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Retire in Port Royal, South Carolina?
Overview: Sleepy Port Royal sits along Port Royal Sound on the South Carolina coast and is next to 8,100-acre Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island (which is actually part of the city). The Spanish arrived here in the early-16th century, and throughout the years, five countries - Spain, France, England, Scotland and the United States, as well as the Confederacy - have hoisted their flag over the city.
With a location between the Beaufort River and Battery Creek, boating and fishing are way of life here, with quiet waterways twisting past cypress swamps, historic plantation homes, tidal marshes and estuaries. The Old Village along Paris Avenue has shops, restaurants, a farmers' market, the StreetMusic on Paris Avenue concert series, an annual oyster roast and the always popular Soft Shell Crab Fest. The iconic, working shrimp docks are also here. The Sands municipal beach has picnic areas, a boat ramp, a boardwalk and miles of nature trails. The city has recently undertaken some large projects, including making the Cypress Wetlands more accessible. A bird sanctuary for brown pelicans, peregrine falcons and bald eagles is in the works.
Port Royal boasts of its "new urbanism" and has some appealing, high density homes with a very European feel. There are also cute bungalows, antebellum homes and contemporary ranch ramblers. The Shed hosts concerts and plays, and 13 golf courses are within a 10 mile drive.
Population: 12,500 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 28%
Cost of Living: 5% below the national average
Median Home Price: $165,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 40s, 50s, 60s. On average, the area receives 48 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Beaufort Memorial Hospital, just a couple of miles to the north, accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Beaufort Memorial Hospital, just a couple of miles to the north, is accredited.
Public Transit: The county has a van program that provides transportation to social events, medical appointments and recreational activities.
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: No
Political Leanings: Conservative
Is South Carolina Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The town has threatened to close the shrimp docks because they are expensive to maintain. Public outcry has kept them open so far, but that could change.
Notes: The city has grown by 300% within the last two decades and blends into Beaufort to the north. Nearby Parris Island trains 17,000 Marines each year.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
The Palmetto State was one of the original Thirteen Colonies and a major player in the American Revolution. It was the eighth state to enter the Union on May 23, 1788. South Carolina's early agriculture economy was dependent on slave labor. The first state to secede from the union in 1861, South Carolina was also where the first shots of the American Civil War were fired.
The state is comprised of three geographic regions. Its Lowcountry (the Atlantic Coastal Plain) includes the Sea Islands, salt marshes, estuaries, bays, and the Sandhills. Up Country begins with the Piedmont. Rivers here helped encourage the growth of Columbia, the capital city. The Blue Ridge Mountains contain Caesar's Head State Park and Sassafras Mountain, the state's highest point.
Weather across all areas can be humid. Winters are usually mild and summers are hot. Snowfall is rare. Tropical cyclones can be a problem.
South Carolina continues to be an agricultural powerhouse. Peaches, pecans, broilers, turkeys, and cattle are leading products. Shrimp, clams, crabs, oysters, and snapper contribute to the economy. Thanks to the state's tourism business, service industries have become important.
Myrtle Beach is one of the nation's primary resort destinations and hosts more than 100 golf courses.
Musicians James Brown, Chubby Checker, and Dizzy Gillespie are native South Carolinians. Visual artist Jasper Johns studied at the University of South Carolina.
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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