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Why Retire in Greenville, South Carolina?

Undoubtedly, South Carolina is becoming a sought-after retirement destination. The landscape is endowed with gentle rolling mountains, marshy coastlines, and historical sites. It has positioned itself to be a fine place to retire in many media and organization surveys.

Why Retire in Greenville, South Carolina?

While many retirees are heading to South Carolina’s coast areas such as Myrtle Beach, one cannot deny that there are other areas in the state that can match the quality of life retirees dream of. For those who are considering to retire in South Carolina, let us convince you why you should consider retiring in Greenville.

 Greenville At A Glance

Greenville, South Carolina is a great place to retire for seniors who still want to be out and about. Greenville’s thriving cultural scene, rich arts and entertainment, vibrant food scene, mild winters, and low cost of living make for an excellent choice for retirees.

When it comes to overall affordability, taxes, and inexpensive health care, retiring to Greenville, SC lets you keep more money in your pocket without requiring a drastic lifestyle change.

Greenville County Population: 525,534 (2020 census)
State tax on Social Security: 
State tax on pensions:
Tax burden: 8.3%
State Sales Tax Breaks for Seniors: Seniors 85 and older pay 5%
County: Greenville
Median Age: 37 years old
Average Annual Temperature: 61 Degrees Fahrenheit
Average Rain Fall: 42 inches
Average Annual Snowfall: 5 inches
Average Monthly Maximum Temperature: 72 degrees Fahrenheit
Average Monthly Minimum Temperature: 50 degrees Fahrenheit
Average Number of Sunny Days: 220
Greenville Events: 300+ event days each year

 Why Retire in Greenville, SC?

Here are some basic overviews of costs in the greater Greenville, SC area.

Housing Costs in the Greenville, SC Area

With many decades of bustling real estate activity, Greenville SC real estate offers old neighborhoods with mature landscaping, condominium communities, and new-home communities.  Home prices range from low $100s into the millions. The greater Greenville area is divided into a variety of unique communities. In Greenville, the largest city and the county seat of Greenville County, lies many historic districts featuring beautiful Victorian homes dating back to the 19th century. Simpsonville has a different feel, with many new construction homes, newer neighborhoods, and homes built within the last 20 years. No matter where in the greater Greenville area or the Upstate, South Carolina, there are great choices for retirees to live.

Median home value (2016-2020) : $197,400
Median mortgage payment
(2016-2020) : $1,307
Median Gross Rent (2016-2020) : $954
Median annual property tax:
Property tax rate: 0.6%
Property tax breaks for seniors: Homeowners 65 and older, the state’s homestead exemption allows the first $50,000 of a property’s fair market value to be exempt from local property taxes.

55+ Retirement Communities to Check Out in Greenville

You will find wonderful 55+ retirement communities in Greenville. One of the retirement communities in Greenville is Rolling Green Village. Amenities featured in this community include tailored housekeeping services, complimentary local transportation, scenic walking paths around three on-site fishing lakes, lawn and grounds care, multimedia club room, wellness and fitness center, and access to Village Center activities. To see the latest homes available for sale in Rolling Green Village, click below.

Rolling Green Village Real Estate

Another beautiful 55+ retirement community in Greenville is Swansgate. Swansgate has 165 single-family homes and 24 condo units throughout its 42 acres of green space. The community has electronically controlled security gate, convenient to restaurants, shopping, and major road. Amenities in this community include exterior maintenance of all homes, grounds maintenance, planned recreation, and professional community management. To see the latest homes available for sale in Swansgate, click below.

Swansgate Real Estate

Independent Living Facilities in Greenville

Independent living facilities are another housing option for seniors retiring in Greenville. Compared to facilities in other cities, the cost in Greenville is on the lower end. You will have a number of senior independent living facility options for around $2,000 per month which includes rent, utilities, dining, housekeeping, and transportation. Below is a list of independent living facilities in Greenville, SC.

Haywood Estates
1180 Haywood Rd, Greenville, SC 29615

11 E Augusta Place, Greenville, SC 29605

The Cascades Verdae
10 Fountainview Terrace, Greenville, SC 29607

Costs of Living in the Greenville, SC Area

If you are considering retiring in the Greenville, SC area. The following information breaks down the average costs of various necessities. Remember that these are averages and the cost of living varies from city to city. Some parts of the county may have higher costs of living than other parts of the Greenville area.

Average Rent in Greenville, SC
As of January 2021, the average rent in Greenville, SC is $1,059. For someone moving from more expensive parts of the country, such as California or New York, this figure may invoke shock in a positive way. In cities like San Francisco, a $3000 rent is more than enough to own a very nice home and pay for other necessities and still have more money left to save. Also if you choose not to rent, $1,059 can afford you a nice home in one of Greenville’s suburbs.

