You can’t go wrong if you are looking for places to retire in Georgia, the Peach State. Georgia’s warm summers and mild winters hold a great appeal to many retirees. Plus, Georgia has a lot to offer retirees looking to stay active.
Georgia has a vibrant, rich culture and is a treasure trove for history buffs. Large metropolitan areas like Atlanta are full of museums, galleries, theaters, and various live entertainment venues, including sports and the arts.
Georgia’s different communities are all overflowing with their famous southern charm, making any retiree feel at home. Georgia living has a community that would match anyone’s preferences, including urban areas, suburbs, mountain towns, lake cities, and oceanside communities.
The scenery and outdoor adventures found in Georgia are hard to beat, from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean. Active retirees who enjoy hiking, biking, camping, and fishing will love Georgia. And for those who enjoy golfing, Georgia is home to several excellent golf courses, including:
- Augusta National Golf Club
- Peachtree Golf Club
- East Lake Golf Club
- Atlanta Athletic Club
- Ocean Forest Golf Club
Best of all, Georgia is an extremely tax-friendly state for retirees. Georgia does not tax Social Security or have an inheritance or estate tax. Additionally, all retirees who are 65+ receive a $65,000 deduction on all retirement income.
Though Georgia has both a sales and property tax, these are considered moderate. And the average cost of living in Georgia is lower than the national median.
And based on a review published by Health Grades, Georgia has eight of the top hospitals in the nation. The hospitals that scored the highest in the state are:
- Emory University Hospital – Atlanta
- Emory University Hospital Midtown – Atlanta
- Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital – Atlanta
- Piedmont Fayette Hospital – Fayetteville
- Piedmont Hospital – Atlanta
- Piedmont Newnan Hospital – Newnan
- Wellstar Cobb Hospital – Austell
- Wellstar Kennestone Hospital – Marietta
Many of the hospitals above are located in or near our top picks for places to retire in Georgia. Or, if you’re interested in good healthcare, you might consider Minnesota as a retirement destination, as Minnesota is home to the world-famous Mayo Clinic.
Places to Retire in Georgia
- Marietta City
- Saint Simons
- Percent of Senior Population: 11.4%
- Overall Population: 506,811
Atlanta is a huge city and is the ninth-largest city in the US. So, retirees looking to settle down in a major metropolitan area will find this city very appealing. Atlanta, located on the north side of the state, has summers that tend to be sub-tropical, and the winters can get chilly, sometimes even dropping below freezing, though not near as cold as some of the northern states.
Atlanta attracts thousands every year due to its lower cost of living and abundant cultural opportunities such as:
- National Center for Civil and Human Rights
- Michael C. Carlos Museum
- Atlanta History Center
- Carter Center
- High Museum of Art
Plus, even though you are in the city active retirees will love the variety of outdoor parks:
- Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park
- Piedmont Park
- Atlanta Botanical Garden
- Atlanta Beltline art
Additionally, Atlanta is full of world-class restaurants, authentic southern dining, and every culinary experience in between. Foodies will absolutely love dining out in Atlanta.
Sports fans will enjoy a variety of options when it comes to watching their favorite teams. The city is home to both professional and college teams and hosts several sporting events throughout the year. Plus, with the new Mercedes-Benz stadium going to see a game just became more fun.
And Atlanta is home to multiple superior hospitals, so medical care will never be an issue. Unfortunately, the downside to Atlanta is that the crime rate is almost twice the national average.
- Percent of Senior Population: 13%
- Overall Population: 144,464
Savannah’s founder, James Oglethorpe, designed the layout for Savannah while still in England. The city’s plan is still honored today and is one of the more well thought out towns in the country. Savannah is broken into squares with housing and shops intentionally placed for convenience.
Though Savannah is a large city, it retains the quintessential southern charm commonly associated with the area. Savannah has beautiful architecture throughout the city, which is especially noticeable in the Victorian District.
Savannah is the ideal place for retirees who enjoy living in a historic town and do not mind living in a high traffic tourist area. Some of Savannah’s well known historical sites include:
- Savannah Historic District
- Mercer Williams House Museum
- Old Fort Jackson
- African-American Monument
And retirees interested in volunteering at museums or historical attractions will have endless opportunities in this city.
