These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Georgia For 2018


We analyzed over 94 places in Georgia to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

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When most people think of calling it quits on a career, they immediately think of a move to Florida.

But not everyone wants to spend their golden years in Florida; some of us want to stay close to friends and family and within the great state of Georgia.

But where exactly in Georgia? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.

To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Georgia that are safe, affordable, and have plenty of things to keep you busy well into retirement.

What did we find after pouring through all the data? Let’s just say we hope folks in Decatur don’t mind us spreading the word.

Here are our top ten places in the Peach State to retire for 2018:

  1. Decatur (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Marietta (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Fayetteville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Lawrenceville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Jesup (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Bainbridge (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Thomasville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Waycross (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Newnan (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Powder Springs (Photos | Homes For Sale)

Why did Decatur take the top spot? And where are Atlanta and Columbus?

Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details. Or check out the purely worst and best places to live in Georgia.

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

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 with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’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.

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1. Decatur

Decatur, Georgia

Population: 21,210
Median Rent: $894
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,668
More on Decatur: Homes For Sale | Data
Decatur was established at the intersection of two Native American trails: the Sandtown, which led east from the Chattahoochee River at Utoy Creek, and the Shallowford, which follows today’s Clairmont Road, and eventually crossed near Roswell. It was named for United States Navy Commodore Stephen Decatur.

2. Marietta

Marietta, Georgia

Source: Public domain’

Population: 59,714
Median Rent: $936
Distance to Closest Airport: 22 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,211
More on Marietta: Homes For Sale | Data
The origin of the name is uncertain. It is believed that the city was named for Mary Cobb, the wife of U.S. Senator and Superior Court judge Thomas Willis Cobb. Judge Cobb is the namesake of the county.

3. Fayetteville

Fayetteville, Georgia

Population: 16,780
Median Rent: $1,064
Distance to Closest Airport: 13 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,247
More on Fayetteville: Homes For Sale | Data
Fayetteville was founded in 1822 as the seat of the newly formed Fayette County, organized by European Americans from territory ceded by force the Creek people under a treaty with the United States during the early period of Indian removal from the Southeast. Both city and county were named in honor of the Revolutionary War hero the French Marquis de Lafayette. Fayetteville was incorporated as a town in 1823 and as a city in 1909.

4. Lawrenceville

Lawrenceville, Georgia

Population: 30,127
Median Rent: $896
Distance to Closest Airport: 33 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,548
More on Lawrenceville: Homes For Sale | Data
Lawrenceville was incorporated by an act of the Georgia General Assembly on December 15, 1821. This makes Lawrenceville the second oldest city in the metropolitan Atlanta area. The city is named after Commodore James Lawrence, commander of the frigate Chesapeake during the War of 1812. Lawrence, a native of New Jersey, is probably best known today for his dying command, ‘Don’t give up the ship!’ William Maltbie, the town’s first postmaster, suggested the name of ‘Lawrenceville’.

5. Jesup

Jesup, Georgia

Population: 10,145
Median Rent: $560
Distance to Closest Airport: 54 miles
Crime Per 100k: 6,830
More on Jesup: Homes For Sale | Data
Jesup was founded in 1870 as a depot at the junction of the Macon and Brunswick Railroad and the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad. The area was then part of Appling County, Georgia. On August 27, 1872, eastern sections of Appling land districts 3 and 4 were added to Wayne County. In 1873, the seat of Wayne County was transferred to Jesup from Waynesville.

6. Bainbridge

Bainbridge, Georgia

Population: 12,492
Median Rent: $593
Distance to Closest Airport: 81 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,154
More on Bainbridge: Homes For Sale | Data
The town was named after U.S. Navy Commodore William Bainbridge, commander of the USS Constitution (‘Old Ironsides’), and was incorporated on December 22, 1829.

7. Thomasville

Thomasville, Georgia

Population: 18,706
Median Rent: $731
Distance to Closest Airport: 110 miles
Crime Per 100k: 5,426
More on Thomasville: Homes For Sale | Data
Thomasville was founded in 1825 as seat of the newly formed Thomas County. It was incorporated as a town in 1831 and as a city in 1889. The community was named for Jett Thomas, a general in the War of 1812.

8. Waycross

Waycross, Georgia

Population: 14,188
Median Rent: $610
Distance to Closest Airport: 63 miles
Crime Per 100k: 7,492
More on Waycross: Homes For Sale | Data
The area now known as Waycross was first settled circa 1820, locally known as ‘Old Nine’ or ‘Number Nine’ and then Pendleton. It was renamed Tebeauville in 1857, incorporated under that name in 1866, and designated county seat of Ware County in 1873. It was incorporated as ‘Way Cross’ on March 3, 1874. Waycross gets its name from the city?s location at key railroad junctions; lines from six directions meet at the city.

