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greenville Multiple Sources February 2, 2024

A South Carolina city earned a nod for its food scene — and no, it wasn’t Charleston. Greenville ranks as the South’s No. 1 retirement destination for food lovers, according to results published Tuesday, Sept. 19. To determine the top places for retirees to live, Southern Living magazine said it worked with the financial website Investopedia to evaluate 41 cities. In March, those cities had been named among “The South’s Best,” a distinction for places that received nominations from editors and rose to the top after thousands of magazine readers completed a survey.

“The final list of Best Places to Retire was chosen based on how each city or town compared to the U.S. as a whole on a variety of economic and lifestyle criteria including home and rental affordability, average resident age, unemployment, best industries for jobs and wages, the prevalence of restaurants, hospitals, and colleges,” Southern Living wrote in its new report.

WHY DOES GREENVILLE RANK NO. 1 FOR RETIREES? Among the 12 retirement-related categories considered, Greenville reigned supreme when it came to food. Southern Living gave the city of about 72,000 people a nod for having restaurants that serve regional classics and local specialties.

“It’s all good, and area chefs and restaurants have the James Beard Award recognition to prove it,” the magazine said. In addition to highlighting Greenville’s top-tier dining spots, Southern Living praised the city for its food festivals. There also are classes and volunteer opportunities to help people stay active during retirement. “We chose Greenville partly for the climate — a May snowfall in Des Moines sent us looking to the South,” Scott Butler told the magazine. “Every time we go on a trip, it just feels so good to come back here.”

The results come after another South Carolina destination repeatedly received praise as a top place to eat a meal.

But Greenville has made its mark, too, recently ranking among the nation’s top cities to visit this fall. Greenville County also was named the No. 1 place to live in South Carolina, McClatchy News reported. On the Southern Living list, Chattanooga, Tennessee, ranked as the “best all-around” retirement destination. Other categories included the best places for cities, outdoors, nature, beaches, mountains, “healthy living,” affordability, lifelong learning, home buying, and arts and culture.

Southern Living only published one top winner in each category, and no others were from South Carolina. In an email to McClatchy News, the magazine said the rankings focused on 17 states in the Southeastern part of the country.

Read more at: https://www.thestate.com/news/state/south-carolina/article279525559.html#storylink=cpy


Mark Ellwood of Conde Nast Traveler cites Greenville as one of the top five places in the U.S. to retire

Baby boomers or people who were born between 1943 and 1960 are hitting their retirement stride. Are you part of this generation? If you are, you may have started thinking about lifestyle changes such as when you should scale back from working or picking the best place to retire. Choosing a place to retire is a tough decision that you have to make for yourself. If you haven’t settled on a destination yet, you may want to consider retiring in Greenville, South Carolina.

Greenville is a fast-growing city in the Upstate South Carolina. There are about 65,000 people living in the city proper as of 2015, and a little over 400,000 in the surrounding areas. Greenville has gained many recognitions in various media such as CNN Money, Forbes, AARP, and Bloomberg. These include “Top 10 Fastest Growing Cities in the U.S.”, “3rd Strongest Job Market, 2010;” “Top 5 Best Places to Retire, 2013,” and “13th Best City for Young Professionals.”

Recently, Greenville has been cited again as one of the best places to retire by Mark Ellwood of Conde Nast Traveler in Today’s show aired March 21st.  Greenville’s beautiful downtown area with its hundreds of restaurants, trees, attractions, health care, and tax breaks for people over 65 are some of the reasons why it is one of the top places to retire.


Why choose to retire in Greenville, SC?

Greenville ticks all the boxes for a great place to retire: climate, good quality of life, cost of living, tax breaks, and affordable housing.

You will be able to have an attractive lifestyle at a relatively low cost. Greenville real estate is the biggest factor in the cost of living difference. According to Realtor.com, the median sale price of a home for sale in Greenville was $166,000 in the 1st quarter of 2017, although that would be higher in many active or high-end communities. Greenville has interesting neighborhoods to live in for families and people of all ages.  There are also some 55+ active adult communities. If you would like to live near the downtown area, there are lots of properties available to choose from.

Another attraction for senior adults to retire in Greenville is the low taxes. South Carolina is one of the most tax-friendly states for retirees. In Greenville, retirees can have a good quality of life even on a fixed-income budget.

South Carolina taxes:

  • State sales tax is 6%
  • State Income Tax ranges from 3% to 7%
    • Seniors 65 and over have an exemption for the first $15,000 of income.
    • People up to age 65 can deduct up to $3000 of qualified pension income.
    • Retired military can deduct up to $10,000 of their military benefits.
    • Social security is not taxable.
    • The state does not collect estate tax or inheritance tax.
    • Senior homeowners are exempt from property tax on the first $50,000 of the market value of their home once they apply for the Homestead Exemption.

