With so many Georgia retirement communities to choose from, you are sure to be able to find one that is right for you. There are retirement communities that will fit almost any budget and lifestyle. Known as the "Peach" of the south, Georgia is quickly becoming one of the nations more popular retirement destinations.
Some of the most sought after Georgia Retirement Communities are in the mountains of North Georgia offer a quiet, laid back lifestyle with quaint little towns like Cleveland, home to the Cabbage Patch Kids; Dahlonega, home to America’s first “Gold Rush” and the little Alpine Village of Helen. There's even a winery and luxury resort in Braselton. All this while staying within a few hours drive of the world-class city of Atlanta where there is access to shopping, great restaurants, excellent medical facilities and airline service to every part of the globe.
Along the South Georgia Coast, you’ll find palm trees and beautiful sandy beaches. One of the most popular retirement destinations in Georgia is in and around Savannah. There is probably no place more inviting in Georgia than Savannah, a city renowned for its hospitality, congenial climate, authentic culture and extraordinary natural beauty. Here you’ll find, beaches and rivers, shopping and dining, museums and galleries as well as theater and music. If you love to golf, you can choose from one of the Georgia retirement communities that are located on a golf course. If you want to live near one of the many prestigious golf courses designed by Fazio, Crenshaw, Nicklaus and Palmer, you'll find them in small towns like Greensboro or Resorts like the ones at St. Simons and Jekyll Island that have long played host to corporate executive as well as multi-millionaires. And who can forget the Masters, held each year in Augusta.
For retirees who might want to use some of their spare time to continue their education, there’s Athens, home to the University of Georgia. With a population of 102,000, this college town has recently been named as one of the best places in the country to retire.
• Relatively low cost of living
• State Income Tax: This is being phased out for retirement income of seniors age 65 and older with all senior retirement income being exempt from state income tax by 2013.
• Compared to states like Florida, the average price of both car insurance and housing are much lower.
Some of the cons:
• There is still a State Income Tax for seniors who work past 65. They will continue to pay state income taxes on the wages they earn.
• Folks call it the “Birthday Tax”. Georgia currently has an Ad Valor em tax on all vehicles. This is a yearly tax on the value of your vehicle.(This will hopefully be phased out over the next few years)
• State Sales Tax: 4% (food, prescription drugs exempt), local taxes may add an additional 3%.
• Property Tax: property tax is levied at 1.7% of the assessed value of your property but individuals age 65 and over may claim an exemption from all state ad valor em taxes on their home and up to 10 acres of land surrounding the home. There may also be local homestead exemption taxes depending upon the county that you live in.
The top 10 places to retire in Georgia, according to RetireinGeorgia.com, are (in no particular order):
• Big Canoe
• Douglas/Coffee County
• Georgia Lake Country (Morgan, Greene, Putnam and Baldwin Counties
• Lowndes County (Valdosta)
• Brooks and Lanier Counties
• St Mary’s
Another one of the great Retirement Communities in Georgia that did not make the list is the Marietta area. This booming suburb of Atlanta has over 50 golf courses within a 20 mile radius.
**Selections were based on: Weather / climate, State parks, local parks, etc., Lodging and hospitality amenities, Cost of living, Health care infrastructure, Housing, Population dynamics, Community commitment, Lifelong learning opportunities.
The benefits to retiring in one of the many Georgia retirement communities far outweigh the cons.
For a list of some of the best Active Adult Communities in Georgia, be sure to check out our page on Active Adult Communities in Georgia
Is Georgia on you list of "America's Best Places To Retire"?