In this article, you will get Facts and Statistics on the Senior Population in South Carolina. Of South Carolina’s more than five million people, nearly two million are over the age of 50.
Facts and Statistics on the Senior Population in South Carolina
The median age in the Palmetto State is almost 40, meaning that half of the population is over 40 and the other half is under 40. This is pretty high compared to other states and the U.S. as a whole.
Health and Medicine
South Carolina is ranked number 40 out of 50 when it comes to healthiest states, and the life expectancy is one of the lowest in the U.S. at 77, making South Carolina one of the least healthy states in the country.
The top 10 leading causes of death in the state are as follows:
- Heart disease
- Respiratory diseases
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
All of these diseases also disproportionately affect the older population more than they do younger populations.
The average person spends about $6,233 on healthcare, while a little more than half of South Carolina’s senior population receives Medicare benefits.
Income and Retirement
Senior citizen age is often synonymous with retirement age, and that age is 65 in South Carolina. However, 29% of the 55 and over population are still an active part of the workforce. This could be due to the fact that the average retirement income is $25,777 and the average social security income is $9,530. The good news is that South Carolina doesn’t tax social security benefits, as of July 2021.
As for retirement, South Carolina ranks at number 25, so it’s in the top half of the best states for retirees. Although it’s not as popular as Florida, it’s still a good option for those looking to retire to a warm climate (that also cools down in the winter) and it also doesn’t see as many hurricanes as Florida.
Living Costs and Arrangements
Aging in Place
11.5% of seniors in South Carolina live alone. When senior citizen chooses to continue living in their own home (alone or not), as opposed to moving into an assisted living facility, this is known as aging in place. Successfully aging in place means that a senior is able to do so safely and comfortably.
Oftentimes, this is the most cost-effective option for seniors— especially if their home is paid off. However, safely aging in place may require some home renovations to ensure that the home is safe, which can turn this into a more expensive option.
Other Independent Living
South Carolina has more than 180 independent living facilities, also known as retirement homes or communities. This is a good option for seniors who may live alone and/or have to make too many renovations to their homes to make them safer. Some independent living facilities may offer transportation and housekeeping services, but residents are fully independent beyond this.
The state also has some of the most affordable independent living costs, ranging from as low as $511 a month to $4,500 a month. The lowest rates can be found in Florence and Sumter, while the highest can be found in Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head Island. So if you’re wanting to live closer to the beach, you can expect to pay more. However, South Carolina is on the smaller side, so it doesn’t take long to travel to a beach.
There are more than 300 assisted living facilities in South Carolina, ranging from assisting with daily tasks to giving full-on medical care. The most well-known type of assisted living facility is a nursing home. Unfortunately, South Carolina ranks 44 out of 51 (including the District of Columbia) for long-term care. This can be due to the fact that some elders in South Carolina nursing homes have been abused and/or neglected.
The good news is that this typically doesn’t happen in higher-quality assisted living facilities. However, assisted living costs in South Carolina can range from $930 to $6,000 a month depending on the location. The state also has other care facilities, such as hospice care, respite care, and adult day care centers.
Overall, South Carolina isn’t the healthiest state in the U.S., nor does it rank well for long-term care. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that seniors in South Carolina should move to another state, or that South Carolina isn’t a good state to retire to. The key to a happy and healthy retirement starts with a happy and healthy individual. Healthy seniors can make the best of themselves wherever they choose to retire.
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