The 9 Best Places to Retire in Georgia

Danny Newman
Danny Newman is a nationally syndicated freelance writer with a focus on travel. MSN feed and Associated Press bylines. Danny is a digital nomad from the UK who’s been traveling full-time since 2018.

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Why do people choose Georgia to retire? Let’s discover the best places to retire in Georgia and learn what makes the Peach State stand out.

Georgia goes by many names. Most people call it the “Peach State”. Others know it as the “Empire State of the South”. And for some, it’s nothing if not the glorious “Goober State”. Yet no matter what nickname you have for Georgia, there’s one fact that’s beyond dispute…

It’s an amazing destination for retirees.

Seriously, while Georgia may lack the reputation of places like Florida, more and more people of retirement age are moving here. And justifiably so! Not only is Georgia a diverse state that boasts beautiful beaches and mountains alike, but it’s also far cheaper than the best-known retirement destinations. It’s tax-friendly, has significantly lower housing prices, and benefits from a strong economy to boot.

If you’re considering relocating here to take advantage of such incentives, we hope this article will help. Read on to discover 9 of the best places to retire in Georgia.

1. Rome

It may lack the ancient history of its Italian namesake, but Georgia’s very own Rome holds ample treasures of its own! The largest city and county seat of Floyd County, you’ll find it up north in the foothills of the mighty Appalachian Mountains.

Thanks to its prime location, Rome’s natural beauty and outdoor opportunities are hard to beat. Retire here, and both the Coosa Valley and the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains will be at your fingertips. The city itself is full of charm too. It has a strong arts scene, a golf course, three picturesque rivers that wind through its center, its very own symphony orchestra, and museums aplenty.

Combine that with its excellent healthcare options and affordable housing (the median value of owner-occupied units between 2016 and 2020 was $158,000), and Rome deserves its spot on any list of the best places to retire in Georgia.

2. Cumming

Located in Forsyth County, Cumming is a thriving part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. Strictly speaking, it’s a small suburban city with a population of 6,500. For many people, though, Cumming is synonymous with the whole of Forsyth County, which has a fast-growing population of almost 200,000 people. However you come to think of it, though, there’s no shortage of reasons to retire here…

David Edmisten, Certified Financial Planner from Next Phase Financial Planning, shares why retirees should consider the region: 

“Forsyth County is one of the wealthiest and safest counties in Georgia. You’ll have access to Lake Lanier, a premiere boating and recreational area. Award-winning food and entertainment are available in nearby Alpharetta. There are plentiful activities, whether outdoors hiking near the Blue Ridge mountains, visiting local wineries and restaurants, joining the active local tennis and pickleball community, or amazing golf available at several local country clubs. You’re an hour from Atlanta, and Forsyth County has premiere health care as well.”

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you will love Lake Lenier and all the recreational opportunities it provides. History buffs will adore its gold-mining past. Shopaholics will revel in the numerous shopping areas. Fans of the big city will appreciate the Georgia State Route 400 that (despite being busy) provides access to downtown Atlanta. Oh, and everyone will be thankful for the first-class medical centers!

3. Twin City

Move across to eastern Emanuel County, and you find tiny Twin City. A place full of history, it got its name when the neighboring cities of Graymont and Summit decided to join forces in 1921. Visit the historic district, and you’ll enjoy a taste of its long and fascinating background. From a log cabin built in the 1830s to Victorian cottages and other architectural pieces from the period, it’s like stepping back in time.

History isn’t the only attraction for retirees, though! Aside from Twin City’s reputation for being “twice as friendly, twice as nice”, it has the 1,634-acre George L. Smith State Park, complete with its many hiking trails and lakes. It’s also close to many great hunting and fishing opportunities and is just 11 miles from Swainsboro. There you’ll find an array of cultural opportunities, continued education options, and the 5-star Emanuel Medical Center.

4. Augusta

Augusta is another Georgia destination that’s full of history, natural beauty, southern charm, and sky-high quality of life. Founded in the early 1700s, it was a trading post in British colonial times and was heavily involved in both the Civil and Revolutionary Wars. With its Antebellum mansions and many historical sites, Augusta’s tumultuous past remains on clear display today.

Make no mistake, though! This dynamic city offers retirees all the perks of a modern metropolis: restaurants, bars, cafes, museums, galleries, sports, parks, and so on. The Garden City also benefits from a striking location on the Savannah River and, of course, hosts the annual Augusta Masters golf tournament that it’s famous for around the world. Throw in its reasonably low crime rate, affordable housing, and strong healthcare system, and Augusta’s hard to fault.

5. Dahlonega

Active retirees who want to spend their golden years exploring the great outdoors should consider moving to Dahlonega. Located in the foothills of the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s an oasis for anyone who adores wildlife and nature! You’d have endless trails, waterfalls, rivers, and streams to explore at your leisure.

