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:
- Decatur (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Marietta (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Fayetteville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Lawrenceville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Jesup (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Bainbridge (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Thomasville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Waycross (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Newnan (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Powder Springs (Photos | Homes For Sale)
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.
Population: 21,210Median 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.
Population: 59,714Median 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.
Population: 16,780Median 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.
Population: 30,127Median 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’.
Population: 10,145Median 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.
Population: 12,492Median 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.
Population: 18,706Median 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.
Population: 14,188Median 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.
Population: 35,642Median 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
Population: 14,596Median 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:
For more Georgia reading , check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Georgia
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Georgia
- 10 Most Dangerous Places In Georgia
Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Georgia