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Retirement Tips

Retiring in Atlanta: Pros and Cons for Peach City Seniors

Sure, if you’re looking for a place to retire, favorites such as Florida and Arizona beckon. But if alligators and 115-degree summers aren’t your style, consider retiring in Atlanta, Georgia, capital of the New South. Not convinced? Here are clear-cut pros – and some cons – of an Atlanta retirement.

A lovely fall day in Atlanta's Piedmont Park.

Enjoy the view: a lovely fall evening in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park.

Pros of Retiring in Atlanta

Top-Notch Retirement Communities
You won’t have to look hard to find a retirement community in the Atlanta area. The Atlanta metro offers the full range of senior-living options, from senior apartments to homes for sale, from independent living to assisted living. Many senior communities here resemble resorts. You can choose from communities within the city for Atlanta’s cultural advantages, or beside a lake so you can put a boat to good use. With this diversity and variety, you can pick a new home that suits your personality as well as your vision for retirement.

Winter Blahs? Ha!
Atlanta’s No. 1 selling point is its warm weather. Georgia’s winters are like spring for much of the rest of the county. While your family members up north are salting their sidewalks, you’ll be salting your margaritas. On average, Atlanta has just two snow days per year, totaling a whopping 1.9 inches! Instead, expect warm nights and pleasant days, perfect for year-round activities. High temperatures in Atlanta range from 50 to 60 degrees during the winter holidays. Look for spring high temperatures in the 70s.

Tax Breaks for Retirees
Georgia favors retirees by making up to $65,000 of retirement income exempt from state income taxes if you’re age 65 or older. That includes your IRAs and 401(k)s. It’s no surprise then that Kiplinger has named Georgia one of the Top 10 most tax-friendly states for retirees.

tank in the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta

Entertain your visitors: the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta.

Cons of an Atlanta Retirement

The Bugs … Oh, the Freaky Bugs
By passing up Florida, you’ll dodge the gators. But by picking Georgia, you’ll sign up for some of the worst insects in the South. Fire ants and killer bees are only some of the mean suckers you might come across. Make good friends with your exterminator and keep a heavy book on hand. If you’re not contending with Mother Nature’s revolt of the wiggling kind, you’ll find your yard prone to takeover by kudzu, a climbing, weed-categorized vine.

If You Have Allergies, Beware
Beautiful orchards, streets lined with lovely bushes, and every yard with a garden – it sounds ideal. What the postcards don’t capture is how much pollen this produces in Atlanta. If you have allergies or your senses are particularly sensitive, then stock up on your medicine and prepare for a hard couple of months a year.

Atlanta Summers Aren’t for Everyone
Georgia arguably is more famous for its humidity than for its peaches. While you will enjoy sunny skies for the majority of the year, when those warm months creep up, the heat isn’t dry. The monsoons will hit hard and long, which may be a problem for your joints or old injuries, and you’ll need reliable AC. High temperatures will crawl up to 90 degrees with 82% humidity on average. So if you don’t deal well with heat or soppy weather, make sure you’re happy indoors.

Your Decision: Yes or No to Atlanta?

flower meadow at Atlanta Botanical Garden

Beautiful, but maybe not for your allergies: the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

From beautiful architecture to flowing vines, and history every step you take, Atlanta offers one of the best options for retirement. You can enjoy the accents of the locals, try some unique Southern cuisine, and sip iced tea while you soak in the year-round sunny rays. However, you must be able to tolerate the downsides of this Georgia city – and we didn’t even mention the notorious traffic.

More info: See Senior Living in the Atlanta Area for more on Atlanta attractions, neighborhoods and senior services.

If Atlanta doesn’t sound like your ideal fit, don’t fret. Explore other top retirement destinations in After55.com’s Senior Living Blog. There is a retirement spot perfect for you.

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