When it’s time to put away your work shoes for good, there are no better places in the Palmetto State to spend your golden years than these. If you are about to retire, consider relocating to an apartment in Charleston, SC.
South Carolina: land of beaches, lazy days, warm weather, golf, and, of course, the home state of jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie, the epitome of smooth, relaxing music. In short, South Carolina is a retiree’s dream. Obviously, some places in the state are going to be better for retiring than others. Below is a list of the best places to retire in SC:
1. Town of Hilton Head Island
2. Town of Bluffton
3. City of Charleston
4. City of Myrtle Beach
5. Town of Summerville
6. City of Goose Creek
7. City of Beaufort
8. City of Conway
9. City of Hanahan
10. Town of Mount Pleasant
Perhaps it’s no surprise to see Hilton Head Island, Charleston, and Myrtle Beach in our top 10; after all, they are home to some of the most gorgeous beaches in the state. What may surprise you though, is that we didn’t even take beaches into account in our ranking, and they still came in on top. To find out what we did consider in our analysis, keep on reading. We’ll go over the method behind this list and just why each of these 10 places ranked so well.
How We Created This Ranking
We know you’ve worked hard, perhaps for most of your life; so now that it’s coming time to (finally!) retire, we’re taking the work out of it for you. We came up with five measurable criteria to pinpoint precisely which places in South Carolina would be the best for your every retirement need:
Cost of living (high)
Crime rate (low)
Weather (average summer temperature and air quality)
Ease of travel (distance to nearest international airport)
Retiree amenities per capita (healthcare, adult education, dining, shopping, libraries, arts & entertainment)
Once we settled on our criteria, we pulled a list from the U.S. Census of all of the places with populations over 10,000 residents, which gave us a total of 37 places. Using the above criteria, we ranked each of these from a score of 1 to 37, with the lower number being the best. Then, we averaged the rankings into an overall Big Deal Score, where the lower score, in this case Hilton Head Island’s, was the best.
A quick note about our criteria: You may have noticed that we awarded points for a high cost of living. We did this with the idea that, once you are retired, it’s time to treat yourself. An area’s high cost of living is a good way to measure just how luxurious it is.
With just over 120,000 residents, Charleston is easily the largest place in our top 10. It’s packed with things to do for retirees—a variety of adult education options, libraries, arts, shopping at the Charleston City Market, dining at places like Fig, Husk, and many other one-word havens of deliciousness, and more physicians than you could possibly see in a lifetime.
However, because we calculated retiree amenities per capita (rather than total), this wasn’t where Charleston truly shined. Where it really scored points in our analysis was in its high cost of living score of 100, and for its proximity to an international airport. In other words, if you ever run out of things to do in Charleston, you’re just 15 miles from hopping on a plane to Fiji.