16 Great Places to Retire in the South

One strategy for selecting your retirement destination: Follow the birds.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

One strategy for selecting your retirement destination: Follow the birds. The southern states offer not only mild climates, but also low costs and robust economies—attractive qualities for any retiree. No wonder plenty of people already plan to head south for their retirements. According to a survey by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, a research firm focused on the aging population, 37% of respondents say they plan to move to the South Atlantic (including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida), making it the most popular retirement region in the U.S. More specifically, Florida and South Carolina prove to be particularly popular with retirees, ranking second and fourth, respectively, among the top 10 states people moved to for retirement in 2018, according to United Van Lines' annual national movers study.

If you're ready to the heavy migration to the South for your own retirement, we suggest you consider the following spots. We highlighted one great retirement destination in each state, taking into account living costs, safety, median incomes and poverty rates for retirement-age residents, as well as residents' sense of well-being and the availability of recreational and health care facilities. These are our choices in the southern region of the U.S.


The list is ordered alphabetically by state. See "How We Picked the Best Places to Retire" at the end of the list for details on our data sources and methodology.

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Stacy Rapacon
Online Editor, Kiplinger.com

Rapacon joined Kiplinger in October 2007 as a reporter with Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and became an online editor for Kiplinger.com in June 2010. She previously served as editor of the "Starting Out" column, focusing on personal finance advice for people in their twenties and thirties.

Before joining Kiplinger, Rapacon worked as a senior research associate at b2b publishing house Judy Diamond Associates. She holds a B.A. degree in English from the George Washington University.