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Retire in Lexington, South Carolina?
Overview: Lexington is in the center of South Carolina, just outside of Columbia, the state capital, and started out in the early-1700s when England's King George II established several backcountry townships. The town was eventually named Lexington after the Revolutionary War's battles of Lexington and Concord. As locals like to say, Lexington is just two hours away from everything, including ocean beaches, mountains and big city amenities (Charlotte, North Carolina).
The town is proud of its heritage and its roots run deep. Some families have been here for generations. Yet new blood is flooding in, causing Lexington to grow by 500% in the last 10 to 20 years. Younger folks have come for the good schools, and retirees have arrived for the easy pace and water recreaton on Lake Murray, the 50,000-acre reservoir that abuts the northern edge of town. Lake Murray Beach Park has a small but nice beach and parking, and there are numerous boat ramps and put-in spots along the shore. Lexington's downtown has one and two story red brick buildings, trees and flower planters. Restaurants serve BBQ, sweet potatoes with pecans and macaroni and cheese. Healthy food is available at the Saturday farmers' market and 14 Carrot, a long-time health food market.
Lexington has more than 200 neighborhoods. Older areas are shaded with sycamores, oaks and palmettos, but new subdivisions are still waiting for their trees to grow. Styles range from ranch ramblers to Craftsman, contemporary, farmhouse and more. Homes toward the water tend to be more expensive, but Land's End is a reasonably priced community on a Lake Murray peninsula.
Population: 21,000 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 27%
Cost of Living: 9% below the national average
Median Home Price: $152,000
Climate: Summer and early fall are hot and humid. Late fall and winter are less humid and cooler.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes, although Lexington Medical Center is actually in West Columbia.
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Very conservative
Is South Carolina Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: Locals complain about traffic issues and urban sprawl.
Notes: Nearby Columbia has a symphony, a ballet and numerous theaters. Lexington has some racial diversity.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
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