Retire in South Carolina: The Ultimate Guide

South Carolina is a popular retirement destination for many reasons. Retirees favor a mild climate with stunning beaches. The favorable tax benefits are a draw. Finally, retirees may find an affordable cost of living in many South Carolina cities. So, if you're considering retiring in the Palmetto State, this guide will get you started with the information you need to make an informed decision. Read on for details on lifestyle options, taxes, healthcare, and more!

Why South Carolina is a Popular Retirement Destination

South Carolina is a popular retirement destination for so many reasons. Retirees choose this southern U.S. state for its mild climate, with warm, sunny summers and mild winters.  This makes it an ideal place for active retirees and those who want to escape harsh winters.

South Carolina has almost 200 miles of beautiful beaches, including Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island. These Charleston Sea Islands are popular destinations for retirees.

The islands' proximity to historic Charleston makes these Charleston area beach islands the most attractive in the Palmetto State.

Additionally, the cost of living in South Carolina is relatively low compared to other coastal states, making it an affordable place to retire.

Pam Harrington Exclusives is a SC real estate agency with over 45 years of continuous service in the Charleston area. We specialize in customized, personal service. Our experienced real estate agents work with retirees from all over the county. We take the time to sort out the details and find you the best place to spend your best years to come.  Let's get together and discuss the options!

At Pam Harrington Exclusives, we create lasting friendships with our clients.

Our dedication to our clients, staff, and community makes Pam Harrington Exclusives the natural choice for trustworthy, professional service.

Reasons South Carolina is a Great Place to Retire

  • Understanding South Carolina's Favorable Tax Laws for Retirees

Before retiring in South Carolina, it’s important to understand the state’s tax laws for retirees. South Carolina does not tax Social Security benefits. Plus, it offers a retirement income deduction of up to $15,000 for individuals over the age of 65. This is a great advantage to stretch that retirement income as far as possible.

Additionally, the state has a homestead exemption for homeowners over the age of 65, which can provide significant property tax savings. However, South Carolina does have a state income tax, with rates ranging from 0% to 7%, so it’s important to factor this into your retirement budget. Learn more about SC Tax Benefits.


  • Healthcare Options and Resources for Seniors

South Carolina offers a variety of healthcare options and resources for seniors. The state has a number of hospitals and medical centers, including the renowned Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, a nationally recognized academic medical center.

The Medical University of South Carolina is bringing emergency healthcare services to residents of Kiawah Island, Seabrook Island, and Johns Island. The Sea Island Medical Pavilion is a state-of-the-art emergency medical center that will offer specialized care, rehabilitation services, and a comprehensive selection of services, convenient for retirees on the Sea Islands of South Carolina.  

Hospitals for Retiring in SC

As the population grows in our area, so does the need for convenient medical services. We are very excited to share this news from MUSC.

The Sea Islands Medical Pavilion is currently under construction and is slated to open in 2024.  


Additionally, South Carolina has a number of senior centers and programs, such as the South Carolina Department on Aging, which provides a range of services and resources for seniors, including health and wellness programs, transportation assistance, and caregiver support. Medicare is also available to seniors in South Carolina, providing access to a range of healthcare services and resources.


The Best Places to Retire in South Carolina

South Carolina offers a variety of great places to retire, each with its own unique charm and attractions. The most popular retirement destinations include the coastal cities of Charleston and Myrtle Beach; the historic seaside town of Beaufort, and the mountain town of Greenville SC.

Each of these locations offers a range of retirement communities and housing options, from retirement communities to beachfront condos and homes in private, gated communities.  The upstate offers mountain cabins and homes on scenic lakes.

South Carolina retirees have plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, cultural activities, and social events. When considering where to retire in South Carolina, it's important to think about your lifestyle preferences and budget, as well as factors like climate, healthcare access, and proximity to family and friends.

South Carolina Senior Living Communities

When it comes to finding the perfect senior living community, there are many factors to consider. First, cost and the levels of care are paramount. Location and amenities are considerations as well. It can be overwhelming to navigate all the dynamics.

South Carolina is a popular state for retirees. Tax benefits and miles of beach are just two reasons senior retirement communities in South Carolina are increasing.

It is one of the most popular retirement destinations in the southern US. It's easy to see why. Once you decide the beach is the place to be take a look at Charleston, SC. The Holy City offers a mild climate, beautiful beaches, succulent dining, and a rich tapestry of American history and culture.

Charleston South Carolina Senior Living Communities

If you are a senior looking for a vibrant and active South Carolina retirement community, or you are looking for the perfect place for your mom and/or dad we present these Charleston area options for your consideration.

The Overture Daniel Island is a luxury, independent senior living apartment community for 55+ adults. This age-restricted community offers an active lifestyle with sparkling resort swimming pools and a vibrant community atmosphere. Themed parties, holiday celebrations, game nights, cooking demonstrations and so much more await senior residents of this pet-friendly senior living community near Charleston. Tennis enthusiasts and music lovers will love being close to the Credit One Stadium where national touring acts such as Elton John perform! In April the Credit One Tennis Championships brings top professional women players from around the world for a week of unforgettable tennis.

