Charleston, South Carolina – Retirement Guide

Charleston, South Carolina   Retirement Guide

Charleston’s charming streets, Southern charms, extraordinary dining scene and colorful history have been stealing the hearts of visitors for years. More recently, retirees have taken notice of this quaint waterfront town, and put Charleston on the map as one of America’s best retirement destinations.

Coined “The Holy City” because of its many church steeples puncturing the skyline, Charleston could hardly be more scenic or interesting. Charleston’s economy is strong; the town is in proximity to multiple universities, including The Citadel, and it’s home to the second largest container seaport on the East Coast. Perhaps it’s that good ol’ Southern charm: locals in Charleston are reputed to be some of the friendliest in America.

Retirement communities in the region are booming; retirees will find there’s no shortage of 55+ housing opportunities in the area, as well as historic homes, apartments and condos. A number of the upscale 55+ communities have are geared toward golfers. Charleston’s median home price is just over $200,000, though real estate prices can skyrocket much higher in some of the more historic neighborhoods.

Pros: Charming, low country waterfront town, exciting foodie scene, friendly locals
Con: Hot and humid summers

At a Glance
Best For: Foodies and history lovers
Population: 122,689
Cost of Living: 4.3% lower than national average
Median Home Cost: $201,748
Unemployment: 6.5%
Top State Income Tax: 7%
Crime Rate: 26% lower than national average

Charleston’s attractions and activities are ample for retirees. Whether exploring the nearby stately Civil War-era plantations, touring the town’s historic downtown mansions, rolling through the genteel town via horse-drawn carriage tour, or relaxing in a waterfront park, or exploring Charleston Harbor by boat.

In recent years, Charleston’s burgeoning dining scene has attracted food lovers from around the globe seeking to indulge in the culinary genius of chefs like Sean Brock, who’s restaurants McCrady’s and Husk have gained international attention — and James Beard Award nominations.

Notably, the crime rate in Charleston is more than 25 percent lower than the national average.

Top Retirement Cities in South Carolina:  Aiken | Beaufort | Bluffton | Charleston | Greenville | Summerville

Photo by iStockphotoAll statistics were up to date as of publication. See these sources for the most current data.