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March 14, 2021

Why You Should Retire in Savannah, GA

Congratulations…you’ve decided it’s time to retire! This is going to be an exciting time for you – you’re finally going to have the time to do all those things you’ve put off until you can make your own schedule. It’s likely that your children are already on their own, and you may even have grandchildren to spoil. And if you’re like many retirees, it can also be time to find the ideal new home in a welcoming city where there’s lovely weather, always something to do, and a variety of financial benefits.

Welcome to that city…Savannah, GA!

Savannah, also called the Hostess City, and her surrounding communities are a thriving part of a metro area referred to as the “Coastal Empire”. Savannah is Georgia’s fifth largest city, with approximately 144,464 residents. The metropolitan area is the state’s third largest, with an estimated population of 393,353. It’s large enough to have all the conveniences of modern life, and small enough to let you enjoy them!

Come on in…the weather’s fine!

The weather in Savannah is ideal for many people, with mild, sunny winters with high temperatures in the upper 50’s and lower 60’s. Winter low temperatures typically hover around the low 40’s, with rare freezing temperatures and hardly any snow. Warmer weather begins in March and goes through November, with hot summers marked by high temperatures in the upper 80’s and 90’s with frequent (and often brief) thunderstorms.

It’s easy to stay busy in Savannah! 

One of Savannah’s hubs for retirees is Senior Citizens Inc., which offers neighborhood centers and regular activities. Once we exit the Covid-19 pandemic, we can expect the return of organized classes, lunchtime lectures and excursions for seniors through The Learning Center. And if it’s learning you want, Georgia provides free tuition to those over the age of 65 at her state colleges and universities. You can sit in on any class where there’s extra space, and either audit the course or earn credit for the class. You can also brush up on your history by taking advantage of an amazing amount of “back in the day” tours and historical sites in the Savannah, GA area. 

Or perhaps the beach is where you’re looking to spend your time? If so, only 18 miles from the city center is Tybee Island, a delightful oasis with five miles of clean beaches featuring wide shores and gentle waves. If you prefer trees to sand, don’t miss out on active activities such as biking, walking, fishing, birding and swimming at the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, the Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge, and the Tybee National Wildlife Refuge. Or maybe you’re more of a city mouse? Stroll down the must-see River Street to watch ships come and go, experience a variety of delicious food and drink opportunities and visit some of the unique shops. 

Georgia’s on the money…

And don’t forget about the financial advantages of living in Georgia! Georgia makes the cut on Kiplinger’s top 10 tax-friendly states for retirees. Social Security payments are tax-exempt, and so is up to $65,000 of most retirement income if you’re at least 65. (Up to $35,000 if you’re 62-64). Seniors throughout the state of Georgia enjoy a deduction or even an exemption on property taxes, based on age, income, and property value. You can learn more about the tax benefits of retiring in Georgia here. The personal banking site GoBankingRates estimates that your retirement savings will go farther in Georgia than 44 other states within the United States.

Downsizing into the right community

And of course, many Baby Boomers are also looking to downsize when they retire. A more compact house, but one that will still have guest spaces for family, is often first on the list of changes retirees make. One of the great things about choosing a new home is finding the perfect community – one with great amenities, easy access to Savannah’s amazing opportunities, and a friendly, diverse group of neighbors. While some seniors seek out 55+ communities, more active retirees without the need for special care gravitate toward a more diverse community, with nearby kids for their grandchildren to play with, energetic younger companions for brisk walks and involved neighbors of all ages to round out active community groups. It’s surprising how many seniors move to an age-restricted community and discover that they don’t enjoy living solely with people of their own generation as much as they thought they would. In addition, some of these communities have specific rules that don’t apply in other instances, such as a “no pets” rule or limits on how long guests (especially children and young adults) can visit.

Another major complaint common among potential buyers when they’re shopping for homes at a 55+ community is the size of the homes. Most of them top out at two bedrooms, with smaller kitchens and dining areas and scaled-down living spaces. At Ernest Homes, we offer several easy to own, single story homes that are perfect for a smaller family. Our Fripp, Hampton, Hamilton and Liberty models each offer 3 bedrooms and two full baths. Create multi-use spaces by converting a bedroom into a cozy craft room with a day bed, or into a home office with a pull-out sofa, and enjoy full-sized kitchens, baths and daily living areas.

And if you find at some time you want to sell your downsized retirement home, it can be much easier to sell your home in a more age-diverse community. If you live in a 55+ community, you won’t be able to sell your home to anyone younger. This will significantly cut down on the number of potential buyers you’ll have for your home.

If you’re ready to retire and looking for an ideal location in the Savannah, GA area, we’d love to chat with you! Call our Sales Team at 912-660-9673 or send us a message today!

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