Senior Living
15 Incredible Retirement Communities in South Carolina

15 Incredible Retirement Communities in South Carolina

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retirement communities in South Carolina

What is it like to live in The Palmetto State?

Imagine a climate that’s warm but not sweltering, with mild winters ideal for outdoor adventures like sailing, fishing, and golfing. South Carolina’s diverse landscapes cater to all tastes, whether you crave coastal breezes or mountain valleys.

Add in the warmth of its people, a vibrant culinary scene, and rich historical significance, and you’ve got the recipe for an unforgettable retirement haven.

Let’s look at why South Carolina can be an ideal retirement destination.

What to look for in a retirement community in South Carolina?

Navigating the ideal retirement community can be really daunting, especially with so many senior living options ranging from assisted living to home care and nursing homes. Because, from luxury to affordable options, South Carolina has something for everyone.

While looking for the perfect retirement villages in South Carolina for you, there are certain factors that you need to consider ensuring it caters to your unique requirements and needs.

Here’s a list of essential points that you should look into while narrowing down options:

  1. Location of retirement community (climate, accessibility to recreation and medical centers)
  2. Access to top-notch healthcare facilities
  3. Desirable amenities and services including assistance with daily activities
  4. Established requirements for age eligibility (such as 55+ or other)
  5. Type of senior living
  6. Ratings and reviews
  7. Affordability



Assisted living 

Home care 

Nursing home 

Memory care 

Independent living 















Myrtle Beach 



































** Please note: Nursing home costs in this table are for ‘semi-private’ rooms**

Cost of Living for Retirees

Living in South Carolina can be rewarding in many ways, but the main reward is the state’s affordability.

Palmetto State has one of the lowest costs of living in the U.S.; in fact, it has the 18th lowest cost of living in the U.S., according to data from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.

There are certain financial perks South Carolina has to offer you as a retiree there. Some are mentioned as follows:

  1. Lowest property tax rates in the U.S. (0.52 percent). About half the national average!
  2. A property tax deduction of $50,000 from their home’s taxable value for homeowners ages 65 and over.
  3. Social Security benefits are not taxed at all.
  4. Residents aged 65 and older can deduct up to $15,000 in retirement income (like 401k, pensions) from their state income tax.
  5. Those who are 60 and up can take classes at state colleges and universities that are completely tuition-free.

For more financial insights while retirement planning, browse through our blog articles here.

10 Best retirement communities in South Carolina

While South Carolina is not a traditional retirement state, it still has its fair share of retirement communities and senior living options.

Each retirement community in South Carolina offers its own unique features paired with an array of amenities and perks to cater to older adults with different lifestyles and preferences.

Here are the top 10 recommended South Carolina retirement community that are located all across the state and are worth considering:

  1. Atria Forest Lake – Columbia
  2. Village At Summerville – Summerville
  3. Brookdale West Ashley – Charleston
  4. Terrabella Spartanburg – Spartanburg
  5. Brookdale Brushy Creek – Greer
  6. Rosewood Assisted Living – Pauline
  7. Somerby Mount Pleasant – Mount Pleasant
  8. The Place at Shadow Oaks – Aiken
  9. Harmony At Five Forks – Simpsonville
  10. Oaks at Beaufort – Beaufort

5 Lakefront retirement communities in South Carolina

For those who dream of coastal living, South Carolina has some amazing places that offer senior living that are on/beside a lake. These are the perfect places to enjoy water activities such as fishing, waterskiing, swimming, camping, or you can just take a stroll by the lake.

Here are 5 top rated and most reviewed retirement communities in South Carolina that are lakefront:

  1. Del Webb at Grande Dunes – Myrtle Beach
  2. Sun City Hilton Head by Del Webb – Bluffton
  3. The Village at Southlake – Lexington
  4. Oceanside Village – Surfside Beach
  5. The Lakes at Litchfield – Pawleys Island

Can you expect an active lifestyle here?


South Carolina has been a haven for seniors, especially veterans. It has the beach, boating, sailing, golf, and all the things that people like to do when they retire. In short, life in South Carolina can be described as Slow and Wonderful!

The temperate climate and long coastline, with lots of islands, give seniors ample opportunity to enjoy a range of outdoor recreational activities like sailing, kayaking, fishing or you can just hang out on the beach and soak in the sun.