For retirees looking for a South Carolina senior living community in Charleston with a continuum of care options check out The Franke at Seaside community. This nonprofit senior living community in Mt Pleasant SC is quite popular with active retirees looking for a community offering long-term solutions with transition to increasing levels of need. Franke's offers full independent living, assisted living, memory care, and full skilled nursing options for residents. Franke's is located in the heart of Mt. Pleasant SC, surrounded by an abundance of shopping and dining. Medical care is close by. Many younger families choose Mt. Pleasant SC as their home. Thus, this is a great option for aging parents who want to live near their adult children.

If you are looking for senior living communities in downtown Charleston, you may consider the proposed The Peninsula of Charleston. Located on upper King Street, residents will enjoy close proximity to the renowned medical centers of Charleston, world-class shopping, chef-prepared meals, and all the historical treasures of the Holy City. Residents will arrive home to a gorgeous entrance and enjoy secure garage parking. Residences will vary from 700 square feet to 3500 square feet, some offering views of the Ravenel Bridge.

Life Plan Communities Near Charleston

Life plan communities are premier senior living retirement communities. Unlike traditional nursing homes, life plan communities offer older adults resort-like amenities, chef-prepared meals, housekeeping services, and more. Life plan communities often have a one-time lump sum investment and monthly rent or monthly fees. Some offer home equity too.

Located in Mt. Pleasant SC, Somerby is renowned for its service and care. Few communities offer such a complement of services and amenities. Somerby offers a full continuum of residence options including independent living, assisted living, memory care, respite care, and rehab services. Residents may enjoy formal or casual dining, social events, and recreational opportunities in this award-winning community.

In the heart of James Island SC, Bishop Gadsen is a Life Plan Community that sets the standard for all senior living communities. Encompassing over 100 acres this non-profit, senior living village employs over 400 people to provide services and care for 500 residents. Leaving no stone unturned, Bishop Gadsen offers residents an active lifestyle with healthy, nourishing activities, chef-prepared meals in a luxury dining atmosphere, and spiritual services to residents of all faiths. From cottage living to full skilled nursing and memory care, Bishop Gadsen is the most luxurious choice available in Charleston SC.

Life Plan Community at Kiawah and Seabrook Island

As our population ages, more senior living communities are being erected in the Charleston SC area. Residents of Kiawah and Seabrook Island anxiously anticipate the opening of Seafields at Freshfields Village. Carefully curated to meet the needs and expectations of area residents, this 62+ Life Plan Community will be the only senior living community on the islands.

Condominium residences will range from 1 to 3 bedrooms. Seafield's vibrant community will offer expansive amenities and include an auditorium, theater, state-of-the-art fitness center, restaurant-quality dining, and bar area, a full-service yoga studio, library, salon, and card rooms. Outdoor enjoyment includes a large resort-style saltwater pool and miles of walking and bike trails to explore the beauty of the Sea Islands.

Adjacent to Freshfields Village you won't even need a car for grocery shopping, seasonal entertainment, banking, and other services. The new MUSC Sea Islands Medical Pavillion will be housed across from Seafields offering state-of-the-art care and services making Seafields even more desirable.

Seafields at Freshfields Village

Luxury Life Plan communities are the newest option for retirees. Seafields at Kiawah Island is currently under construction.

This high-end luxury community offers an alternative to traditional retirement communities.

Contact Pam Harrington Exclusives for progress updates and living opportunities at Seafields!

With the addition of The Sea Islands Medical Pavilion seniors will be able to live out their dream of life at the beach with healthcare amenities found in the city.

South Carolina is a retirement-friendly state.  In the Lowcountry, the subtropical climate offers retirees a year-round playground to enjoy their golden years. 

If your retirement includes beach, golf, tennis, or a love for Charleston Pam Harrington Exclusives is here to assist you in your journey. Start your search.

Activities and Attractions for Retirees in South Carolina

Retiring in South Carolina offers a wide range of activities and attractions for residents to enjoy. For senior citizens who love the outdoors, there are plenty of outdoor opportunities for hiking, fishing, golfing, and boating. The state also has a rich history, with a plethora of museums, historic sites, and cultural events to explore.

Foodies will appreciate the state's famous cuisine, including seafood, barbecue, and Lowcountry specialties like shrimp and grits. And for those who enjoy the arts, there are numerous theaters, museums, art galleries, and music venues such as the historic Newberry Opera House throughout the state. Whatever your interests, South Carolina has something to offer retirees looking for an active and fulfilling lifestyle.

Time to Find SC Real Estate For Retirement

"Life is a Beach" every day when you retire at the beach in Charleston SC. Bike-friendly Kiawah Island is a popular retirement community in South Carolina.

Use the digital resources on our website to begin your Charleston Beach real estate search. The Pam Harrington Exclusives Real Estate team brings over 45 years of continuous real estate sales experience to buyers and sellers in the Charleston area.

If you are still working but ready to start looking, sign up for listing alerts. This is a great way to view new listings as they come on the market. Then, when you are ready to come to South Carolina and view property for retirement Pam Harrington Exclusives is here to make that a reality.