Phil Harris and Melany Myers

South Carolina City Named One Of The Best Places For Retirement

As much as we love living in Charlotte, my wife and I have talked about downsizing to a smaller city when we reach retirement age. There are a number of reasons for wanting to live in a less populous place. For one thing, there would be less traffic. Living in a smaller city might also bring us closer to nature, whether it were a coastal community or a mountain/lake town. We could really go either way. HGTV went on the hunt for the 20 Best Small Towns to Retire. They started with places that have maximum population of 100,000 residents. From there, the HGTV folks looked for a low cost of living, availability of affordable housing, public safety, access to good-quality healthcare, and low tax rates. Of course, there's more to a good quality of life than just the financial aspect of retirement. What about things to do for active retirees such as outdoor recreation, museums, sporting events, music venues, and educational opportunities? Are there good places for walking, biking, shopping, and dining? Once all of those factors were considered, HGTV came up with its list of the 20 best retirement destinations. Surprisingly, there isn't a single one in Florida. The very first "small town" on the list is actually one of my favorite places in the Carolinas. But I don't consider it to be a small town at all. Less than two hours southwest of Charlotte is where you'll find the vibrant yet manageable city of Greenville, South Carolina. Greenville sits in the picturesque foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, so it's often a little cooler than Charlotte. And according to HGTV, the cost of living is low, which is something many retirees need to consider when choosing a place to spend their golden years. Greenville also boasts ample medical facilities, a convenient airport, and it's often a stop for major touring musical acts. There's plenty to see and do in Greenville. My family and I have enjoyed riding our bikes on the 20-plus-mile Swamp Rabbit Trail, visiting the 26-acre Falls Park on the Reedy (top), and catching a Greenville Drive baseball game at Fluor Field. I've also found the impressive restaurant scene in downtown Greenville to be on par with that of much larger cities. I'm not saying my wife will be retiring to Greenville anytime soon, but it's definitely a place worth considering. You can see the complete HGTV list here. [caption id="attachment_435647" align="alignnone" width="800"] A view of downtown Greenville, South Carolina. (Photo by Kruck20/Getty Images)[/caption]

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