Atlanta, Savannah among best places to retire

(John Spink, jspink@ajc.com)

(John Spink, jspink@ajc.com)

If you’re looking for a place to retire, look no farther than Atlanta or Savannah, according to Forbes’ magazine.

Both cities are on its latest list of top 25 U.S. cities for seniors, Forbes said.

Forbes said it reviewed data for hundreds of cities in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia. The biggest factors included home prices, cost of living and tax burden on retirees. Since more seniors are working, Forbes looked at the strength of local economies. Also important to seniors is climate, availability of physicians, outdoor facilities and opportunities to stay active, whether paid or volunteer.

While it did not rank the cities, Forbes offered pros and cons.

In Atlanta’s favor were climate, low cost of living, an average home price of $96,000, volunteering opportunities and a “good tax situation.” The city, however, was knocked for its crime and below-average air quality.

Savannah’s pros included low cost of living, favorable tax climate, good weather, a high number of physicians per capita and average home price of $137,000. Forbes, however, also cited the coastal city’s sluggish economy.

Other cities on the list: Albuquerque, N.M.; Alexandria, La.; Asheville, N.C.; Austin, Texas; Bloomington, Ind.; Boise, Idaho; Cape Coral, Fla.; Columbia, Mo.; Columbia, S.C.; Corpus Christi, Texas; Fargo, ND.; Fort Myers, Fla.; Huntsville, Ala.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Las Cruces, N.M.; Lynchburg, Va.; Pensacola, Fla.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Salt Lake City, Utah; San Antonio, Texas; Tuscon, Ariz.; Tulsa, Okla.

Would you recommend Atlanta as a place to retire?

31 comments Add your comment

zeke

June 20th, 2012
2:58 pm

traffic is big no no; but i guess you can go to doctor during non peak, but it is still bad. beats florida except for income tax, but seniors do get exemptions

teachAManToFish

June 20th, 2012
2:59 pm

I’m retiring soon and not to Atlanta.

scootdog

June 20th, 2012
3:06 pm

I am not sure what sort of home you can buy for $96K. I guess it depends on your neighbors.

Hottie

June 20th, 2012
3:07 pm

Our sports teams have been retired for years. Come join them!

TeachAManToFishStudent

June 20th, 2012
3:20 pm

Another con; the Real Horsewives of Atlanta are on the prowl.

native atlantan

June 20th, 2012
3:20 pm

We dont need anybody giving their opinion of why more fool folks should be moving to Atlanta just to use our services, and contribute to more crime and traffic.

delois

June 20th, 2012
3:21 pm

Atlanta? Who did this survey? Two years until I retire and it sure won’t be in Atlanta. I’m going to find a place where the ATMs don’t ask you if you want to proceed in English or Spanish!

M. Casey

June 20th, 2012
3:25 pm

Native Atlanta. I agree. There are enough fools in Atlanta already.

LOL @ Alexandria

June 20th, 2012
3:34 pm

Ms MJ

June 20th, 2012
3:37 pm

I’m doing good living in Atlanta now. I darn sure don’t want to live here during my retirement years!

Dora

June 20th, 2012
3:43 pm

Believe me I have no intentions of spending one retirement dollar in this city.

Tag

June 20th, 2012
3:44 pm

Atlanta offers a lot.

Tag

June 20th, 2012
3:46 pm

Oh and to all of those who don’t like it here move.
You’ll be just as unhappy there as you are here.

A

June 20th, 2012
4:08 pm

No way would I stay in Atlanta when I retire. Too hot, too much traffic, high crime rate.

blkshepherd

June 20th, 2012
4:16 pm

@Tag

You Tell THEM. folks whine whimper moan and groan no matter where they live. I am from Brooklyn, New York. Moved from Fayetteville Dead North Carolina. I moved to Atlanta in 1998 I am a Proud transplant and Love my Low cost brick ranch style home. I love it here.

You can keep my home city NYC with its high cost of everything. I expect soon they will charge folks for clean air because it sure aint none in NYC. DC sucks as well and so does Philly. cost of living too damn high and the winter weather up North is something I would not wish on my worst enemy and I have a few.

Too darn HOT in the Summer Too darn COLD in the winter..Snow on ground for weeks and mons..No Thanks. Give me ATLANTA anyday where we experience ALL four seasons with Spring and Fall being the Best .

Those that hate it here MOVE and dont come back you wont be missed. Just as Tag said you will be just as unhappy there as you are here. LOL so very true :-) Also you ever thought its NOT the city but You.

ATLrun

June 20th, 2012
4:24 pm

@blkshepherd….exactly. I have lived in Atlanta for 12 years and have traveled around the world to every continent. People don’t know how good we have it here. Seasonal weather, low cost of living, world class airport that is cheap and easy to fly in/out of, diverse population, numerous universities, professional and college sports, great shopping, etc. You make your home….your home does not make you.

Karl

June 20th, 2012
4:36 pm

Huntsville, AL , San Antonio Texas and Austin Texas on best places to retire

Chi Town

June 20th, 2012
4:52 pm

When I retire getting the h*ll out of here.

