A Comprehensive Guide to Retiring in Myrtle Beach, SC

A Comprehensive Guide to Retiring in Myrtle Beach, SC

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is located on the Grand Strand, an arc of beach land on the Atlantic Ocean in South Carolina, United States, extending more than 60 miles from Little River to Winyah Bay. It’s a popular tourist destination, welcoming over 14 million visitors per year. While it’s a popular travel destination, it is also a great place to retire for seniors.

Ranked #11 by US News on The Best Places to Retire, Myrtle Beach is in an ideal coastal location. Additionally, the low cost of living, tax benefits, small city charm, agreeable weather and abundance of activities, including championship golf courses are a major draw for those looking to settle here in retirement. If you’re considering Myrtle Beach as your retirement destination, there’s a lot you’ll want to know. Use this comprehensive guide to get you started!

Tax Benefits

One of the many reasons Myrtle Beach is a popular retirement destination is the tax friendliness for seniors. In fact, South Carolina is one of the most tax-friendly states in the entire country. Here are a few reasons why:

Zero Social Security Tax

South Carolina is one of the many states that imposes no tax on social security benefits. This is important because social security is relied on by millions of older Americans. No social security tax means more disposable income for retirees in Myrtle Beach.

Deduct Up to $15,000 from Income Taxes

A $15,000 income tax deduction is available to South Carolina residents over the age of 65. It is applicable to all forms of retirement income, including that from 401(k) plans, IRAs and pension plans. This tax deduction is a great way for Myrtle Beach residents to save money during retirement.

Low Property Taxes

South Carolina has one of the lowest effective property tax rates in the country, at just 0.57%. In addition to paying this low rate, South Carolina seniors who’ve lived in the state over a year can benefit from a “homestead exemption,” which exempts them from property taxes on the first $50,000 of their home’s value.

People looking to retire in Myrtle Beach may also be interested in moving to Brightwater, a retirement community where residents pay zero property tax altogether.

Weather

Great weather is one of the many reasons people enjoy retiring in Myrtle Beach. On average, temperatures range from 38°F to 56°F in January (the coldest month) and from 74°F to 88°F in July (the warmest month). Snowfall is rare in this region, with an average of just 1 inch of snow per year, compared to a US average of 28 inches per year. What winters may lack snow is made up for in rainfall. There are 106 rainfall days per year and on average, the city receives 52 inches of rainfall per year, which is slightly higher than the 2019 US average of 34.7 inches.

People considering a move to Myrtle Beach generally want to know about hurricanes and what to expect. Residents can expect their fair share of storms throughout the year, but they’re generally not as scary or intense as many imagine. Hurricane season runs from June through November, with the majority of storms occurring in August and September. Local city officials and news outlets notify residents well in advance if there’s a chance of major storm, and they provide detailed instructions on action that needs to be taken, such as evacuation.

Health & Wellness

When relocating to a new area, familiarizing yourself with local healthcare options is an important task. One of the most appealing features of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is the top-rated healthcare services available to all residents.

The Myrtle Beach area has three premier healthcare systems, Tidelands Health System, McLeod Health, and Grand Strand Health. Their many locations bring convenience and peace of mind to the city’s residents. Both companies pride themselves in being able to offer specialty options.

Healthcare Systems / Hospitals

Tidelands Health System

The region’s largest healthcare provider with the commitment that ‘Better Health Begins Here’. Tidelands Health is an MUSC affiliate, serving the Carolinas at four hospitals and more than 60 outpatient locations.

  • Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital
  • Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital
  • Tidelands Health Rehabilitation Hospital at Murrells Inlet
  • Tideland Health Rehabilitation Hospital at Little River

McLeod Health

Founded over a century ago, McLeod is a locally owned, not-for-profit healthcare system which features the strength of more than 800 physicians and 2,000 registered nurses, and more than 8,500 employees. McLeod constantly seeks to improve patient care with efforts that are physician led, data-driven and evidence-based.

