The historic and picturesque town of Beaufort, South Carolina, with beautiful beaches and charming homes, is gaining popularity as the largest area to retire in the state.  Currently, Beaufort County has more adults over 65 than any other county in South Carolina, totaling about 12 percent of the population and accounting for almost 14,000 retirees.

Just the facts about
Population:  9,516
Climate: Average 65º
Average Housing Cost:  $70,000 to $400,000
Home Owner's Insurance*:   $398 to $1,451
Property Tax**:  $803.04 to $4,588.80
Recreation:  Fishing, Golf, Historic Sites, Hunting Island State Park, Nature Trails, Shopping, Art, Beaches, Tennis

*Basic insurance policy rate for state of South Carolina; does not include flood, earthquake or hurricane coverage; excludes coastal homes. 
(South Carolina Insurance News Service)

**Millage levy is state average of 229 mills.

A warm and mild climate year-round is enjoyed by the almost 10,000 residents of Beaufort.  Along with an average temperature of 65º, Beaufort also has many recreational opportunities available to potential retirees, including fishing, golf, tennis, movies, boating, swimming, camping, theaters and historic sites.  The area is home to numerous nature trails and Hunting Island state park, allowing residents to see the beauty of nature in the Lowcountry.  Location is another significant draw in Beaufort.  The town is close to several beaches and resorts, including Hilton Head Island.  Beaufort is also situated between Charleston and Savannah, with numerous other activities and opportunities available to retirees, including museums, golf, tennis and shopping.

Homes in Beaufort range from $70,000 to $400,000 and vary in square footage, depending on the area.  Retirees will pay approximately $803.04 in property taxes for a $70,000 home; the more expensive $400,000 homes average $4,588.80.  Seniors are exempt from paying municipal, school and county taxes on the first $20,000 of their homes under the Homestead Exemption Tax.

Home owner's insurance rates vary depending on the amount of coverage and location.  The state average for insurance is $398 for a $70,000 home and $1,451 for a $400,000 home.  This estimate does not include flood, hurricane or earthquake coverage.  Rates for homes along the coast will be higher.

Retirees can also benefit from several income tax deductions available in the state of South Carolina.  The income tax rate has a maximum of 7% on income over $11,400.  Retirees receive a $3,000 tax deduction and adults over 65 receive a $10,000 deduction.  Social Security benefits are not taxed.

For more information on retirement and housing in Beaufort, call the Chamber of Commerce (843) 524-3163, the Beaufort City Manager's Office (843) 525-7070, the Beaufort Home Builders Association (843) 524-5203 or visit Hot Retirement Towns.