Myrtle Beach Retirement Guide: Financial Benefits & Tax Advantages

Welcome, future retirees, to the sunny piece of coastline and financial haven that is Myrtle Beach, South Carolina! If you're contemplating the next chapter of your life and envisioning palm trees swaying in the gentle breeze as your backdrop, you're in the right place.

Myrtle Beach has become a popular choice for retirees seeking a stress-free and affordable place to spend their retirement years. From the mild climate to the favorable tax landscape and the overall affordability, Myrtle Beach beckons with promises of serene days and worry-free financial horizons.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll take you on a journey through the financial intricacies of retiring in Myrtle Beach. It's not just about finding a place to settle down; it's about uncovering the financial benefits that can make your retirement truly golden. So, grab a cup of your favorite beverage, settle into your favorite chair, and let's explore why Myrtle Beach might just be the financial haven you've been dreaming of.

Key Takeaways

  • Tax-Friendly Retirement: Myrtle Beach stands out as a tax-friendly haven, with no state taxation on Social Security benefits and favorable treatment of retirement account withdrawals.
  • Low Property Taxes: Enjoy the financial advantage of exceptionally low property taxes, boasting an average effective rate of just 0.52%, coupled with the Homestead Exemption for homeowners aged 65 and older.
  • Affordable Cost of Living: With a cost of living approximately 11% lower than the national average, Myrtle Beach provides financial stability for retirees, including lower housing costs and utility expenses.
  • Diverse Housing Options: Explore a diverse range of housing options, from beachfront condos to inland homes, all contributing to an affordable retirement lifestyle.
  • Vibrant Community Lifestyle: Beyond financial considerations, Myrtle Beach offers a vibrant community lifestyle, with engaging local events, connections with fellow retirees, and rich cultural and recreational offerings (including, of course, our gorgeous beaches).
  • Plan Your Move: Systematically plan your Myrtle Beach retirement by assessing your budget, determining lifestyle goals, exploring housing options, seeking financial planning guidance, making a well-timed move, and integrating seamlessly into the beach lifestyle.

Myrtle Beach emerges as a retirement destination where financial bliss aligns with a fulfilling lifestyle. This coastal paradise beckons retirees with its tax-friendly atmosphere, low property taxes, and an overall affordability that transforms retirement dreams into a reality.

Why Myrtle Beach is a Popular Retirement Destination?

Picture this: warm summers, mild winters, and the soothing sound of waves lapping against the shore. Myrtle Beach is not just a popular tourist destination; it's also a retiree's dream come true. Why, you ask? Let's dive into the factors that make Myrtle Beach a sought-after retirement haven.

Climate Appeal:

Myrtle Beach boasts a climate that's the envy of many. With warm summers that invite you to bask in the sun and mild winters that offer a welcome escape from harsh cold snaps, this coastal paradise is tailor-made for those seeking year-round comfort. It's not just about escaping the snow (though you’re likely to find joy in never having to clean off your car); it's about embracing a lifestyle where outdoor activities are a year-round affair.

Lifestyle Options:

Beyond the beaches, Myrtle Beach offers a diverse range of lifestyle options. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast, history buff, or someone who simply appreciates the finer things in life, Myrtle Beach has something for everyone. Beyond this, the region enjoys day-trip proximity to some of the Southeast’s favorite travel destinations including Wilmington, Charleston, Charlotte, and Greenville.

Southern Hospitality and Charm:

Myrtle Beach and its surrounding towns are dripping with southern hospitality. Growing in recent years with an influx of retirees, it's a community where you can feel at home. The warmth of the people, combined with the stunning scenery, makes for a retirement experience unlike any other.

Affordability:

One of the crown jewels of retiring in Myrtle Beach is the affordability it brings to the retirement table. Living in this coastal haven doesn't mean breaking the bank. With a cost of living index of 89.3, Myrtle Beach's cost of living is approximately 11 percent lower than the national average! Housing costs are around 23 percent lower than the national average, making that dream home closer to reality than you might think.

Understanding Myrtle Beach's Favorable Tax Laws

Now that we've dipped our toes into the warm waters of why Myrtle Beach is a retiree's paradise, let's dive into the financial aspects that make this coastal gem even more enticing. Understanding the tax laws is a crucial step in your retirement planning, and Myrtle Beach has some appealing benefits.

