Redefining Retirement: 7 Reasons Why Active Adults are Choosing to Retire in Savannah, Georgia
Active adults are dismissing the retirement stereotype – slowing down and taking it easy after a long career – and redefining what it means to transition into late adulthood.
Yes, late adulthood. It’s a term coined by psychologist Ken Dychtwald, chief executive officer of Age Wave Inc., that describes those ages 60 to 80. Dychtwald tosses out the term “senior” – and dismisses “middle age,” as well. Dychtwald suggests we refer to people ages 40 to 60 as moving through “middlescence.”
Because advances in healthcare, nutrition and technology are keeping us healthier longer, disrupting the school-to-career-to-retirement journey, Dychtwald sees a need for new language. After all, today’s older adults are starting their own businesses, learning new skills and exploring the world.
They are also searching for a city that matches their newly discovered lifestyle. For many, that’s Savannah, Georgia.
What makes a Savannah, Georgia, retirement different than everywhere else?
One of the top vacation destinations in the world, Savannah is also one of the best places to retire in Georgia. It exudes a vibrant atmosphere brimming with both imaginative and lively energy. Even Forbes thinks so, naming Savannah one of the 25 Best Places to Retire in 2022.
The reasons why are plentiful. America’s first planned city attracts millions of visitors each year who come to experience her unique history and culture, sample her cuisine, or take part in Savannah’s many annual events, like the Savannah Film Festival or the famous Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
All of these are important to anyone redefining what retirement means for them. That includes those “middlescence” kids – professional couples and empty nesters working their way to late adulthood – who want to live in a community where they can stay active, connect with others and enjoy a happy and healthy lifestyle.
Here are our top 7 reasons why Savannah is the perfect place to retire:
1. The weather is always perfect
With mild winters, good air quality, and sun all year ‘round, Savannah is perfect for outdoor events and activities. There’s no hunkering down through winter. With an average annual temperature of 64 degrees, for avid golfers, it’s heaven. It’s one reason why golf communities in Savannah, like The Landings, are among the most sought-after locations for luxury senior living.
Tennis and pickleball enthusiasts enjoy the climate, as well. For example, the tennis and pickleball facilities at The Landings Golf & Athletic Club, home to the nation’s largest residential clay court facility, are open year-round with daily programs, league play, group play and tournaments.
2. There’s so much to explore
There’s a reason the Milken Institute ranks Savannah high on its list of best cities for successful aging. Savannah provides so many opportunities to get out of the house and explore. You’re sure to get your miles winding your way through downtown’s beautiful natural sites and national historic landmarks.
Residents enjoy the vibrant coast, but without the hustle and bustle of spring break tourism. And it’s easy to get out on the water. Join the Savannah Kayak and Outdoor Adventurers Group to kayak local creeks and streams or cast off from either of The Landings’ two full-service, deepwater marinas. Both offer access to the Atlantic and the Intracoastal Waterway, perfect for heading out for a fishing trip or exploring local waterside restaurants and the beautiful beaches of Wassaw and Tybee Island.
Outdoor enthusiasts can head to Skidaway Island State Park to hike, bike, or swim among stunning views of the beautiful marshes and estuaries, or pack up and head out for a relaxing day at one of Savannah’s many area beaches.
3. The cost of living is among the best
As active adults approach traditional retirement age, they often wonder whether they’ll outlive their nest eggs. Savannah helps ease those worries by boasting a cost of living 17% below the national average, according to Forbes research, and a national median home price of $260,000, 31% below the national average.
Georgia’s reputation as a tax-friendly state, according to Kiplinger, provides more fiscal comfort. Social Security, as well as retirement income from IRAs and 401(k)s up to $35,000, is tax-exempt for individuals ages 62-64, while a $65,000 exemption is available to those 65 and older. The state’s low cost of living and light tax burden ranks it No. 7 in affordability, according to Bankrate’s standards.
According to taxfoundation.org, Georgia also boasts one of the lowest sales taxes in the United States with a 4% state levy and an average combined rate (state and local) of 7.33%. Older adults also enjoy a deduction – or in some cases, an exemption – on property taxes, depending on age, income, and property value.
All told, someone with a $1 million nest egg can expect it to last more than 24 years, securing Georgia’s spot as one of the best places to live in retirement. Find more information here on the tax benefits of retiring in Georgia.
4. A rich history to absorb
Downtown Savannah is home to the Savannah Historic District and 22 distinct squares, which date back to the original town plan. Hundreds of 18 th and 19th century buildings line the streets, along with pristine fountains and stunning Live Oaks, providing you with endless hours of exploration and wonder in a place of timeless beauty.
Dating back to 1733, nearly every aspect of Savannah has historical significance. From the First Bryan Baptist Church— the oldest continuous African-American church in the country—to Bonaventure Cemetery, and Fort Pulaski National Monument, there is something “old” to discover every day!
6. A culture you won’t experience anywhere else
Founded in 2002, as an extension of the Savannah College of Art and Design, the SCAD Museum of Art is a premier contemporary art museum, which showcases over 4,500 pieces that range from haute couture to drawings, paintings, sculpture, photography, prints, and more.
The SCAD Museum showcases over 20 exhibits per year that feature highly acclaimed artists like Jane Alexander and Fred Wilson. The museum also houses a 250-seat theater, which hosts numerous film screenings, as well as academic lectures and master classes.
Savannah is a history buffs’ paradise with many of our museums being housed in historical buildings like the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum. Enthusiasts will enjoy perusing the many Historical Homes and Museums within our city, including over 10,000 artifacts on display at the Savannah History Museum, exploring the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, or checking out Telfair Museums, three unique buildings that comprise the oldest public art museum in the south.
7. Endless entertainment
Savannah is home to a full calendar of annual events that put our unique culture on full display. While visitors to Savannah must settle for experiencing one of our annual events, residents of Savannah can enjoy a selection of year-round events for every interest.
Forsyth Park is one of downtown Savannah’s most popular attractions. It’s annual Picnic in the Park draws more than 20,000 attendees each year. Free and open to the public, the event hosts performances from the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and the U.S. Army Band, plus students from local schools and colleges.
No matter the season, you’re guaranteed to find an event just for you; from our Annual Savannah Tour of Homes and Gardens, to the Savannah Film Festival, and the iconic St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah celebration—which is the second largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the country.
Ready to give Savannah a try?
Savannah’s combination of historical significance with an expansive cultural scene and proximity to opportunities for travel, outdoor exploration, and continuing education make the city an increasingly attractive destination for those who want to redefine what retirement means. That includes a retirement rich in tranquil environments, great amenities and accessible locations.
Consider telling your retirement story as a resident of The Landings. Coastal living, premier golf courses, and luxury amenities just minutes from downtown Savannah make The Landings one of the best retirement communities in Georgia.
We encourage you to plan a Discovery Visit to The Landings, explore our community and discover how living at The Landings can put you within driving distance of the best that Savannah has to offer.