Georgia is the state that has us rethinking this whole criteria. Georgia is pretty amazing, at least better than Louisiana, or so you’d think. Ultimately, if you’re focusing on measurable factors that matter to retirees, Georgia is a top 10 state just not the number 1. Georgia ranks number 8 out of 50 for best state with the best weather. The average temperature is 61.5 degrees Fahrenheit and the state gets an average of 205 sunny days per year. Georiga has a statewide 4 percent sales tax and that’s higher in certain regions hurting it’s affordabability. While real estate isn’t the cheapest in Georgia, overall, Georgia is very affordable and rank’s 8th overall for the lowest cost of living. Georgia ranks #2 overall according other websites and it’s likely the “goldy locks effect.” That is, Georgia’s weather, health care and affordability aren’t the best but not the worst either, they’re just right. Even with Atlanta sprawl, you can find great retirement communities within an hour of the city or you can opt for college towns like Athens for a comfortable retirement without the hustle of the metro.
Many retirees that love Florida often move a little further north to Georgia. The weather is almost as good but without the danger of hurricanes, the taxes are slightly above average (not great) but the overall affordabiliyt of real estate and just general cost of living is stellar. While the state does get a poor rating in health care, it also has world reknown health care closer to Atlanta. In addition, Georgia offers an airport that can do most destinations in one trip and you can visit the mountains or the ocean in under 8 hours almost everywhere in the state. Despite the bad national press, the Atlanta metro area is one of the, if not the most diverse areas in the country. A true southern melting pot.
If you’re considering retiring to Georgia you need to consider the humidity and the traffic. Those are two factors that aren’t in our criteria. For one week a year it’s in the 90’s, but every other day during the summer the humidity will be over 80%. In addition, crime can be a factor in non-retirement communities. However,if you stick to the communities you’ll be safe, close to great health care and all the modern conveniences you could hope for.
Best Retirement Cities reviewed all 50 states against 10 different retirement criteria to determine what was truly the best state to retire to.