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Retire in Beaufort, South Carolina?
Overview: Beautiful Beaufort sits on Port Royal Island, a barrier island along the southern South Carolina coast. Tucked between Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina, it boasts classic Lowcountry charm and a leisurely pace. It also has a small University of South Carolina campus and has been named one of the best small art towns in the country.
The town dates from 1711 and is the second oldest town in the state. With its stately antebellum architecture and romantic setting, it is a popular movie locale, with The Big Chill, Forest Gump and The Prince of Tides having been filmed here. Much of downtown, which includes a pretty waterfront park and some of the original Colonial village, is a National Historic Landmark. Restaurants and art galleries are plentiful, particularly along Bay Street. Residents have lots of festivals to attend, including the Beaufort Shrimp Festival and the Beaufort International Film Festival. Such events also attract tourists, nearly two million of whom come to town and the surrounding area every year.
Neighborhoods have canopy lanes and distinct identities. Higginsville is built around a cemetery and has streets named after abolitionists. Old Point has elegant homes full of Southern character. Several areas are undergoing gentrification.
Population: 14,000 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 31%
Cost of Living: 5% below the national average
Median Home Price: $225,000
Climate: Summer daytime temperatures are in the 80s and 90s. Winter temperatures are in 30s, 40s and 50s. On average, the area receives 48 inches of rain each year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes
Public Transit: Yes
Crime Rate: Above the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
College Educated: 36%
Is South Carolina Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The higher than average crime rate is attributed to the influx of tourists and the proximity of Parris Island, a U.S. Marine training facility, about five miles down the road.
Notes: Beaufort is racially diverse and has grown by 7% during the last decade.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes, although the higher than average crime rate should be considered.
South Carolina is nicknamed the Palmetto State and its motto is "Dum spiro spero," which is Latin for "While I Breath, I Hope." It is 40th in size in the United States and was the eighth state to be admitted to the Union on May 23, 1788. The largest city and state capital is Columbia.
Formerly known as the Province of South Carolina, the area was also one of the 13 colonies that declared its independence during the American Revolution. The state was the first to secede from the Union and was the first and founding state of the Confederate States of America.
South Carolina is in what is considered the Deep South and is bordered by the states Georgia on the south and North Carolina on the north.
The state does not host any major professional sport franchises. However, the Carolina Panthers and the Carolina Hurricanes actually represent both North Carolina and South Carolina.
Population - 4,961,018
Persons 65 years old and over - 16%
High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 85%
Bachelor's degree or higher, age 25+ - 25%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 5%
White persons, not Hispanic - 64%
Median household income - $45,483
Social Security taxed? No
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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