Charleston, SC: One of the Best Places to Retire in the U.S.

Posted by Lee and Katherine Keadle on Tuesday, March 12th, 2013 at 3:16pm.

retiring in charleston sc

Charleston, SC is one of the country’s best places to retire for a multitude of reasons. The taxes are some the lowest in the nation, the weather is gorgeous year round, the city is full of history, the restaurants are amazing, and there are more than enough activities to keep up an active retired lifestyle. AARP has named Charleston as one of the top places to retire in the country. Also, Forbes magazine has written that Charleston has the lowest tax bite of all, a general low cost of living, and plenty of physicians. Other recent rankings for Charleston include Most Mannerly City, Most Livable Cities, America’s Friendliest Cities, and Best Shopping Districts.

The population of Charleston is about $120,000, and the median home price is $199,300. Most of Charleston’s real estate is starting to see healthy increases in pricing (which is a good trend to keep in mind for buyers if retirement is still several years away).

Activities abound throughout the Charleston area. Incredible restaurants and shops of all kinds fill downtown and spill over into the Mount Pleasant, James Island, and West Ashley suburbs. The College of Charleston offers courses to retirees along with field trips, lunches, and weekly study groups. Festivals take place all over Charleston every week. One of the most popular festivals is Spoleto, which celebrates the arts and usually takes place in May.

In Mount Pleasant, you’ll find no shortage of golf courses waiting for your tee time to be set. There is Dunes West Golf Club, Rivertowne Country Club, Patriot’s Point, and Charleston National Golf Club. Almost all of the neighborhoods have amenities such as golf, pools, tennis courts, play parks, and walking trails. There are two very nice hospitals in Mt. Pleasant: East Cooper Medical Center and Mt. Pleasant Roper Hospital. Real estate in Mt. Pleasant is mostly newer construction in the $220K plus range.

James Island is just a hop, skip, and a jump to Folly Beach. James Island is known for being relaxed and providing a smaller town feel. MUSC (the Medical University of South Carolina) and Roper Hospital are located downtown just across the Ashley River Bridge from James Island (a 5 to 10 minute drive from most of the homes on James Island. The island offers the Lowcountry Senior Center, which has many classes and events to take part in. The Lowcountry Senior Center and the James Island County Park combine efforts to put on a spectacular light show each winter. Volunteers as well as locals take pride in the Festival of Lights, which is a 3 mile light display and attracts people from all over South Carolina.

West Ashley has a proposed Senior Center in the works, and hopefully it will be available to seniors soon. West Ashley offers many beautiful homes – new construction as well as houses built in the 1950’s to 1970’s that are in lovely established neighborhoods. There are also townhomes and condos that take little to no maintenance, which is ideal if you’re wanting to buy a home now and use it for vacations until you’re ready to retire. West Ashley is also home to Charles Towne Landing, a gorgeous preserve that is open for the public to explore. Also in West Ashley are three of the main plantations in Charleston: Magnolia Plantation, Middleton Plantation, and Drayton Hall. They are open to the public for a small fee, and they host a number of events throughout the year. Homes for sale in West Ashley are some of the most affordable you’ll find in Charleston County.

The Charleston metro area had the seventh largest climb in the number of residents less than 45 years old. They now make up 35% of Charleston’s population. We’ve worked with many current retirees as well as clients who have taken advantage of the good prices and rates right now to secure a home for retirement in the coming years. We often hear that these buyers chose Charleston because it’s not solely a retirement destination. Instead, Charleston offers a wonderful mix of young adults, families, retirees, college students, and singles of all ages. Charleston may well be one of the best places to stay feeling young and vibrant with its allure of entertainment, mild weather, low costs, entertainment, cultural offerings, good healthcare, history, and scenic beauty.

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