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Here’s a Glimpse Into the Best Places To Retire in Georgia

Georgia Retirement

by Matt Lyons Posted on November 30, 2023
It’s easy to see why Georgia is one of the best states in the South to begin your retirement. There’s the friendly, laid-back culture, the numerous outdoor recreational activities available, and, of course, the beautiful weather — just to name a few benefits. But which places stand out, when it comes to spending your golden years in the Peach State? Here are 11 of our favorites. 
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Best Places to Retire in Georgia

A gorgeous island home on St. Simons Island in Georgia. The home is two stories with siding exterior and a modern entryway.

St. Simons Island, Georgia
(Source: DeLoach Sotheby’s International Realty via Facebook)

1. St. Simons, GA

As one of the best places to retire in Georgia near the beach, St. Simons is located on St. Simons Island, one of four barrier islands in Georgia's Golden Isles. This quaint yet captivating town features a variety of great atractions for its residents, such as a nature center and the Anderson Fine Art Gallery. Several golf courses are located in the area, as well, and the island's historic lighthouse and 1935 Coast Guard Station are both on the National Register. Farmers' markets are popular with both locals and visitors throughout the year, and the nearby town of Brunswick has a variety of retailers to shop from that includes a shopping mall.
Q: Where do most seniors live in Georgia?
A:
Statewide, Towns County takes the top spot for the most seniors, but with a 35.5 percent population of those who are 65 or older, St. Simons has the highest senior population on this list. 

2. Adairsville, GA

  • Average rent (one-bedroom): N/A
  • Average home value: $280,500
  • Cost of living: 92
  • Population 65+ years: 25%
  • Healthcare in Adairsville: AdventHealth experts in Adairsville offer services that include primary care, lifestyle medicine, and urgent care.

Located between Chattanooga and Atlanta, Adairsville is the best small town in Georgia to retire to that's known for its tranquil and picturesque environment. This place has a higher population of retirees, in particular, because it allows them to get away from the chaos of the bigger cities.

One of Adairsville's most popular attractions is the 3,000-acre Barnsley Resort, which features a landscape with a variety of colorful trees and flowers. For a quick stroll, residents will often visit Manning Mill Park, which has a 2.1-km loop trail along a beautiful lake. And the local streets in the town are popular for their antique shops, restaurants, and more!

3. Clarkesville, GA

Located in Habersham County, Clarkesville is a quaint town that contains a high population of retirees. Although it may seem quiet, this city has plenty of things to do, such as eating at delicious local restaurants and shopping downtown. Mark of the Potter is a local gallery and craft shop that's great for both pottery tours and shopping. And one of the most popular places to enjoy nature is at Lake Burton, which is a great place to fish and enjoy boating. The Soque River also offers a variety of natural beauty and fly fishing. 
Q: Is Georgia a good state for retirees?
A:
Absolutely! In addition to cultural and recreational benefits — not to mention beautiful weather — retirees can expect to receive tax benefits in Georgia. Social security retirement benefits are not taxed in Georgia, and there is a maximum deduction of $65,000 per person for anyone 65 or older on any other type of retirement income.

Historic Tudor home in Avondale Estates, Georgia. The home has a classic Tudor exterior with a covered porch. It features a neat lawn with landscaping along the edges and is nestled between large trees.

Avondale Estates, Georgia
(Source: Justin Landis Group Real Estate via Facebook)

4. Avondale Estates, GA

The small city of Avondale Estates is situated in Dekalb County outside of Atlanta. It’s one of the best places to retire in Georgia with a suburban feel and diverse culture. Most commonly known for its English Tudor-style homes, Avondale Estates offers some of the best amenities for retired residents, from parks and museums to art centers. Some of the most fun attractions local to Avondale Estates include the Fernbank Museum, Fernbank Science Center, and the MudFire Pottery Studio and Gallery. The local Farmers Market in Avondale Estates is also a resident favorite! 

5. Dutch Island, GA

Voted the No. 1 Best Place to Retire in Georgia by Niche, the community of Dutch Island can be found in the Intercoastal waterway near Savannah, which is private and contains close to 500 homes. Because Dutch Island is surrounded by salt water marsh and the intercoastal waterway, residents have easy access to the Skidaway, Herb, and Wilmington Rivers, along with Grimbal Creek for fun outdoor recreation activities like fishing, boating, and swimming. Dutch Island residents also get easy access to a swimming pool, beach volleyball courts, tennis courts, and a boat ramp, pier, and dock.

6. North Decatur, GA

  • Average rent (one-bedroom): $1,875
  • Average home value: $477,900
  • Cost of living: 104.8
  • Population 65+ years: 16.9%
  • Healthcare in North Decatur: For specialized care in areas like massage therapy and physiotherapy, check out North Decatur Health Care.

Located in DeKalb County, the city of North Decatur is just around 7 miles away from Atlanta. Other nearby areas include Druid Hill, Panthersville, and Belvedere Park. 

