These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Georgia For 2019

We analyzed over 71 places in Georgia to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

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Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the best places to retire in Georgia.

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Are you looking at your watch wondering when 5PM will finally come around? Sometimes, work can be fun, fulfilling, and exactly what you hoped for when you were a kid, but other times, it can be incredibly draining.

You may be asking yourself why forty-hour weeks feel so long and how it can possibly only be Tuesday.

Perhaps your parents have finally reached retirement age and you think to yourself, Wow, I can’t wait until that’s me.

One day, it will be. But the real question then becomes, what will you do with it? Will you spend your retirement tinkering on projects like your grandfather in a small shack in the backyard? Will you host book clubs on the porch with tea and cookies on warm summer evenings?

Will you live a more active retirement? Take classes at the local colleges and universities, get another degree, or even learn a new language? What about going on long hikes with your dogs on the Appalachian Trail?

If you find yourself envisioning a retirement like that, then going to Georgia may be the perfect place for you.

Georgia is filled with beautiful beaches, mountains, iced tea, and sunshine. It also has Atlanta for the city-people and miles upon miles of small towns for everyone else. What more is there to love?

So where are the top retirement cities in Georgia? Luckily for you, we already have found the answer.

We analyzed 71 cities in Georgia using our “retirement goodness factors,” like affordability, to determine the top 10 best cities for retirement in the state of Georgia.

The winner? Congratulations Decatur! For those living near Atlanta, it is hardly surprising that this suburb ranks first on our list. Home to Emory University and the CDC, Decatur is a hot spot for anyone living in Georgia.

Most of our top 10 are located near Atlanta. Not too surprising, considering Atlanta is the largest city in the state and is a massive research and urban center in the U.S. Filled with vibrant nightlife, cultural events, and delicious food, retiring somewhere near the city of peaches would be on the top of anyone’s list.

Interested to see how your favorite city stacked up? Read on for more information about our methodology and to see why each city is the best for retirement in the state.

For Georgia state reading:

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Peach State for 2019

To create our list of the best places in Georgia to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Peach State — 620 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 10,000 people that weren’t townships. This left us with 71 places from across the state.

For these 71, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • Low cost of living as measured by rent
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport
  • Other retirees (High median age)

We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 71, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Decatur, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.

Decatur, GA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 21,210
Rank Last Year: 119 (Up 118)
Median Rent: $894
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
More on Decatur: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Decatur is a city in, and the county seat of, DeKalb County, Georgia, United States and is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. With a population of 20,148 in the 2013 census, the municipality is sometimes assumed to be larger since multiple zip codes in unincorporated DeKalb County bear the Decatur name. The city is served by three MARTA rail stations. The city is located approximately 5 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta and shares its western border with Atlanta.

Review Of Decatur by HomeSnacks User

If you can deal with the surrounding Atlanta traffic, Decatur is a very nice city. It is very up-and-coming, with lots of trendy restaurants, a few small art galleries, and a very walkable landscape, which is rare in the Atlanta area. There are many festivals throughout the year, including art festivals, beer festivals, and a book festival in September.

Everything at Leon’s Full Service restaurant, especially the beef brisket, is great. Parking in Decatur can be a hassle, though, so be prepared to drive around looking for a spot.

Marietta, GA

Source: Public domain
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Population: 59,714
Rank Last Year: 80 (Up 78)
Median Rent: $936
Distance to Closest Airport: 22 miles
More on Marietta: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Marietta is located in central Cobb County, Georgia, United States, and is the county’s seat and largest city.

Fayetteville, GA

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Population: 16,780
Rank Last Year: 106 (Up 103)
Median Rent: $1,064
Distance to Closest Airport: 13 miles
More on Fayetteville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Fayetteville is a city in Fayette County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 15,945, up from 11,148 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Fayette County. Fayetteville is located 22 miles south of downtown Atlanta.

Lawrenceville, GA

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Population: 30,127
Rank Last Year: 62 (Up 59)
Median Rent: $896
Distance to Closest Airport: 33 miles
More on Lawrenceville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lawrenceville is a city in and the county seat of Gwinnett County, Georgia, United States. It is a suburb of Atlanta, located approximately 30 miles northeast of downtown. As of the 2010 census, the population of Lawrenceville was 28,546. In 2015, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city population to be 30,493. Lawrenceville has six ZIP codes, and it is part of the 678404 telephone area code, which is used throughout metropolitan Atlanta.

Review Of Lawrenceville by HomeSnacks User

I live in Lawrenceville and grew up there; the area is booming, the schools win awards, and my high school graduating class was almost 800 people.

Jesup, GA

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Population: 10,145
Rank Last Year: 35 (Up 30)
Median Rent: $560
Distance to Closest Airport: 54 miles
More on Jesup: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Jesup is a city in Wayne County, Georgia, United States. The population was 10,214 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Wayne County.

Bainbridge, GA

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Population: 12,492
Rank Last Year: 41 (Up 35)
Median Rent: $593
Distance to Closest Airport: 81 miles
More on Bainbridge: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bainbridge is a city in Decatur County, Georgia, United States. The city is the county seat of Decatur County. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 12,697.

