Located in the Southeast region, South Carolina is a beautiful state with ocean and mountain views, classic Southern cuisine and over 90,000 acres of protected parkland. It has nearly 5.2 million residents, over 18% of whom are 65 and over. South Carolina offers a warm climate year-round, giving residents plenty of opportunities to lounge on the beach, visit its more than 350 golf courses and hike the state’s 400 trails, and its very low cost of living makes it a financially feasible option for many retirees.  

Independent living provides a maintenance-free lifestyle for active older adults. Unlike assisted living facilities, which are ideal for those who need some personal care services, independent living communities focus on optimizing residents’ comfort and quality of life through social and recreational activities and amenities, housekeeping and lawn care services and daily meals. Some communities have resort-style amenities, such as spas, pools, golf courses, fitness centers and tennis courts. Fees vary considerably depending on a community’s location and amenities, but in general, South Carolina is one of the cheapest states in the nation for this lifestyle, with monthly fees coming in at $2,592 per month.

This guide compares South Carolina’s independent living fees to other states in the Southeast and provides tips on covering costs. It also features an overview of programs and agencies that serve older adults in the state. 

The Cost of Independent Living in South Carolina

Note: Independent Living offers a hassle-free senior lifestyle but doesn’t offer the additional layer of care found in Assisted Living, which is why it usually costs 30%-40% less. Since there’s no authoritative source of average costs for Independent Living across the nation, we estimated the cost by subtracting 35% from the average cost of Assisted Living based on the cost data found in the 2021 Genworth Financial Cost of Care Survey.

Seniors in the Palmetto State opting for Independent Living pay an average of $577 less than the national average. Compared to adjacent states, Independent Living costs $50 less per month in Georgia, while it costs $259 more in North Carolina and $320 more in Tennessee. In nearby Virginia, the average cost for Independent Living is $3,413, which is over $1,000 higher per month than South Carolina. 

$2348

South Carolina

$2925

The United States

$2298

Georgia

$2607

North Carolina

$2668

Tennessee

$3413

Virginia

Cities within South Carolina have a wide range of average costs for Independent Living. While Hilton Head Island’s cost mirrors the national average at $2,925, Sumter has a very low average cost of $1,731. Myrtle Beach is relatively high at $2,646, which is $298 higher than the state average. Charleston is higher than the state average by $216 at $2,564, and Greenville at $2,433 is higher by $85, but Spartanburg is lower by $8 at $2,340. 

$2925

Hilton Head Island

$2646

Myrtle Beach

$2564

Charleston

$2433

Greenville

$2340

Spartanburg

$1731

Sumter

South Carolina offers a spectrum of other senior living options with varying levels of care. Assisted Living offers care when needed at an average cost of $3,612. Adult Day Health Care is the lowest cost choice at $1,408 per month, but it’s a nonresidential option. Seniors can receive care in their homes for $4,433 per month for In-Home Care or $4,481 for Home Health Care. Those needing extensive nursing care may require Nursing Home care, which costs an average of $7,285 for a shared room or $7,984 for a private room in South Carolina. 

$2348

Independent Living

$3612

Assisted Living

$1408

Adult Day Health Care

$4433

In-Home Care

$4481

Home Health Care

$7285

Nursing Home Care (semiprivate room)

$7984

Nursing Home Care (private room)

Can You Use Medicare or Medicaid to Pay for Independent Living in South Carolina?

Unfortunately, you cannot use Medicaid and Medicare to help pay the monthly fee for residing in an Independent Living community. For seniors who need help with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), there may be financial assistance programs available to help cover the cost of care in Independent Living. For more information about financial assistance for those who need a higher level of care, read our guide to Assisted Living in South Carolina.

Read on for more information about using alternative means to make Independent Living more affordable, such as retirement funds, the sale of a home, etc.

Paying for Independent Living in South Carolina

Older adults in South Carolina have several options for covering independent living fees. While Medicare doesn’t cover monthly fees the way it pays for home health care or nursing home care, Medicaid, veterans’ benefits and long-term care insurance generally provide coverage for expenses, such as housekeeping, meals and maintenance. This can offset ineligible expenses, such as rent or buy-in, making it more affordable for residents. Those who own their homes have additional options for covering expenses. Some sell their homes and use the proceeds to cover living expenses. Alternatively, they may rent out their home or take out a reverse mortgage. 

Independent Living Resources in South Carolina

Seniors in South Carolina have access to a range of programs that promote their independence and quality of life. Through the following resources, older adults can connect with advocacy services, options counseling, legal advice and social and recreational programs.  

