Is Myrtle Beach a Good Place to Retire?
Myrtle Beach’s popularity seems to increase drastically year over year, and its long coastline and bustling shopping and dining scenes draw crowds from every phase of life. While the summer months are packed with tourists ranging from newborns to senior citizens, the winter months tend to look a little bit different. You, like many other people, are probably wondering “Is Myrtle Beach a good place to retire?” At first glance, the answer to this question may seem obvious. However, doubts and worries are always understandable, and we are here to explain in detail why Myrtle Beach truly is a good place to move to, especially for retirement.
First and foremost, I should start out by mentioning that Myrtle Beach is and has been a favorite spot for retirees. The 60-mile long stretch of coastline, the accessibility to fantastic restaurants, the slew of shopping centers, and the countless world-class golf courses are some of the most common reasons that people look to Myrtle Beach for retirement. However, there is much more at play that just that. This post will unpack each of those points, and then dive into the deeper causes that make Myrtle Beach such a great place to retire.
Surface-Level Reasons Why Retirees Love Myrtle Beach:
Myrtle Beach’s Extensive and Beautiful Coastline
Myrtle Beach is one of the crown jewels along South Carolina’s 60-mile long stretch of coastline called the Grand Strand. This entire stretch of shoreline is filled with beautiful small towns, beaches, cities, and villages that all have something (or several unique things) to offer visitors. Myrtle Beach is pretty centrally located along the Grand Strand, which makes accessing the rest of the places along the coastline very easy.
One perk of this long stretch of coastline and its interconnectivity is that you can choose to live in a community that is a bit distanced from the city while still being able to access all that you need from the city of Myrtle Beach. The coastal highway has been doing a much better job of moving traffic along, and living several miles away from the city to have peace and quiet does not need to come at the cost of being remote and removed.
While there are advantages to the coastline being long, it also needs to be mentioned that the Grand Strand is simply a beautiful stretch of beach as well. While the makeup of each beach along the Grand Strand is different, you can always expect nice sand, great waves, and beautiful sunshine. As an east coast destination, you can look forward to beautiful sunrises over the Atlantic Ocean. If you are a morning person, a cup of coffee while watching the sunrise could become a daily habit!
The Accessibility to World-Class (and Simply Delicious) Restaurants
We have written about this in many of our other posts, but the influx of tourism over the years has caused a massive growth spurt in several industries in Myrtle Beach, and arguably none of them have grown as much as the restaurant industry. When the peak of the summer hits and there are up to a million tourists in Myrtle Beach at once, the city needs to have enough restaurants to keep everyone fed! While this can lead to some longer wait times in the summer to eat at your favorite restaurants, it is also the reason that there are so many fantastic restaurants here in the first place. The high volume of tourists has led to a lot of investment by restauranteurs, and as a retiree in Myrtle Beach, you get to reap the benefits!
A local favorite is Calabash food, which we wrote an entire post about in the past. I encourage you to read the post that is linked in the previous sentence, but to sum it all up, Calabash food is lightly breaded, deep fried, extremely fresh seafood. It is usually served in buffets, and it is certainly the most popular local food offered in the Grand Strand.
Whether you think Calabash food sounds appealing or not, there are countless other restaurants that you are bound to like, including top-notch steakhouses, delicious breakfast joints, trendy vegan spots, comfort food restaurants, and more. A quick search on Google for whatever type of cuisine you are craving will show you exactly what I mean when I say there are plenty of places to eat!
Myrtle Beach’s Sprawling Indoor and Outdoor Shopping Centers
While they are very popular with tourists, Myrtle Beach’s shopping centers are a great asset to have as a retiree, too. The biggest ones are the Tanger Outlets, Barefoot Landing, and Broadway at the Beach. Each of these places is unique and offers its own draw, and I will expound on them a bit in a second. First, though, I just want to reiterate how convenient it is to have all of the shopping locations that you need right at your fingertips! Between these three destinations, there are very few things that you may need at home that you can’t find. This makes shopping trips extra easy, and the restaurants and venues that are intertwined with the stores make your shopping trip even more enjoyable!
- Broadway at the Beach is a favorite for families, but it is surely suitable for all people of all ages. This expansive outdoor mall has both small local boutiques and large, national stores. It is set up as a loop around a lake, and a stroll along the whole loop is a fantastic way to spend an evening. Broadway at the Beach especially is filled with fantastic places to grab a bite to eat or a drink, and the endless list of stores makes it a favorite among both locals and tourists. Broadway at the Beach is located right in Myrtle Beach, making it very centrally located and accessible.
- Barefoot Landing is like Broadway at the Beach, but a bit higher end and less family oriented. Both Barefoot Landing and Broadway at the Beach are fine places to take children, but Barefoot Landing tends to be frequented by less families and more couples and retirees. This shopping center also borders a lake, and there is a beautiful bridge that you can walk across to get from one side to the other if you don’t feel like walking the circumference of the lake. The stores here are mainly boutiques, and the food options are fewer but equally as fantastic in comparison to Broadway at the Beach. Barefoot Landing is located in North Myrtle Beach, which helps to keep it calmer and quieter – even during peak tourist season.
- Finally, the Tanger Outlets are the place you want to go if you have a laundry list of items you need to buy. As outlets, the stores at Tanger Outlets tend to sell their wares at very low prices. The stores here are all large national brands, too, making them a favorite for both locals and tourists. Ranging from Levi’s Jeans to Bath and Body Works, the Tanger Outlets can offer you arguably the most shopping options of any place on this list, while also selling their goods at the most affordable prices.
