Homes in Carolina

Myrtle Beach Retirement

South Carolina's Grand Strand is home to sunny beaches, warm temperatures, and various activities, making it a premiere location to retire along the coast. The Strand stretches from the state line at Little River to Pawley's Island for 60 miles of exquisite shoreline. Myrtle Beach, the halfway point along the Strand, is the largest community and still growing. The area, which was first used only as an isolated summer retreat by early residents, is projected to have 205,500 residents by the year 2000, a large number of them retirees looking for sun, shore and fun. These retirees, in large part, will be perusing homes for sale to accommodate their retirement lifestyle. Although Myrtle Beach real estate will hold interest for a time, the goal is the enjoyment of the retired life.

Just the facts about
Myrtle Beach

Population*: 163,856

Climate: Average 64º

Average Housing Cost: $129,420
for an 1,800 square foot home

Home Owner's Insurance**: $538

Property Tax*** : $1,185.49

Recreation: Golf Courses, Marinas, Amusement Parks, Biking, Swimming, Volleyball, Beaches, Fishing, Sailing, Camping, Museums, Shopping

* Population for Horry County

** Basic insurance policy rate for state of South Carolina; does not include flood, earthquake or hurricane coverage; excludes coastal homes.
(South Carolina Insurance News Service)

*** Millage levy is state average of 229 mills.

Myrtle Beach rated as one of the top 20 places to retire in America by Money magazine. In the last 25 years, the number of adults over 65 living on the Strand has increased 317%. Due to the large number of retirees, special attention is given to them in the community, including senior activities, magazines, and even Lifestyles Expos.

In addition to this special attention, the biggest draw of Myrtle Beach to retirees is the climate. The air temperature averages 64º throughout the year and the water of the Atlantic 66º. The area gets about 215 sunny days out of a year. These warm and inviting temperatures allow for senior activities year-round in the community.

Among the most popular recreational activities in Myrtle Beach include golf, boating, swimming, shopping, camping, fishing and biking. The area offers many other types of activities as well, ranging from nature center to museums to amusement parks. Myrtle Beach also has an active senior community. There are many civic organizations and volunteer opportunities for those looking to get involved in their community. Retired golfers in the area enjoy Senior Golf Journal, a publication with them specifically in mind.

There are several other communities along the Grand Strand with a large number of retired adults. Most live east of the Intracoastal Waterway in Socastee and East Conway. The average cost of an 1,800 square foot home in the Myrtle Beach area is $129,420 with three bedrooms, two baths and a two car garage.

Many other retirees in the area choose to "migrate" into the area just during winter months. These adults, called "Snowbirds," come in large numbers, estimated at 20,000 to 50,000 a year.

Seniors in the area also profit from the tax benefits in the area. The Homestead Tax Exemption absolves seniors who have lived in South Carolina for one year from paying municipal, country and school taxes on the first $20,000 of their home. Based on the state average millage levy of 229 mills, the average property tax for a home in Myrtle Beach is $1,185.49.

Home owner's insurance also varies depending on coverage and location. The basic policy caverage averages $538 for a home in Myrtle Beach. This estimate does not include flood, hurricane or earthquake coverage and will increase for homes along the coast.

Retirees also benefit from a $3,000 income tax deduction. That amount increases to $10,000 when the retiree reaches 65. The maximum income tax rate is 7% on all income over $11,400. There is no tax on social security benefits.

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