Atlanta tops for retirees during recession — really?

The sun is out again today, so there’s another list of top places for one thing or another.

Forbes magazine says Atlanta top its list of  “America’s recession-proof places to retire.” The city’s number of sunny days and affordable housing are two reasons.

What do you think? Are we really No. 1 for the golden years? Our unemployment rate, for example, is higher than the national average, so retirees seeking supplemental income may find it tough here.

Also, with so many surveys like this out there on so many subjects, how much attention do you pay to lists like these? Do you find them helpful or more hype than value?

63 comments Add your comment

Max Sizemore

October 20th, 2009
9:38 am

They pay you for this? Seriously? Now THAT’S a topic worthy of discussion. Henry, since you’re the one coasting toward retirement, maybe you should be the one to answer you own question.

jellyton D

October 20th, 2009
11:38 am

particularly, this one’s a joke. I live in an intown neighborhood with many retirees, but affordable? Not since Shirley been going us broke, and now the thugs are loose and acting up…..maybe once, 15 years ago, when this Cesspool was more civilized, then retirees could have enjoyed City neighborhood living, but those days are long gone…Forbes has been out in the (dry) heat of Palm Springs too long.

Peepeye

October 20th, 2009
11:47 am

Isn’t that one of the secrets of early successful retirement?

The first secret is that you need to retire in a place that doesn’t have any jobs. If you don’t have jobs, you won’t have people bidding up the price of housing.

The second secret is that you don’t need to own anything, especially a house or a car. Nix the kid too. Keep your needs simple.

The third secret is don’t start working. If you never start working, you never have to worry about quitting.

#1 Foxy Lady

October 20th, 2009
12:00 pm

Those retirees should date all the available men in the #1 city for single men.

scarlett

October 20th, 2009
12:02 pm

why would anyone want to retire here, the traffic,rain crowded no way, that is crazy.
I put this city at the bottom of the list for everything

James

October 20th, 2009
12:07 pm

Well, at least we’re at the top of a list that isn’t about crime or gangs for once.

Ken

October 20th, 2009
12:14 pm

Sure, Atlanta is number one in a few things – Robberies, Murders, Thugs, Car Jackings, and drug selling. Gee I wonder why we are number one at all of those? It’s so nice to not live in the city!

JV

October 20th, 2009
12:19 pm

I looked at the Forbes list and have to question some of the statistics used. I would recommend everyone to look at another article and a guide published by the Kiplinger Report, kiplinger.com. The report “Tax-Friendly Places to Retire” Aug 21, 2009 and the “Guide to Taxes on Retirees” offers a much better assessment on the topic of where to retire.

itsme

October 20th, 2009
12:20 pm

Recession proof? No part-time jobs to supplement retirement income. And, Kroger just went up on milk… again. LOL at #1 Foxy Lady.

woody

October 20th, 2009
12:20 pm

You sure they didnt mean the #1 Retarded city?

itsme

October 20th, 2009
12:20 pm

Oh, yeah… and don’t forget property tax increases.

Keith

October 20th, 2009
12:20 pm

First, these lists are absolutely pointless. The more lists that come out, the less seriously they are all taken. Different places are going to be better for different people.

Second, this survey is actually a comparison of all of metro Atlanta, not just the city. Most of these surveys compare metropolitan areas, not just the respective central cities.

Third, to “jellyton,” you think Atlanta is expensive?! Try retiring in the New York area, or the SF area or LA area. Or DC. Atlanta is pretty darn inexpensive compared to those places.

Fourth, “scarlett,” Delta is ready when you are. Please leave already. It would be a little less crowded with you not around.

Fifth, “James,” care to specifically call out which lists have us at the top for crime and gangs? I thought not.

ClemsonDude

October 20th, 2009
12:20 pm

I am reading the comments above, if you really hate metro Atlanta that much then f##king LEAVE! It’s that simple. Sure, this city has some major problems but there are worst places to live.

Ken

October 20th, 2009
12:24 pm

Clemson Dude, I did leave. Smartest thing I have ever done. Atlanta has not been a good/fun/safe city since Jackson took over as mayor and screwed everything up. White’s left, black’s moved in, and you see the result.

