5 Great Places to Retire in the Southern United States
There are plenty of reasons that so many people choose to head South when they retire. A slower pace of life, famed Southern hospitality and, most of all, warm weather are irresistible draws for many, especially if you have spent your life in a cold climate. Some people prefer not to fully retire at all, working part time or picking up gig jobs now and then. Delaying your retirement until you reach full retirement age will mean taking advantage of full Social Security benefits.
You might also be considering selling your life insurance policy, but you should look into calculating the cash surrender value to see if this would leave you in a better position. You can review a guide on this and other aspects of cash surrender value. Once you know what your financial situation will be like, you can consider some of the great retirement communities below.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Many people think of Florida when they think about going South for retirement—and with good reason. St. Petersburg has been a traditional destination for seniors for 100 years, and its wonderful beaches are a big draw. St. Petersburg is a walkable mid-sized city and, in recent years, it has been undergoing a revitalization that makes it even more attractive.
Charleston, South Carolina
As is the case with St. Petersburg, Charleston’s vibrant retirement community means that the city caters to this demographic. There are a number of senior living communities in this coastal city. Charleston is also one of the most beautiful cities in the South. There is a thriving arts and culture scene, and South Carolina has senior-friendly tax laws. This is also a great choice for foodies, and Charleston and the surrounding area is a wonderful place to dive into the unique Gullah and Lowcountry cuisines.
Moving away from the coastal regions, Nashville is another popular choice for seniors, especially country music fans. Weather-wise, Nashville is a good destination for anyone who wants to be able to enjoy the warmer Southern climate but still experience a little bit of winter as well. The Vanderbilt Medical Center offers excellent health care for seniors.
Asheville, North Carolina
Another hugely popular destination that offers warm seasons but more of a four-season climate than some beach locations, Asheville draws many people over 55. There are a number of retirement communities and plenty of other reasonably priced housing. Asheville’s walkable downtown has eclectic restaurants and shops, and the Great Smoky Mountains and Nantahala National Forest are big draws for more outdoorsy seniors.
Athens is a college town, which means it skews young, but it is an increasingly popular retirement destination as well. If you prefer to be somewhere between the beaches and the mountains and in a place with great restaurants and a busy downtown area, Athens is an excellent choice. The cost of living in Athens is low, and there are a number of attractive historic neighborhoods near downtown.