5 Ways Transplants Can Feel at Home in Charleston, SC

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Moving is one of the top five most stressful events in a person’s life, and it certainly doesn’t get easier as you age.1 We tend to grow deep roots the more time we spend in one place, not to mention accumulate more belongings. So moving to a new city can be especially challenging for anyone nearing retirement.

But the great news is Charleston is a growing community with lots of energy, excitement, and activities for older adults to enjoy. 

Before heading to your new home in Charleston, here are some tips for easing your transition and enjoying your new surroundings faster.

#1: Do Your Homework

It’s always helpful to ask yourself, “What do I need to know before moving to Charleston?” 


Let’s start with the basics: what’s the weather like? Expect sunny skies, as it only rains about 27% of the time.2  

Here are the average daily temperatures for each season:2 

  • Spring: 58 to 72 degrees
  • Summer: 78 to 82 degrees
  • Fall: 58 to 76 degrees
  • Winter: 47 to 52 degrees

Spring and fall will be packed full of festivals and outdoor activities, but prepare for the summer months to be quite humid. And you won’t need your sub-zero jacket anymore because Charleston’s temperature rarely dips below freezing.


Moving to a new city calls for a fresh look at your financial picture. From your living expenses to taxes and insurance, there are certain costs you can count on changing.

The overall living cost in Charleston is on par with the national average, though housing and utilities run a bit higher.3 Look up your current city’s cost of living and compare it to the national average. This should give you a good idea of how your spending may be impacted when moving. For example, Charleston’s overall cost is a staggering 60.9% lower than New York City’s.3   

That means if you’re moving from a more expensive city, you should prepare to rethink your saving and investing strategy. Less money spent on everyday expenses means more opportunities to reach your financial goals faster.


Don’t be afraid to downsize during your move. If your kids are grown and out of the house, does it still make sense to find a four- or five-bedroom home in Charleston? Or, could you tuck some of those costs into your savings and buy a house with a more manageable living space?

You’ve likely accumulated plenty of possessions, especially if you’ve lived in your family home for many years. Moving is a great time to assess what you actually want to keep and what you can donate. Be intentional about what you choose to hang onto, especially if you’re downsizing.

#2: Create a New Routine

Transitioning to retirement is in itself an immense challenge. Add a big move to a new state, and things can get even more complicated. 

To help keep yourself grounded during all this change, try establishing a meaningful routine that you can stick to day after day, week after week. This might include meditation in the morning, an exercise class at the local gym, walks along the water, a book club, etc. 

While you may not want to work in retirement, you could use your free time to volunteer with an organization you’re passionate about. Charleston is home to dozens of great organizations that focus on historic preservation, wildlife, waterways, displaced families, and more. Find a volunteer opportunity you enjoy, and commit to helping out regularly.

If you want to keep working, just not as a full-time employee, consider finding a part-time job or contract work. Local businesses always need reliable workers who can keep consistent hours. Or, you may find opportunities to work remotely as a contractor through virtual freelance marketplaces.

But remember that retirement should be savored, so don’t forget to carve out time for enjoying your hobbies. Gardening, travel, crafting — whatever brings you joy, prioritize it when building your new routine.

#3: Do What You Like, But Don’t Be Afraid to Try New Things

A new city can be intimidating, but Charleston is your oyster! Take this opportunity to explore your surroundings; you’ll soon find it’s a beautiful city with so much to offer.

Try out the local restaurants, check out the hiking trails, and don’t be afraid to ask others for recommendations.

The more time you spend getting out of the house, the more likely you will make new connections. This is incredibly important in retirement, as growing your support network helps combat feelings of isolation or loneliness.

One of the great things about Charleston is that it’s a historic city, which means there’s quite a bit to see. And as the seasons change, you’ll find that the scenery changes with it. Try a guided walking tour, or dedicate a few afternoons to walking around and getting familiar with different parts of the city. You may even find a local walking group and kill two birds with one stone — meet new people while exploring your surroundings!

#4: Actively Build a Community

As we mentioned, finding your community is critical in retirement. It’s a part of being human. You need to form connections to create a sense of belonging. 

You already did plenty of research when looking for a new home to buy or rent, so make the extra effort to meet your neighbors and befriend the people around you.

If you live near the beach, consider asking a neighbor to walk down to the water with you. Or, if you relocated near a golf course, offer to take them out for a round of golf. 

The quickest and most effective way to feel comfortable in your new space is to make friends and cultivate a trusted community. 

Outside of your immediate area, look for other ways to meet new people. Pursuing hobbies like knitting clubs, fitness groups, community garden members, etc., get you connected to others with a shared interest. Or, if you enjoyed going to church before, find a new place of worship to attend regularly. 

If you moved away from family, be sure you’re also maintaining those relationships. Sometimes, taking our family for granted can be easy, but make it a point to check in regularly with your loved ones. Come up with a plan to see them in person whenever possible, whether over the holidays, during the summer, every quarter, etc. 

#5: Acknowledge That it May Take Time to Adjust, and That’s Okay

Retirement is a significant life event, and with it comes many changes — like moving to a new city. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed. If you are, you’re certainly not alone. 

Take it one day at a time, and work on finding joy or comfort in the little things. You don’t have to have your new life figured out the day you arrive in Charleston, but be open-minded and excited about the journey ahead.

As you prepare to make this transition, let our team know if we can help make any changes to your financial picture. We love Charleston, and we can’t wait for you to enjoy everything it has to offer.


1The Top 5 Most Stressful Life Events and How to Handle Them

2Weather and Climate

3Cost of Living in Charleston, South Carolina

About Us

Partners in Financial Planning provides tax-focused, comprehensive, fee-only financial planning and investment management services. With locations in Salem, Virginia and Charleston, South Carolina, our team is well-equipped to serve clients both locally and nationally with over 100 years of combined experience and knowledge in financial services.

To learn more, visit https://partnersinfinancialplanning.com