Resource 
Contact 
Service 
(866) 389-5655 
AARP South Carolina advocates on behalf of older adults in the state on issues, such as economic security, health care access and affordability, consumer protections and maintaining livable communities. Through this local chapter, those aged 50 and over can get information on current events that affect them, access to social and recreational programming, discounts for restaurants and entertainment venues, tax assistance and safe driver courses. The organization also hosts online workshops and seminars that cover age-related issues.
(800) 868-9095 
The South Carolina Department on Aging oversees several programs for older adults in the state, including GetCareSC. This program helps older residents and those with disabilities access services in the community, such as home-delivered and congregate meals, transportation and information and referrals for community-based services, such as medical supplies and volunteer opportunities. The department also oversees the state’s network of Area Agencies on Aging, which provide health insurance options counseling, legal advice and services in the community.
(800) 942-2677 
RSVP is a nationwide program that provides volunteer opportunities exclusively to those aged 55 and over. Through their county’s local program, older adults can work one-on-one with a trained advisor who can help them connect with volunteer opportunities that fit their experience, interests and schedule. Opportunities vary by region but may include placement in hospitals, senior centers, museums, schools, performing arts centers and charities.
(888) 346-5592 
South Carolina Legal Services is a statewide organization that provides free civil legal aid, assistance and representation for older adults. Through the local offices, individuals meet with legal professionals who help them review independent living community contracts, resolve billing or payment issues and enroll in public benefits, such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which may help cover living expenses.
SC 211 
2-1-1 
SC 211 is operated by United Way and provides one-on-one help with accessing services and programs in the community. Through this free service, older adults can connect with health and wellness services, financial assistance, social and recreational programming, transportation and veterans services.
(888) 721-2769 
South Carolina Military and Veterans Benefits oversees a range of benefits and programs for state residents who served in the U.S. armed forces, including unemployment compensation, parks and recreation benefits, healthcare and insurance, legal assistance, financial aid and retirement benefits. Through its local service offices, qualifying individuals can apply for veterans’ and survivors’ pension programs, which can help pay for independent living services.
SC Sports Classic is sanctioned by the National Senior Games Association and provides competitive and recreational sports leagues for those aged 40 and over. There are 26 sports and 82 events, including team events, such as basketball, volleyball, swimming, bowling, golf, shuffleboard and pickleball. Both elite and recreational athletes are welcome to participate. In addition to sports, the organization holds social and educational events, such as dinners, cornhole, bingo and Parade of Athletes.

COVID-19 Rules for Independent Living in South Carolina

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including scdhec.gov/covid19. These rules apply to Independent Living Communities and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/13/2022, but since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving pandemic, contact your local senior living facility or Area Agency on Aging for more specific and up-to-date information.

Visitation Policies

Rules for South Carolina Communities

Are loved ones allowed to visit to provide emotional support?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are relatives allowed to visit for end-of-life care?

Yes

Are residents required to quarantine after visiting with a loved one?

No

Are visitors required to wear PPE (including masks) in order to visit residents?

Yes

Are non-medical contractors (such as hairdressers and entertainers) allowed in senior living facilities?

Yes

Are visitors checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are visitors required to answer questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?

Yes

Outings & Social Activities

Rules for South Carolina Communities

Are residents allowed to leave (errands, visiting family, etc.) for non-medical reasons?

Yes

Are residents who leave required to quarantine when they return?

No (Conditions Apply)

Are senior living communities required to cancel all group outings?

No

Are residents allowed to eat meals together in a common area?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are residents allowed to gather in common areas for group activites?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents

Rules for South Carolina Communities

Are staff members regularly required to do a temperature check?

Yes

Are staff members regularly tested for COVID-19?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are staff members members regularly required to do a health and safety screening, including questions about travel, contact with positive cases, etc?

Yes

Are residents regularly screened for COVID-19 symptoms?

Yes

Are residents regularly checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are residents regularly tested for COVID-19?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Find Independent Living Communities in South Carolina

Use the tool below to find Independent Living Communities near you – if you’d like to search in a specific city in South Carolina, simply put that in the search bar below.

2016

Cascades Verdae

10 Fountainview Terrace, Greenville, SC, 29607

I’ve lived in Cascades Verdae, and it was very good. I was happy there; the only reason I left was because it’s too far from my son’s place. I would recommend them. It was a very excellent place to li … (read more)
I’ve lived in Cascades Verdae, and it was very good. I was happy there; the only reason I left was because it’s too far from my son’s place. I would recommend them. It was a very excellent place to li … (read more)

2017, 2018, 2020

Holiday Haywood Estates

1180 Haywood Rd, Greenville, SC, 29615

I went to Holiday Haywood Estates. I like the friendliness of everyone, their enthusiasm, and they were helpful. My experience was very pleasant. I was very impressed. They had nice facilities. The st … (read more)
I went to Holiday Haywood Estates. I like the friendliness of everyone, their enthusiasm, and they were helpful. My experience was very pleasant. I was very impressed. They had nice facilities. The st … (read more)

2018

TerraBella Greenville

11 East Augusta Place, Greenville, SC, 29605

I like it. It kind of reminds me of a cruise ship. They always have activities and stuff going on. They’ve got some good food. I like that the room is like a little studio. I like that they can come a … (read more)
I like it. It kind of reminds me of a cruise ship. They always have activities and stuff going on. They’ve got some good food. I like that the room is like a little studio. I like that they can come a … (read more)

Maple Brook Terrace

150 Verdin Road, Greenville, SC, 29607

My friend and I both zeroed in on Maple Brook Terrace. It was brighter, and the people were happier. The food was pretty good, and they gave us a good deal. The staff that took us through was very fri … (read more)
My friend and I both zeroed in on Maple Brook Terrace. It was brighter, and the people were happier. The food was pretty good, and they gave us a good deal. The staff that took us through was very fri … (read more)

UpsideHōM Greenville

18 E Stone Ave, Greenville, SC, 29609


The Woodlands at Furman

1500 Trailhead Court, Greenville, SC, 29617

The Woodlands at Furman is very beautiful, and it’s very nice. The community was very welcoming, and I went to Furman University, so it’s already part of the family. The staff were excellent represent … (read more)
The Woodlands at Furman is very beautiful, and it’s very nice. The community was very welcoming, and I went to Furman University, so it’s already part of the family. The staff were excellent represent … (read more)

Overture Greenville 55+ Apartment Homes

4 Market Point Dr, Greenville, SC, 29607

Overture Greenville 55+ Apartment Homes was wonderful. It was nice. Just that it wasn’t what I needed for my dad. It’s beautiful and the apartment was big, spacious, and modern. The staff was super fr … (read more)
Overture Greenville 55+ Apartment Homes was wonderful. It was nice. Just that it wasn’t what I needed for my dad. It’s beautiful and the apartment was big, spacious, and modern. The staff was super fr … (read more)