Though the state of South Carolina may be relatively small in size, places to live for residents over 55 are abundant. Whether the destination of choice is by the ocean or in the mountains, South Carolina offers both. You can also choose between big city living or small town charm. Communities that have been specifically created for the over-55 population are also viable options.
South Carolina's Grand Strand, which includes the famed Myrtle Beach area, is a rapidly-growing destination for over-55 residents. Flush with golf courses, restaurants and affordable housing, the baby boomer demographic is on the rise. For those who prefer a less commercial environment, sleepier communities such as Murrells Inlet, Pawley's Island and Georgetown offer seaside living at a slower pace.
CNN Money touts Beaufort as number 18 on their list of Top 25 Places to Retire. With median home prices under $200,000, Beaufort offers beauty and affordability for those over 55. Antebellum mansions and giant oaks create a majestic setting for those choosing to call Beaufort home. Seniors who want to enjoy lifelong learning can take advantage of mini-classes offered by the University of South Carolina's satellite campus.
The upstate of South Carolina lies at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Several golf communities in this area bill themselves as having an active 55+ lifestyle, including Cherokee Valley and The Cliffs at Mountain Park. The area is surrounded by state parks, waterfalls and rivers that offer hiking, kayaking and fresh-water fishing. You can also find 55+ communities on the lakes in Oconee County. Lake Keowee by Crescent Communities boasts amenities such as boating, bass fishing and picnicking all with a mountainous backdrop.
South Carolina has several medium-sized cities that are amenable to the over-55 demographic. Greenville and Spartanburg, located in the upstate, offer thriving communities along with healthy job opportunities for those who continue to work. Greenville is rich in street festivals and a bustling downtown night life. Charleston, rich in history, is a seaport city filled with old world charm. Del Webb Charleston, in nearby Summerville, is a 55+ planned community with over a thousand home sites in a wide range of prices.
Retired military personnel often choose to live near a military base to have access to services. South Carolina offers several living options for former members of the armed forces. Fort Jackson, located in the state capitol of Columbia, is an active army base. Retired air force personnel will find Shaw Air Force Base just outside Columbia in the city of Sumter, in addition to Charleston's air force base.