If you are planning to retire soon, is Georgia on your mind? If not, it really should be. It’s not just the sunny, warm weather that makes people flock to the Peach State. Georgia has a lot going for it, particularly for retirees who desire to stretch their income and get the most bang for their buck. Georgia is very tax-friendly, especially for retirees So much so, that Kiplinger Magazine rated it #5 on it’s list of 10 Most Tax-Friendly States for Retirees. Here are some interesting statistics to keep in mind:
- State Income Tax: 1% (on income up to $750/individual, $1,000/joint) - 6% (on income over $7,000 individual, $10,000/joint). Social Security Income is exempt from state taxes. Even better, $65,000 of retirement income (including income from IRAs and 401Ks), is tax-exempt for a person who is age 65 and older. For couples in that age group, $130,000 of retirement income is exempt.
- State Sales Tax: 4% (Note: Some Georgia cities may have additional sales taxes.)
- Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: None / None
- Property Tax: Property tax collections are below the national average. Full-time residents qualify for home exemption and seniors may qualify for additional deductions. According to the Tax Foundation, Georgia's state and local governments collected approximately $1050 per person in property taxes in 2012, which ranks 19th lowest nationally.
Georgia has a low cost of living Especially if you are from the west coast or the northeastern parts of the country, you’ll find the cost of living in Georgia to be almost shockingly friendly on your wallet. Consider the following:
- Cost of living index is 91.9: According to Sperling’s, the national average is 100. With an index of only 91.9, Georgia scores well below that average, making it a very inexpensive place to live compared to other states.
- Real estate prices are low: The value of a home is currently averaged at $142,700 in Georgia (according to Zillow.com), which is well under the current national average of $183,500. It’s important to note that median home prices can differ widely by amenities or area (such as homes located right on the coast as opposed to those that are located inland). And if you desire top-quality, luxury amenities (golf, pool, tennis, activities, etc.), know that you can get them much more affordably in Georgia.
Georgia’s culture, scenic terrain and travel options abound Georgia’s towns and cities cater well to retirees. The state is famous for its wonderful southern hospitality and incredibly rich history. With gorgeous mountains to the north, the beaches of the Atlantic to the east and multiple, large fresh-water lakes (like our very own Lake Oconee!), it meets the needs of many outdoor enthusiasts. Even if you love the excitement of city life, nearby Atlanta will have you covered. And if you love to travel, the Atlanta airport is one of the best and most efficient in the nation. What’s even better is that it is located less than 1.5 hours away from Harbor Club! With so many irresistible reasons to retire in Georgia, it would be worth your while to check it out. And while you’re here, be sure to stop by and visit us. We’d love to show you around! Who knows, you may just find your very own charming Georgia dream home to retire to, here at Harbor Club on Lake Oconee.