  • McLeod Health Loris
  • McLeod Health Seacoast

Grand Strand Health

Grand Strand Health is a multi-facility health system located on the coast of the Grand Strand community and has facilities throughout the Grand Strand to provide quality, convenient healthcare. Their mission and vision are “Above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life”.

  • Grand Strand Regional Medical Center

Fitness Centers and Nutritionists

A vital part of maintaining and improving your overall health is through exercise and diet. When researching gyms in a local area, you may find that you have too many options, and it can be overwhelming. Identifying age-friendly fitness centers can improve the quality of workout you’re doing. The International Council on Active Aging offers a fantastic resource to help you find the perfect fitness center for you. Nutrition is another aspect of wellness that is crucial to reaching that goal weight or optimal fitness you’re looking for. You can use this tool from HealthGrades to help you identify someone who specializes in dietetics.

Senior Living Communities

As a picturesque retirement destination, senior living communities are commonly found throughout the Grand Strang. As you’re researching the perfect retirement, you should identify what type of housing or community you’re looking for. Top-rated Brightwater Senior Living is a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). As a CCRC, this community is unique in that it offers a multitude of services including Active Adult Living, Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing, and Rehabilitation. If you’re interested in maintenance-free living, luxury amenities, and a full continuum of care, Brightwater may be a good fit. To learn more about them, click here.

Food & Drink

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina offers a melting pot of unique fare and libations for visitors and residents alike. From surf and turf and seafood to classic southern cuisine, fusion and more, there’s a wide range to choose from. Here are the top-rated restaurants and drink establishments in Myrtle Beach:

Top-Rated Restaurants in Myrtle Beach:

42nd Street Bar and Grill

4209 North Kings Highway

Serving modern contemporary American cuisine, the 42nd Street Bar and Grill is an upscale eatery in the heart of Myrtle Beach.

Cafe Old Vienna

1604 N Kings Hwy

Opened in 1997, Cafe Old Vienna is an authentic German-Austrian Alpine Lodge in the heart of Myrtle Beach. This restaurant and beer garden offer traditional dishes including Sauerbraten, Beef Rouladen, Schnitzel, Bratwurst and more.

Simply Southern Smokehouse

1913 Mr. Joe White Ave. / 10th Street

Simply Southern is the newest addition to fix-your-own-plate buffet styled eateries in the area. A nice selection of sides and entree dishes ensures that you won’t leave hungry.

Big Mike’s Soul Food

504 16th Avenue

Big Mike’s Soul Food is Myrtle Beach’s down home spot dishing up big plates of southern comfort food as well as southern hospitality. They have a variety of dishes including the staples – fried chicken, collard greens, fried fish, cornbread and much more.

Johnny D’s Waffles and Bakery

3301 N Kings Hwy

Chef Jamie Daskalis is the owner and Executive Chef at Johnny Ds in Myrtle Beach. They offer an innovative menu like no one else, a fresh atmosphere, waffles, pancakes, omelettes, Benedicts, skillets & French toast to make your taste buds do a little dance. They have 3 locations in the area.

Top-Rated Drinks in Myrtle Beach:

8th Ave Tiki Bar and Grill

708 N. Ocean Blvd

Oceanfront at the heart of the historic downtown Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and offers fantastic scenery inside and out. Tiki Bar and Grill is a unique spot with exotic cocktails, authentic Mediterranean dishes, creative burgers, and hand tossed pizzas.

LandShark Bar and Grill

1110 N. Ocean Blvd

Located below the iconic Myrtle Beach Skywheel, Landshark Bar and Grill is a Jimmy Buffet restaurant that has become a beloved spot among vacationers.

Ocean Annie’s

9550 Shore Drive

This beachfront bar has been a favorite among locals and visitors for over three decades. It boasts a pool deck with live music, dancing and pool parties.

Hurricanes Daiquiri Bar & Grill

970 Boardwalk, 916 N Ocean Blvd

Located on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk beside The Gay Dolphin. They have a unique selection of food and Fat Tuesday daiquiris.