Greenville is located east of the Blue Ridge Mountains, halfway between Atlanta GA, and Charlotte NC. You can be in the mountains hiking, kayaking, and biking within 45 minutes or two hours depending on where you want to go. The coast is about 3.5 hours away if you want to enjoy the beach. There are 39 parks, playgrounds, jogging trails, sports centers, picnic grounds, ball fields, and great dining and shopping options around the city. These attractions enhance the quality of life in Greenville.



 Why Greenville Is One of the Best Places to Retire in the U.S.


Nestled against the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in the heart of South Carolina’s Upcountry, Greenville boasts a reinvigorated community with the fastest-growing population in the state. If you’re an active senior who loves the mountains, retiring in Greenville, SC, offers charming small-town life with every big-city amenity you could ever want. You’re also just halfway between the South’s urban hubs, Charlotte and Atlanta, and a few hours away from the East Coast and its many beaches.

Greenville’s mild climate means you can be outside year-round, taking advantage of the mountain and lake activities the area offers. Snow falls lightly here, just enough to powder the mountains for spectacular views. A steady influx of Fortune 500 companies continues to bring in new energy and has enhanced the city’s infrastructure.

The unique combination of location and industry is good news for seniors who want to keep working or prefer to focus on leisure, as retiring in Greenville, SC, satisfies both options. In a recent study, Greenville compared favorably against popular retirement destinations in Florida and California for measurements such as housing costs, taxes, crime rates, and access to important amenities like medical centers.


Greenville consistently ranks among the most appealing cities to live, work and play in the U.S. Its low cost of living and mild temperatures year-round also make it one of the best places to retire. Here are other reasons why retiring in Greenville, SC, is a good idea:


  • The population of city of Greenville — 68,219
  • The average annual number of sunny days — 220
  • Average monthly maximum temperature — 72 F
  • Average monthly minimum temperature — 50 F
  • Distance to nearest state park — 7 miles
  • Tax burden — 8.3%
  • Tax breaks — Seniors ages 85+ only pay 5% state sales tax
  • State tax on Social Security — None
  • Yearly events — more than 300, including live theater, outdoor concerts, street festivals, etc.


Retiring in Greenville, SC, means access to a bustling, walkable downtown with a global restaurant scene, craft beer pubs, boutiques, and other local shops. The jewel in Greenville’s crown — Falls Park on the Reedy in the historic West End — features nature trails; waterfalls and gardens; beautiful public art; and the elegant, architecturally significant Liberty Bridge. Falls Park is connected to downtown’s lively Main Street at several waypoints and is considered to be one of Greenville’s greatest treasures.

Greenville’s culture has been described as combining restoration and growth with American history and Southern traditions. Once hunting grounds for the Cherokee Indians, it wasn’t settled by Western settlers until 1771. As gristmills, brickyards, and textile mills were established in the 1800s, Greenville emerged as a center of higher education with Furman University’s founding in 1852. As progressive now as it was over a century ago, Furman University is among the handful of learning institutions nationwide to partner with Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes. It offers a robust program of courses, trips, and events ideal for adults ages 50+ who want to infuse lifelong learning with their retirement plans.


  • Get ice cream with the grandkids, walk the dog, and admire the Reedy River Falls from the Liberty Bridge, the only single-suspension bridge of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Bike, stroll, or hike the paved miles of Swamp Rabbit Trail, recognized as one of the best urban trails in the U.S.
  • Take a self-guided tour of Greenville’s public art, including famous pieces by Dale Chihuly and Yuri Tsuzuki.
  • Wake up and smell the coffee at The Village Grind. The croissants and pastry are fine indeed.
  • Book a round at the Furman golf club, a PGA Family Course, and one of the top college golf courses in the country.
  • Hail a red-and-blue trolley on Main Street for a free ride to downtown destinations and Heritage Green.
  • Dine at Oak Hill Café and Farm, a James Beard semifinalist for Best New Restaurant in 2020.
  • Nosh on chef Sean Brock’s famous fried chicken at his restaurant, Husk.
  • Discover one-of-a-kind artwork at The Village, West Greenville’s creative arts district.
  • Take an art class at Greenville Center for Creative Arts.
  • Catch an outdoor movie or performance of Shakespeare in Falls Park.
  • Challenge your grandchildren to find the nine tiny bronze mice hidden along Main Street.
  • Visit the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum and Baseball Library.
  • Attend a Greenville Drive baseball game at Greenville’s own version of Fenway Park, Fluor Field.


The people. This isn’t a city where you get lost in the crowd. From the grocery sacker who remembers your name to the librarian who knows “just the right book” for you or your grandkid, you’ll meet kind, caring folks everywhere. When you retire to Greenville, SC, you’ll see right away that this is an engaged, actively invested community that genuinely cares about the place they live in and the people who live in it.

If Greenville sounds like your kind of place, then the lively community of The Woodlands at Furman will strike a chord with you. It’s Greenville senior living where you’re not just a neighbor; you’re a friend. We welcome folks from all over the country who come to enjoy life in a whole new way. And we’re just around the corner from Greenville’s downtown, right next door to Furman University, so it’s easy to keep an active retirement lifestyle — and in fact, make it even better. Want to learn more? Contact us today.




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