5 Best South Carolina Cities To Retire on a Budget of $2,000 a Month

These Palmetto State cities could be a great fit if you want to stretch your money further in retirement.

Older women doing yoga
Updated June 13, 2024
Fact checked

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

As you start thinking about your retirement planning moves, choosing the right location to spend your golden years is a key factor in getting the most out of the dollars you have. 

South Carolina is an attractive landing spot for retirees, and your money can go even further if you opt for the right city in the Palmetto State.

Following are some South Carolina cities with unique cultural offerings where your money can stretch further. Living in one of these places might help reduce your financial stress so you can enjoy retirement.

Note: All rental and housing prices come from RentCafe data unless otherwise noted.

If you’re over 50, take advantage of massive travel discounts and trip-planning resources

Over 50 and love traveling? Join AARP today — because if you’re not a member, you could be missing out on huge travel perks. When you start your membership today, you can get discounts on hotels and resorts, airfare, cruises, car rentals, and more.

How to become a member today:

  • Go here, select your free gift, and click “Join Today”
  • Create your account (important!) by answering a few simple questions
  • Start enjoying your discounts and perks!

An AARP membership not only unlocks discounts that could save you hundreds on your next trip, but you’ll also have access to deals on vacation packages, guided tours, and exclusive content to help plan your next getaway.

Important: Start your membership by creating an account here and filling in all of the information (do not skip this step!). Doing so will allow you to take up to 25% off your AARP membership, making it just $12 per year with auto-renewal.

Become an AARP member now


Roberto/Adobe sumter county

Sumter is a small city that offers residents a complete lifestyle, with plenty to discover and explore.

Whether you want to learn about the town’s history at museums, enjoy a lazy day at the park, or attend a local festival, Sumter has you covered.

If you want to travel more this year, it's a great place to visit and check out for yourself as your potential future base.

The city offers a small-town feel with big-city perks, like amble shopping. Thanks in part to the proximity to state parks and other natural areas, many of the activities in the city — hiking, walking, swimming — are free.

The average rent price is $1,039. If you want to buy a house, the average cost is $278,168.

Want to learn how to build wealth like the 1%? Sign up for Worthy to get ideas and advice delivered to your inbox.


Kevin Ruck/Adobe main street in downtown Gaffney

Gaffney’s catchphrase is “Small Town, Big Adventure.” The city lives up to its name.

Gaffney offers a slow-paced life with plenty to enjoy, which can be a great combination during retirement. Want to try acting in retirement or simply support the arts? The Gaffney Little Theatre gives you the chance to do both.

The average rent price is $930 for an apartment. While RentCafe doesn't list the median home price, Best Places says it's $143,300.

With a $2,000 monthly budget, it’s possible to have a great life in Gaffney.

Pro tip: Before settling into one of these cities, take a vacation there to see if you like it. And consider paying for things with a great credit card that can help you earn travel rewards.


JBStudios/Adobe pine trees at sunset

Florence’s slogan is “Full Life, Full Forward.” It’s easy to see how that’s possible in this city.

Impressive trails run through the town and create cohesive access to nature for every resident. You can also support the Florence Little Theatre or visit the Florence County Museum.

It’s easy to see why Florence attracts residents of all ages, including retirees. Apartments.com says the median rent price is $1,039, while the median home price (per Zillow) is $211,885.

Earn a $250 travel bonus with this incredible card

There's a credit card that's making waves with its amazing bonus and benefits. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card has no annual fee and you can earn 25,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

You can earn additional points just by using this card for your everyday purchases — unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases. The 25,000 bonus points can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel or dining purchases.

If you want to travel and dine out more, the Travel Rewards card can help you get where you want to go.

The best part? There's no annual fee.

Click here to apply now.


Kevin Ruck/Adobe downtown Columbia South Carolina skyline

If you crave a bit more action, Columbia is a good choice. South Carolina’s capital city is also the second-largest in the state.

Here, you will find many options for eating and shopping. Visit the South Carolina State Farmers Market or spend some time at the Columbia Fire Department Museum.

The average rent price is $1,358. But you can likely spend even less if you opt for a smaller space. RentCafe does not list a median home price, but Best Places says it is $351,203.

North Charleston

Electric Egg Ltd./Adobe An image of Charleston, South Carolina

With a population of nearly 120,000, North Charleston is bigger than some of the other cities on the list. It might be a great fit if you’re looking for an affordable city where you can live near the coast.

In your free time, visit the museums in the city, attend the North Charleston Coliseum & Performing Arts Center, or take advantage of the abundance of nature.

The average rent in the city is about $1,593, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for other expenses in a $2,000 monthly budget. But if you are willing to live in a smaller space, you might be able to manage things here.

Once again, RentCafe does not list a median home price. However, Redfin pegs it at $350,000.

Bottom line

rarrarorro/Adobe South Carolina state flag waving

South Carolina offers excellent weather, a lot of free activities, and a slower pace of living than many places.

The state is a good choice if you want to keep more money in your bank account. You might be surprised by how far your money can stretch in South Carolina.

Easy-to-Earn Unlimited Rewards


Card Details

  • Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
  • Longer intro APR on qualifying purchases and balance transfers
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Apply Now
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire as long as your account remains open.
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 19.24% - 29.24% will apply. A 3% Intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days your account is open. After the Intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for future balance transfers is 4%.
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means instead of earning an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1, you could earn 1.87-2.62 points for every $1 you spend on purchases.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Bank of <span class='whitespace-nowrap'>America<sup>®</sup></span> Travel Rewards credit card
Apply Now

on Bank of America’s secure website

Read Card Review

Intro Offer

Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases

Annual Fee



Why we like it