Kim

October 20th, 2009
12:26 pm

Why are you here Ken, Scarlett, JV, and Woody? Surely you can find a better place than Atlanta to live and work? If not, doesn’t that make you retarded for staying and then on top of that, complaining. I bet you are from a city or state that is always at the bottom for something.

GTJohn

October 20th, 2009
12:26 pm

I agree with Scarlett – except she forgot to mention crime and corruption.

charles hannum

October 20th, 2009
12:27 pm

It’s fun — like watching somebody gobble up more hot dogs than anyone else — doesn’t matter much in the great scheme of things, but it’s mildly diverting.

travelerguy

October 20th, 2009
12:27 pm

@clemsondude: right on. I live in Midtown and love living in Atlanta. For those of you who hate it so much here, go. Put your house on the market, increase the supply, and make it even more affordable. Go. Bye. Cya!

Ken

October 20th, 2009
12:28 pm

Kim, are you angry because I spoke the TRUTH? Funny how that works. Who are Scarlett, JV, and Woody? I find it funny to see people get mad when someone speaks the truth about how bad Atlanta is.

Ciberpimp

October 20th, 2009
12:29 pm

Atlanta like N E other city is going to have crime, etc but to say it’s #1 in retirement is LUDACHRIS, huh it that how u spell it. So crime + old people = what? BULL#%@#.

Skee Wee90

October 20th, 2009
12:31 pm

Atlanta is ok born and raised here, it has changed alot to many out of towners here for one thing, and far as single men be careful alot of down low and gay men here!!!!!

tdmfs

October 20th, 2009
12:36 pm

To get back to the articles main point… good for retirees. Hmmm, no place is that great for retirees unless you have been able to retire with a gr8 pension. Worked for 47 years, the company went belly-up, the pension became a disaster, & we have been priced out of the market for medical expenses & food! We’re right in there with the folks that have been caught up in the current recession, unemployed & practically (or actually) broke. Life is grand at the bottom.

Astute Observer

October 20th, 2009
12:39 pm

I worked in Atlanta for thirty years. I retired. I left. Life on the shore of Lake Oconee is suh-WEET! End of story.

Kim

October 20th, 2009
12:40 pm

No Ken I am not angry. I just don’t understand why people would stay around something that bothers them so much. Scarlett, JV, and Woody had the same opinion as you on this blog and I wanted to ask you all at one time. Many big and small cities have politicians that have done wrong by the city. Many big and small cities have crime and hate, but the article talks about Atlanta being voted as number, so apperntly the ederly people whom the article surveyed, thinks Atlanta is the best spot. You and others like you do not, so leave and find a better place. It’s just an opinion, and not a fact. Go and be free. That’s the good thing about this country.

JV

October 20th, 2009
12:42 pm

I guess I thought the point of this concerned places to retire. I’m okay with living and working in the metro Atlanta area. But, there are many other southern states areas better for retirement. If for no other reason than just financial.

ClemsonDude

October 20th, 2009
12:44 pm

Hey Ken, so how is the KKK these days? And why are you reading the AJC.com if you hate Atlanta so much? I guess you are enjoying that trailer park in south Georgia. Moron! LOL!

Babs

October 20th, 2009
12:45 pm

Nice weather except for the rare floods and tornadoes. So much crime that I am afraid to read the news or watch the local news on TV. Lots to see in Atlanta area for example, the Aquarium but the wages are low and cost of living high.

The Pillar

October 20th, 2009
12:45 pm

Part of loving a city is growing with it as it goes thru changes, but if you don’t like Atlanta, Take I -20 west until it turns into I-10 and keep going. Hope you can swim!!!

Tru

October 20th, 2009
12:45 pm

Just further bring into question the validity of surveys, especially their sample population. For example, the appropriate response to this report should be “who would voluntarily live, yet alone retire, in Atlanta — unless you want an early death?” Seems Atlanta tops or is near the top of the following lists — bad traffic, crime, population, crime, physical and local gov’t infrasturture problems, crime, whiney entitlement seeking government dependent leeches, crime, poor choice in music, crime, poor air quailty, humidity, metal plates for roads,….

mike

October 20th, 2009
12:47 pm

Ken, IF you DID leave and you dislike Atlanta so much, why are you bothering with an Atlanta blog? Why not concern yourself with the goings-on in your NEW city? Just a thought… BTW, no place is perfect, but many of us like it here just fine.

