Retiring in Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina, has long been attractive to retirees for a number of reasons. Not only are the surroundings gorgeous, but the city is known for its welcoming hospitality and cultural attractions. South Carolina is also financially appealing for the low cost of living and tax breaks available to seniors. Let’s break down the reasons why retiring in Charleston, South Carolina could make sense for you:

Beautiful Beaches

Charleston is known for its beautiful, natural beaches. In fact, it’s home to six of them! If you’ve dreamed of living by the seaside in your golden years, Charleston is a perfect option for you. 

Two of the most popular include Folly Beach and Kiawah Island Beach. Folly is known as being welcoming to both families and vacationers. It has a beautiful pier that you can walk down to catch views of the water from every angle. Surfers also love the beach for its great waves! 

Kiawah Island Beach is a 10-mile strip of pristine, natural shoreline just 45 minutes from the downtown area. The beach has a preserved marshland where you can observe some of the animals that call Kiawah home — including loggerhead sea turtles and bottlenose dolphins.

Low Cost of Living and Mortgage Advantages

South Carolina has a relatively low cost of living compared with other states. It’s approximately 4% higher than the median average across the U.S., but certain spending categories such as health care and local spending are lower than the mean. 

This low cost makes it great for those seeking to maintain their incomes while paying off any debts.

Housing costs are comparable with the national average, with rents averaging approximately $1,200 per month. The cost to purchase property varies around the region, but you may expect prices around $550,000. 

However, obtaining a mortgage for a new property will also grant significant tax breaks, such as those for mortgage interest and insurance premiums.

Many Activities to Choose from

Charleston boasts a wealth of activities for retirees to choose from. For those interested in walking, there are lovely neighborhoods along The Battery, a row of classically-designed mansions in the Southern style that overlook the Charleston Harbor. 

If you enjoy golf, there are a number of award-winning courses with beautiful green surroundings for a variety of skill levels. Since the weather is generally pleasant year-round, it’s as possible to hit the links in January as in mid-June. 

Charleston is also known for its food and drink options. In addition to the appetizing Southern fare, there are lots of seafood restaurants serving dishes brought straight in from the ocean. A number of bars allow you to sip a cocktail or glass of wine while watching the sun set against the backdrop of the water.

If you’re more of a shopper, you won’t be without options — Charleston is host to boutiques, large malls, and an outlet center full of designer brands. You can easily spend the day walking through clothing, jewelry, and electronic stores, searching for items that meet your needs.

Great Weather

Charleston is known for its warm and mild climate. Rarely do temperatures dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The coldest months of the year are December through February, but you can expect average highs of 60 degrees in all three months. Summers are warm and sunny, with highs in the low 90s. 

The warmer months also bring some summer rain, which helps to mollify the heat and keeps the landscape green. This mild climate is perfect for those who enjoy gardening. It’s quite easy to set up a lovely garden in your yard and grow fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs throughout the year.

Tax Breaks for Seniors

South Carolina does not tax Social Security benefits for seniors, which is a huge benefit for those who count on their checks to support their retirement. The state also allows a Homestead Tax Exemption for those aged 65 and older. 

The Homestead Tax Exemption benefit grants an exception on property tax for the first $50,000 of fair market value on a primary residence. If you are still earning additional income outside of retirement benefits, the initial $15,000 of your earnings are exempt from state tax.

Thriving Retirement Community

As you can imagine, many retirees choose to settle in Charleston. There are a wide variety of advantages to living in the area, including a flourishing community for those eager to make new friends.

A number of 55 and older groups have been established to experience activities in the area. If you’d prefer to live in an assisted living or full retirement community, there are a number of appealing options available to suit every need.

Selecting a Retirement Planning Financial Specialist

While some people may choose to work with financial advisors on a national level, having one that lives in your neighborhood can be very helpful. 

A Charleston financial advisor can assist you with monitoring your investments and retirement income. They’ll want to ensure you continue to experience the quality of life you deserve after a lifetime of hard work. 

Local financial advisors are dedicated to meeting the needs of local retirees. They are selective in choosing their clients and want to make sure they take the appropriate amount of time to understand you, your finances and debts, and what your financial goals are for the future. Having someone who is just a short drive away can make a huge difference. Local financial planners live in the same neighborhood, go to the same places, and support the same local causes that you do. So, if you are thinking about retiring in Charleston, SC, make sure to reach out to a local retirement planning expert.