As women in our fifties and beyond, we all realize that aging can bring a whole host of aches, pains, and wrinkles! However, there are also benefits to aging and we need to make sure we’re taking full advantage of those. If you’re one of the women aged 55+ in South Carolina, there are a whole host of financial and lifestyle benefits for those nearing retirement or already retired in the Palmetto State that can help ensure you receive the biggest bang for your buck.
Financial matters can feel troubling as we head towards and into our retirement years – our earning potential may seem more limited and we might be in a position where we have to rely on our retirement income. And thanks to the legacy of traditional gender roles and expectations, some women find themselves in particularly difficult situations in retirement.
However, South Carolina offers many benefits to those of us who are in our sixth decade and beyond. Our state has a reputation as one of the most retirement-friendly states in the US. From free education to tax exemptions and discounts on leisure activities, SC really is the place to stretch your retirement income that bit further.
Whether you are married, single, divorced or widowed, there are many benefits to help women aged 55+ in South Carolina make the most of this stage in your life. Take a look through our retirement benefits checklist below and make sure you’re taking full advantage of what you’re entitled to.
No Tax on Retirement Benefits
Are you 65 or over and receiving Social Security benefits? If so, you won’t be paying any tax on these in South Carolina in retirement. This puts you ahead of several other states where Social Security benefits are either taxed in line with federal rules or some partial exemptions are made.
Income Tax Deduction
With Social Security benefits not being categorized as taxable income, once you are 65 or older, any other income that you have will be subject to a $15,000 deduction. This means you can earn $15,000 before you’re going to pay any income tax at all. Under the age of 65, that drops to just $3,000.
Homestead Tax Exemption
Property tax is a drag, right? Well, even so, you’re in the right place. Given that South Carolina has some of the lowest property tax rates going, when your eligibility for Homestead Tax Exemption kicks in at age 65, you’re already going to be better off here than in some of our neighboring states.
Depending on where in the state you are as well, you might be at an even better advantage as property rates vary locally. Find out more about your region here.
If you’ve been in your home for a year or more, the Homestead Tax Exemption for people aged 65+ means that the first $50,000 on the value of your property will be excluded from the tax rates, which will keep your home more affordable on your retirement income.
Even More Benefits
There are also additional lifestyle benefits for women aged 55+ in South Carolina that can help you live a truly enriched life.
Now this one’s available for anyone aged 60 and over. You might now be an empty nester and have a whole heap of time on your hands to pursue some dreams. Always wanted to study history, philosophy, art? Engineering maybe? You can do it for free at any of South Carolina’s state colleges or universities. Just contact your local state college for more information about their courses.
Also, throughout the state there are all types of courses ranging from birdwatching to finance to history offered through Lifelong Learning Programs for residents who are aged 55 and over. For example, Furman University, here in Greenville, through their Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), offers a wide variety of courses at very affordable rates, for those aged 55 plus.
Remember, education isn’t just about the subject – it’s also a social outlet. If you’re finding that you’re just not getting out as much, then attending a class could be perfect. As an added bonus, keeping our brain active keeps you young, too!
Many of us enjoy traveling and being in nature. There are some wonderful benefits in South Carolina that are there to help you enjoy the great outdoors.
The Park Passport
We love this one. South Carolina has 47 state parks to enjoy and explore, and when you hit 65, you’ll get 50% off annual Park Passports. Once you’ve got one, you can take a whole carload of family or friends to the parks for free as many times as you want. For making the most of our beautiful state and spending quality time with those you love, these are a no-brainer, right?
Fishing and Hunting Licenses
If you’re over 64 and you’ve lived in South Carolina for over 180 days, you can buy a lifetime fishing and hunting license for $9. You can buy these online directly from SC.gov, over the phone or through an agent.
Vehicle Registration Discounts
To keep the costs of being on the road down, you’ll pay less on your vehicle registration when you reach 65 – you’ll only pay $20 to register your car every two years.
Make the Most of the Benefits for Women aged 55+ in South Carolina
We all know that money can get tighter as we approach retirement, but as one of the most retirement-friendly states in the US, there’s plenty of benefits to help you enjoy your retirement on the income you have.
But it can be confusing too; there’s lots you need to apply for if you’re eligible and some benefits don’t just kick in automatically. If you want to make sure you’ve applied for the deductions, exemptions and passes that you’re entitled to, or just simply want to talk through retirement finances, we’ll be really happy to hear from you.
Retirement can be one of the most rewarding times in our life. Taking full advantage of all the available financial benefits will help us South Carolinians get out and enjoy our lives to the fullest. Take up a new hobby. Develop a new skill. Embrace learning. Visit the grandchildren more. Make new friends. You’ll feel richer than you ever thought possible.