Retiring To One Of The World’s Best Cities: Why Charleston Is The Place To Age

Domestic travel in the U.S. increased by almost 2% in 2017, and many of those people chose to visit 2016’s “World’s Best City.” In 2016, Charleston earned the number one spot in Travel + Leisure Magazine’s “World’s Best Cities” list. Though that was the year it took top prize worldwide, it has been declared the number one city in the U.S. for the past six years. Considering the vibrant downtown, centuries of history, and year-round balmy beach weather, we kind of get why. Throw in low property taxes and untaxed Social Security retirement benefits, and you’ve got the perfect place to spend your golden years. Although 63% of Americans plan to work after retirement age, they can still enjoy themselves in this great city.

Charleston Police Chief Steve Cooper sure seems to agree. After 24 years on the force, he is retiring.

“I would like to thank the citizens of Charleston for their support and for allowing me to serve them for as long as I did. I will miss it,” Cooper said. “I am looking forward to a new start and a new chapter in life.”

A Paradise Awaits

Although Cooper spent his life as well as his retirement in Charleston, older people from across the nation are seeing the bounty that the historic city has to offer. Chucktown has preserved a good amount of its 300 years of its history: from the numerous sprawling estates and plantations to the Old City Jail, taking a walk through time is as simple as stepping outside your door. You can tour famous forts (like Fort Sumter) and Civil War-era buildings, or wander along the Battery — a historic landmark defensive seawall and promenade — while taking in views of bright and beautiful mansions. Since the temperature rarely dips below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, you won’t need to worry about bundling up.

The city played a vital role in history, but it is still culturally relevant today. There are many art galleries and antique shops for the discerning art lover and antique collector, food and dining experiences for tastes of all kind, live theater and dance, and year-round festivals and special events. From the sophisticated to the simple, you’re never wanting for something to do in Charleston.

Show Me The Money

Though it is often the case that idyllic locations come with expensive price tags, retirement in Charleston is extremely affordable. South Carolina as a state does not tax Social Security retirement benefits and has a $15,000 deduction for seniors receiving any other type of retirement income, including that from a retirement account. It also happens to have one of the lowest property tax rates in the entire country at 0.57%; altogether, it is possible to live in the Palmetto State on Social Security retirement benefits alone.

Considering the fact that the number of people over the age of 60 is expected to double by 2050, it is imperative that a plan is in place to ensure a comfortable and reliable retirement. Charleston offers that and more — you’ll never be bored, will always feel stimulated, and won’t have to worry about breaking the bank to get settled. In fact, the only real problem lies in the preservation of your own family’s historical documents: they need to be stored in a cool, dry place with low humidity (below 65%) to prevent mold growth and insect activity, and South Carolina — being subtropical — experiences high heat and humidity. When you compare that single inconvenience to the affordable and borderline luxurious lifestyle that Charleston offers, the decision continues to be a no-brainer.

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