Aerial view of the Harbour Town Marina

Hilton Head Island Quality of Life

Perched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, gentle sea breezes caress Hilton Head Island and coax the inhabitants into a relaxing way of life. More than 50 years ago, Charles Fraser molded an Island of hunting tracts and farmland into the prototype of the modern resort community, now copied around the world. Interspersed with gorgeous scenery are championship golf courses, fine restaurants, luxurious resorts and private villas.

Health Care Facilities

Quality health care is always at your fingertips on Hilton Head Island. Hilton Head Island’s hospital, Hilton Head Regional Medical Center. offers a broad array of specialty programs and services, including cardiac care, orthopedics, dedicated breast health center, women’s health and surgical services. Coastal Carolina Hospital is located in Hardeeville, about 20 minutes from the Island; and Beaufort Memorial Hospital, affiliated with Duke University in Heart and Cancer, is 30 minutes away in Beaufort, SC.

Living on Hilton Head Island, you are two and a half hours from The Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, and two and a half hours from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston.

Retirement Communities

Retirees ages 65 and older account for 23 percent of the area population. Factors that play an integral role in the decision to retire here include the quality healthcare, continued learning opportunities, nature, culture, sub-tropical weather, and the myriad opportunities for making family memories. Our Retirement Communities offer independent living with activities, dining, and wonderful amenities for active adults.

Elderly/Handicapped Care

Hilton Head Island has many care facilities for dealing with elderly or handicappeed family members looking to move with you. Our Assisted Living Centers offer continuing care to fit your needs and lifestyle. There are also a number of support groups, such as Memory Matters,

Hilton Head’s Safe Harbour is for Islanders who want to stay in their own homes as they grow older, continuing to enjoy lifestyles that make Hilton Head Island a special place.Safe Harbour meets the individual needs of its members as long as they can remain safely in their homes. Examples are: transportation for non-drivers, assistance with minor household chores, and help with shopping.

Educational Opportunities

For school-aged children, Hilton Head Island offers a public elementary, middle, and high school, along with private schools: Hilton Head Christian Academy, Hilton Head Preparatory Academy, St. Francis Catholic School, Sea Pines Montessori Academy and Heritage Academy.

There is also The University of South Carolina-Beaufort‘s Hilton Head Island Campus and the Technical College of the Lowcountry for higher learning.


Two airports service the Hilton Head Island area: Hilton Head Airport, located on the north end of the Island, and Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, located approximately 45 miles (72 km) south of the Island.


Looking for a place to worship? Nearly 20 different denominations and affiliations are represented on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton. View listing of places to worship.

Safety & Town Stability

Hilton Head Island has not had a tax increase in 13 years. This along with a low crime rate, makes Hilton Head Island an ideal place to live.

Property Taxes

South Carolina has a personal property tax on automobiles, recreational vehicles, airplanes and boats based on an assessed value of 10.5 percent of total purchase price. The assessed value is multiplied by the appropriate millage rate of the district in which the taxpayer resides. Hilton Head Island is divided into six districts with varying mileage rates.

Real estate taxes are based on an appraised value of property by the county tax assessor. The appraised value is computed on comparable sales, condition of property, etc. The appraised value is then multiplied by 4 percent for residents and 6 percent for non-resident property owners and corporations to obtain what is known as the assessed value. The assessed value is multiplied times the mileage rate for the appropriate district.

The first $100,000 of the fair market value of a home is exempt from property taxes for citizens who are 65 or older; citizens who are totally and permanently disabled; and citizens who are legally blind, if they have been a South Carolina resident for at least one year.


Income tax exemptions, adjustments and deductions allowed on a federal income tax return are allowed on a state return. A person’s federal taxable income is the starting point to determine tax liability.

  • Deductions: In the first year retirement income is received, taxpayers may claim an income tax deduction of up to $3,000 of retirement income. When taxpayers turn 65, they may take a $50,000 deduction from retirement income.
  • Social Security: Social Security benefits are exempt from income tax in South Carolina. If benefits were taxed at the federal level, that portion may be deducted from the South Carolina taxable income.
  • Sales Tax: South Carolina has a 6 percent sales tax. Individuals 85 Years and Older are entitled to a 1% state sales tax reduction on items purchased for their personal use.
  • Accommodations Tax: There is a state-wide accommodations tax of 2 percent. Hilton Head Island imposes an additional 3 percent accommodations tax.
  • Estate Tax: As of 2006, estates worth $1 million or less will be exempt from estate tax in South Carolina.

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