Best Places To Retire In Georgia For 2020

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

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our sixth 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 retirement is the best option. And if you're looking to retire in Georgia, we have you covered.

Georgia has a town for everyone. You can live a more active retirement somewhere like Alpharetta. Or you can start taking classes at Emory, get another degree, or even learn a new language. What about going on long hikes with your dogs on the Appalachian Trail outside of Ellijay.If you find yourself envisioning a retirement like that, then going to Georgia is 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?

To help you feel secure in your decision of where to retire in Georgia, we took a look at the most recent Census and FBI data, among others, to find affordable places with plenty to do that are also safe -- a retirement paradise. It turns out the suburbs outside of Atlanta check most of these boxes. So where are the top retirement cities in Georgia? Grab a peach and read on for the answer.

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

We analyzed 60 cities in Georgia using our retirement goodness factors, like affordability, to determine the top ten best cities for retirement in the state of Georgia.

The best place to retire in Georgia for 2020? Congratulations Decatur, the best place for retirees in Georgia! For those living near Atlanta, it is hardly surprising that this suburb ranks first on our list. Most of our top ten 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 more Georgia state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Georgia For 2020

Decatur, GA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 23,054
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Rent: $927
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
More on Decatur: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Where's the best city to retire in Georgia? That would be Decatur. Surprised?

Decatur moved up 118 spots to clinch the number one spot best place to retire in Georgia for 2019. That deserves a big 'ol holy guacamole!

It doesn't end there, folks. They have an airport within 11 miles. That means you can be on a plane to see your grandkids in a matter of minutes. #Lucky

Factor in low crime and lots of friendly people, and you've got one heck Georgia peach to call home.

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.

Jefferson, GA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,693
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Rent: $762
Distance to Closest Airport: 58 miles
More on Jefferson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Review Of Jefferson by HomeSnacks User

My grandparents used to live here and it has a lot of nostalgic value. It is a quaint little Southern town where everything seems to move at a slower place. It's a great place to go and relax.

The town square is very nice to walk around. Also, visit the Crawford W. Long Museum!

Fayetteville, GA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 17,349
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,094
Distance to Closest Airport: 13 miles
More on Fayetteville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Where's the third best city to retire to in Georgia? You might be surprised to hear it, but it's Fayetteville.

Not only is Fayetteville one of the most beautiful cities in the state, it has the best of all worlds for retirees: great parks, a vibrant arts community, and lots of historical sites for all those history buffs.

And, if you want to get away to a bigger city, it's easy. Atlanta is just 30 minutes away. Yeah, people in Fayetteville have it made.

Factor in low crime and lots of friendly people, and you've got one heck of a place to call home.

Powder Springs, GA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,945
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $1,175
Distance to Closest Airport: 21 miles
More on Powder Springs: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Our last stop on the best cities to retire to in Georgia for 2019 is Powder Springs.

We're not surprised that Powder Springs crushed our snackability scale with an emphasis on amenities and affordability.

First off, it's not far from Atlanta, which means it's super close to great shopping, restaurants, and an international airport. Secondly, their median home price and rent are very retirement friendly.

Did we mention their median household income is close to $60,000? This means that Powder Springs has the money to keep the city nice and safe for all its residents.

So don't wait another second, Powder Springs wants you to call it home.

Newnan, GA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 37,818
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $1,005
Distance to Closest Airport: 26 miles
More on Newnan: Real Estate | Data | Photos

With five golf courses in and around Newnan, this is every golf enthusiasts mecca. And if we know anything about retirees, they love to play golf.

We also know these golf clubs provide ample opportunities for retirees to explore activities like tennis, swim aerobics, bridge club, knitting get the picture.

Heck with all of these clubs at your disposal, 'lunch with the ladies' will have a whole new meaning if you move to this city in Coweta County.

Now if shopping and dining is your idea of a relaxing retirement environment, there are great places in Newnan and you are only 45 minutes from Atlanta.

Vidalia, GA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,473
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 6)
Median Rent: $587
Distance to Closest Airport: 70 miles
More on Vidalia: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Review Of Vidalia by HomeSnacks User

have lived in vidalia for 61 years and the only thing I see wrong is that I wish it had more chain restaurants than it does but it does have many privately owned one's. I don't see a high crime rate either. Most people will speak to you. Very friendly people.

Marietta, GA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 60,410
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $1,048
Distance to Closest Airport: 22 miles
More on Marietta: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Cruise northwest from Decatur, about 11 o'clock on the 285 dial, and you will arrive at our second best place to retire in Georgia, Marietta.

What makes Marietta so great for retirees? They are less than 30 minutes from great shopping and restaurants in Atlanta, they have six amazing golf course within the city limits; and when you get a hankerin' for the senior citizen blue plate special, they have an IHOP around the corner.

Marietta is so great, they also earned a spot on our top 10 Best Cities to Raise a Family. (It's worth a google.) They really know what they're doing in this Cobb County city.

Thomasville, GA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 18,546
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $790
Distance to Closest Airport: 110 miles
More on Thomasville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

If you're looking to retire to a Georgia city with a cute little village, Thomasville should be your go-to city.

The coffee shops in Thomasville are always buzzing with friendly meet-and-greets, and their downtown is the perfect quintessential Georgia backdrop for long walks in the park, horse drawn carriage rides, and deep porch sitting.
This proper southern city should be the poster city for all retirement cities. They have a boatload of activities that retired people like to do: like golf, tennis, shopping, and early bird dining.

So, pack up the Cadillac and head to Thomasville: there's a seat at the local coffee shop with your name on it.

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

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 13,836
Rank Last Year: -
Median Rent: $611
Distance to Closest Airport: 63 miles
More on Waycross: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Continuing our best cities in Georgia to retire tour brings us to Waycross This awesome city in Ware County moved up 15 spots to clinch our 8th best city to retire. #Kudos

Located slightly North of the Okefenokee National Forest and just West of the Atlantic Ocean, you can do a day hike and cool off on the beach all in the same day.

Do we think that's why they blew away the competition on our snackability scale in terms of commute times? Probably.

Surprisingly there are hardly any vacant homes in Waycross. That means lots of people want to live here. We don't blame them. There's just something about Waycross' small town charm.

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.

Roswell, GA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 94,257
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $1,218
Distance to Closest Airport: 28 miles
More on Roswell: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Review Of Roswell by HomeSnacks User

Loved growing up here! Safe, great schools, plenty to do!

The square is perfect for families. The crime rate is very low. Roswell is close to Atlanta without being in the city.

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Peach State for 2020

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 60 places from across the state.

For these 60, 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 60, 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. You can download the data here.

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. Grovetown
  2. Doraville
  3. Cordele

For more Georgia reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Georgia?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Decatur 23,054 $927
2 Jefferson 10,693 $762
3 Fayetteville 17,349 $1,094
4 Powder Springs 14,945 $1,175
5 Newnan 37,818 $1,005
6 Vidalia 10,473 $587
7 Marietta 60,410 $1,048
8 Thomasville 18,546 $790
9 Waycross 13,836 $611
10 Roswell 94,257 $1,218

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.