Another reason to retire to Dahlonega is its proximity to Atlanta. This mountain getaway’s just an hour away from the state’s busy capital city. And, if that wasn’t enough, this is wine country too! Imagine sipping award-winning wines as you gaze out over gorgeous mountain vistas…at sunset. Dahlonega offers all that and more, including a rich history that stretches back to the gold rush and a slew of fun activities, bars, and restaurants in town.

As for healthcare, it has the Chestatee Regional Hospital plus two other facilities nearby. Alas, Dahlonega’s desirability is evident in its typical housing prices, which are higher than in other parts of Georgia. However, with so much on offer, you may deem Dahlonega worth the extra expense.

6. Monroe

Monroe is located east of Atlanta in the Alcovy River basin, the County Seat of Walton County. This popular place balances small-town vibes with copious amounts to do. An hour away from Atlanta and a similar distance from Athens, you’re never far from the buzz of big-city life either.

Monroe’s another charming destination on this list of the best places to retire in Georgia. From the parks and Farmers Market to its cycling routes, historical buildings, and lively downtown area, it’s got something for everyone – especially if you’re into antiques. Monroe’s the “Antiques Capital of Georgia” as well, boasting over 1,200 booths and 300,000 square feet of antique and vintage items!

It has Clearview Regional Hospital to handle your medical needs and an assortment of accommodation options. These include adult communities, assisted living properties, gated communities, nursing homes, and more.

7. Atlanta

There’s a reason Atlanta’s the most populated city in Georgia! Many reasons, in fact. People come here for its strong economy, friendly locals, incredible food scene, reasonable cost of living, and an endless list of things to do, to name just a few.

From Elton John’s “Peachtree Road” album to Frank Sinatra’s song “Peachtree Street”, it’s even inspired some of the world’s best-known musicians. That’s not bad for a city that was burned to the ground by General Sherman in 1864 (hence why its official symbol contains a phoenix).

Atlanta’s also called the “City in a Forest” because of the 100,000+ trees planted here courtesy of a non-profit called “Trees Atlanta”. Then there’s the Atlanta Beltline – 22 miles of unused railroad tracks with trails, walkways, parks, and other open green spaces to enjoy. Active retirees who want both city life and outdoor recreation will be in their element.

8. Savannah

Cozily nestled along the Georgia coast, Savannah earns the love of visitors and residents alike. The city is a popular choice for weddings and weekend trips, as well as an excellent location for retirees. David Berns of Truadvice Wealth Management highlights some of its key features:

“The city of Savannah is a popular choice for retirees due to its historic charm, mild climate, and abundance of cultural activities and outdoor recreation opportunities.”

In addition to agreeable weather and abundant southern history and charm, Savannah’s unusual layout gives it a unique feel. Its walkability and many tree-laden squares create an atmosphere that feels as much like a giant park as a city.

9. Athens

An hour outside Atlanta sits Athens, a perfect retirement spot for those seeking a balance of activity, culture, and affordability. Cecil Staton, Athens resident and founder of Arch Financial Planning, shares a few fundamental reasons to consider the area:

“In Athens, folks will find an affordable cost of living and proximity to cultural activities through the University of Georgia’s renowned sports and arts programming, along with quality healthcare at their level II trauma center.”

Rich in history, Athens has plenty of civil war historical sites and impressive antebellum architecture. It also houses the University of Georgia, bringing a vibrant college-town energy into the area.

Where Are the Best Places to Retire in Georgia? Now You Know!

Increasing numbers of retirees are channeling their inner Ray Charles and ending up with Georgia on their minds. And that should come as no surprise! Indeed, a quick online search about the Peach State tells you everything you need to know:

The list of benefits enjoyed by Georgia retirees is both long and wide-ranging. It’s full of natural beauty, bustling cities, affordable property…and tax breaks for over 65s.

That’s why we prepared this article about the best places to retire in Georgia to help you begin thinking about the cities and towns which may be right for you.

Of course, making the transition from earning a paycheck to living off your savings and resources like Social Security can be a major adjustment impacting your budget and quality of life. Hiring a financial advisor can help you navigate the journey so you can enjoy decades in retirement in Georgia with less money stress.

You’ll find financial advisors featured on Wealthtender based in Georgia and others who can meet with you online no matter where you live today or tomorrow. Be sure to ask the right questions and understand the costs of hiring a financial advisor before deciding on the right financial advisor for you.

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This article originally appeared on Wealthtender. To make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be considered financial advice. You should consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.

About the Author

Danny Newman

I’m a digital nomad from England who loves traveling and has a passion for writing.

To make Wealthtender free for readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Learn more. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers.
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