Columbia, SC

Retirement Planning
Top 5 Things to Consider for Where to Live

Presented by: Mel Coker, Realtor®
Columbia, Northeast Columbia, Irmo, Chapin, Lexington, Lake Murray

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Columbia Retirement Tips Ready for Retirement? Ready to move?
Mel's TOP FIVE things to consider when making decisions about where to live after retirement...

Housing Availability and Cost
City life? Retire to a farm or rural area? Retirement communities? Cost of Real Estate? You will want to make sure the area that you are considering has the type of housing available that you prefer and that prices are reasonable or in the range that you wish to spend.

Choices... Columbia is a fairly large real estate market and includes the downtown area, Northeast Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin and Lake Murray areas. Many retirees choose one of the many "patio" home communities (small lots and with typically singles, young couples with no children and retirees). Columbia has a very limited selection of senior citizen only communities. There are a wide range of choices for homes and subdivisions. Prices are very reasonable compared to most other areas and national and regional averages. The average home price in Columbia is $154,524 (as of March 15, 2014).
Columbia, SC real estate
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Lifestyle & Area Amenities
What do you want to do in retirement? Totally take it easy? Volunteer work? Fishing? Continuing education? Get involved or more involved in a church? Your lifestyle should be an important factor when deciding where to live after retirement.

You will have plenty "to do" in the Greater Columbia area. We have very nice city, regional and state parks in and around Columbia. Churches, hospitals and other organizations offer options for volunteer work. Lake Murray offers wonderful boating and fishing. The University of South Carolina and Midlands Techical College offer opportunites for all kinds of continuing education and special interest classes. Want to get more fit or stay fit? Columbia has a number of private gyms and community recreational centers and programs. The University of South Carolina Gamecocks teams offer exciting sports action. Columbia offers more... Riverbanks is one of America's top zoos; World class State of South Carolina museum; City of Columbia art museum.

The Columbia area is also close to the mountains of upstate South Carolina and North Carolina. And, we're close to several very nice beach areas including Myrtle Beach (3 hours), Hilton Head Island (2 1/2 hours) and Charleston (1 1/2 hours). Retirement should be fun and exciting!

Columbia, SC | Lake Murray

Taxes & Cost of Living
All areas have some sort of taxes you will be paying after retirement. You will need to consider income taxes, tax breaks, real estate taxes, sales taxes, county taxes. What is the overall "cost of living" in an area that you are considering. Consider especially energy and food costs.

Real estate taxes in South Carolina and the Columbia area are more reasonable than many areas of the United States. Tax legislation passed in 2006 and implemented in 2007 lowered homeowner taxes approximately 50%. The state sales tax rate was raised to 6% from 5% and all additional revenue is designated to lower owner occupied real estate taxes. In a typical situation, taxes for a residential home would be about .50% to .65% of the market value of a home. As an example, a $200,000 home would have an approximage tax bill of $1,000 to $1,300 (taxes vary depending on actual assessment and millage rates by area). If you are 65 or older, totally disabled or legally blind and have lived in South Carolina for at least one year, you may qualify for the homestead exemption. The homestead exemption excludes the first $50,000 from the fair market value of you legal residence. Personal property tax is collected annually on motor vehicles, recreational vehicles, watercraft (includes boats, wave runners, jet skis, etc.) and airplanes. These items are typically depreciated over time resulting in possibly lower taxes.

South Carolina has a simplified income tax structure which follows the federal income tax laws. South Carolina accepts the adjustments, exemptions and deductions allowed on your federal tax return with few modifications. South Carolina does not tax Social Security benefits. Individual income tax rates range from 3% to a top rate of 7% on taxable income (starting at app. $2630 of taxable income). Beginning with the first year you receive qualified retirement income and until you reach age 65, you can take a deduction of up to $3,000. If both spouses receive retirement income, each spouse is entitled to an individual deduction. All residents at age 65 are eligible for a deduction of up to $15,000. Other individual income tax deductions and credits may lower your South Carolina tax liability. There is NO state sales tax on unprepared food items.