Melody

October 20th, 2009
12:48 pm

Everybody knows Florida is No. 1 for Q-tips. They have more senior living apartments, services which provide grocery delivery to residents, buses that pick up the elderly to take them shopping or to a movie, and lets not forget bingo and shuffle board! Its also the state where you are likely to see someone drive thru a plate-glass window. When people get old they often mistake the gas peddal for the brake peddal. Oh well.

Loving life in Atlanta

October 20th, 2009
12:52 pm

I am not sure about retirement, but I can speak for myself as a young professional Atlanta is THE best city to live. You can live a very reasonable life here and actually afford to by housing in your 20’s on a moderate salary! Move a little further out of the city and get some property and brand new construction! Being from the Norhteast you don’t get much for your money there and the crime is some of the worst. Those of you who complain try to move to philly, DC or NYC and see how much you like living in an a rented apartment the size of a shoebox in bitter cold and then tell me how much you hate atlanta. GO ATL!

T'ville Dawg

October 20th, 2009
12:53 pm

I’m in South Georgia now, but before I was disabled 20 years ago I lived in Conyers and it was pretty great.You could hardly pay me to live there now and I live on a disability income.GO DAWGS,THE GATORS ARE RIPE FOR PICKING!

Union City

October 20th, 2009
12:55 pm

So when you compare atlanta to NYC, LA, Chicago, Denver, Seattle, Minnneapolis..I suspect we have lower taxes and better weather which most retirees want…some other things are negotiaable. this is not comparing the metro area to Brunswick folks..its city to city..

Jenzen in Duluth

October 20th, 2009
12:56 pm

You gotta be kidding, Henry!! I agree with those who detail the thugness and un-livability of Atlanta. We moved out years ago before Bill Campbell and a succession of thug-loving Mayros ruined the city. to those who are left: there will be another do-noting running the city after the November elections and I ain’t talking about Mary!
Jenzen in Duluth.

Keith

October 20th, 2009
12:59 pm

Ken, who the h*ll are you to think you, “speak the truth,” about Atlanta? That is just YOUR opinion, nothing more.

And Tru, all of these surveys you seem to mention, how about specifically referencing some of them. Where is the survey that says we are No. 1 for metal plates in roads and No. 1 for crime and No. 1 for poor music choice. Come on…cite these surveys for us, please.

Splittinmyside!!!

October 20th, 2009
1:01 pm

Melody at 12:48… OMG!!! That is Hilarious!!! Say something else…

Peabody

October 20th, 2009
1:04 pm

The crime here is crazy ridiculous. I brought relatives in for a nice weekend at the Aquarium and damned if some thugs with their pants hanging below their butts – where in there scooping up fish & crabs! I just had to ask why they where doing this and they said they where going to cook them for supper!!!

professional skeptic

October 20th, 2009
1:05 pm

In spite of the non-stop hatred and criticism directed from all sides (i.e. rural GA, the suburbs, the exurbs, Republican legislators, etc.), I still love Atlanta and love living here. I take a long-term view of things. I don’t just see Atlanta in its current state, I view the city in terms of the potential of what it can become– in spite of everyone always hating on the city.

As for the lists, I can personally vouch for Atlanta’s ranking among the most traffic congested cities. What can you expect, when people from all over come to Atlanta to work, live, play, shop, study, etc.– but we’re not even allowed to tax ourselves in order to fund initiatives that will alleviate the traffic. People hate Atlanta for the traffic, but our hands are tied. It’s as if the aforementioned critics don’t want Atlanta to fix itself. I mean, if Atlanta were allowed to fix its own problems, then who would the critics have to hate?

T-Town

October 20th, 2009
1:09 pm

God is Great, beer is good, and after reading some of the comments on this blog, I now know people are crazy. You think Atl is bad, come up and see Detroit. Now there’s a town that’s just wasting space.