No Tax on Social Security Benefits:

Here's a tidbit that will make your wallet smile: South Carolina doesn't tax Social Security benefits. That's right; the money you've diligently contributed to over the years can stay right where it belongs – in your pocket. It's a significant advantage that can add up to substantial savings as you enjoy your well-deserved retirement.

Retirement Income Deduction:

South Carolina sweetens the deal with a retirement income deduction of up to $15,000 for individuals over the age of 65. For retirees like you, this is a financial blessing, allowing you to stretch your retirement income further. Whether you're eyeing a beachfront condo or planning regular golf outings, this deduction provides flexibility in how you choose to spend your golden years.

Homestead Exemption for Homeowners:

Great news for homeowners over the age of 65! Myrtle Beach offers a homestead exemption that can lead to significant property tax savings. Picture this: the first $50,000 of your home's fair market value is exempt from taxation if it has served as your primary residence for at least one year. It's a nod to the fact that your home is not just a piece of property; it's where you live and South Carolina acknowledges and rewards that.

While South Carolina does have a state income tax, ranging from 0% to 7%, these tax benefits provide a compelling reason to consider making this coastal haven your retirement destination. Stay with us as we uncover more financial perks awaiting you in Myrtle Beach.

How Much Money You Need To Retire in Myrtle Beach

Now, let's dive into the practicalities of retirement planning in Myrtle Beach. Understanding the financial aspects is crucial to ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable retirement in this coastal paradise.

Affordable Cost of Living

One of the shining stars of Myrtle Beach's appeal is its affordable cost of living. With a cost of living index of 89.3, Myrtle Beach is approximately 11 percent lower than the national average. This means that your retirement dollars can stretch further, allowing you to enjoy the lifestyle you desire without breaking the bank.

Tax-Friendly Atmosphere:

Myrtle Beach offers a tax-friendly environment for retirees. Not taxing Social Security benefits is a significant advantage, ensuring that a portion of your retirement income stays in your pocket. Additionally, the retirement income deduction of up to $15,000 for individuals over 65 provides further relief, allowing you to maximize your retirement funds.

Housing Costs:

Housing is a substantial part of retirement planning, and Myrtle Beach has good news on this front. With housing costs around 23 percent lower than the national average, you have the opportunity to find your dream retirement home without sacrificing your budget. The Homestead Exemption for homeowners over 65 adds an extra layer of financial relief.

Comparison with Nearby States:

Comparing Myrtle Beach to communities in neighboring southern states like North Carolina and Florida reveals its financial allure. North Carolina has a slightly higher cost of living index of 91, while Florida's cost of living is even higher than the national average at 103.1. Myrtle Beach's cost of living advantage is a key factor in why it stands out as a favorable retirement destination.

Retirement Savings Guidelines:

As you plan your retirement in Myrtle Beach, consider the general guideline of saving about 10-15 percent of your pre-tax income annually before retirement. How much you need ultimately depends on when you started saving and your desired lifestyle. With the affordability and tax benefits Myrtle Beach offers, your retirement savings can potentially go a long way.

Is Myrtle Beach Tax-Friendly for Retirees?

As you navigate the financial aspects of retirement, understanding the tax landscape is a critical piece of the puzzle. Let's explore how Myrtle Beach fares in terms of taxes for retirees.

Social Security Benefits:

Good news for retirees in Myrtle Beach – the state of South Carolina does not tax Social Security retirement benefits. Your hard-earned benefits can flow directly into enhancing your retirement lifestyle without being subject to state taxation.

Retirement Account Withdrawals:

When it comes to withdrawals from retirement accounts, South Carolina takes a partially favorable stance. While these withdrawals are partially taxed, the state provides a retirement income deduction of up to $15,000 for individuals over the age of 65. This deduction serves as a financial cushion, allowing you to retain a larger portion of your retirement income.

Wage Tax Rates:

Wages in South Carolina are taxed at normal rates, and the marginal state tax rate is 4.00%. This moderate tax rate contributes to the overall tax-friendly atmosphere for retirees in Myrtle Beach.

Public and Private Pension Income:

For retirees with public and private pension income, Myrtle Beach offers a partially favorable tax treatment. The income is partially taxed, providing some relief. The specifics include a deduction of $3,000 for taxpayers under the age of 65 and a $15,000 deduction for seniors aged 65 and older. Military retirees can exclude up to $30,000 of income, offering additional financial benefits.