Duplin Winery

4650 Highway 17 South

Located at Barefoot Landing, the Duplin Winery taproom is the perfect spot to kick back and enjoy a sweet Carolina Muscadine wine. Both locals and vacationers enjoy the beautiful outdoor patio and a full menu of wines and charcuterie to choose from.

Shopping

For those who enjoy shopping, Myrtle Beach has a variety of shopping destinations. Whether you prefer strolling through big shopping malls, finding a killer deal or browsing local boutiques, you’re sure to find somewhere that meets your retail needs. Here’s the breakdown of the top places to shop in Myrtle Beach:

Tanger Outlets

(2 Locations) – Highway 17 & Highway 501

The Tanger Outlets are a hit for residents and visitors. With two locations to serve you in the Myrtle Beach, Tanger Outlets has everything for saving on name brand designer shoes, clothes and gifts!

Barefoot Landing

Located on the Intracoastal Waterway in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Barefoot Landing is a shopping and entertainment village in a natural bird sanctuary setting. Visitors to this beautiful shopping district enjoy over 75 specialty retail shops with apparel, food, wine and more!

Broadway at the Beach

Enjoy family fun as you stroll this vast shopping/entertainment complex which has a unique New England/Caribbean vibe. Stroll the boardwalks right along the waterfront amid great restaurants, shopping, and entertainment! There are 100 or more specialty stores and boutiques!

Sports

While there aren’t any Major League sports teams in the area, residents of Myrtle Beach are rooting for Carolina based teams like the Carolina Panthers (NFL), Charlotte Hornets (NBA), and Carolina Hurricanes (NHL). In Myrtle Beach, residents enjoy attending Minor League sporting events from the Myrtle Beach Pelicans baseball team. While there aren’t many professional teams, collegiate sports reign supreme in the area as locals enjoy attending Coastal Carolina University sporting events, while cheering for Carolina-based teams like UNC Chapel Hill, Clemson University, University of South Carolina, and North Carolina State.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Pelicans are the proud Class A-Advanced affiliate of the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs. They are also Carolina League Champions, winning the title in back-to-back seasons (2015-16)! Over the years the club has sent over 150 players on to the “big leagues”. The team’s season begins in April and wraps up in September. Along with exciting sports action, fans are treated to between-inning entertainment that’s fun for the whole family.

Parks & Recreation

Myrtle Beach’s miles of coastline is accentuated by excellent parks, recreation facilities, and beaches in the area for residents and tourists alike to enjoy. Whether you want to be downtown and close to the action, or want a tranquil spot to relax and enjoy the flora / fauna of the area further outside of the city – there’s something for you. Here are a few of the top beaches, parks and recreation facilities in Myrtle Beach:

  • Myrtle Beach Boardwalk

    Centrally located in the City of Myrtle Beach, the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade are on the ‘main drag’ of the city and a prime location for sunshine, shopping and surf.

  • Myrtle Beach State Park

    Myrtle Beach State Park is a 312 acre state park along the coastal Grand Strand. The park was the first South Carolina State Park to open in 1936. It was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps, a New Deal Program created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    In addition to Myrtle Beach State Park, one of the best walking paths begins and ends here. Myrtle Beach State Park to Boardwalk Beach Walk is a 10.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail that offers the chance to see wildlife. The trail is primarily used for walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from October until May.

  • Surfside Beach

    Located in South Myrtle Beach, Surfside is a favorite for those looking to enjoy a day outdoors with family and friends along a clean, scenic stretch of the Grand Strand.

  • Myrtle Beach Barc Parcs

    The City of Myrtle Beach offers pet owners two excellent choices of off-leash fun for their furry friends.

    Barc Parc North is adjacent to the Claire Chapin Epps Family YMCA on 62nd Avenue North Extension. It covers 3.3 acres and opened in the fall of 2009.

    Barc Parc South, the original leash-free space for pooches, is off Mallard Lake Drive near Grand Park and The Market Common. The park covers 14 acres and includes a large lake.