9. Newnan

Newnan, Georgia

Population: 35,642
Median Rent: $940
Distance to Closest Airport: 26 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,425
More on Newnan: Homes For Sale | Data
Newnan was established as county seat of Coweta County (replacing the defunct town of Bullsboro) in 1828 and was named for North Carolinian General Daniel Newnan. It quickly became a prosperous magnet for lawyers, doctors, other professionals, and merchants. Much of Newnan’s prosperity was due to its thriving cotton industry, which relied on slavery.

10. Powder Springs

Powder Springs, Georgia

Source: Public domain’

Population: 14,596
Median Rent: $1,081
Distance to Closest Airport: 21 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,192
More on Powder Springs: Homes For Sale | Data
The town of Powder Springs was incorporated as Springville in 1838 in the lands of two Cherokee Indian leaders. Gold had been discovered in Georgia ten years earlier, and the first European-American settlers came to find gold. The settlers found little gold in the mines at Lost Mountain and off Brownsville Road. It was at about this time that the Cherokee people were forced off their land and removed to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River on the Trail of Tears.

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire 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:

  • Monroe
  • Hinesville
  • Cordele

For more Georgia reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Georgia

City Rank Population Median Rent Distane To Airport Crimes per 100k
Decatur 1 21,210 $894 11 2,668
Marietta 2 59,714 $936 22 4,211
Fayetteville 3 16,780 $1064 13 3,247
Lawrenceville 4 30,127 $896 33 3,548
Jesup 5 10,145 $560 54 6,830
Bainbridge 6 12,492 $593 81 4,154
Thomasville 7 18,706 $731 110 5,426
Waycross 8 14,188 $610 63 7,492
Newnan 9 35,642 $940 26 3,425
Powder Springs 10 14,596 $1081 21 2,192
Rome 11 36,340 $658 61 4,419
Brunswick 12 15,997 $699 46 5,869
Pooler 13 22,131 $1159 3 3,393
Roswell 14 93,968 $1096 28 1,963
Vidalia 15 10,674 $549 70 6,164
Smyrna 16 54,788 $997 16 3,185
Canton 17 25,022 $880 42 2,617
Kennesaw 18 32,669 $1121 29 2,060
Johns Creek 19 82,930 $1370 30 860
Lilburn 20 12,481 $931 24 4,190
Sandy Springs 21 102,212 $1083 20 2,890
Conyers 22 15,682 $876 25 5,197
Duluth 23 28,681 $1111 29 2,792
Covington 24 13,667 $794 33 6,629
Griffin 25 22,875 $788 28 7,051
Milton 26 36,755 $1234 35 946
Alpharetta 27 63,013 $1222 31 2,131
Clarkston 28 12,594 $859 16 4,319
Atlanta 29 456,378 $998 8 6,557
Dallas 30 12,622 $905 30 1,655
Carrollton 31 25,960 $758 37 4,830
Kingsland 32 16,411 $886 25 2,565
Dalton 33 33,653 $647 84 3,613
Riverdale 34 15,812 $807 5 5,862
Loganville 35 11,072 $1042 33 3,377
Mcdonough 36 23,086 $1021 20 3,279
Snellville 37 19,395 $1156 28 4,315
Acworth 38 21,824 $1037 32 2,808
East Point 39 35,477 $924 3 11,599
Gainesville 40 37,906 $824 56 4,133
Statesboro 41 30,597 $742 39 4,196
Winder 42 15,148 $861 47 4,931
Brookhaven 43 51,567 $1205 17 3,096
Milledgeville 44 19,146 $683 78 4,627
Richmond Hill 45 11,501 $1119 14 2,147
Forest Park 46 19,156 $823 4 6,405
Dublin 47 16,189 $540 104 6,504
Dunwoody 48 48,128 $1248 22 4,456
Moultrie 49 14,457 $620 130 7,539
Calhoun 50 16,139 $632 65 4,225
Columbus 51 200,303 $844 81 5,413
College Park 52 14,434 $778 1 11,666
Woodstock 53 27,964 $1226 32 2,313
Villa Rica 54 14,755 $917 28 4,276
Albany 55 75,657 $687 129 5,938
Tifton 56 16,691 $584 127 6,530
Norcross 57 16,293 $954 24 4,161
Suwanee 58 18,001 $1383 35 3,766
Holly Springs 59 10,351 $1115 36 2,222
Douglasville 60 32,317 $969 17 7,197
Fairburn 61 13,860 $1045 11 5,541
Lagrange 62 30,535 $789 54 5,845
Americus 63 16,185 $639 108 7,964
Chamblee 64 27,862 $1014 19 5,742
Valdosta 65 56,717 $732 97 5,751
Warner Robins 66 73,265 $862 84 6,285
Grovetown 67 12,848 $1033 108 1,486
Doraville 68 10,348 $962 21 6,010
Cordele 69 11,015 $600 122 5,047
Hinesville 70 34,127 $940 32 4,298
Monroe 71 13,253 $775 42 7,221

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