But Savannah isn’t just about history; it is also an excellent place for those looking to retire near the water. There are several rivers in and nearby Savannah and, of course, the Atlantic coast as well.
Plus, active retirees can enjoy the outdoors year-round since the winters never get all that cold. There are several parks to explore in Savannah too, like:
- Forsyth Park
- Skidaway Island State Park
- Gulf Islands National Park
- Savannah Botanical Gardens
- Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens at the Historic Bamboo
- Daffin Park
There are as many, if not more, parks in the area as there are historical sites.
Though the hospitals in Savannah did not make the Health Grade’s list, there are plenty of high-quality medical facilities, including a couple of full-service hospitals in the area.
Savannah’s crime rate has been improving thanks to the city’s efforts and focus on decreasing crime in the area.
- Percent of Senior Population: 12.5%
- Overall Population: 60,867
Marietta is a suburb of Atlanta and is just northwest of the Atlanta city limits. Retirees looking to live close enough to the city but not in the city will enjoy Marietta. It is a beautiful place with several historic sites.
However, the town square is the real attraction of Marietta, as it hosts many events such as the farmer’s market, live music, and festivals. The square is located in the downtown area, and the center is home to Glover Park. Glover Park is ideal for picnics walks or enjoying outdoor concerts at the bandstand.
Marietta Square is also the perfect place to shop or grab a bite to eat. It is full of cute boutiques, souvenir shops, candy stores, and more. There are more than thirty restaurants in the square, so you will always find something tasty to dine on.
Being close to Atlanta, residents can take advantage of all of the conveniences found downtown, but for those interested staying closer to home, Marietta has many of the same things, just on a smaller scale.
Marietta even has a premium hospital, Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, along with several other medical facilities. Unfortunately, living close to Atlanta does have one significant drawback, and that is that Marietta shares a higher crime rate.
Saint Simons Island
- Percent of Senior Population: 33.1%
- Overall Population: 12,743
Saint Simons Island is part of a greater island chain, the Golden Islands, and is any retirees dream spot. Those who retire to Saint Simons Island will be living in a relaxing paradise away from the craziness of the urban areas.
The climate is mild year-round, there are multiple high-end resorts with amenities such as spas, and restaurants residents can enjoy. Plus, Saint Simons Island is a golfer’s dream come true with its world-famous golf courses.
The beauty found in Saint Simons Island is unmatched and ideal for those looking to live on or near the water. Those who enjoy the beach and boating will love Saint Simons Island. And what makes Saint Simons Island even more appealing is the higher population of retirees in the area.
And if you enjoy shopping, there is an abundance of galleries, boutiques, and high-end shops all over the island chain. Since Saint Simons Island is a touristy area, the town does get busy during peak seasons, but not so much that it deters retirees from moving here.
Though there is no hospital on the island, the Southeast Georgia Regional Medical Center is only eight miles away. And being on an island has the added benefit of the lower crime rate and not just lower than Atlanta, lower than the national average. The one drawback to this paradise is that the cost of housing is higher here than in most other areas of the state.
- Percent of Senior Population: 19%
- Overall Population: 4,271
Madison is the smallest town on the list and ideal for those looking for small-town southern living. The area is known for its beauty and the 100 antebellum homes famous for being left untouched by Sherman.
Madison is steeped in history, making it a perfect place to retire for any history buff (much like Laramie in Wyoming). And there are plenty of sites and museums to explore in and around Madison including:
- Madison Museum of Fine Arts
- The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum
- Morgan County African-American Museum
- Madison-Morgan Cultural Center
- North Georgia Tours
While Madison may be small, but there is always something going on and things to do all year-round. The spring is full of festivals, bicycle events, and multiple garden tours. Summer is the season for festivals, outdoor live music, and movies in the park.
And the fun doesn’t stop after summer; fall brings more festivals and autumn celebrations. Finally, come winter, the town transforms into a winter wonderland with holiday home tours, caroling by candlelight, and more.
Enjoying the outdoors in Madison is made easy since the town is both pedestrian and bicycle-friendly and has numerous parks to explore.
Madison has one hospital, but in nearby Greensboro, more hospitals also serve the Madison community. Additionally, Atlanta is less than an hour’s drive, giving residents access to top-notch medical care.