Sometimes it feels like there are more ways to spend retirement than there are pennies in the average 401k. You need a retirement plan that is best for you. That all starts with where you choose to hang your hat for your golden years, and according to the retirement website Retirable, there are 10 places in the Peach State that just might be perfect.
Georgia residents looking to retire may not want to settle in for their golden years out of state, but rather stay within driving distance of their family.
According to the AARP, the key to choosing your retirement destination spot is to keep family close — just not too close. Retirees’ happiness “skyrockets” when they live near at least one of their adult children, as long as those children are not dependent on them.
Luckily, the Peach State offers numerous retirement destination spots that are worth your hard-earned savings. Will it be one of these top 10 choices?
According to niche.com, a website dedicated to connecting people with their local communities, the number one spot to retire in Georgia is Dutch Island, a Savannah suburb.
“The Best Places to Retire ranking provides a comprehensive assessment of key factors that are meaningful for recent or near retirees,” the company said. “This grade takes into account key factors, such as weather, crime rates, residents 65 and older, housing costs, and access to amenities such as restaurants, golf courses, exercise facilities, and doctors, in an attempt to measure the appeal of an area for retirement.”
With a population of 1,162, this Chatham County community earned an A+ for retirees from niche.com, who notes the suburb’s exemplary outdoor offerings, family focused community and fitness resources.
According to Retireable, Georgia retirees looking to have some fun with the grandchildren should settle in Fayetteville. Just a short drive from any Atlanta relatives, Fayetteville is home to a significant senior population. But the city is also the home of the state’s third-largest amusement park, Fun Spot America.
It is considered a tax-friendly community for retirees, with a cost of living 1% below the national average. And people 65 or older represent nearly 20% of the population — which has reached nearly 18,000.
The Golden Isles of St. Simons is one of the best places to live in the Peach State. This Glynn County getaway can be costly, but offers a lifestyle that is more relaxing than many Georgia destinations can offer.
“The Golden Isles offers a multitude of activities to fill your day with either adventure or relaxation,” the city said on its website. “If you’re looking to get your heart pumping, take to the beach with a paddleboard lesson or a day of charter fishing. If you’re in search of serenity, join a kayak tour through the peaceful marshes of Glynn, saddle up for a guided horseback ride or enjoy a quiet bike ride around one of the islands. Of course, there is always the opportunity to relax on the beach and do nothing at all. Plan your trip around the activities below.”
For Georgia retirees looking for something lakeside, Cumming is an incredible spot to spend your time. The Forsyth County community’s easy access to Lake Lanier and vibrant dining scene earned it a spot on Retireable’s top list for Georgia resident’s looking to retire.
According to officials, the City of Cumming is building for a better future — one that focuses on the city’s small town, southern charm.
“In the next few years, Mayor Troy Brumbalow and City Council will establish the Cumming City Center near downtown Cumming that will feature shopping, dining and small venues for live entertainment … Mayor and Council members hope the City Center will serve as a gathering spot for our community and visitors from surrounding counties, while helping to bring some of the small-town, Southern charm back to the City of Cumming.”
Located in Rabun County, Clayton is a small town that can make a big impact to your retirement. Rated high for its low cost of living and family-focused, suburban environment, Clayton is a great spot for anyone who enjoys the outdoors, or simply wishes to get away from the city.
“I love the small community. Everyone helps each other out , no matter the situation,” one local told niche.com. “I enjoy that everything is close by, whether is groceries or a dental office. It doesn’t take an hour to get your groceries. The beautiful mountains surrounding sets a fresh and clean vibe.”
This is a north Georgia community that you do not want to miss out on.
“Twice as friendly, twice as nice,” according to the town slogan, Twin City is hard to beat. Home to Georgia L. Smith State Park, this Emanuel County town is an outdoorsy wonderland worth exploring.
“The Twin City Historic District encompasses approximately 255 acres of historic residential, commercial, and community resources associated with the development of two towns that were incorporated as one in 1921,” the city website explains. “The Historic District runs northeast to southwest following the railroad bed (tracks were removed in 1952). The northeast part of the district is the historic commercial and residential area of Summit; the southwest part of the district is the historic commercial and residential area of Graymont. Between the two towns, immediately south of the intersection of Railroad Avenue and US Hwy 80, is the area established in the early 1900s as the ‘civic center.’”
An Atlanta suburb worth visiting, DeKalb County’s North Decatur gives you access to every amenity Atlanta has to offer. But it keeps you out of the city’s more densely populated Midtown or downtown areas that are so often burdened by gridlocked traffic — making it an easy destination for your children and grandchildren to visit.
“Outstanding location,” one local told niche.com. “Close to everything, but not concrete jungle. Very family friendly area with so much to do, great schools, and lots of diversity.”
Georgia Bulldogs fans can’t go wrong with the City of Athens. Home of the Dawgs, the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship winners, Athens is a place of gridiron greatness. But it is also a perfect candidate for your retirement destination.
“A vibrant, restored Victorian-era downtown teems with art galleries, trendy shops, world-renowned nightclubs like the Georgia Theatre and the 40 Watt Club, and distinctive dining,” Explore Georgia said. “Athens’ chefs have been inspired by the town’s creative energy to develop a happening food scene full of discoveries, and the town is becoming known around the Southeast as a beer destination, complete with great breweries and pubs like Creature Comforts and Terrapin.”
Located in Habersham County, Clarkesville is a Georgia town of roughly 1,700 people. Perfect for those looking for small town charm, Clarkesville is a close community with local festivities always just around the corner.
“I love clarkesville,” A local told niche.com. “My kids have a nice, safe place to play and things to do. Beautiful and quiet neighborhoods, too.”
A golfer’s delight, Augusta is home to the biggest tournament on the green — the Masters — but it means more than that to older adults. Now recognized by the AARP as an age-friendly community, Georgia’s second largest city is a wonderful retirement spot.
“The AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities serves as a catalyst to educate local leaders (both elected officials and engaged residents) and encourage them to implement the types of changes that make communities more livable for people of all ages, especially older adults,” AARP said. “The network provides cities, towns, counties and states with the resources to become more age-friendly by tapping into national and global research, planning models and best practices.”