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Thread: Retirement Florida vs South Carolina

  1. #1

    Retirement Florida vs South Carolina

    anyone made a decision between these two states as to which is better as far as SS and taxes. Also did you buy into a over 55 community, and which one did you choose and why.

    We have been looking in Florida but the sinkholes are in issue in some areas that we like and traffic and heat are also something we are thinking about. SC seems to be a more relaxed area, Conway or Little River look nice
    Appreciate all advice.....this is getting very confusing

  2. #2
    We first moved from PA to a 55+ in SC, just south of Charlotte, NC, but have now moved to another 55+ in DE. There are many reasons, but suffice it to say that we much prefer DE over SC. The basic property taxes in SC were lower than PA, but what they don't tell you is that most of the Carolinas have a personal property tax on cars, boats and RVs. And the newer your car the higher the taxes. They are supposed to go down with with depreciation, but not very fast. I bought a 2011 GMC Terrain new and my PP tax was about $400/year, and it wasn't a fancy model....SLE2. When we left SC in 2015 it was still over $350/year. And you don't get your registration tag and card until you pay them. We had 2 other much older cars (1985 and 2003) and between the 3 we were paying about $500/year in PP taxes. Plus the 8.25% sales tax because of the 2% local tax added on to the state 6.25%, which is on a lot more stuff than in PA (like clothes).

    Another thing is insurance. The entire state actually pays extra because of the hurricanes on the coast that keep damaging the large very expensive houses. Our house insurance was about $800/year for a $350K house (nowhere near the coast). But a hail storm came through in 2011 and the insurance went up to over $1100/year. That was State Farm, but everybody's went up and some more than that. We had been with SF for over 35 years, so we probably got a "break". Our house insurance in DE, based on the same $350K house with State Farm is $385/year. We have also found that our car insurances are also a bit lower than SC.

  3. #3
    If you're going to put taxes at the top of the list for retirement, consider personal income taxes. Zero in Florida, 5-7% in SC. Then real estate taxes, home owners insurance, health insurance. . . Personal property taxes on cars are a pretty minor deal.

    Looking at 55+ communities? Here's something significant. Only 35 of them in SC, nearly all on the coast. Florida has over 1,000 to choose from, all over the state.

    Rothbear, if your income is derived from IRA RMD's and taxes are a major issue, you would have done well to stay in PA. Last time I looked (a few years ago), they were to only state to exempt IRA distributions from state income tax.

  4. #4
    I lived in both. While SC has state income taxes, overall it is much cheaper to live in a comparable home. Homeowners is cheaper, real eatate taxes cheaper, plus you have 4 seasons. Mild winters (50's-60's), beautiful spring and fall, hot summers, but without the almost daily thunderstorms. Don't misunderstand, I love FL, but you asked for comparisons.

  5. #5
    Sinkholes are not a good reason not to move to Florida. As a native Floridian, I can offer many good reasons not to move there ... but that's about the same as citing the fear of being swallowed by an alligator.

    I considered both Charleston and Gainesville as part of a recent retirement move but ended up in Albuquerque -- am happy here so far.

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