14 Types of People Who Should Retire in the South

Get ready for a big dose of Southern charm during your golden years.
Updated April 9, 2024
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As you near retirement, the world becomes your oyster. Soon, you will no longer be restricted by a job and a commute, meaning you can move anywhere.

That means you should think about whether the South would be a good place to spend your golden years before you retire.

If you are one of the following 14 types of people, you might enjoy retiring to the South's diversity of climate, landscape, and culture.

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People who love the water

2B/Adobe senior couple hugging at beach

Whether you love sitting on the beach or wading in the sea, the South has plenty of opportunities to live close to the water.

Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida all border the Atlantic Ocean. Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas all border the Gulf of Mexico.

People who don’t mind humidity

freebird7977/Adobe romantic senior couple at tropical vacation

During the winter, people love that the South is warm. But in the summer, it’s just plain hot.

Temperatures soar in the region during summer, and so does the humidity. So, make sure you are prepared for weather that is soupy and sticky and that feels like a hug you might not always want the moment you walk outside.

People who enjoy diversity

Yakobchuk Olena/Adobe retired man reading map on vacation

The South has some of the most diverse regions in the country, especially in Florida and Texas.

The South offers a diversity of cultures and an incredible range of food, from Viet-Cajun to Cuban and soul food.

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People who love college football

razihusin/Adobe American football players ready for game

If you envision a retirement where you watch football every Saturday and talk about your favorite team with friends during the rest of the week, head down to the South. College football is a religion here, with the Southeastern Conference (SEC) reigning supreme. 

Whether you root for the Alabama Crimson Tide, Louisiana State Tigers, Georgia Bulldogs, or another team, it won’t take long to find your people in your new hometown.

People who don’t mind storms

JSirlin/Adobe storm clouds over green field

The South is a hot spot for extreme weather. From hurricanes in Florida to tornadoes in Alabama and jaw-dropping summer thunderstorms throughout the region, the weather isn’t always for the faint of heart.

You have to be prepared for the worst of Mother Nature. But if you love watching storms from the front porch, the South is the place to do it.

People who appreciate manners

Page Light Studios/Adobe happy senior couple relaxing on couch

For those who love a “please,” “thank you,” or “yes sir and yes ma’am,” retiring to the South will be a delight.

This is the place for those who always bring a hostess gift and cannot imagine not holding a door for others. Plus, folks in retirement are sure to benefit from a culture where people take respecting their elders to heart.

People who love Southern hospitality

perevalovalexey/Adobe senior couple relaxing on park bench

Southern hospitality isn’t just something you see in the movies: It’s a way of life in the South.

From welcoming a friend to your front porch with a crisp glass of sweet tea to inviting new neighbors to dinner, Southern hospitality is alive and well.

People who enjoy hunting

Budimir Jevtic/Adobe deer in forest on foggy morning

Many hunters dream of retirement as a time when they can finally spend endless days enjoying their favorite hobby. Outdoor Life magazine has described the South and Midwest as comprising the “heartbeat of hunting in America.”

Not bound by time, retirees can get up at the crack of dawn for a duck hunt or dedicate an entire day to sitting in a deer stand.

People who love barbecue

Joshua Resnick/Adobe american bbq ribs cooking on grill

People know the South does barbecue better than anyone. (Apologies to Kansas City or St. Louis, of course.)

If you're a fan of barbecue, retiring to the South means you can spend a lot of time hitting all the best joints. From North Carolina pulled pork to Texas brisket and Alabama white sauce, there are endless options to enjoy.

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People who love regional food

Salsabila Ariadina/Adobe senior friends having lunch in restaurant

The South has some of the strongest food traditions in the country — from shrimp and grits to muffaletta and Cuban sandwiches, the range of dishes is never-ending.

Add in Duke’s Mayo, Cheerwine, and Zapp’s Chips, and it won’t be long before you are spouting about all the reasons Southern food is the best.

People who love to golf

sculpies/Adobe golfer ready to make shot

From Georgia’s Augusta National Golf Club to Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina and the Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina, the South has some of the most lauded golf courses in the country.

Whether you’re trying to land a ticket to the Masters or splurging on a round at PGA National Resort in Florida, this is the place to retire if you love golf.

People who enjoy the outdoors

rh2010/Adobe senior couple hiking with trekking sticks

Whether you love kayaking or hiking, the South has some of the greatest outdoor adventures in the country. During retirement, you will have the time to enjoy them all.

From Florida to Tennessee, you’ll never run out of places to explore the beauty of the great outdoors.

People who love art

kalafoto/Adobe happy senior man at art gallery

There must be something in the sweet tea because the South boasts some of the most talented artists in the country. Head South if you love viewing art or plan on collecting it during your golden years.

Enjoy galleries in Charleston, South Carolina. Or visit some of the most impressive museums around, including Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, or the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia.

People who want a lower cost of living

Lumos sp/Adobe happy retired couple smiling outdoors

Generally speaking, the South has a lower cost of living than many other areas of the country.

Especially in smaller, rural towns, you will find a cost of living that’s well below average, making it easier to get ahead financially.

Bottom line

Syda Productions/Adobe happy senior couple riding bicycle outdoors

If you're planning for retirement, consider whether the South would be a good place to live during your golden years.

There are countless reasons to retire in this region of the country. If any of the characteristics on this list describe you, the South might be the perfect place for you.

FinanceBuzz is not an investment advisor. This content is for informational purposes only, you should not construe any such information as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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Author Details

Heather Bien Heather Bien is a writer covering personal finance and budgeting and how those relate to life, travel, entertaining, and more. With bylines that include The Spruce, Apartment Therapy, and mindbodygreen, she's covered everything from tax tips for freelancers to budgeting hacks to how to get the highest ROI out of your home renovations.

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