There is a stark difference between cost of living and quality of life. (Typically, one rises with the other.) Consider a community with warm and friendly neighbors, social events, varying amenities, and the new home of your dreams situated comfortably inside. Add to this a setting in a culturally rich town with a thriving downtown, fine dining, arts performances, and more.

“Surely,” you now think to yourself, “finding a community like this to call home would be a challenge on a fixed income.”

Thanks to Sperling’s Best Places cost of living index, you may be surprised to find that you can have this lifestyle and you can save money while doing it. We’ve taken the liberty of comparing Aiken to some popular pre-retirement and retirement destinations below. However, if the locations you have in mind aren’t represented below, we encourage you to try out Sperling’s cost of living comparison tool for yourself.

Note: In the tables below, the national average is calculated at 100. The data below will show how far above and below the following locations are as compared to the national average.

Aiken vs. Hilton Head Island, SC

Cost of Living Indexes Aiken Hilton Head Island
Overall 84.7 133.4
Food 94 105.2
Housing 63.9 200.5
Utilities 95.4 110.4
Transportation 93.2 98.4
Health 86.2 95.7


  • A salary of $100,000 in Aiken, South Carolina should increase to $157,497 in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
  • Hilton Head Island is 57% more expensive than Aiken.
  • Housing is 213% more expensive in Hilton Head Island.


Aiken vs. Wilmington, NC

Cost of Living Indexes Aiken Wilmington
Overall 84.7 101.9
Food 94 107.5
Housing 63.9 100.3
Utilities 95.4 112.1
Transportation 93.2 100.1
Health 86.2 100.1


  • A salary of $100,000 in Aiken, South Carolina should increase to $120,307 in Wilmington, North Carolina.
  • Wilmington is 20% more expensive than Aiken.
  • Housing is 56% more expensive in Wilmington.


Aiken vs. Charleston, SC

Cost of Living Indexes Aiken Charleston
Overall 84.7 115.1
Food 94 106.9
Housing 63.9 140.7
Utilities 95.4 111
Transportation 93.2 97.5
Health 86.2 105.6


  • A salary of $100,000 in Aiken, South Carolina should increase to $135,891 in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • Charleston is 36% more expensive than Aiken.
  • Housing is 120% more expensive in Charleston.


Aiken vs. Asheville, NC

Cost of Living Indexes Aiken Asheville
Overall 84.7 109.3
Food 94 103.4
Housing 63.9 123.5
Utilities 95.4 105.8
Transportation 93.2 99
Health 86.2 108.7


  • A salary of $100,000 in Aiken, South Carolina should increase to $129,044 in Asheville, North Carolina.
  • Asheville is 29% more expensive than Aiken.
  • Housing is 93% more expensive in Asheville.



For more general information on other contributing factors to Aiken’s attractive cost of living, visit our website page here. To learn more about how Aiken, SC compares to other popular retirement and pre-retirement destinations learn more here.

To see it all for yourself, simply fill out the form below to reserve your dates. We look forward to seeing you here soon!


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