As our society has changed, so has the definition of “retirement.”
For many, including Laura and me, “retirement” has become a lifestyle transition period. Instead of working until retirement age and then collecting the fabled “gold watch” following decades of dedicated company service, people are now “retiring” earlier (50+) and choosing to work doing something they truly enjoy…something that allows them to be active members of the community and earn a little income along the way.
After more than 35 years as a real estate broker in the Silicon Valley/San Francisco Peninsula, I had no intention of starting a new real estate business in Greenville, SC. But once we got here, I saw first-hand the wonderful real estate market and attractive lifestyle that exists here, and it became clear to me that other folks might benefit from learning about and investing in this growing city in the Upstate.
The skills and expertise I gained working in one of the most expensive and competitive real estate markets in the world have new value here. Recently, one of my long-held clients from the Bay Area, Lynn, visited Greenville and together we’ve embarked on an exciting “fix and flip” project in Greenville’s desirable North Main neighborhood. I’m having a great time working in this new real estate market and I believe my clients can benefit from investing in Greenville, SC, real estate.
In February 2013, Forbes Magazine ranked Greenville one of the top 25 places for a “working retirement.” Forbes had this to say about Greenville:
Nestled in South Carolina’s northwestern corner, Greenville sits in the top third of the Milken Institute’s rankings. Unemployment rate is 7.1%, 0.8% below the national average. Cost of living beats the U.S. average by 6%, and the median home price of $156,000 is $30,000 under the national average. South Carolina has an excellent tax climate for senior citizens. The doctors per capita ratio is high.
In May 2010, Fortune Magazine had this to say about Greenville, SC:
South Carolina has turned into the home of the halfbacks, folks from the Northeast who retire to Florida and then—because of heat, high insurance premiums, hurricanes, or all of the above— move halfway back up north.
Greenville and its fellow South Carolina cities give residents a change of seasons and a stable real estate market that never experienced sky-high prices during the bubble: Greenville has dropped a relatively modest 13% since its peak and has another 1% to fall.
One of the biggest draws for Greenville residents is its downtown, which has undergone a 30-year revitalization plan. (Its Main Street has been recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.)
“It is so darn cute,” says Lori Sperry, 50, who recently bought a retirement home in the Greenville area. A growing number of retirees are buying condos within walking distance of downtown’s stores and nearly 100 restaurants. Those looking for a city culture can take advantage of Greenville’s proximity to Charlotte and Atlanta.
[My only comment to the Fortune article would be that there is so much going on in Greenville, Laura and I rarely see the need to drive 90 minutes to Atlanta or Charlotte. 🙂 ]