Then comes golf, for which the Palmetto State is world-famous. With over 90 courses throughout the state, Myrtle Beach’s Grand Strand is known as the World’s Golf Capital.

But southern hospitality is the real deal here which is out in full force within senior living communities in South Carolina!

Somethings to know about South Carolina

When you hear warm temperatures, white sand beaches, nature parks, festivals, and golf capital – you would instantly know they are talking about South Carolina! These are the things that usually draw people to visit this beautiful state.

For history buffs, South Carolina is a treasure trove, from Revolutionary War sites to the antebellum charms of Charleston.

But it’s the famed Southern hospitality, rich culture, flavorful cuisine, and laid-back living that inspire them to live here.

Top hospitals

South Carolina offers a variety of healthcare services and resources at their medical centers for seniors. The U.S. News & World Report placed South Carolina 35th in Medicare quality, which measures the effectiveness and availability of Medicare Advantage plans.

Name of Hospitals 


MUSC Health-University Medical Center 


Roper Hospital 


Grand Strand Medical Center 

Myrtle Beach 

Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Hospital 


Aiken Regional Medical Centers 


Prisma Health Richland Hospital 


East Cooper Medical Center 

Mount Pleasant 

Lexington Medical Center 

West Columbia 

Top sightseeing locations

From the historic seaside town of Beaufort to the coastal towns of Charleston and Myrtle Beach, the mountain town of Greenville, South Carolina, has a variety of great places for you to visit while you are enjoying your golden years there.

Some of the top places to visit in South Carolina and their distances from the major cities are mentioned for your convenience. Have a look:

Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach

  • From Columbia: 2 hr 49 min
  • From Charleston: 2 hr 5 min
  • From Greenville: 4 hr 8 min
  • From Myrtle Beach: 6 min
  • From Beaufort: 3 hr 31 min

Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum

  • From Columbia: 1 hr 50 min
  • From Charleston: 10 min
  • From Greenville: 3 hr 9 min
  • From Myrtle Beach: 2 hr 10 min
  • From Beaufort: 1 hr 33 min

Broadway at the Beach

  • From Columbia: 2 hr 47 min
  • From Charleston: 2 hr 3 min
  • From Greenville: 4 hr 4 min
  • From Myrtle Beach: 4 min
  • From Beaufort: 3 hr 27 min

Fort Sumter National Monument

  • From Columbia: 1 hr 49 min
  • From Charleston: 4 min
  • From Greenville: 3 hr 7 min
  • From Myrtle Beach: 2 hr 10 min
  • From Beaufort: 1 hr 32 min

Congaree National Park

  • From Columbia: 29 min
  • From Charleston: 1 hr 49 min
  • From Greenville: 1 hr 53 min
  • From Myrtle Beach: 2 hr 45 min
  • From Beaufort: 2 hr 12 min

Final thoughts

Retiring in South Carolina offers a cocktail of perks. Tax-wise, it’s a jackpot. Add to that rock-bottom property taxes and the homestead exemption. Plus, living costs are 11% below the national average, saving bucks on essentials.

But it’s not just about finances only. Picture postcard-worthy natural beauty makes every day feel like a vacation, especially with mild winters, and embrace a life that reflects a beneficial retirement.

You may also explore the neighboring states of South Carolina and their top retirement communities for better comparison.


Which Carolina is best for retirement?

In the retirement destination showdown, South Carolina wins. With its lower taxes, lower cost of living, affordable housing options, and abundant cultural and recreational offerings, South Carolina becomes an unbeatable choice for seniors to retire.

Where in South Carolina is the best place to retire?

My top picks for places to retire in South Carolina are the following cities:

  • Beaufort.
  • Charleston.
  • Greenville.
  • Columbia.
  • Spartanburg.

Is Columbia, South Carolina, a good place to retire to?

Columbia may appeal to you if you are more interested in a full-on city. The state’s capital is generally affordable and offers activities and lifestyles more on par with a major city than a small community.

Why do retirees move to South Carolina?

The following factors are desirable to retirees who want to move to South Carolina:

  • A lower cost of living
  • Tax benefits
  • A steady climate
  • Unlimited access to outdoor activities

Is Spartanburg, South Carolina, a good place to retire to?

Spartanburg offers affordable living and plenty of nature activities and attractions, making it a potentially tranquil place to retire outside a beach setting.

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