Charleston and Savannah

Should I Retire in Charleston, SC or Savannah, GA?

When it comes to retirement in the southeast, many retirees often have to choose between the best two places to retire: Charleston, South Carolina or Savannah, Georgia. These historic coastal cities have all the amenities found in larger metropolitan areas but are smaller and more intimate. They also offer a lower cost of living. In this article, we will discuss the similarities and differences between the two cities. Afterwards, you should make the decision on whether to talk to a Charleston realtor or a Savannah Georgia realtor.

How Are Charleston and Savannah Similar?

People Love to Visit These Cities

Many things that make Charleston and Savannah such wonderful places to live are also the reasons why so many love to visit. Both cities attract a lot of tourists. They are renowned for their historic buildings, great restaurants, close beaches, and vibrant arts scene.

Charleston and Savannah

The Weather is Beautiful

There are many places to visit in Charleston and Savannah and the mild climate means that there are more days to enjoy these places! It is quite normal for temperatures to only get down to 60 degrees Fahrenheit in winter. Spring and autumn are also very pleasant with warmer temperatures and sunny days.

Charleston and Savannah

Both Cities Love to Showcase Different Cultures

Both Charleston and Savannah are well-known as the epicenter of their respective arts. These cities have enough culture to keep art enthusiasts busy all year, from art galleries and architecture to performing and artistic festivals!

The Savannah College of Art and Design, also known as SCAD, is the country’s largest art school. Here, students as well as retired people can take a wide range of design and art classes. Telfair Museums is also located in the city. It includes three museums: Telfair Academy, Owens-Thomas House, and the Jepson Center which is an interactive museum for children. More than 200 festivals are held throughout the year in Savannah, including the famous St Patrick’s Day parade that draws people from all over the globe.

Charleston’s historic downtown also hosts many museums and historical sites, including the Gibbes Museum of Art and the Charleston Museum which showcases priceless artifacts. There are also several historic homes that can be toured. Charleston’s Magnolia Plantation and Boone Hall Plantation are both beautiful preserved buildings and have magnificent gardens. Residents also have many options for live performances, including the North Charleston Performing Arts Center and Opera Charleston. There are also dozens of smaller theaters, music venues, and other venues. 

Charleston and Savannah

How Are Charleston and Savannah Different From Each Other?

Population of Retirees

Charleston is now the most popular destination for retirees in the country, surpassing Savannah due to national attention and increasing housing development. Charleston’s median age is approximately 2.2 years older than that of Savannah. Although it’s so popular, Charleston is actually less crowded than Savannah since it has a larger land area. On the other hand, Savannah’s home prices have many retirees paying special attention to that area.

Charleston and Savannah

They Each Offer Different Lifestyles

Charleston is the best choice if you are looking for a place that is close to the beach with easy access. Savannah is home to Tybee Island, which is the closest and most well-known beach. Charleston, however, has Isle of Palms, Folly Beach, and Sullivan’s Island all within a 45 minute drive.

Georgia and South Carolina both offer free tuition to seniors and they provide multiple opportunities for retirees to benefit from these free learning opportunities. The College of Charleston is located in downtown Charleston and offers over 100 courses in liberal arts, sciences and other subjects. There are also excellent courses at nearby community colleges. Georgia Tech has a satellite campus in Savannah that offers professional education programs without any prerequisites. Armstrong Atlantic State University also offers a Road Scholar/Elderhostel program that provides in-depth lectures and fascinating field trips as well as cultural experiences.

Despite not having the same number of courses as nearby cities Myrtle Beach or Hilton Head Island, Charleston and Savannah offer plenty of options for those who love to golf. 

Charleston and Savannah

Different Healthcare Options

Both cities offer excellent medical care, with large academic medical centers as well as smaller, more specialized hospitals. Charleston residents have greater access to specialist networks and facilities.

Savannah is home of the Memorial University Medical Center, a 610-bed academic medical center that serves southern Georgia and South Carolina. It has been awarded the Best Academic Medical Center in Southeast Georgia. St. Joseph’s/Candler’s has a significant presence in the city, as well as five Centers of Excellence.

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), a 700-bed teaching hospital, is located in downtown Charleston. It has been continuously recognized as one of America’s best medical schools

Charleston and Savannah

Cost of Living Differences

Savannah’s average cost of living is 20% less than Charleston and its housing costs are 40% lower which are things to look out for when buying a home! Master-planned communities are more affordable and offer a wider range of housing options. The Landings in Savannah is similar to Nexton in Summerville. Recommended Savannah communities include Ford Plantation, Savannah Quarters, Wilmington Island, Southbridge, and others.

On the other hand, Charleston offers more luxury options, such as oceanfront or waterfront homes on nearby islands like Kiawah Island or Daniel Island. Recommended Charleston communities include Nexton, Daniel Island, Seabrook Island, Wild Dunes, and more.

Charleston and Savannah


Charleston and Savannah are great places to retire. They have mild winters, world-class amenities, and a wealth of master-planned communities. These coastal towns are worth a visit to see if they’re the right place for you. Whichever you choose, act now and call a local realtor in Charleston or a Savannah Georgia realtor to begin your retirement dream!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.