Savannah named one of the South’s best places to retire

The title comes from Southern Living and Investopedia’s new list

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Imagine yourself retired. What does it look like? What does it feel like? How much does it cost you?

If you are looking for a warm city with Spanish moss-covered trees and a median cost of living 10% below the national average, try Savannah.

The city under 4 hours away from Atlanta won the “Best for Arts & Culture” category on Southern Living and Investopedia’s list of the “South’s Best Places to Retire.”

Each city and town selected on the list was chosen from a group of 41 top-rated cities and towns from Southern Living’s “The South’s Best 2023″ series.

“The final list of Best Places to Retire was chosen based on how each city or town compared to the U.S. as a whole on a variety of economic and lifestyle criteria including: home and rental affordability, average resident age, unemployment, best industries for jobs and wages, prevalence of restaurants, hospitals, and colleges,” according to the publication’s methodology.

Cyndi and Chuck Seidel told Southern Living about what attracted them to the city, which they initially visited as tourists.

“We loved Savannah from day one,” Cyndi said. “Chuck is retired from the Air Force. We met in junior high in Pennsylvania and most recently lived in Salt Lake City, but we always knew we’d retire to the South.”

Nicknamed “the Hostess City of the South,” Savannah is a colorful city that is home to theaters where you can view classic movies, live performances, and much more.

Students of the Savannah College of Art and Design contribute to the colorful liveliness with its yearly SCAD Sidewalk Arts Festival, also called Chalk of the Town, in Forsyth Park, according to Southern Living.

The city also hosts supposedly haunted sites where you can take ghost tours, 22 green public squares, bookstores, museums, historic houses, and the Savannah Philharmonic.

HGTV also previously named Savannah on its list of “30 Best Places to Retire in the U.S.”

The Plant Riverside District, as its name suggests, is on the riverfront and offers live entertainment, shops, restaurants and rooftop bars. Good Southern food can also be found throughout the city at nationally recognized restaurants, which is another reason HGTV lists Savannah among the best retirement cities.

About 14 miles from downtown, you can visit Tybee Island and relax on the beach. There is also a ferry that takes you to Daufuskie Island in South Carolina. The island is known for its Gullah culture and beaches.

You might think to yourself, “All this is good, but what about the costs?”

According to Forbes, the median cost of a Savannah home is 27% below the national cost of $275,000.

This is one of the reasons that Forbes named Savannah as one of the best places to retire this year. The lack of an estate tax, Social Security benefits, and up to $65,000 per person in other forms of state tax-exempt retirement income is another plus for retirees.

Southern Living’s “South’s Best Places to Retire” winner list

Best All Around - Chattanooga, Tennesse

Best for Healthy Living - Beaufort, North Carolina

Best for Food - Greenville, South Carolina

Best Beach Town - St. Augustine, Florida

Best Mountain Town - Blowing Rock, North Carolina

Best for Outdoor Enthusiasts - Abingdon, Virginia

Best for Arts & Culture - Savannah, Georgia

Best for Affordability - Huntsville, Alabama

Best for Lifelong Learning - Lexington, Kentucky

Best for Home Buying - Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Best Access to Nature - Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Best for City Lovers - Fort Worth, Texas