Review Of Bainbridge by HomeSnacks User

I’m from Bainbridge and I agree that it s***s. The people here aren’t trustworthy. They’ll talk about you behind your back but will be your friend to your face. This town has nothing to do except bowling and a few basketball courts and baseball fields. I wouldn’t suggest Bainbridge to anyone.

Thomasville, GA

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Population: 18,706
Rank Last Year: 60 (Up 54)
Median Rent: $731
Distance to Closest Airport: 110 miles
More on Thomasville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Thomasville is the county seat of Thomas County, Georgia, United States. The city is the second largest in Southwest Georgia after Albany.

Review Of Thomasville by HomeSnacks User

There is so much to do both for local people and visitors. The local food is the best part of it all.

Grassroots Coffee absolutely blows other coffee out of the water.

Waycross, GA

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Population: 14,188
Rank Last Year: 23 (Up 15)
Median Rent: $610
Distance to Closest Airport: 63 miles
More on Waycross: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Waycross is the county seat of, and only incorporated city in, Ware County. in the U.S. state of Georgia. The population was 14,725 at the 2010 Census.

Review Of Waycross by HomeSnacks User

I am from Waycross. It is safe in this town and people are friendly. I have traveled to many other places and people are the same

And trust me we have rednecks, we have uppity snobs and some really good and honest people.

And we thank G*d for convenience stores and discount stores and belks, jc Penney and all out boutiques.

It is enough. And we have less traffic. And our high schools have produced Ivy League students.

Thank you very much. And we also have many wonderful Churches.

Newnan, GA

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Population: 35,642
Rank Last Year: 87 (Up 78)
Median Rent: $940
Distance to Closest Airport: 26 miles
More on Newnan: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Newnan is a city in Metro Atlanta and the county seat of Coweta County, Georgia, approximately 40 miles southwest of Atlanta. The population was 33,039 at the 2010 census, up from 16,242 in 2000, for a growth rate of 153.1% over that decade.

Powder Springs, GA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,596
Rank Last Year: 75 (Up 65)
Median Rent: $1,081
Distance to Closest Airport: 21 miles
More on Powder Springs: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Powder Springs is a city in Cobb County, Georgia, United States. The population was 13,940 at the 2010 census, with an estimated population for 2015 of 14,826.

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire In Georgia Yet…

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Georgia goes to Decatur.

If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:

  1. Monroe
  2. Hinesville
  3. Cordele

For more Georgia reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Retire In Georgia

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Decatur 21,210 $894
2 Marietta 59,714 $936
3 Fayetteville 16,780 $1,064
4 Lawrenceville 30,127 $896
5 Jesup 10,145 $560
6 Bainbridge 12,492 $593
7 Thomasville 18,706 $731
8 Waycross 14,188 $610
9 Newnan 35,642 $940
10 Powder Springs 14,596 $1,081
11 Rome 36,340 $658
12 Brunswick 15,997 $699
13 Pooler 22,131 $1,159
14 Roswell 93,968 $1,096
15 Vidalia 10,674 $549
16 Smyrna 54,788 $997
17 Canton 25,022 $880
18 Kennesaw 32,669 $1,121
19 Johns Creek 82,930 $1,370
20 Lilburn 12,481 $931
21 Sandy Springs 102,212 $1,083
22 Conyers 15,682 $876
23 Duluth 28,681 $1,111
24 Covington 13,667 $794
25 Griffin 22,875 $788
26 Milton 36,755 $1,234
27 Alpharetta 63,013 $1,222
28 Clarkston 12,594 $859
29 Atlanta 456,378 $998
30 Dallas 12,622 $905
31 Carrollton 25,960 $758
32 Kingsland 16,411 $886
33 Dalton 33,653 $647
34 Riverdale 15,812 $807
35 Loganville 11,072 $1,042
36 Mcdonough 23,086 $1,021
37 Snellville 19,395 $1,156
38 Acworth 21,824 $1,037
39 East Point 35,477 $924
40 Gainesville 37,906 $824
41 Statesboro 30,597 $742
42 Winder 15,148 $861
43 Brookhaven 51,567 $1,205
44 Milledgeville 19,146 $683
45 Richmond Hill 11,501 $1,119
46 Forest Park 19,156 $823
47 Dublin 16,189 $540
48 Dunwoody 48,128 $1,248
49 Moultrie 14,457 $620
50 Calhoun 16,139 $632
51 Columbus 200,303 $844
52 College Park 14,434 $778
53 Woodstock 27,964 $1,226
54 Villa Rica 14,755 $917
55 Albany 75,657 $687
56 Tifton 16,691 $584
57 Norcross 16,293 $954
58 Suwanee 18,001 $1,383
59 Holly Springs 10,351 $1,115
60 Douglasville 32,317 $969
61 Fairburn 13,860 $1,045
62 Lagrange 30,535 $789
63 Americus 16,185 $639
64 Chamblee 27,862 $1,014
65 Valdosta 56,717 $732
66 Warner Robins 73,265 $862
67 Grovetown 12,848 $1,033
68 Doraville 10,348 $962
69 Cordele 11,015 $600
70 Hinesville 34,127 $940
71 Monroe 13,253 $775

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