Click here for a Tax Guide for New Residents

Health Care
Availability and convenience of health care providers and hospitals may be an important consideration when choosing an area to relocate to for retirement. If you have an existing health condition, you will want to make sure that there is are health care facilites and physician who can take care of your needs.

Columbia has a significant medical community and wide offering of health care facilities. There are downtown hospitals and other smaller hospitals and emergency care facilities in outlying areas. Major hospitals in the Columbia area include: Palmetto Health Baptist, Palmetto Health Richland, Lexington Medical Center, Sisters of Charity Providence Hospital, Wm. Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center, and Moncrief Army Community Hospital. Columbia also has South Carolina's only freestanding hospital dedicated solely to heart care.

Columbia Hosptials

You should enjoy more outdoor time in retirement, so make sure you choose a place where the climate will make you feel good!

Columbia has pleasant weather year-round. We also have seasonal change, but, snow is relatively rare. Our city is far enough inland, where the very occasional South Carolina hurricane impact will have little to no effects. Minimum average temperatures range from 33 to 70 degrees and maximum average temperatures range from 56 to 92 degrees. Monthly rainfall averages from 2.6 to 5.5 inches. Columbia Weather

More Columbia area information: Columbia "A to Z" | Lake Murray | Columbia Blog | Lake Murray Blog | Mel's FACEBOOK Business Page

Senior Resources: Senior Housing Information | Senior Housing Reviews | Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) Website

NOW... You may be considering a Retirement to the Columbia Area. I can Help.

Mel is an Accredited Buyer Representative in Columbia, SC I am an Accredited Buyer Representative and offer FREE buyer representation. As a member of the Greater Columbia Multiple Listing Service, I have access to ALL homes for sale - resale homes AND new homes. Also, I am a life-long Columbia resident, so I know all of the Greater Columbia area.

The Greater Columbia area is a GREAT place for retirement! Retirees will also find the Greater Columbia area to be a wonderful place for retirement living with excellent medical facilities, many things "to do" and a very reasonable tax base structure.
Mel Coker is your Seniors Real Estate Specialist!

Mel Coker - Seniors Real Estate Specialist

Advantages to Columbia Retirement Living...

  • Friendly People!
  • Reasonable Home Prices
  • Reasonable Taxes and Tax Breaks for Seniors Learn More
  • Nice Weather with mild winters (ususally NO snow)
  • Nice shopping areas, Entertainment, Libraries, A GREAT zoo and much more
  • Excellent Hospitals and Medical Care
  • We're close to beaches (Hilton Head Island, Charleston, Myrtle Beach), but not impacted by hurricanes
  • We're close to Upstate South Carolina and North Carolina mountains
  • Easy navigation on our street, highways and 3 Interstates into and around Columbia
  • Beautiful Lake Murray!
  • Beautiful Parks and miles of park trails and along Columbia's THREE downtown Rivers


    Columbia real estate

  • Contact Mel Coker, Columbia's Friendly Realtor
    Call, email and/or complete my online Contact Form. When filling in the online Contact Form, PLEASE provide complete information (name, address, email address, phone numbers). Also, provide your home search criteria and I will email current and up-to-date listings to you right away. If you have questions, call me and I will answer your questions and discuss Columbia area real estate and your home search criteria.
    e-mail: Mel Coker
    Contact Form
    Office: (803) 388-8011
    Cell: (803) 318-2007

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    Mel Coker
    MAX Real Estate Consultants
    Each office is independently owned and operated
    1303 Chapin Road
    Chapin, SC 29036

    Office: 803-388-8011
    Home : 803-932-2144
    Toll Free: 888-528-2258


    Columbia SC

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    Columbia, South Carolina Real Estate and homes
    Mel Coker, Realtor - RE/MAX Metro Associates
    Columbia - Lexington - Irmo - Chapin - Northeast Columbia - Lake Murray
    Retirement Tips * Retirement Relocation * Places to Live in Retirement