Retire To A Good Life For Less – Greenville SC Makes Top 10 For Low Cost Cities
Greenville SC: Big-City Buzz Meets Southern Ease
Median home price: $127,600
Median mortgage payment: $487
Median property tax: $753
State tax on Social Security: Yes
State tax on pensions: No
Great eating: Munch on a petit pain for 65 cents at Legrand Bakery.
Catch a game: For $7, watch the Greenville Drive, a Boston Red Sox affiliate, at Fluor Field. On Thursdays, beer costs a buck.
Favorite freebies: Parking on Main Street, trolley rides, downtown Wi-Fi and admission to the Greenville County Museum of Art
As Caren and John Maietta sized up retirement, they knew they’d have to leave their home on New York’s pricey Long Island. John, now 60, is disabled, and Caren, 61, was working as a teaching assistant in the local school system and tutoring on the side.
One visit to Greenville clinched their decision; they moved south in 2010, buying a lovely home (five bedrooms, three and a half baths) for half the price of their former place. Though they’re not mortgage-free, their monthly payment is less than a quarter of what it was before. Instead of New York’s sky-high property taxes, the average here is $753. (Yes, per year.) Their car insurance also fell by half. Gasoline prices are much lower. “Even utilities are cheaper here,” Caren says. In New York, the couple spent about $650 a month; in Greenville, “our bills range from $80 to $190.”
Those savings enabled her to stop working, and the two live comfortably on savings and disability payments. Still a few years away from collecting Social Security, they are committed to keeping their costs low while living large.
“It’s even a little decadent,” Caren says. “I play tennis four to five days a week at the Green Valley Country Club. It costs $150 a month for a family sports membership, which includes social events, the pool and tennis facilities.”
by Sarah Mahoney, AARP The Magazine, October/November 2013