The 10 Best Places To Retire In South Carolina For 2021


We analyzed over 32 places in South Carolina to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best places to retire in South Carolina.

Want to know where the best places are to retire along The Grand Strand? You've come to the right place.

South Carolina is best known as The Palmetto State to many, but to America's 65 and older crowd, it's known as one of the best places to retire in the country. And today is your lucky day, HomeSnacks has created a list of the top ten best places to retire in this southern charm for 2021 and listed them below.

But first, a little bit about how we created this list. First, we looked at the most recent FBI and Census data for 35 South Carolina cities with 10,000 residents. We then looked at factors that most retirees find important: safety, affordability, rent, and how close the city is to an international airport.

Listen up ladies and gents, South Carolina might not be one of the top ten safest states, but it does have some super safe places. In terms of affordability, it is one of the most tax friendly states. It currently does not tax Social Security benefits and has very generous breaks for retirement income. And if South Carolina's property tax wasn't such a hot deal, we would tell you to rent first and buy later: the state's current rental rates are below the national average.

So, head to the nearest Waffle House for their bottomless cup of coffee, get comfy, and read on as we uncover the best places to spend your golden years in South Carolina.

The 10 Best Places To Retire In South Carolina For 2021

  1. Newberry
  2. Beaufort
  3. Moncks Corner
  4. Conway
  5. Myrtle Beach
  6. Gaffney
  7. Aiken
  8. Charleston
  9. Easley
  10. Mount Pleasant

Why did Newberry take the top spot? And where are Charleston and Columbia?

You would think that most of South Carolina's best places to retire would be centered around Myrtle Beach and Charleston, but that is not the case. The best places to retire are actually sprinkled throughout the state from Summerville to Greenville. Unfortunately, however, there can be only one number on best place to retire in sweet South Carolina.

So, where is the best place to retire in South Carolina? According to the latest numbers Newberry is the best place to retire in The Palmetto State.

To see a list of the other great places that made the top ten, hit that down arrow. And if you don't find what you're looking for there, the rest are just a click away.

For more South Carolina state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In South Carolina For 2021

Newberry, SC

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 10,245
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
Median Rent: $787
Distance to Closest Airport: 74 miles
More on Newberry: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Beaufort, SC

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 13,404
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 8)
Median Rent: $940
Distance to Closest Airport: 36 miles
More on Beaufort: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 10,743
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Rent: $915
Distance to Closest Airport: 20 miles
More on Moncks Corner: Real Estate | Data

Conway, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 23,838
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $825
Distance to Closest Airport: 13 miles
More on Conway: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Myrtle Beach, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 32,700
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Rent: $913
Distance to Closest Airport: 3 miles
More on Myrtle Beach: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Gaffney, SC

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 12,582
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $689
Distance to Closest Airport: 41 miles
More on Gaffney: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Aiken, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 30,671
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 6)
Median Rent: $951
Distance to Closest Airport: 101 miles
More on Aiken: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Charleston, SC

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 135,257
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $1,257
Distance to Closest Airport: 7 miles
More on Charleston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Easley, SC

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 20,923
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Median Rent: $762
Distance to Closest Airport: 96 miles
More on Easley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Mount Pleasant, SC

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 86,982
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $1,629
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
More on Mount Pleasant: Real Estate | Data | Photos

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Palmetto State for 2021

To create our list of the best places in South Carolina to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Palmetto State -- 394 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 10,000 people that weren't townships. This left us with 35 places from across the state.

For these 35, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI's Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • Low cost of living as measured by rent
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport
  • Other retirees (High median age)

We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 35, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Newberry, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers. You can download the data here.

Maybe You're Not Ready To Retire In South Carolina Yet...

So there you have it, the best place to retire in South Carolina goes to Newberry.

If you're not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:

  1. Cayce
  2. Port Royal
  3. Greer

For more South Carolina reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In South Carolina?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Newberry 10,245 $787
2 Beaufort 13,404 $940
3 Moncks Corner 10,743 $915
4 Conway 23,838 $825
5 Myrtle Beach 32,700 $913
6 Gaffney 12,582 $689
7 Aiken 30,671 $951
8 Charleston 135,257 $1,257
9 Easley 20,923 $762
10 Mount Pleasant 86,982 $1,629

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About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.