Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Retire in Surfside Beach, South Carolina?
Overview: Easygoing Surfside Beach, an oceanfront town along South Carolina's Grand Strand, has two miles of white sand beach and was incorporated in 1964. Its nickname is "Family Beach," and, as might be expected, it draws a lot of vacationing families.
Private homes, vacation rentals, beach bars, low rise hotels and a resort or two line the beach, which is often a busy place with 36 access points. The town boasts a number of good restaurants, including the River City Cafe and Crabby Mike's Calabash. Golf clubs in the area include Deer Track and Indian Wells. The South Strand Senior Center offers health screenings as well as activities, and the Surfside Beach civic center sponsors art and dance classes (and its sports complex has baseball and football fields). Residents enjoy an annual BBQ festival, outdoor movies and concerts. Neighborhoods do not have sidewalks but are leafy. Some are a little bedraggled and have ranch ramblers, while others are nicely manicured and have homes on stilts. Surfside Beach Club is a gated, single family home community popular with baby boomers.
Brookgreen Gardens and Huntington Beach State Park are within easy reach. Brookgreen has a zoo and a world-renowned sculpture garden, and Huntington is one of South Carolina's best birding sites. The Atalaya Arts and Crafts fair is also held there. Myrtle Beach's amenities are less than 15 minutes away.
Population: 4,500 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 50%
Cost of Living: 8% above the national average
Median Home Price: $260,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 30s, 40s and 50s. On average, the area receives 54 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Waccamaw Community Hospital in Murrells Inlet, six miles away, accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Waccamaw Community Hospital in Murrells Inlet, six miles away, is accredited.
Public Transit: Yes, but it is limited.
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Very conservative
Cons: This area has been hit by hurricanes at least four times, in 1893, 1954, 2016 and 2017. The first two times caused significant damage, and Hurricane Matthew in 2016 wrecked the town's iconic pier. Authorities are hoping to rebuild it by 2019. Hurricane Irma in 2017 wiped out much of the beach. Hurricane Dorian in 2019 caused some street flooding.
Is South Carolina Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Notes: Surfside Beach enforces rules to keep the beach safe (no drinking, no fireworks, no close-in Jet Skiing and more). Tents, though, are allowed on the beach. The town has grown by 6% within the last two decades or so.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes, although the hurricane threat is real.
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, year 2016 estimate - 4,961,018
Persons 65 years old and over - 16%
High school graduates, percent of persons age 25+ - 85%
Bachelor's degree or higher, pct of persons age 25+ - 25%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, percent - 5%
White persons, not Hispanic, percent - 64%
Median household income - $45,483
Social Security taxed? No
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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