South Carolina didn't make Forbes' list of best places to retire in 2018 for no good reason. The Palmetto state is perfect for seniors. It's got gorgeous beaches, tons to do, and the perfect climate-not to mention, the cost of living in South Carolina is lower than the national average.

When it comes to nailing down the exact locale for your retirement, though, where do you start? What are the best places to retire in South Carolina?

Read on to learn everything you need to know so you can start planning your dream retirement in the most charming state in the U.S. today! 

best places to retire in south carolina

Best Places to Retire in South Carolina

If the idea of sipping a mint julep on a rocking chair on a wraparound front porch underneath some Spanish moss has you charmed, you're in the right place. A retirement in South Carolina seems like it's in your future. Different locales offer different things, though.

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach is easily one of the most popular locations for retirement-it's one of the most beautiful beaches in South Carolina. There's top-notch dining, like the fresh Gulf Stream Cafe and inventive Fire and Smoke. There's also tons to do when the family comes to visit for the holidays, including a Christmas regatta.

Myrtle Beach hosts more than your typical boardwalk, too. The Myrtle Beach boardwalk features a Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, a movie theater, an aquarium, and tons of restaurants. Don't forget the Ferris wheel!

Myrtle Beach has something to offer retirees of every style-and of every budget. There are usually retirement condos for sale in almost every price range, so it's the perfect place to start looking for your future home.

Myrtle Beach Retirement 


For those who like a slower pace with access to the amenities of a bigger city, Conway is perfect. It's just a stone's throw to Myrtle Beach, so you'll still be able to head over there to use the golf courses, big beaches, and go shopping. You'll enjoy a lower cost of living in Conway than Myrtle Beach, too.

Conway itself is cute and quaint. The downtown area features bistros and guest shops, thanks in part to the city's Main Street revitalization project. The city also has a great RiverWalk, along which resides a few great restaurants you can check out on the weekend.

If you want a quiet retirement full of tons of days on the green and weekends out at your favorite local haunt, Conway just might be for you

Pawleys Island

Pawleys Island, an island just off the coast of South Carolina near Charleston, is steeped in history. In the 1700s, the first European settlers first arrived there seeking refuge from mosquitos on the mainland. They worked the rice plantations there, and the mosquitos carried a terrible disease: malaria. 

Today, Pawleys Island reflects its history as a getaway. Houses look like retreats more than anything. Most are on stilts, and they're covered in windows, allowing light to completely drench the inside. 

That morning light streaming in through your windows, with nothing obstructing it, will embody serenity as you relax over a bowl of oats!

When it comes to the logistics, Pawleys Island has multiple neighborhoods to choose from. It also has low property taxes, like the rest of South Carolina, and provides a large retirement income tax deduction.


Charleston is not only one of the best places to retire in South Carolina, but it's one of the best places to live in the south! 

If you're retiring early and looking for a city with more to do than playing golf and eating out on the weekends, Charleston's your city. Its economy is thriving, which makes it a great space for young entrepreneurs to take risks on new businesses.

As a consumer, that means more fun for you. Think about innovative new restaurants and fun new tech startups.

Tourism is also huge in Charleston, so it's incredibly clean all the time. There are lots of city-sponsored events all the time, including tons of things around the holidays! 


If you're looking for a happy medium between Charleston and something more low-key, Greenville might be for you. It has tons of historical sites, lots of which have been turned into wineries and breweries for casual outings. Since Greenville has such a wealth of historical buildings, you won't have a hard time finding an old Victorian if you're looking to retire in a cool old home! 

Greenville has an up and coming culinary scene, too, which is great for retirees interested in gastronomy. It also offers a more rugged terrain than Charleston for those who like to get into nature for some light hiking every now and then.  

Hilton Head

Like Pawleys Island, Hilton Head has a rich history: it's actually South Carolina's namesake. 

When the English first arrived here in the 17th century, they named Hilton Head "Carolina." It wasn't until Captain William Hilton's exploration of the island a few years later that the island was renamed after him, and the name Carolina moved to the mainland.

Today, Hilton Head is home to some of the most luxurious retirement communities in South Carolina. It's one of the best places to live in South Carolina for retirement and otherwise. Think beautiful kitchens, luxe bathrooms, pristine golf courses, and private beaches.

The island is home to a whopping 22 golf courses, with almost 30 more just a stone's throw away. The weather is perfect, and it's only 20 minutes from the airport when the family comes to visit! 

Retire to the beach

Your Retirement in South Carolina

There's a lot to love about South Carolina, not the least of which is the temperate climate, the gorgeous beaches, and the great dining.

These are just a few of the things that make living in South Carolina so great. And know that you know a few of the best places to retire in South Carolina, you're ready to start your condo search! 

Need help? We've got you. Get in touch to talk about your South Carolina retirement today!