Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Retire in Bluffton, South Carolina?
Overview: Located on a bluff above the May River on South Carolina's southern coast, Bluffton was built by wealthy plantation owners seeking a place to escape the summer heat. It became a booming steamboat port but then suffered after both the Civil War and the Great Depression.
Things began to turn around in 1990s when preservation efforts and proximity to Hilton Head Island helped make Bluffton one of the fastest growing municipalities in the state. In fact, it has doubled in size during the last decade and is a spread out place. Established neighborhoods are leafy and have ranch ramblers and antebellum homes, while new subdivisions have newly planted vegetation and sleek, close-together Craftsmans and Cape Cods. Old Town Bluffton is cute with galleries, award-winning eateries, historic churches, festivals and tree-canopied streets. The Society of Bluffton Artists has exhibitions and classes, and the May River Theatre presents the best in local talent.
Bluffton is bicycle friendly and has paths or bike lanes along some major arteries. Tanger Outlets boasts a wide range of national retailers.
Four boat docks are within city limits, and important parks near the city include the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, Pinckney Island, and Turtle Island. The Victoria Bluff Heritage Preserve is open for hiking, horseback riding, and bird watching.
Population: 13,000 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 30%
Cost of Living: 6% above the national average
Median Home Price: $200,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 30s, 40s and 50s. On average, the area receives 52 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Hilton Head Hospital, 8 miles away, accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Hilton Head Hospital, 8 miles away, is accredited.
Public Transit: Palmetto Breeze provides bus transportation to neighboring towns.
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
Cons: Hurricanes can happen,and 2016's Hurricane Matthew left neighborhoods flooded and trees uprooted. Traffic between Bluffton and Hilton Head is a headache during the summer tourist season.
Is South Carolina Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Notes: The 1840s secessionist movement began in Bluffton, and the 350+ year old oak tree under which local leaders gathered and called for leaving the Union still stands. The city is racially diverse. People who would like to live in Hilton Head but cannot quite afford it often live in Bluffton instead.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
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