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How good is S.C. for retirees … actually?

Staff Report //February 7, 2020//

How good is S.C. for retirees … actually?

Staff Report //February 7, 2020//

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We frequently hear that South Carolina is one of the top states for those seeking refuge from high taxes and equally high snowdrifts.

Indeed, the Palmetto State, with its relatively affordable cost of living — some municipalities more relatively than others — and geographic position between the Northeast and Florida, make it a great place for retirees.

Click to view larger.The Charleston, Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head Island areas rely on retirees to boost the tax base and keep the housing markets jumping. Even if you don’t enjoy golf, you enjoy the benefits of those who do enjoy golf. In a high-end retirement market, tourism helps pay everyone’s bills.

Blacktower Financial Management did an analysis of all 50 states, including five data points: Crime, cost of living, average property prices, life expectancy and percentage of residents 60 and older.

Here’s the quick and dirty: Overall, South Carolina didn’t make the worst or best list for retirement. There were some bright spots and some less bright spots.

If you’re thinking about retiring, you could definitely do worse than South Carolina, but there’s more to consider than just one factor. For example, you’ll not find a better cost of living than in Mississippi, but the state also has the worst life expectancy, of 74.5 years on average. There are always trade-offs.

Overall, South Carolina ranked 39th out of the 50 states. It’s relatively affordable in our small Southern state, but then life expectancy is relatively low and crime is relatively high. Here’s the data, so you can judge for yourself.

Top 5 and bottom 5 states for retirees

Rank State   Rank State
1 Iowa   50 Alaska
2 Minnesota   49 Hawaii
3 Vermont   48 California
4 Wisconsin   47 Maryland
5 Nebraska   46 Louisiana

Source: Blacktower Financial Management

How South Carolina rated

Category S.C.'s rank
% of residents 60 and older 11
Average property prices 17
Cost of living 23
Crime rate 40
Life expectancy 41

Source: Blacktower Financial Management