Hilton Head Island and Bluffton are particularly popular with retirees, who make up approximately 23 percent of the area population, according to the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce.
“Hilton Head Island is perfect for retirees,” said Dene Wilmot, sales director for TidePointe, an upscale local residential care facility. “A lot of folks have second homes here and this is their vacation destination so, for a lot of people, it's natural to retire here. This is where they want to be.”
Joe Agee, director of sales for The Seabrook of Hilton Head, agreed.
“So many of our retirees were vacationers first,” he said. “Other times, the people who move into The Seabrook or one of the Lowcountry's other continuing care retirement communities were already living in one of the communities here locally. It's just so easy to fall in love with the Lowcountry and everything that it has to offer — people have so many friends here, their doctors are here — why move anywhere else? I think it's a magnet for people who are looking to get away from the metropolitan, urban feel that you get in a lot of cities.”
For seniors with health concerns, retiring in the Lowcountry just makes sense. The region is home to several top-notch medical centers, including Hilton Head Hospital, Coastal Carolina Hospital in nearby Hardeeville, Beaufort Memorial Hospital in Beaufort and St. Joseph’s/Candler in Savannah. Lowcountry retirees are also just a few hours away from the prestigious Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston and the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla.
“Another reason that Hilton Head Island is such a popular retirement destination is because it's a community where we have seasons,” Wilmot said. “We're on the coast and we have beautiful beaches, but we have lovely seasonal weather. Hilton Head Island is a beautiful, beautiful island. At TidePointe, we're in a beautiful location on the south end of Hilton Head that has stunning panoramic marsh views.”
Boasting hot, humid summers and mild, cool winters, the year-round subtropical climate is another great reason for retirees to fall in love with the Lowcountry, as are the region's picturesque landscapes. In addition to its beautiful beaches, the Lowcountry also has gorgeous lagoons, creeks and sea marshes, as well as dense forests packed with palmettos, magnolias, oaks and tall pines. Retirees interested in outdoor recreation, including photography and wildlife viewing, can take advantage of several forest preserves and wildlife refuges in the area.
Those who like to spend their days curled up with a good book can find their next page-turners at any of Bluffton and Hilton Head’s used or new bookstores. The area also features several libraries, including Beaufort County Library branches on both Hilton Head and in Bluffton. Hilton Head is also home to The Heritage Library, a private reference library and research center that is open to the public for small fee. The library houses the records of the Hilton Head Island Historical Society and includes an extensive collection of books, microfilm, periodicals, manuscripts, maps and video and audio tapes. Additionally, many of the continuing care retirement communities in the Lowcountry have on-site libraries and book clubs for residents who are avid readers.
With more than 200 outlet shops and six marina villages, retirees on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton can shop till they drop. In addition to national chain retailers, the Lowcountry has a number of eclectic stores and unique boutiques that are great for finding the perfect island gift for off-island friends and family. The area also has plenty of specialty stores — including gourmet food retailers — as well as sporting goods shops, antiques stores and art galleries.
When it comes to dining, there’s a restaurant to suit nearly every taste and budget. With more than 250 restaurants, bakeries and gourmet shops, you’ll never go hungry. A taste of the Lowcountry includes everything from the freshest, most flavorful seafood to locally sourced, seasonal Southern fare, international cuisine and everything in between. Also, many of the area's senior living communities boast on-site restaurants that tout fresh, seasonal and made-from-scratch dishes.
While Hilton Head and Bluffton have just about everything a retiree could want, the area's continuing care residential communities work hard to ensure that residents have all that they need right at their fingertips. From multiple levels of available medical care to on-site restaurants, beauty parlors and fitness centers, the convenient services and amenities — such as climate-controlled walkways — mean that residents don't even have to leave the premises if they don't want to.
With everything taken care of, residents can focus on the truly important questions in life, such as, “What beach should I walk on today?,” “What championship golf course should I play?” or “Which world-class restaurant should I make reservations at?”
After a life of hard work and stress, many have discovered the Lowcountry is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy their golden years.
FEATURED RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES
A luxury independent living community for seniors, TidePointe offers spacious and stylish one- or two-bedroom villas, verandas and cottages; gourmet cuisine, including seasonal menus that change weekly; award-winning staff and maintenance services; and transportation for shopping, appointments and other outings. Lifestyle amenities include an on-site salon and spa, and a fitness center with a heated 25-meter indoor pool, as well as an outdoor pool and a therapeutic whirlpool. Tidepointe is also the only senior community to offer all levels of care – independent living, assisted living, short-term rehabilitation and skilled nursing. For more information, go to www.hiltonhead.viliving.com.
The Cypress of Hilton Head Island
Nestled on more than 100 acres in the gated waterfront enclave of Hilton Head Plantation, the Cypress at Hilton Head is an award-winning continuing care retirement community that features elegant apartments, villas and golf cottages; convenient services, such as maintenance, security, weekly housekeeping and transportation; fresh, seasonal dining at five on-site restaurants; and resort-style activities and amenities, including a golf course, library and fitness center with an indoor/outdoor swimming pool. To learn more, go to www.cypressofhiltonhead.com.
The Seabrook of Hilton Head
The Seabrook offers independent condominium living on a gorgeous 21-acre campus located just outside the Sea Pine gates on the edge of the Sea Pines Forest Preserve. The campus includes a clubhouse with a dining room, health center, library, salon and barbershop, auditorium and heated swimming pool. Residents also have access to resort amenities, such as beaches, bike trails, tennis courts and a golf course. For more information, go to www.theseabrook.com.