The Countless World-Class Golf Courses in Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach is often regarded as one of the best places to golf in the entire United States. The great weather all year, the relatively low humidity, and the beautiful views of the Grand Strand and the Atlantic Ocean are all reasons that avid golfers cite for choosing to golf in Myrtle Beach. If you are retirining, you may be thinking of ways to fill your time. One of the most common ways to fill the newfound time of retirement is by picking up new hobbies or strongly embracing current ones. If you think golf could be the one that you want to invest in, Myrtle Beach is one of the best places you can go.
Two of the most prestigious golf courses in the Myrtle Beach area are The Dunes Golf and Beach Club and Caledonia Golf and Beach Club. These two are consistently ranked among the best golf courses in the entire country. However, not everyone wants to golf at world-class courses every time! They often carry a higher price tag and require a higher level of skill. Don’t worry about that – the Myrtle Beach area has tens of fantastic golf courses that you can choose from, and their quality, required skill level, and price tags are all over the spectrum.
Deeper Reasons Why Retirees Love Myrtle Beach
The Comparatively Low Cost of Living in Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach is packed with great amenities, as we listed above. However, there are endless places in the United States with the same kinds of things! What makes Myrtle Beach unique from popular retiree destinations in places like Florida and Georgia?
The first of these is the cost of living. South Carolina is one of the most affordable places to retire along either the east or west coast, and as a retiree living on a fixed income, this is probably a very welcomed thing to hear. While you may be able to afford to live in some of the popular places in Florida, living on the Grand Strand allows you to stretch your budget further, and really enjoy the things that you love with less limits.
The low cost of living is the result of many factors, but low taxes are one of the biggest ones. Finding a nice place to live in Myrtle Beach ultimately means that you will be able to do more, enjoy life to a higher level, and afford more of the finer things in life much more than moving to a pricier location in Florida. Plus, the summers aren’t nearly as hot and humid, and the winters are still pretty warm!
Myrtle Beach’s Proximity to the North
This one may not apply to everyone, but to some people it is one of the most important factors. If you are from somewhere in the northeast – especially mid-Atlantic states like Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, and Delaware – Myrtle Beach is not too bad of a drive. Now, why does that matter?
To some people, it doesn’t. If you want to retire and never look back – maybe you don’t have local family or friends, for example – then this doesn’t matter to you at all. However, if you want to retire somewhere warm but have children or grandchildren that you are leaving behind up north, being a drivable distance away from them is often much easier than being a full flight away! While it is possible to drive from Florida to the northeast, it is not a fun drive. South Carolina is about 50% closer, which can cut the drive in half and make visiting your friends, children, and grandchildren without flying significantly easier. While flying may be an option for some people, it can get costly over time, and can limit how much you bring with you on your visits. Once you pack one carload of Christmas presents to take up and realize you could’ve never brought them on a place, you will see what I mean!
Myrtle Beach’s Property Investment Growth Potential
When you buy a home, you may or may not consider how much your investment will grow. In fact, you may not consider your home to be an investment at all! Whether you actively think of these things or not, a house is a major investment, and investments can generate losses or returns over time. While property values generally tend to trend upwards over the years, some places offer a higher potential return than others.
Myrtle Beach could very well be one of those places that offers a high return on the investment you make in your house. Full disclosure, we are not giving any kind of financial advice or guidance in this post. However, Myrtle Beach’s real estate market is only beginning to tap into its full potential, as there is so much land left to be developed. As an area gets developed, the property values around it tend to go up.
If you use that logic, you could possibly infer than buying a house in a market like Myrtle Beach, which is still growing and has yet to fully bear its fruit, could be a much higher-return investment than a house in a full developed, stagnant retirement community in Florida. While you ultimately should move where you want to be and not just where your house can gain the most value, considering the growth of the value of your home can set you up even better for another move down the line if you decide to relocate again in the future.
Myrtle Beach’s Extremely Comfortable Weather
Florida is hot and it never really cools down. If you are chasing hot weather, Florida might be the right move for you. However, most people don’t actually crave incessant heat like you can find in Arizona, or incessant heat and humidity like you can find in Florida. Most people just want warm, comfortable weather all year long. Does this sound like you? South Carolina gets nice and hot in the summer, and it stays pretty mild in the winter, all while not being nearly as humid as Florida. This makes golfing much more enjoyable and makes daily tasks much less draining! Unless you are craving Florida weather specifically, you may be better off in a State like South Carolina with its much more reasonable temperatures and humidity levels.
At the end of the day, where you retire is a really big decision and there is no right answer for everyone. Everyone has their own preferences and priorities, and the perfect place for someone could very well be the wrong choice for someone else. It is all a matter of figuring out what exactly you want, and finding a place that meets those criteria. Hopefully, this post at least served you well as a window into what you can expect with a move to Myrtle Beach and answered some doubts or questions that you have about living as a retiree on the Grand Strand.
If you visit Myrtle Beach or any other place in South Carolina and fall in love, reach out to us for help. We at The Boyd Team are always here to help you figure out whether Myrtle Beach is your next home or not, and we are committed to helping you find the right property for your needs and dreams. Any question that you have about moving to the area and finding your dream home by the beach is our pleasure to answer. Feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or text or call us at (843) 222-8566, and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Being true natives of the Grand Strand and Horry County and with over 25 years of experience in the local real estate market, whether buying or selling, we can help you make your dreams a reality.
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Written by Greg