, tours, hiking trails, music venues, and more.

As this resort town has a large population of adults over the age of 60, there are plenty of retirement options to choose from. This includes several communities, single living, condos, and family homes. 

We should also mention that public transport is free.

Hilton Head Island
Hilton Head Island
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

6. Newberry 

Next is Newberry, a lovely rural suburb of Colombia, South Carolina’s capital. This peaceful community, surrounded by lush scenery, allows retirees to live in tranquility. 

You can relax, reconnect with nature, and become part of an ever-growing retiree community. Active retirees will enjoy Lynch’s Woods Park, while those looking to indulge themselves will quickly find the local winery.

Other things to like about Newberry include easy access to amenities, affordable living, a low crime rate, and two hospitals.

7. Seneca

If you love all things nature and want to spend your golden years surrounded by mountains and lakes, Seneca is the place for you. This small town will provide plenty of opportunities to stay fit and healthy. 

Typical recreation activities include hiking, kayaking, and boating. There are also attractions like museums and galleries. Seniors make up more than 20% of the population of Seneca, too, so you’ll be in good company.

In terms of health care, Seneca is well-equipped with facilities that offer reliable and effective long-term care.

8. Charleston

Charleston is arguably one of the best and most beautiful places to retire in the United States, not just South Carolina. As the largest and oldest city in the Palmetto State, it is full of history and culture, which is easily seen across the metro area in historic buildings and colorful streets.

Conde Nast Traveler ranks Charleston as the best small city in the United States, and it is also considered the friendliest, which makes it a lovely place to live. 

Making things even better, the city has more activities aimed at older adults, a wide range of living options, lower costs, safer environments, and good health care.

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

9. Isle of Palms

Have you ever considered retiring to a sunny place with warm winters and palm tree-lined beaches? If you have, one of your first choices should be Isle of Palms, which offers all the above.

Isle of Palms has many amazing things to do, affordable and luxury living options, plenty of amenities, and a gorgeous city center.

A 20-minute drive from Charleston, Isle of Palms is home to just over 4,000 people, so you can expect a quiet and relaxed retirement where everyone knows everyone else. You’ll find several retirement communities in the city, rentals, condos, and luxury villas by the sea.

10. Columbia 

Columbia’s most significant advantage over other towns and cities in South Carolina is that home values are much lower, making it a more affordable place for retirees. You can buy your forever home relatively quickly.

Columbia is also home to three big hospitals offering ample health care, essential to many retirees. The city is generally very affordable, which is also a nice touch.

Regarding things to do, the city has the second-most bingo halls and flea markets in South Carolina, a zoo, several museums, and an array of parks.

What’s not to like?

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

The Bottom Line About Retiring to South Carolina

In this post, we’ve shown you the best places to retire in South Carolina!

The Palmetto State has something for every retiree, no matter what you seek. 

If you like the idea of retiring to South Carolina, why don’t you start to decide where you might want to live?

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Jack Bolton is a content writer and blogger from the UK. He has a strong passion for travel and has an endless bucket list that he’s making his way through!

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