We have now updated all of our state pages at Small Town Retirement with some of the best small towns for retirement that we could find. This caught the eye of a reporter in Michigan who is excited to share this information but wondered what criteria was used to determine the selections, in particular on our Small Towns in Michigan, a town named Lake Odessa in Michigan.
Ms Patterson who did this page was on maturity leave, so I did research Lake Odessa Michigan to see why it was in fact on our list. I enjoyed the process and clearly see why Odessa was added.
I was happy to reply as follows.
Our Ms. Patterson developed our Michigan page recently and added Odessa to the list. Shelley is now on maturity leave however I think I can answer why Odessa was added.
The introductory paragraph of our Michigan page says it best: The best small towns in Michigan offer comfortable and laid back settings, workability, arts and culture scene, and plenty of outdoor activities. That describes Odessa pretty good and are reasons it would be desirable for retirement living.
Odessa has plenty of things to do and the city’s web site lists many wonderful upcoming events to keep retirees active and are affordable. Arts and festivals are another attractive part of the community. The revitalized downtown and the old Lake Odessa Train depot are charming and bring a sense of community.
The scenery and the enjoyment of Lake Jordan and nearby Games and Recreation areas are attractive too. Odessa has affordable housing costs and this has become important to many retirees. At retirement age, many want to retire to a relaxed small town atmosphere, which Odessa has. It is also within 100 miles to two larger metro areas. For all the above reasons, Odessa was added to our list of good towns for retirement.
Update March 22, 2012 – Tax Exemption for Georgia Seniors Capped
The Georgia Senate voted unanimously Thursday for a sweeping tax plan that its supporters said would help the state compete for jobs and help families. The bill now awaits the signature of Gov. Nathan Deal, who helped put the plan together. Here is the key elements of House Bill 386 that will affect the Georgia Income Tax Exemption for Seniors:
Cap nonwork income that seniors can exclude from income taxes at $65,000, or $130,000 per couple.
Below is my orginal article about the state of Georgia Tax Exemption for Seniors. It still applies but now will be cap as per the above limits of 65,000, or $130,000 per couple. This is still quite generous and would cover most people. – Robert Fowler
Currently in Georgia at age 62 citizens may exempt up to $35,000 individually (or $70,000) of retirement income per couple from the state income tax. The state of Georgia income tax rate is 6% of income.Â For a couple exempting the max of $70,000, that would be $4200 in saved on taxes.Â This has been the current law.
Now Georgia Governor Perdue is passing a much broader exception for senior age 65 which will phase in started in 2012. House Bill 1055 (AS PASSED HOUSE AND SENATE (at very end of page) raises the retirement income for persons age 65 during any part of the year in 2012 to $65,000 per person, then in 2013 to $100.000, then in 2014 to $150,000, then in 2015 to $200,000 per person for retirement income exemption. Finally in 2016 all retirement income is exemption from state income tax for a person age 65.
You don’t have to be retired, just have retirement income which is defined as follows: For the purposes of this paragraph, retirement income shall include but not be limited to interest income, dividend income, net income from rental property, capital gains income, income from royalties, income from pensions and annuities, and no more than $4,000.00 of an individual’s earned income. Earned income in excess of $4,000.00, including but not limited to net business income earned by an individual from any trade or business carried on by such individual, wages, salaries, tips, and other employer compensation, shall not be regarded as retirement income. The receipt of earned income shall not diminish any taxpayer’s eligibility for the retirement income exclusionexclusions allowed by this paragraph except to the extent of the express limitation provided in this subparagraph.
This is a major benefits for the state of Georgia seniors and anyone considering relocating to Georgia. We applauded Governor Perdue and the state of Georgia for passage of this benefit for the seniors of Georgia. This will be a boost over the long terms to the senior communities of GA.
The history of Thomasville is rich and predates the Civil War! Before Florida was opened up, Thomasville was the last train stop. It was visited in those early days for health reasons, thinking the many pines would be beneficial for those with pulmonary afflictions. Others came to hunt on one of the many Plantations that surround Thomasville. Some just came for the social gatherings.
The streets and roads of this county have been trodden by some very famous and notable people threw out its history. Joann Woodward, wife of Paul Newman is from here. Her father was the principal of an all girls’ school here. This is just one of the many well known personalities of our area. Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy was tucked away here on one of our many plantations for a time, to give her and the children a respite from the public shortly after President Kennedy’s assassination.
Part of the pride of Thomasville is the tremendous participation in restoration of historical homes and the downtown area. Thomasville residents take their preservation of history and restoration seriously. They put their money where some only put their mouth, they simply do it!! The downtown has undergone restoration on a large serious scale. A lot of energy, enthusiasm and dollars are being put into the downtown area. But the rewards are worth it. The result, is a thriving vibrant downtown area that attracts people from miles around.
The homes on Love Street and Warren Ave, near the downtown area, have been dealt a new lease on life over the past eight years. These are now home to many professionals, young and old. It is a place where neighbors stroll the streets with their children, groups of young parents get together for kickball and flag football, and children play together in the green space at the corner.
“We all love the Warren-Love Street neighborhood, because it is so easy to walk to downtown community events, restaurants, and shopping. The city tennis courts and the cultural center are also within short walking distance”. Quote by, Darlone Bailey Kaley
“The neighborhood is special because we all saw the potential to return to a simpler time and way of living, and we were willing to work to make it happen. There are still a few houses waiting to be completed, and we would love to have a few more great neighbors”! Darlone Bailey Kaley– is an owner and resident of a home on Love Street.
Thomasville Landmarks and The Historical Society are places to receive support and encouragement when taking on any of these restoration projects.
You will appreciate the proximity of being close enough to the Gulf Coast for a day trip, within one hour and thirty minutes express route or two to three hours the slow scenic route. Just a tree lined forty minute drive on four lane highways to Tallahassee, Florida for all kinds of shopping, eating and entertainment events. Four hours from Atlanta and North Georgia mountains can be reached in a day. Savannah and east coast is only three hours away.
Thomasville proper is a good balance of a slow southern atmosphere, with a healthy emphasis on culture for arts, writing, music, acting, and athletics. These are all encouraged and nurtured here. If Florida is too crowded for you, try north of the border. “Thomasville; a place apart.”
Thomasville has received mention in several retirement research articles and books.
Retire in Style: 60 Outstanding Places Across the USA and Canada [Paperback] Warren R. Bland PhD (Author)
When you make your list of places to explore for retirement potential, Thomasville should be on your list.
I live in Thomasville Georgia. I’m a “Baby Boomer” of 1951. Check out my blog at Boomersberg.com and leave me a comment OR start a conversation in the forum.
Thomasville Interesting Facts: Thomasville Georgia deems itself the City of Roses and holds an annual Rose Festival. Thomasville features plantations open to the public, a historic downtown, a large farmer’s market, and a 320 year old oak tree at the corner of Monroe and Crawford streets. The population of Thomasville was 18,413 at the 2010 census