South Carolina, also known as The Palmetto State for the sabal palmetto, is a state rich in history. Whether the interests are historical, cultural or educational the state offers something for everyone. Due to these varied options, retirees have access to some of the best retirement places in South Carolina.

There are several geographic regions in South Carolina. The Blue Ridge Mountain Region contains Sassafras Mountain, the highest point in the state. The Sandhills Region contains the state’s largest city and capital, Columbia. The Coastal Zone includes Charleston and numerous beaches: Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, Folly Beach and Kiawah Island to name a few.

Although the state is not home to any professional sports teams, it does have many other attractions of interest. The Angel Oak in John’s Island is thought to be over 500 years old. In Charleston, the annual Spoleto Festival is a long-standing arts festival not to be missed. The state is home to countless golf courses and Huntington Beach State Park is known as a bird watching destination.

When searching for the best retirement places in South Carolina food lovers will not be disappointed. The state is known for many delicious options including barbeque, shrimp and grits, oyster roasts, collard greens and frogmore stew. Sweet tea is a favorite beverage. In fact, Summerville has a Sweet Tea Trail where visitors can learn about sweet tea as well as view Mason, an over 15 foot mason jar of sweet tea!

The weather in South Carolina is humid and subtropical. The summers are hot whereas the winter months are mild. July is usually the warmest month and January is the coldest. The state can experience some extreme weather with either tornados (March – May) or hurricanes (May – October).

Taxes in South Carolina

South Carolina has a 6 percent state tax. The average local tax rate is 1.46.  Income is taxed at several different levels starting at 3 percent for $3,070 – $6,150, 4 percent for $6,150 – $9,230, 5 percent for, $9,230 – $12,310, 6 percent for $12,310 – $15,400 and finally 7 percent for incomes above $15,400. South Carolina does not tax Social Security benefits.

Retirement Communities In South Carolina

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) and Lifecare Communities in South Carolina offer seniors age 55+ a residence that allows them to be independent and active today but are equipped to provide for their future healthcare needs.

Today’s seniors have various retirement housing options. Deciding where to live is one of the most important and complex decisions one will make. Making these decisions while still healthy can help you avoid difficult and costly situations in the future.

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Options for Retiring in South Carolina

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) are sometimes referred to as Full Service Retirement Communities or Life Plan communities. This is because they are the only type of retirement community that offer residents independent living when they enter the community with the security of having assisted living and/or skilled nursing care options on site.

South Carolina CCRCs or Life Plan communities generally offer several accommodation styles including apartments, townhomes, and cottages. These communities usually include common areas such as a restaurant-like dining room, a library, activity and craft rooms, an assisted living facility, and a nursing home. Other amenities often include swimming pools, a fitness center, golf courses, convenience stores, walking trails, gardens, beauty/barber shops, banking services and guest accommodations.

Regulating CCRCs In South Carolina

Approximately forty states regulate CCRCs through various state divisions such as insurance, social services, financial services or aging/elder services. For those states that regulate CCRCs the mandatory requirements and degree of oversight vary drastically from one state to another. Because of the varying requirements vetting each community individually is the safest way to insure a community is in good standing.

In South Carolina CCRCs are regulated by the Department of Consumer Affairs. Contact the state to find out what documents are publicly available, such as disclosure statements, audited financial statements, and more.

Selecting A CCRC In South Carolina

Most CCRCs in South Carolina have entrance requirements; they vary by location but may include some or all of the following:

  • Entry fee to cover the housing unit’s cost and other services and amenities, including contractually provided access to health care. The entry fee may also help keep monthly services fees lower than they might be at a comparable rental community.
  • Assets and savings equal to a multiple of the entry fee. A typical range is between 2-4 times the entry fee, but this can vary, and CCRCs often have a more detailed financial qualification process.
  • Will, healthcare power of attorney, and durable power of attorney.
  • Minimum age requirements as allowed by the Housing for Older Persons Act.
  • Monthly income equal to a multiple of the monthly service fee. The range is usually similar to that required for assets and savings.
  • Health qualifications. CCRC providers will often request medical records, talk with a prospective resident’s primary care physician, or request a health exam. The specific type of contract offered by the community will determine the degree of emphasis placed on this requirement.
  • Medicare and possibly a Medicare supplement policy, or a similar private-pay plan.

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Entry Fee Requirements For South Carolina CCRCs

Most CCRCs or Life Plan Communities in South Carolina require an entry fee. The entry fee is required for several reasons. First and foremost, it secures a resident’s contractual and priority access to the care they may need while living in the community. The money received from entry fees is also used to help pay down, or limit, the amount of debt required for development, expansion, or long-term capital projects, which keep the community attractive and competitive in the marketplace and also benefits current residents. A portion of the entry fee may go towards an endowment fund set up by the community. An endowment fund is used by many CCRCs- particularly non-profit providers- offer a financial assistance to help ensure that if a resident runs out of money due to a longer than average stay in the healthcare facility, or some other unforeseen circumstance, they will not be forced to leave the community.

Is A South Carolina Life Plan Retirement Community Right For You?

A CCRC or Life Plan Community in South Carolina might be a good fit for you or a loved one, you can get detailed information on top-rated Life Plan communities in South Carolina by searching myLifeSite’s continuing care retirement community directory and proprietary database for helpful profile reports. For all the information you need and questions to ask as you begin contacting retirement communities directly myLifeSite is a one-stop resource. Our independent reports provide everything you need to make an informed decision including retirement community pricing, important contract details, healthcare aspects, and more.

Updated September 2021