Property Taxes:

Property taxes in Myrtle Beach are among the lowest in the United States. The average effective property tax rate is a mere 0.52%, translating to about $520 for every $100,000 in home value. The Homestead Exemption for homeowners aged 65 and older further reduces property taxes, making the overall property tax burden quite manageable.

(We’ll go over property taxes in more detail in the next section)

Sales Taxes:

Sales taxes in Myrtle Beach are somewhat higher than the national average, ranging from 6% (the state rate) to a maximum of 9%. While this is a consideration, the exemptions on prescription drugs and groceries provide some relief for retirees.

(More on sales tax a little later)

Myrtle Beach – A Retirement Oasis of Low Property Taxes

One of the standout features that make Myrtle Beach a retirement oasis is its exceptionally low property taxes. Let's delve into the specifics of property taxes in Myrtle Beach and how they can contribute to a financially favorable retirement.

1. Average Effective Property Tax Rate:

  • Myrtle Beach boasts one of the lowest average effective property tax rates in the United States, standing at just 0.52%.
  • This translates to approximately $520 for every $100,000 in home value, significantly lower than many other retirement destinations.

2. Homestead Exemption:

  • Homeowners aged 65 and older qualify for the Homestead Exemption in Myrtle Beach.
  • If your property has been your primary residence for at least one year, the first $50,000 of your home's fair market value is exempt from taxation.
  • This exemption results in substantial savings on property taxes, providing financial relief for retirees.

3. Annual Property Tax Costs:

  • Most Myrtle Beach homeowners pay around or slightly more than $1,000 annually in property taxes.
  • This low property tax burden contributes to the overall affordability of living in Myrtle Beach, making it an attractive destination for retirees seeking financial stability.

4. Application Process for Homestead Exemption:

  • To benefit from the Homestead Exemption, homeowners need to apply at their county auditor's office.
  • Ensure that your property has served as your primary residence for at least one year to qualify for this valuable tax-saving opportunity.

5. Contribution to Low Cost of Housing:

  • The low property taxes in Myrtle Beach play a significant role in keeping the overall cost of housing affordable.
  • Retirees can enjoy the financial advantages of homeownership without being burdened by exorbitant property tax bills.
  • As you consider Myrtle Beach for your retirement, the combination of low property taxes and the Homestead Exemption can significantly enhance your financial well-being.

Navigating Sales Taxes in Myrtle Beach

Understanding the sales tax landscape is crucial as you plan your retirement in Myrtle Beach. Let's navigate through the intricacies of sales taxes and explore how they may impact your overall financial picture in this coastal haven.

1. Sales Tax Rates:

  • Myrtle Beach has a state sales tax rate of 6%, forming the baseline for sales tax in the area.
  • The maximum sales tax rate, which includes local taxes, can reach up to 9% in certain locations within the state.

2. Exemptions on Essential Items:

  • While the sales tax rates are somewhat higher than the national average, certain essential items are fully exempt.
  • Prescription drugs and groceries are two significant categories that do not incur sales taxes, providing financial relief for retirees on essential purchases.

3. Consideration for Non-Essential Items:

  • When purchasing non-essential items, such as clothing and motor vehicles, be aware that these may be subject to sales taxes.
  • Factor these taxes into your budget for discretionary spending to ensure accurate financial planning.

4. Infrastructure Maintenance Fee for Vehicles:

  • Motor vehicles, while subject to sales taxes, may also incur an infrastructure maintenance fee.
  • Be mindful of this additional fee when budgeting for vehicle-related expenses in Myrtle Beach.

5. Sales Tax Impact on Overall Cost of Living:

  • While sales taxes are a consideration, it's important to weigh them against other financial benefits and the overall low cost of living in Myrtle Beach.
  • The affordability of housing, low property taxes, and tax-friendly retirement benefits contribute to the financial appeal of retiring in this coastal paradise.

As you explore the financial aspects of retiring in Myrtle Beach, understanding the nuances of sales taxes will help you make informed decisions.

Planning Your Myrtle Beach Retirement Escape - A Step-by-Step Guide

Embarking on your Myrtle Beach retirement adventure involves a strategic step-by-step approach. Let's break down the process into a sequential guide, ensuring you cover all the essential aspects of planning your Myrtle Beach retirement escape:

1. Assess Your Budget:

Evaluate your current budget and financial standing. Consider how Myrtle Beach's lower cost of living can positively impact your retirement finances.

2. Determine Your Lifestyle Goals:

Envision your ideal retirement lifestyle in the vibrant setting of Myrtle Beach.
Identify the outdoor activities, community engagement, and cultural experiences that align with your retirement goals.