Arts & Entertainment

Music Venues

The sounds of music create a vibrant lifestyle within a city; from small clubs to large venues there’s something for everyone. Attending local and national acts is easy to do in Myrtle Beach with a variety of options to choose from. Some of the top locations in Myrtle Beach to see your favorite performers are:

  • Tin Roof
  • Murrells Inlet Marshwalk
  • The House of Blues
  • Pirate’s Cove
  • The Boathouse
  • The Bowery
  • Ocean Annie’s Beach Bar

Museums

Myrtle Beach is a hub for entertainment for all ages. There is truly something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a history lesson, a celebrity encounter, or to take a look at cars of the past. Local favorite museums in Myrtle Beach are:

  • Hollywood Wax Museum
  • Wheels of Yesteryear
  • Ripley’s Aquarium, Broadway at the Beach’s WonderWorks
  • Brookgreen Garden
  • South Carolina Maritime Museum
  • North Myrtle Beach, Area Historical Museum

Transportation

Highways

The major highways that connect the rest of the country to the Grand Strand area are convenient, newly updated, and easy to navigate.The main highway going through The Grand Strand is US Route 17. US-17 is a coastal highway that stretches from Winchester, VA in the north to Punta, Gorda, FL in the south. Major cities along US-17 include Norfolk, VA; Wilmington, NC; Myrtle Beach, SC; Charleston, SC; Savannah, GA; Jacksonville, FL; and Orlando, FL.

Public Transport

The public transit system in Myrtle Beach is Coast Regional Transit Authority, which operates 10 fixed bus routes throughout Georgetown County and Horry County. Myrtle Beach residents can use Route 16 to head south toward Georgetown and north toward Myrtle Beach. The rest of the bus routes in the system operate in other sections of the local region. Coast RTA also offers a paratransit service for individuals with physical or mental disabilities. This service provides curb-to-curb, shared ride transportation anywhere within ¾ miles of a fixed bus route. It is incredibly beneficial for those who otherwise have difficulty accessing the fixed route bus system.

Airport

The Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) is a small hub airport with 50 non-stop destinations. Eight airlines provide service out of the airport. For a wider selection of outgoing flights, the Charleston International Airport, which is the largest and busiest airport in South Carolina. The flexibility in airport options makes it easy to host incoming friends and family as well as head out of town from MyrtleBeach.

Retirement Neighborhoods

Throughout the last decade, the Grand Strand has seen a share of large master-planned communities and multi-neighborhood subdivisions. The majority of these areas offer unique amenities like clubhouses, pools, playgrounds, tennis courts, and golf courses. While these new-style subdivisions take shape, there are many areas which locals and tourists alike enjoy. These are a few of the top areas in Myrtle Beach for retirees:

Carolina Forest

Carolina Forest is one of the most popular places to live in the Myrtle Beach Area. It’s located off of Highway 501 near Conway. It is a beautiful 9000 acre community with over 30 neighborhoods and prices to fit any budget. It has its own schools, post office, retail/commercial spaces and shopping.

Barefoot

The Barefoot area, or ‘Barefoot Resort’ is home to four of the most prestigious golf courses in the Grand Strand. The resort sits on over 2300 acres of land with over 5000 homes in 12 single family home communities and 17 condominium/townhome communities. Its amenities, private ocean access and shopping proximity make it an expensive neighborhood choice in the area.

Little River

Little River is located along the Intracoastal Waterway along the North Carolina and South Carolina state line. It is a historic fishing village that is about 15 miles outside of Myrtle Beach. It is home to a vineyard, lovely character homes, and family restaurants.

Murrells Inlet

Murrells Inlet is a magical place to lay roots. With its historical background, residents of this town are surrounded by beautiful homes, delicious seafood, and a natural landscape they can’t get enough of.

Myrtle Beach Awaits

Myrtle Beach is an exceptional place with many perks that make it a fantastic place to retire. From the tax benefits and coastal proximity to quality healthcare services and unique arts/entertainment, it’s an ideal location for seniors who are looking to enjoy their retirement. The city offers a great sense of community and a southern charm that will draw you in. When it’s all said and done, you’ll wonder why you didn’t move here earlier.