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How Much Does It Cost to Retire in Charleston, SC?

To retire comfortably, you need to examine all your costs thoroughly. Charleston, SC is such a charming city but how does it stack up to other locations? South Carolina scored high in Kiplinger’s rankings for retirement because retirees don’t pay state income tax on Social Security, and each senior can also deduct an additional $15,000 of earnings starting at age 65. Many seniors do not pay South Carolina income tax. In addition to those savings, homeowners 65 and older are exempt from property tax on the first $50,000, which makes South Carolina pretty desirable to many seniors. How does Charleston compare in costs of living?

There’s no cost like home

Want to skip all the hassle of owning a home and even cooking? Many seniors opt to live in assisted living. According to Genworth Financial, the average monthly cost is $4,035 in the Charleston area. This premium includes housekeeping, food, some utilities, and your housing.

Do you like the thought of having equity in a home? Charleston home values continue to increase, and last year was up 7.8 percent from the previous year; you can expect to pay around $192 a square foot in Charleston but can pay less in outer lying areas. The Charleston Metro area, which includes areas outside of the city, has an average home price of $155 a square foot.

If renting is on your mind, the average apartment rent within the city of Charleston runs about $1,313. Renting a home costs around $1,700.

Count your health care dollars

Medicare spent $149 in Berkeley County, which breaks down to about $8,813 per beneficiary, which is lower than the national average of $9,501 per person.

Health care is difficult to budget. You will need to set aside money to pay for out-of-pocket expenses. To save money, you should choose providers who accept Medicare assignment fees. Otherwise, you have to pay the difference of the Medicare fee and what the provider charges.

Your transportation dollars

While the price of gasoline is now relatively inexpensive, car insurance can come at a steep premium depending on several factors. South Carolina residents typically pay $1,257 for annual premiums, which is cheaper than the national average of $1,510 annually. Premiums can vary greatly depending on driving record, credit score, the amount of coverage, and more. You can lower your premium and save money. First, shop around for the best rate. You should select the same insurance company for your home or renter and auto policies. Bundling together will save you money. There are low mileage discounts available if you don’t drive much.

You can leave driving behind and be a passenger. CARTA Transit System provides reduced rates for seniors over the age of 65.

Have fun and don’t spend some (money)

There is plenty to do in Charleston that won’t cost you a dime. Explore all the shops and browse the historic Old City Market. On the College of Charleston’s beautiful campus, the Avery Research Center for African-American History and Culture is a public museum and gallery that highlights the history of African Americans in South Carolina's Low Country. There are so many places to walk and enjoy scenery like The Battery, The Magnolia Cemetery, and viewing the grand architecture of the magnificent homes in downtown. Here is a list of ideas of free activities that will keep you busy.

Learn more about Charleston Retirement Planning here:

What's the Cost of Living in Charleston, SC?

Charleston Financial Advisors

Charleston Elder Law Attorneys

Charleston Senior Realtors

Charleston Senior Movers and Downsizers

Charleston Neighborhood Guide

Live Like a Local in Charleston

Charleston Demographics and Lifestyle

Find assisted living in Charleston near you.