A Comprehensive Guide to Retiring in Greenville, SC

Greenville is a thriving city in the heart of Upstate South Carolina. Situated about halfway between Charlotte, NC and Atlanta, GA, it is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States.

If you’re looking for a place to retire, there are dozens of reasons to choose Greenville. Our city is home to endless activities, a thriving real estate market, and some of the friendliest people around. Whether you enjoy outdoor adventures or indoor fun, you’re sure to find something you love in Greenville.

To learn more about what Greenville has to offer, check out our comprehensive retirement guide below!

Tax Benefits

In addition to enjoying all that our city has to offer, retirees in Greenville get to take advantage of some incredible tax benefits. Here are some ways you can keep extra money in your pocket when you retire in Greenville:

Zero Social Security Tax

Social security is something you’ve paid into your whole working life, and it makes sense to want to preserve it in your retirement. Those who live in Greenville—and anywhere in South Carolina, for that matter—pay zero taxes on social security income.

Deduct Up to $15,000 from Income Taxes

Residents of South Carolina who are over the age of 65 can deduct up to $15,000 of retirement income from their taxes. This means residents of Greenville have the ability to hold onto more of the money they make in retirement. Eligible income for this tax deduction includes income from IRAs, 401(k) plans and pension plans.

Low Property Taxes

South Carolina residents pay among the lowest property tax rates in the country, with an average effective rate of just 0.57%. Residents over the age of 65 who’ve lived in the state for at least a year are also eligible for a homestead exemption. The homestead exemption allows residents to exempt the first $50,000 of their home’s fair market value from property taxes.

Weather

One of the reasons retirees love Greenville is for its middle-of-the-road climate. On average, temperatures range from 34 to 53°F in January (the coldest month) and from 71 to 90°F in July (the warmest month). Snow is rare—the city averages just 3 inch of snow per year, which is significantly less than the US average of 28 inches per year. What the city lacks in snow, it makes up for in rainfall, with an average of 51 inches of rain per year. Due to the city’s coastal proximity, Greenville rainfall is significantly higher than the 2019 US average of 34.7 inches per year.

Health and Wellness

When moving to a new area, you should take the time to find the right doctors and fitness centers for you. Wellness is essential during your golden years, and making it is important to make it a priority. Here is a breakdown of the health and wellness options in Greenville:

Hospitals

Greenville, South Carolina is home to two major healthcare systems offering quality care to local area residents.

Bon Secours St. Francis Health System

Bon Secours St. Francis Health System has many locations available to Greenville residents, helping them access the quality health care they deserve. This hospital believes in integrity, compassion, stewardship, service, and accessible health care. To learn more about their locations in Greenville, visit their website.

  • St. Francis Downtown
  • St. Francis Eastside
Prisma Health Alliance

Prisma Health Alliance is the product of the merger of two large health care systems in the area—Greenville Health System and Palmetto Health. These two groups merged together to bring high quality care with lower costs to patients. To find a location in Greenville, visit their website.

  • Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Hospital
  • Prisma Health Patewood Hospital
  • Greenville Hospital

Greenville is located just 30 miles south of Spartanburg, South Carolina. Residents looking for additional health care options may consider options in Spartanburg as well.

Fitness Centers and Nutritionists

Exercise and diet are essential to maintaining and improving your overall health. When researching gyms in a local area, you may find so many options that the search can be overwhelming. Thankfully, the International Council on Active Aging has a fantastic resource to help you find the perfect fitness center for you.

Nutrition is another aspect of wellness that is crucial to reaching that goal weight or optimal fitness you’re looking for. You can use this tool, from HealthGrades to help you identify someone in Greenville who specializes in dietetics.

Senior Living Communities

Senior living communities are located throughout Greenville. As you research the perfect retirement, identify what you’re looking for in your place of residence. If you’re interested in maintenance-free living, luxury amenities, and a full continuum of care, Cascades Verdae may be a good fit.

Food and Drink

Residents of Greenville, South Carolina never run out of options when it comes to top-rated culinary experiences. Regardless of the flavors or ingredients, food brings together people from different backgrounds.

Top Restaurants in Greenville, South Carolina
Top Bars in Greenville, South Carolina

Shopping

For those who enjoy shopping, Greenville has a variety of retail destinations. Whether you prefer strolling through big shopping malls, finding the deals at the outlets or browsing local boutiques, you’re sure to find somewhere that meets your needs. Here’s a breakdown of the top places to shop in Greenville:

Parks & Recreation

Outdoor activities in Greenville are abundant, with a variety of parks, recreation areas, and state parks. While each location has different amenities, they’re all perfect for some fresh air and outdoor time with friends and family. Here are the top parks and recreation spots in Greenville:

  • Falls Park on the Reedy Opened in 2004, Falls Park is a nature lover’s paradise. Located in downtown Greenville’s Historic West End, this stunning park serves as an urban oasis within the center of the city. It is a place where residents and visitors alike come together to work, play and celebrate life. The park’s multi-use facility lends itself to a wide variety of activities for people of all ages and interests.
  • Cleveland Park A treasured fixture of Greenville’s parks and recreation since 1922, Cleveland Park was created when the Cleveland Family donated 122 acres of land along the Reedy River. The park features tennis courts, a volleyball court, softball field, playground areas, a fitness trail with workout stations and group picnic shelters. In addition to the traditional park amenities, it’s the site of the Rock Quarry Garden, the Fernwood Nature Trail, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Greenville Zoo.
  • McPherson Park McPherson Park is Greenville’s oldest outdoor recreation area, established in 1884. This 12.5 acre park is home to the Sears Recreation Center and Log Cabin, tennis courts, shelters, an 18-hole miniature golf course, playground and walking trail with bridges. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a day with family and friends!!
  • Paris Mountain State Park North of Greenville, Paris Mountain State Park is 1,540 acres of pure outdoor bliss. The park’s roots date back as far as the Great Depression, when it was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The park is the perfect place to spend a weekend outdoors with camping sites, a swimming area, bird watching, geocaching, and 15 miles of hiking/biking trails. Enjoy a day using their amenities or grab your tent and spend the weekend!

Arts and Entertainment

As you’re researching a new area to make a permanent move to, you should ensure that the city has pulled out all the stops when it comes to activities. Greenville hosts a variety of events, performances, and more for local residents.

Museums

South Carolina is known for their rich history, and Greenville plays a role in that. There are many museums to explore as you’re getting settled into this new area. The Carolina Music Museum is home to world-famous American instruments that any musician would be in awe of. If you’re interested in learning more about Greenville, visit the Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville Cultural Exchange Center, or The Children’s Museum.

Music Venues

For music lovers of all genres, Greenville has a multitude of venues to satisfy your ear. The TD Stage, The Firmament, Smiley’s Acoustic Cafe, The Spinning Jenny, and Centre Stage – South Carolina are the perfect place to catch your favorite shows. Greenville never gets missed when national acts are planning a tour, Bon Secours Wellness Arena provides the perfect venue. Check out upcoming events on Bandsintown.

Transportation

Highways

The major highways going through Greenville are I-85, I-185, and I-385. I-85 runs from Richmond, VA in the north to Montgomery, AL in the south. It intersects major cities such as Charlotte, NC; Spartanburg, SC; and Atlanta, GA. I-185 and I-385 are convenient spur routes that run through parts of the local region.

Public Transport

Public transportation in the Greenville area is provided by Greenlink Transit, which operates fixed bus routes, a downtown trolley, and a paratransit service. Twelve fixed bus routes run throughout the Greenville metropolitan area. The downtown trolley provides four shorter routes around the downtown area. The paratransit service offers curb-to-curb, schedule-ahead transportation for individuals with disabilities, who may otherwise have difficulty accessing other public transit options.

Airport

The Greenville–Spartanburg International Airport is a commercial airport with flights operated by most of the major US airlines. The Greenville–Spartanburg International Airport is located in Greer, which is only 15 minutes from downtown Greenville. The airport is on the smaller side, with about 50 daily flights to 19 non-stop destinations. For a wider selection of direct flights, Greenville residents can fly out of Charlotte, NC, which is only a couple hours away.

Safety

Greenville, SC ranks at the top of the charts in many categories, including everything that makes for a highly desirable city. In addition to being one of the fastest growing cities in South Carolina, it’s also one of the most livable. Well planned and manicured, the city has made itself a haven for educated professionals, artisans and service craftsmen. A supply of stable, well-paying careers has attracted a collective of hard working, grass roots neighbors. For a city with a population of 68,000 within the city limits of Greenville, and over 400,000 in the surrounding area, it remains a safe, intimate and inviting place. High marks are consistently awarded for its public schools, diversity, family-focused environment, safety and inviting housing market. An ardent police department remains vigilant with their efforts in keeping Greenville’s safety record at all-time highs. With a growing local economy, healthy infrastructure and a top-tier safety record, Greenville continues to be a wonderful home to the upstate.

Best Spartanburg Neighborhoods to Retire In

Village of West Greenville

Greenville has spent the last few years reviving the downtown area, and the inspiration has spread throughout other areas such as the Village of West Greenville. The Village of West Greenville is an incredible neighborhood full of renovations, booming businesses, shopping, and restaurants.

Augusta Road

South from downtown, you’ll find yourself surrounded by residential homes, beautiful landscapes, and a close community. Locals believe Augusta Road has the most unique shopping in the area, and there is only one way to find out—come visit for yourself!

Cherrydale Point

The Cherrydale Point area is home to the Cherrydale Point Shopping Center. This center has brought in more expansion, encouraging growth in nearby neighborhoods, businesses, and more. Cherrydale Point is a traditional Greenville neighborhood that provides comfort for local residents.

Haywood Road Area

South Carolina’s largest mall is located just off of Haywood Road, with 150 retailers. This is an area that consistently makes improvements and additions to provide residents with everything they need and more.

Greenville Awaits

As you’ve read in our guide, there are not just one or two reasons to move to Greenville for retirement—there are several! From the wonderful attractions to the friendly community to the multitude of resources available for seniors, Greenville is a retirement destination that can’t be beat.

If you’re not sure if Greenville is the place for you, come visit! You’ll be so drawn to our charming city that you’ll want to stick around for good.