Kim

October 20th, 2009
1:10 pm

Peabody you are lying about the man in the Aquarium. Stop making up stuff. You can post without going over board with the truth. Jenzeb in Duluth, I know you aren’t talking about Atlanta being filled with crime. You live in a suburb full of crime. Give me a break. Let’s be honest on this blog. Did you complete the survey? No you did not, so your vote does not go with this survey.

blazerdawg

October 20th, 2009
1:22 pm

I LOVE Atlanta! Anyone who has travelled knows that the people here are great, the weather/hills/forest/rivers are beautiful, and there is more to do in Atlanta than in some larger cities. We could use some help on the government/crime/public schools fronts, but overall ATL is far superior to most places.

John

October 20th, 2009
1:25 pm

I wonder if Kim will still love Atlanta so much after she gets robbed or shot or if someone in her family does.

gc

October 20th, 2009
1:27 pm

You know what’s more pathetic than this list to me? The AJC, increasingly so by the day. You guys have become a joke, and the blogs are always a cesspool of bitter suburban anti-city racism/hyperbole.

Keith

October 20th, 2009
1:29 pm

And why John, was someone in your family robbed or shot, or were you? If so, please tell us how you feel. Otherwise, shut the h*ll up!

I have lived here 17 years and have never been robbed or shot, nor know anyone who has. What about the home invasion in Athens this week? Or the guy who got shot in his front door in Henry County?

Tami

October 20th, 2009
1:29 pm

Next week, ATL will be at the top of a list of the worst places to retire. These surveys aren’t completely reliable as the criteria for making the list top to bottom is different with every surveying agency. Personally, I’m a little surprised to find ATL on the Forbes list, but maybe it will influence a few folks to move here. In fact, that’s really why these surveys are made anyway — to influence folks one way or the other. A marketing ploy. I will say that it’s nice to see Atlanta on a positive list for a change.

ATL Original

October 20th, 2009
1:30 pm

As a native Atlantan, I think it sucks that all you Northerners have invaded my precious city. Now this is the hot spot for you to retire? This probably explains the traffic problems we have with all the geriatrics in diapers driving around looking to get in a wreck. Thanks a lot.

RobinS

October 20th, 2009
1:35 pm

I have lived here for over 20 years….it’s great weather wise from October to April….after that, too hot, too muggy and too many bugs. I don’t see it as the idea place for Senior Citizens…..the mass transit is iffy, so if they lived in the ‘burbs, they may have a hard time with transportation. ITP is only for the wealther pensioners. I didn’t picture Atlanta as having that many older people friendly support programs. There is a lot about this city that needs fixing and if any of you are pissed off that Northerners moved here, well, at least we all help pay the taxes and spend our money here…so it’s not all that bad. The Civil War is well and truly over…this is 2009,,,time to be forward thinking and stop with the North vs the South business…that’s so “old school”.

Former Atlantan

October 20th, 2009
1:43 pm

It never fails to amaze me how so many Atlantans can have such a negative view of their city. If you don’t like it, then why in the world are you living there? One of the great freedoms we have as Americans is the freedom of movement. If you’re not happy, then exercise that freedom. Assuming that you guys actually read newspapers from other cities, you will notice that elsewhere people tend to take a more forgiving tone toward their hometown. I do not live in Atlanta, but used to, and can tell you that you guys have got it made! Sure, there is traffic and crime and runaway development — but EVERY city has those things. You also have a remarkably impressive architecture, an educated populace, strong civic organizations, access to the beach and mountains, an airport that will get you anywhere you want to go in the world, great weather….I could go on and on. Take a look around and try to appreciate what you have!

Lyrazel

October 20th, 2009
1:44 pm

I think the article writer factored for being able to drive–and never undertook navigating ATL as a pedestrian like many seniors must as they give up their licenses. If they had once walked the sidewalks–they would learn what bad repair the streets are in and how sidewalks abruptly end and one is standing on a weed-infested dirt trail at the edge of an embankment that must be scaled prior to crossing a six lane street.