What makes it one of the best cities to retire in Georgia? North Decatur offers a great variety of activities for retired residents, both indoors and outdoors. Mason Mill Park and the Glenn Creek Nature Preserve are some of the best places in the region to explore some beautiful outdoor beauty, while the DeKalb History Center Museum is a great place to check out some local history and artifacts. North Decatur is also popular for its variety of food options, including the Louisiana Bistreaux and Wheelhouse Craft Pub & Kitchen

Aerial view of Downtown Athens, Georgia, as the sun sets, featuring a prominent city building and plenty of wooded groves throughout the city.

Athens, Georgia

7. Athens, GA

  • Average rent (one-bedroom): $1,650
  • Average home value: $306,100
  • Cost of living: 87.6
  • Population 65+ years: 11%
  • Healthcare in Athens: Athens has access to top healthcare facilities like the Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center.
  • One of the best places to live in Georgia's interior is in Athens, which is home to the University of Georgia (go Bulldogs!). It's also one of the best college towns in the country, so there’s a large young population as well as a decent-sized community of residents 65 and older. 
     
    Although it's mainly known as a university town, Athens has plenty of culture and artistic offerings, including museums, galleries, and theaters. It also has a great live music scene, and because of its location, people can spend a lot of time exploring the countryside!

    8. Peachtree City, GA

    • Average rent (one-bedroom): $1,875
    • Average home value: $519,800
    • Cost of living: 112.7
    • Population 65+ years: 18.6%
    • Healthcare in Peachtree City: One of the nearby hospitals is the Piedmont Fayette Hospital, known for its excellence in various medical services, such as critical care, pulmonary care, and emergency medicine.

    Peachtree City is located in north central Georgia, about 25 miles south of Atlanta. It has a variety of facilities and services, such as a soccer complex, a baseball and softball field, a tennis center, a swimming pool, and the outdoor Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater, which seats 2,5000 people.

    The city's nature areas, such as Flat Creek and Line Creek, are peaceful places where residents can view various types of local wildlife, such as herons and beavers. The Peachtree City library also hosts a variety of book clubs, poetry clubs, and even a film club. 

    A beautiful two-story brick home nestled among a lush wooded grove in Marietta, Georgia. The home features a covered entryway, a two-car garage, and an immaculately landscaped front yard.

    Marietta, Georgia
    (Source: LaBorde Realty Group via Facebook)

    9. Marietta, GA

    Situated in Cobb County, the city of Marietta is an ideal location for retirees looking for affordable homes, history, and entertainment. Its western border is connected to a national historical park, and people can easily travel to nearby Atlanta or beyond using Interstate 75.

    Despite its population of about 60,000, Marietta still maintains a small-town feel. Its downtown area is full of restaurants and shops that people can explore, and there are plenty of opportunities to get active and explore the natural areas surrounding the city.

    The city of Marietta also has several museums that exhibit its culture and history. Some of these include the Cobb Museum of Art, the National Battlefield Park, and the Marietta History Center. People can also visit other popular attractions, such as the Six Flags White Water Park and Chattahoochee Nature Center.

    10. Vinings, GA

    • Average rent (one-bedroom): $1,875
    • Average home value: $504,500
    • Cost of living: 109.8
    • Population 65+ years: 12.7%
    • Healthcare in Vinings: Wellstar Vinings Health Park is the top-ranked healthcare facility in the area, offering the utmost comprehensive care, from primary care and diagnostic medicine to treatment/follow-up services.

    Bordered by the Chattahoochee River and 1-285, the town of Vinings is known for its small-town atmosphere and adorable Victorian-inspired village. When looking for a place to live in Vinings, you’ll notice a good variety of older neighborhoods, swim/tennis communities, condos, and townhomes. 

    Vinings is close to popular areas, such as Midtown and Buckhead, where residents can check out some fun activities at places like The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and The Battery Atlanta. And because of its close proximity to the Chattahoochee River, retirees living in Vinings can maintain their active lifestyles by checking out trails like the local Silver Comet Trail

    11. Sandy Springs, GA

    • Average rent (one-bedroom): $1,525
    • Average home value: $636,700
    • Cost of living: 113.3
    • Population 65+ years: 13.4%
    • Healthcare in Sandy Springs: The local North Fulton Health Center provides preventive care and on-demand video visits for those who are sick.

    Situated along the Chattahoochee River, Sandy Springs is a busy, yet tranquil, city in northern Georgia, just about 15 miles north of downtown Atlanta. Just eight minutes away from Sandy Springs city hall, the local Big Trees Forest Preserve is a highlight that features a variety of plants and wildlife, along with trails for both walking and biking. Festivals, such as the Artaplalooza and the Chattahoochee Mountain Fair draw in large crowds each year and are great events to bring a grandkid or two along to!
    Q: Is Georgia or Florida better to retire in?
    A:
    It depends on your specific preferences. Georgia and Florida both have similar retirement perks, including all of the great entertainment, outdoor activities, and beautiful weather. However, Georgia does have a lower cost of living overall, if budget is a driving factor for your choice of the Peach State versus Florida.

    Editor’s note: For ease of reading, monthly rental prices were rounded to the nearest $25 and home values were rounded to the nearest $100.
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