Magazine: Columbia is one of the best places to retire - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Magazine: Columbia is one of the best places to retire

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

The editors of Money Magazine recently revealed their top 25 list of best places to retire, and Columbia has made the cut.

Coming in at number 22, the publication says the capital city "offers all the amenities of city life with a healthy dose of Southern Hospitality and a low cost of living to boot."

On top of all that, Money praises the city's climate and outdoor recreation spots such as the Congaree National Park, Lake Murray, and plenty of golf courses.

The magazine also mentions the perks of downtown living.

"The area boasts a bevy of restaurants and stores, in addition to the Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolina State Museum and Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden. Columbia's also got an active performing arts community, with multiple theater groups, two ballets, and a philharmonic orchestra," said the magazine's editors.

A retiree's money goes a little farther in the Palmetto State, a $50,000 homestead exemption, a state tax exemption for Social Security income, and deductions up to $15,000 per person for qualified retirement income.  It's why Ella Allen chose Columbia over Savannah, Georgia -- the number 8 choice on the list.

"In Savannah, the tax rate is higher, and it is in an area that's plagued by weather, so you have to have a certain type of insurance to even buy there," said Allen.

Fort Jackson entices another group of retirees -- the military variety.

"Who can come here and receive those military benefits and the PX, the hospital, and the medical care that they can access through the military system and so it's a great opportunity," said Patrick Cobb with AARP.

According to the census, the Palmetto State's 65+ population is at a million and growing. When you consider retirees contribute about a billion dollars to the state's economy a month according to AARP, the organization encourages the state to be prepare for more retirees in the long run.

Copyright 2012 WIS. All rights reserved.

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