Moving to Savannah, GA: Everything Retirees Need to Know

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5 minute read

What You’ll Gain From Reading This Article: Readers will gain valuable insights into the benefits and considerations of retiring in Savannah, Georgia.


There’s no denying Savannah, Georgia is one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S. So if you’re a retiree, what do you need to know about moving to Savannah, GA? There are stately homes and historic sites around every corner as well as a lively culinary scene. Residents also enjoy easy access to scenic beaches and some of the country’s most renowned golf courses in Hilton Head.

Combine that with a low cost of living, affordable housing, and tax incentives, and it’s easy to understand why this is a retirement hotspot. The city has even been named one of the best places to retire by Forbes.

If all of this has piqued your interest, here’s what to consider before moving to Savannah, GA.

Aerial view of the Downtown Skyline along the Savannah River of Augusta, Georgia.

PROS

  • No shortage of things to see and do: With historic sites, state and national parks, art galleries, museums, and performing arts theaters, there is always something new to discover in Savannah. Plus, Savannah’s monthly social calendar is usually full of community events that range from 5K runs to public garden tours and music festivals. The city is renowned for its beloved St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
  • Affordability: Savannah’s cost of living is significantly lower than the national average. According to BestPlaces.net, the city’s cost of living is 16.8% lower than the U.S. average. Real estate is also relatively affordable with average home prices costing around $211,300 compared to the national median of $291,700.
  • Short, mild winters: Even during the coldest months of the year, Savannah temperatures rarely ever drop below freezing. It’s extremely rare for the city to get snow.

CONS

  • Crime rate: Savannah’s serious crime rate is above the national average.
  • The summer heat and humidity: During July and August, temperatures frequently reach the mid to upper 90s with high humidity.
  • Tourists: While Savannah has a small population of residents, it can become quite congested with tourists. In its most recent report, the Savannah Chamber of Commerce reported 13.9 million annual visitors in 2020.
A tree-lined path to Wormsloe Plantation, a historic site attractive to homebuyers moving to Savannah, GA.

Savannah has a subtropical climate with comfortable temperatures most of the year. The city enjoys short, mild winters with average temperatures of 51 degrees and almost no threat of snow or ice. Spring and fall are both pleasant with temperatures averaging in the low 60s. However, summers can be very hot and humid with temps hovering in the 90s during July and August.

Savannah has a wide array of parks and outdoor recreation options for residents to enjoy, including Forsyth Park, the Wormhole State Historic Site, Skidaway Park, and the Savannah Botanical Gardens. Many residents will also soak up the sun on Tybee Island, which is less than 20 miles away.

The famous gold domed city hall, an iconic landmark for homebuyers moving to Savannah, GA.

Georgia is one of the most tax-friendly states in the country for retirees. In Savannah, retirees can benefit from tax exemptions based on age and low property taxes. They’re also able to keep more money in their pockets because social security benefits are not taxed.

Savannah Property Taxes

According to SmartAsset, both Georgia and Savannah’s (Chatham County) property taxes are lower than the national average of 1.07%. Savannah’s average tax rate is 1.02%, while Georgia’s is even lower at 0.87%.

Savannah Retirement Income Taxes

While social security benefits are not taxed in the state of Georgia, retirement income is. However, there are specific tax exemptions available for seniors based on age.

Savannah Tax Exemptions for Seniors

There are a number of tax exemptions Savannah retirees can benefit from. For retirees ages 62-64 retirement income up to $35,000 is tax-exempt, and that amount increases to $65,000 for those 65+.

Aerial view of historical Savannah, Georgia during golden hour.

Savannah is home to two nationally recognized health care systems: the Memorial University Medical Center, which is the largest health care provider in southeast Georgia, and the St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System, an affiliate of Emory University Healthcare. The city also boasts two Cancer centers: the Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion and the Curtis and Elizabeth Anderson Cancer Institute.

Historic downtown sidewalks and rowhouses in Savannah, Georgia.

Downtown

From historic sites and art galleries to eclectic boutiques, hopping craft breweries, and fresh seafood joints, the downtown area of Savannah—known as the Historic Landmark District—serves up everything you could want from a city.

Here, you’ll find plenty of tourists and residents alike meandering down buzzy River Street taking in the sights or exploring the endless list of landmarks and picturesque squares that can be found around every corner. The district is home to the Savannah City Market—often considered the heart of the city—where you’ll find plenty of shopping and dining options as well as art galleries.

Victorian District

Known as Savannah’s first neighborhood, the 50-block Victorian District moves at a much slower pace than the more touristy Historic District. Here, you’ll find an abundance of Victorian-style homes, B&Bs, and popular local restaurants as well as a more family-friendly atmosphere. This area is home to Forsyth Park, which spans 30 acres and is the city’s largest and oldest park.

The Southside

Moving further away from the city’s busiest areas, The Southside, is located 15 minutes from downtown Savannah—putting residents close enough to the city to easily take advantage of all it has to offer without being right in the middle of everything. The suburban area is made up of a combination of upscale gated communities, commercial businesses, and retail shopping centers.

There are several active adult communities to consider when moving to Savannah:

Cottages at Autumn Lake

 High $200s – High $300s

Homes across a pond at Cottages at Autumn Lake, an active adult community worth considering for homebuyers moving to Savannah, GA.

Located only 12 miles from downtown Savannah, the gated Cottages at Autumn Lake community features a combination of 80 single-family and attached homes. Floor plans range from 1,950 to 2,600 square feet and offer options with three to five bedrooms, two to four bathrooms, and two-car garages.

Cottages at Autumn Lake amenities include a clubhouse, an exercise room, a catering kitchen, and billiards. Outdoor amenities include access to a nine-acre lake and lakeside pavilion, an outdoor pool and patio, plus walking and biking trails.

The Landings on Skidaway Island

 Low $600s – Mid $2Ms

A community building in The Landings on Skidaway Island, an active adult community worth considering for homebuyers moving to Savannah, GA.

The Landings on Skidaway Island is a large, private, gated community that stretches over 4,596 acres and is made up of eight different neighborhoods. The development will feature more than 4,400 single-family and attached homes upon final completion. There are a wide variety of floor plans by several different builders for potential buyers to consider.

Along with its variety of floor plans, The Landings on Skidaway Island also offers residents a seemingly endless list of amenities, including several clubhouses, 18-hole golf courses, on-site restaurants and bars, dozens of athletic courts, and wellness centers. There are also indoor and outdoor pools spread through the eight neighborhoods, a playground, a dog park, and a community garden. There’s even a marina and boat storage available for residents to use.

Want more options in the Savannah area? There are several more active adult communities in nearby Pooler, GA, including The Fairways at Savannah Quarters and Westbrook Villas at Savannah Quarters.

To discover more exciting 55+ communities in Savannah, call 55places today. Our experienced team of real estate experts will guide you through the top options in your area and help you make a seamless transition from your current home to a 55+ community. We look forward to helping you make your next move the best one yet!

Discover what’s next.

To learn more information or connect with a real estate expert, contact us today.

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

Financing is the difference!

Get the details in The 62+ Loan Homebuyers Guide.

55places Mortgage is a joint venture between Mutual of Omaha Mortgage and 55places.com.
Details here.

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About 55places

We’re changing the way people 55 and older are searching for their perfect next place. With a national network of hand-selected real estate experts, plus comprehensive information, unbiased content, and on-the-go insight about thousands of communities across the country, we’re a trusted resource paving the way from here to home. Whether you’re interested in a low-maintenance single-level residence, an active lifestyle or age-qualified community, an intimate enclave, or anything in between, we can help you make your next move the best one yet.

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