Average Utilities in Greenville, SC
For a 1,000-square-foot home in Greenville, the average monthly utility bill hovers above $100. If you are budget-conscious, you can lower your utility bill by using energy-efficient appliances and by running their heat and air conditioning sparingly.

Average Food Costs in Greenville, SC
Food prices in the greater Greenville area are slightly below average. Sperling’s index compares Greenville to the U.S. average, with 100 being the national average, Greenville’s food cost index is 99.7. Nevertheless, in Greenville SC, you can keep food costs between $400 and $500 per month and still eat healthy.

Nerdwallet has a great calculator that helps you compare the cost of living between two cities. Use their calculator so you can estimate the purchasing power of your salary if you relocate to Greenville. Click here to use their Cost of Living Calculator.

Cost of Living Index for Selected Cities, 2013-2021

2021 Q2 89.7 105.6 99.2 105.6 97.4
2020 Annual Avg. 92.2 101.1 99.8 105.7 92.0
2019 Annual Avg. 95.4 102.4 96.9 100.5 97.9
2018 Annual Avg. 95.6 101.8 100.7 97.4 97.0
2017 Annual Avg. 94.7 99.0 104.0 97.0 96.2
2016 Annual Avg. 93.7 98.7 104.0 95.6 94.8
2015 Annual Avg. 93.9 99.9 101.0 97.5 96.4
2014 Annual Avg. 94.4  99.4  100.6  104.6  94.7
2013 Annual Avg.  93.2  95.3  100.2  103.6  95.7

Source: Quarterly Cost of Living Index (, The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER),

Cost of South Carolina Cities and Similar-sized Areas

906,626 Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin $42,132 $1,018 $245,605 $1,400 $360
883,309 Knoxville, Tenn. $43,903 $750 $250,010 $1,850
842,913 Allentown-Bethlehem-Eaton, PA-N.J $51,474 $1,472 $386,339 $6,104
832,666 Columbia $43,168 $938 $254,119 $1,448 $360
806,548  Dayton, OH $45,708 $777 $230,718 $3,622
787,643  Charleston-North Charleston $47,800 $1,339 $288,601 $1,645 $360

Note: Taxes are based on statewide estimates, rents and home prices from the Council for Community and Economic Research.

Sources: Council for Community and Economic Research, Wallethub, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Census Bureau

Climate in the Greenville, SC Area

Greenville is located east of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Upstate South Carolina, a lush, rolling midpoint between Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina, like much of the region in the southeast, we have a humid subtropical climate.  We have mild winters and only get an annual average of 5 inches of snowfall. Whereas the average US city gets 26 inches of snow per year. Winters are short and generally cool. The daily average in January is 42.

The average number of sunny days in Greenville is 221 sunny days per year. The average July high is around 89 degrees.  Summers are hot and humid with an average daily temperature of 79. March is the wettest month and we get about 5 inches of rain. The county of Greenville gets an average of 50 inches of rain per year compared to the national average of 39. Precipitation is generally less frequent in autumn than spring.

Sperling’s comfort index for Greenville County is 66 out of 100, where a higher score indicates a more comfortable year-round climate. Greenville has a more comfortable year-round climate compared to the national comfort index of 54.

Things To Do in Greenville, SC

Greenville offers a variety of recreation and entertainment options from live theaters around the city, to museums, performing arts, and festivities that strengthen cultural awareness.

The Bi-Lo Center, Peace Center for Performing Arts, and Greenville County Museum of Art are among the popular cultural attractions. Big events like Fall for Greenville, Artisphere, Euphoria, and other outdoor events and concerts showcase music, food, dance, heritage, and more. Greenville is a great supporter of the Arts and has activities indoors and out almost year-round.

Greenville may not be a big city, but it has everything. There are 39 parks, playgrounds, jogging trails, sports centers, picnic grounds, ball fields, great dining, and shopping options around the city. These attractions enhance the quality of life in Greenville.

Great eating: 

Shopping opportunities:

  • Find everything from antiques to designer clothes at Magnolia Park.
  • Enjoy a wide range of dining and shopping options at ONE City Plaza.
  • Find a variety of high-end specialty shops on Augusta Road.
  • Browse through the shops in the West End Market.
  • Buy gourmet ingredients, local produce, and organic foods at Greenville’s farmer’s market.
  • Find everything you need in Shops at Greenridge.


Outdoor Activities:

Need more? See 101 Things to Do in Greenville, SC.

Comparison to other similar-sized cities

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