Too many brothaz for me.

Roadrunner

June 20th, 2012
5:00 pm

I think some of the people who say they wouldn’t retire here have been here long enough to know how good Atlanta used to be. You can say it isn’t so, but for those of us that have been here, we know Atlanta is in decline compared to its past. Crime & decay are definitely contributors as is the huge influx of people that came here when our economy was booming. That’s whats made traffic so bad, and whats also changed the personality of Atlanta. You say urban, diverse & cosmopolitan, I say we’ve lost what we once had, a city large enough but not too large, a city populated by southerners & native Atlantans who knew how to live with eachother. That’s just my opinion.

A.B. Normal

June 20th, 2012
5:16 pm

The politics of race are ever present in the “birthplace of civil rights.” Therefore, if you are “in the club” you might enjoy living there. If you are not . . . GTFO!

Really??

June 20th, 2012
5:18 pm

These types of articles are always flawed and so misleading. If you look at the “Metro Atlanta” region, which includes Henry, Fayette, Dekalb, Cobb and Fulton, then yes, you can find a decent house for $96,000. Try buying a house for the amount in the city! No where within the city limits are you going to find decent and most importantly safe housing for that amount of money! Atlanta is a great place to retire but only if you choose to live in the “burbs”,

Lynn

June 20th, 2012
5:20 pm

The amount of Vets that live here and came to retire are having a hard time. The closest base to shop is either in Valdasta or Columbia; both of which are 2-3 1/2 hours away. Dobbins needs money to approve a commisary and PX, if not then Vets need to run real fast. Especially, Disabled Vets, Korean, World War II, Vietnam etc.

John

June 20th, 2012
5:31 pm

I love Atlanta for the opportunity it presents someone my age. However, I couldn’t imagine anyone that would put this place even on the map of consideration of places to retire. Get in, get out and spend your golden years somewhere better.

Boris Badnoff

June 20th, 2012
5:34 pm

What’s retirement?

DublDawg

June 20th, 2012
5:39 pm

The biggest problem is that there are too many outsiders transplanting here. Especially YANKEES like blkshepherd. You are ruining this place for us. Go back to yankeeland where you belong.

Jerry

June 20th, 2012
5:46 pm

$96,000 for a a home is because the very high foreclosure rate-percentage in St. Mountain, Lithonia, south Dekalb, south Fulton, Henry Cty, etc which murdered very low foreclosures in Oak Grove, Lakeside, Emory, North Druid, out to Roswell, Buckhead, and Alpharetta. Look at a foreclosure map of Metro Atlanta 2010 to see where the foreclosure types are and the non-foreclosure types are. Smart non-foresclosures got hit bad. South Dekalb has one of the highest forecloure rates in the nation. Low cost of living compared to Butte, Montana or Hartford, CT?? Low cost of houses that’s why. One must factor in that Atlanta is one of the worst hit housing markets in the country, like south Chicago. What is the distinction?

Who Cares?

June 20th, 2012
5:53 pm

@ Roadrunner, June 20th, 2012, 5:00 pm, You have it 100% correct, my friend! I too remember those days of Atlanta. It was a much friendlier, fun, safe, and enjoyable area “back in the day”. It was truly a marvelous place to live back then. As we’ve seen the area grow and become more urban, the things that once made Atlanta special have eroded and many have disappeared. I’d still take it over virtually every other metro area in the country, but Atlanta is not what it once was. As far as retirement goes, I won’t stay here, but I won’t get too far away either!

Dee

June 20th, 2012
6:26 pm

I DON’T THINK SO…CRIME IS BAD, TRAFFIC IS BAD, JOB MARKET BAD.. MOST COUNTY AND STATE LEADERS CROOKED,SCHOOLS ARE BAD,THE RICH GETS RICHER AND HAVE NO SYMPATHY OR TRY AND HELP THE POOR,HOMELESSNESS IS EVER SO PREVALENT,JUST TO NAME A FEW.RESEARCHING NOW WHERE TO RETIRE ….BUT YOU CAN BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR IT WON’T BE ATLANTA GA. BEEN HERE 20YRS. READY TO RUN…NOW.

stephen

June 21st, 2012
7:12 am

ATLrun has it right. You make your home, your home doesnt make you. Happiness comes from being connected with your community. Lots of opportunities for that here – especially in retirement. Get involved and you’ll find you have less to complain about.

[...] Magazine: Atlanta Among Top 25 Places to Retire Atlanta, Savannah among best places to retire | The Biz Beat [...]

lynnbo

June 23rd, 2012
4:50 pm

Atlanta home to the largest bank fraud/theft in our nation,home of the most bank failures, highest in id theft, last in school quality, political graft runs amouck with both parties and the world knows us as “housewives of Atlanta”………………but stay positive its only going to get better.
So lets go throw billions more at the problems with TSPLOST which will only create more of the above since its “economic” aide and not traffic relief.
Atlanta use to be a city too busy to hate, now its too busy to stop the………………..lies.