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Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!

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Reader Requested Short Review of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

The British arrived in present-day Mount Pleasant, just across the Cooper River from Charleston on South Carolina's mid-coast, in 1680. The town they and others built soon attracted wealthy Charlestonians who constructed grand summer homes on the bluffs overlooking Charleston Harbor. Many of these homes still stand.

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Thanks to these beginnings, Mount Pleasant today is an affluent residential community. It is also growing, more than doubling in size during the last 10 to 20 years. Many new residents are from out of state, primarily New York, Florida and Georgia, and the city has been ranked by Charleston residents as the Lowcountry's best suburb. The good citizens of Mount Pleasant have a reputation as a closely-knit but friendly bunch, and they appreciate the city's easy tempo.

The cost of living is 37% above the national average. The crime rate is well below the national average, and 34% of residents are age 45 or better. Nearly 60% of locals are college educated. Racial diversity is minimal.

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For the past two and a half decades, the city has been named a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation and it is thick with palm trees, live oaks, red cedars, devilwoods and yaupon hollies. Upscale, tree-lined neighborhoods boast stately residences with overflowing gardens, and the median home price is $395,000. The Old Village section of town is perhaps the most desirable place to live.

Not a lot goes on here, but that is a plus in many people's eyes. The newer Memorial Waterfront Park is a source of pride and is a lovely spot for picnicking or watching boats bob in the water. The Blessing of the Fleet and Seafood Festival is held here every year. ArtFest, another community gathering, happens every March and highlights local artistic talents. The Patriots Point Naval Museum, Boone Hall Plantation and Palmetto Islands State Park are additional area highlights. And the extensive, clean public beaches along the barrier islands Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms give residents an enticing playground for sunning and swimming.

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Mount Pleasant shopping is adequate with a mix of higher-end stores and discount retailers, including two Wal-Marts. Many shopping areas are tucked off the street and hard to find if one does not know that they are there. Dining options are fairly good, particularly around the Shem Creek area where seafood restaurants are the norm and diners can watch Charleston's shrimp boat fleet come in each day. The farmers' market operates every Tuesday.

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East Cooper Regional Medical Center (130 beds) is accredited by the Joint Commission and is award-winning for excellence in patient safety, overall patient experience and general surgery. It provides a number of services, including 24-hour emergency care, diagnostic imaging services, orthopedics, pain care, adult and pediatric rehabilitation services and wound care services. Medicare patients are accepted.

CARTA provides public bus transportation, although it is limited. Service is also provided into Charleston.

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The Senior Center, operated by the city, is open Monday through Saturday and offers a good selection of programs, services and activities (fitness classes, painting classes, wii bowling, potlucks, coffee talks, computers with wireless Internet access, afternoon movies, personal trainers, massage therapists, bingo, driving safety and more). Membership fees are $125 per year.

The city has mild winters, hot summers and on average receives 48 inches of rain per year. Summer high temperatures reach the 90s with lows in the 70s, and winter high temperatures reach into the 50s and 60s with lows in the 40s. The air quality is slightly below the national average.

Mount Pleasant does have some drawbacks. Thanks to previous hurricanes, home insurance rates are high. Traffic congestion is a problem. Urban sprawl is evident.

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Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes   |   Is South Carolina Tax-Friendly for Retirement? Yes

High insurance rates and traffic congestion are drawbacks, but beautiful homes, historic neighborhoods, pretty beaches, good medical facilities, a low crime rate and lush foliage make Mount Pleasant a great place to retire.

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South Carolina:

South Carolina is nicknamed the Palmetto State and its motto is "Dum spiro spero," which is Latin for "While I Breath, I Hope." It is 40th in size in the United States and was the eighth state to be admitted to the Union on May 23, 1788. The largest city and state capital is Columbia.

Formerly known as the Province of South Carolina, the area was also one of the 13 Colonies that declared its independence during the American Revolution. The state was the first to secede from the Union and was the first and founding state of the Confederate States of America.

South Carolina is in what is considered the Deep South and is bordered by the states of Georgia on the south and North Carolina on the north.

The state does not host any major professional sport franchises. However, the Carolina Panthers and the Carolina Hurricanes actually represent both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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Stats:

Population - 4,961,018

Persons 65 years old and over - 16%

High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 85%

Bachelor's degree or higher, age 25+ - 25%

Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 5%

White persons, not Hispanic - 64%

Median household income - $45,483

Social Security taxed? No

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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