No matter what qualifications you find most important, Georgia is the type of state that ranks well on just about anyone’s list of great places to retire.
Besides having plenty of things to do throughout the year, the wide range of options moving from the mountains of Northern Georgia to the action of Atlanta out to the historic coastal towns like Savannah means that there really is something for everyone in the Peach State.
During the 2010 census, the state of Georgia recorded a population just short of 10 million residents, which marked the seventh straight decade of double-digit growth for the national 9th largest state in terms of population.
With a population of 420,003 residents, Atlanta is by far the biggest city in Georgia. The four other Georgia cities that boast a population of at least six digits are Augusta, Columbus, Savannah, and Athens.
Like most of the southeastern states, Georgia is known for having mild winters that come with its hot and humid summers. You will find the coolest temperatures in the northwest portions of the state while the southeastern coastline features the warmest weather.
In most of the state, residents can expect to find temperatures that range from an average high of 60 and an average low of 38 in January to an average high of 92 with an average low of 72 in August.
There is also a significant amount of precipitation in Georgia throughout the year. Residents can expect anywhere from 45-47 inches of rain in an average year with the bulk of that precipitation coming during the summer months.
Natural disasters are not a major concern for Georgia residents, but the state has seen its share of hurricanes over the years, and there is also a risk of tornados. Fortunately, tornados that happen in Georgia are often weaker ones that inflict minimal damage.
The state income tax in Georgia is a tiered system that ranges from 1% to 6% depending on how much income you generate during the year. Any individual that makes more than $7,000 or married couple that makes more than $10,000 will fall into the 6% tax bracket.
Retired residents in Georgia are eligible for an exclusion of $35,000 when they reach the age of 62. That exclusion number jumps to $65,000 once they reach the age of 65.
There is also a state sales tax of 4% in Georgia that is applied to any purchase outside of groceries, prescription drugs, and some medical devices. The city of Atlanta adds another 1% sales tax inside of their jurisdiction.
One strong benefit that comes with retiring in Georgia is the fact that there is no inheritance tax.
With a 2018 gross state product of $602 billion, Georgia is an economic force to be reckoned with. Whether we are talking about finance in cities like Atlanta, shipping through ports like Savannah, or farming out in the rural parts of the state, the Georgia economy is broad and strong.
Major domestic companies like Coca-Cola, Home Depot, UPS, Delta Airlines, and SunTrust Bank all have their headquarters located in Georgia, which is one of the many reasons that the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is known as the world’s busiest airport.
In addition to Fortune 500 businesses, the Georgia economy also benefits from a thriving tourism industry, as well as the fact that the state has become a popular destination for film and television production crews.
With approximately 175 hospitals spread out across the state of Georgia, there is never a shortage of healthcare options available to residents of the Peach State. And just like many of the most popular retirement destinations are located around Atlanta, so are some of the best hospitals.
Several Georgia hospitals are regularly listed on Newsweek’s ranking of the top hospitals in the country. The highest-ranking hospital on that list in Georgia is usually Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital.
Some of the other excellent local hospitals include Navicent Health in Macon, Emory St. Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta, Emory Johns Creek Hospital in Johns Creek, Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center in Athens, Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, and Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville.
Georgia Real Estate
With a state as diverse as it is, it should come as no surprise that Georgia offers a wide selection of real estate opportunities.
There are plenty of 55+ and active adult communities to choose from, no matter where you plan to retire in Georgia.
Georgia State Parks
Whether you are looking to enjoy the mountains, lakes, salt marshes, streams, or the gorgeous coast, Georgia boasts a fabulous collection of state parks that supply residents with a nearly endless number of places to see and things to do.
The state’s park system dates back to 1931 when it was established in order to maintain Indian Springs State Park in Jackson and Vogel State Park in Blairsville. Today, there are nearly 50 state parks located across the different regions of Georgia.
Parks like Amicalola Falls State Park in Dawsonville, Cloudland Canyon State Park in Rising Fawn, and Fort Mountain State Park in Chatsworth are some of the most popular destinations in Georgia.
You can also find more information about all of Georgia’s state parks, as well as the many historical sites in the Georgia State Parks & Historical Sites Guide that is published by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.