3. Explore Housing Options:

Research the diverse range of housing options Myrtle Beach has to offer.
Take advantage of the lower housing costs (23% lower than the national average) and explore potential property tax relief through programs like the Homestead Exemption.

4. Seek Financial Planning Guidance:

Connect with financial advisors or local experts familiar with Myrtle Beach's financial landscape.
Gain insights into maximizing your retirement funds, leveraging tax benefits, and making informed decisions about real estate.

5. Make Your Move:

Once you've assessed your budget, defined your lifestyle goals, and explored housing options, it's time to make the move.
Consider the logistics of relocation and ensure a smooth transition to your Myrtle Beach retirement.

6. Integrate into the Beach Lifestyle:

Embrace the vibrant Myrtle Beach community. Engage in local events, connect with fellow retirees, and explore the social opportunities that align with your newfound beach lifestyle.

By following this sequential guide, you can systematically plan and execute each step of your Myrtle Beach retirement escape.

Retiring in Myrtle Beach – FAQs

As you contemplate the prospect of retiring in Myrtle Beach, you likely have questions swirling in your mind. Let's address some of the frequently asked questions to provide you with a clearer picture of what retiring in this coastal haven entails.

Q: Is Myrtle Beach a good place for retirees?

A: Without a doubt! Myrtle Beach offers an affordable cost of living, tax benefits for retirees, stunning summers, and mild winters. It's no surprise that it's often considered one of the best places for retirees to live in the U.S.

Q: What are the pros and cons of retiring in Myrtle Beach?

A: If you decide to retire in Myrtle Beach, you'll undoubtedly enjoy the beautiful coastline, ideal weather, and a myriad of other benefits. However, like any other place, you'll also have to navigate a few challenges, such as potential extreme weather and varying real estate prices in certain areas.

Q: Where is better to retire, Florida or Myrtle Beach?

A: The answer to this question depends on your personal preferences. However, in terms of cost of living, Myrtle Beach has a significant advantage. With a cost of living index of 89.3, it's considerably cheaper than Florida, which has a cost of living index of 103.1 – much higher than the national average.

Myrtle Beach – A Retirement Haven of Financial Bliss

As we conclude this comprehensive guide to retiring in Myrtle Beach, let's summarize the key financial considerations and emphasize why this coastal haven stands out as a retirement haven of financial bliss.

1. Tax-Friendly Retirement Benefits:

  • Myrtle Beach offers tax-friendly retirement benefits, including no state taxation on Social Security benefits.
  • With favorable treatment of retirement account withdrawals and deductions for pension income, retirees can maximize their financial resources.

2. Low Property Taxes and Homestead Exemption:

  • Myrtle Beach boasts exceptionally low property taxes, with an average effective rate of just 0.52%.
  • The Homestead Exemption provides additional relief for homeowners aged 65 and older, ensuring significant savings on property taxes.

3. Affordable Cost of Living:

  • The overall cost of living in Myrtle Beach is approximately 11% lower than the national average.
  • Retirees can enjoy financial stability with lower housing costs, utility expenses, and other everyday necessities.

4. Diverse Housing Options:

  • Myrtle Beach offers a diverse range of housing options, from beachfront condos to inland homes.
  • The affordability of housing, coupled with the Homestead Exemption, makes it easier for retirees to find their dream retirement home.

5. Vibrant Community Lifestyle:

  • Beyond financial considerations, Myrtle Beach provides a vibrant community lifestyle.
  • Engage in local events, connect with fellow retirees, and immerse yourself in the rich cultural and recreational offerings of this coastal paradise.

When you examine all of these amazing benefits together, Myrtle Beach emerges as a retirement destination where financial considerations align with a fulfilling lifestyle. As you embark on your retirement journey, consider the tax-friendly atmosphere, low property taxes, and the overall affordability that Myrtle Beach offers.

Whether you seek the tranquility of beachfront living or the excitement of community events, Myrtle Beach beckons as a retirement haven of financial bliss. We hope this guide has provided valuable insights to help you make informed decisions and turn your retirement dreams into a reality in Myrtle Beach.

Our experienced agents have a deep understanding of the local market and can provide invaluable insights to ensure your moving process is as smooth and successful as possible. 

Contact us today for more information about the local market and trends in Myrtle Beach, SC!  We look forward to working with you!

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Listing information last updated on May 19, 2024 at 3:45 AM EST.

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