Savannah is a mid-size city in Coastal Georgia. Its year-round warmth, boutique shopping, and plentiful golfing as well as its affordable housing make it a popular destination for retirees. Active adults can enjoy the strong sense of community in this deeply historic southern city.
Climate & Geography
Savannah is located on the southeastern coast of Georgia near the Atlantic Ocean. It experiences humid, nearly tropical summers and short, mild winters. There are a few days of freezing each year, but snow is rare. The city’s proximity to the ocean helps moderate temperatures, preventing some of the extremes of inland Georgia.
Though it is one of the oldest cities in the U.S., Savannah has recently annexed suburban neighborhoods in Chatham County. The Savannah River, Vernon River, and Little Ogeechee River create the city’s main southern and northern borders. Just north of the city of the city is the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, half of which is located in South Carolina.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
Savannah is steeped in southern gothic history, with many buildings and areas preserving the architecture and style of that time. The downtown area has many cobblestone streets, as well as two historic districts with museums located in original houses.
The northern side of the city has two major shopping areas near each other: River Street has shops, restaurants, outdoor markets, and live music along the water, and City Market has a pedestrian promenade with local boutiques and eateries. Residents enjoy the farmers market at Forsythe Park, as well as annual events including the Savannah Food and Wine Festival, Jazz Festival, and Film Festival.
In addition to its active community, Savannah offers several golf clubs, including the Crosswinds Golf Club, The Club at Savannah Harbor, Bacon Park Golf Course, Cadler Golf Course, and many more private country clubs as well. Active retirees can hike along the Savannah and Ogeechee Canal, McQueens Trail, and the Fort McAllister State Park Trails.
Cost of Living & Taxes
Savannah’s cost of living is much lower than the averages for both the U.S. and the rest of the state. Low cost of housing is the biggest contributing factor, as well as below-average health and grocery costs. Utilities and transportation are about the same as the U.S.
Georgia is very tax friendly for retirees. There is no Social Security tax, and while other forms of retirement income above $65,000 are taxed, they are also eligible for substantial deductions. Property taxes are below average, while sales taxes are typical of the U.S. Groceries are taxed, but only at Savannah’s local level of 3 percent.
According to Gallup’s Well-Being Index, Georgia ranks in the top half of U.S. states, scoring well in the social and physical categories.
Savannah has several hospitals within the city, including two that U.S. News rated as high performing: Memorial Health University Medical Center and St. Joseph’s Hospital-Savannah. Other hospitals include Candler Hospital, Landmark Hospital of Savannah, and Georgia Regional Hospital at Savannah.