Livability is what makes small towns a good place to live and to retire to.
Small Town Sense of Community
Many features makes up what we call livability, but for me it is a sense of community. Big cities and urbanized suburbs have much to offer, but they can’t hold a candle to small towns in offering a sense of community on a personal level. I could give many examples as I have experienced this first hand after moving from a big city urbanized suburbs to a Del Webb Community in a small town two years ago.
I loved living in the suburbs while I was working, but now that I am retired, I like my new small town community and feel a sense of pride in it.
Small Town Amenities
The amenities in small towns have improved and may even offer more accessibility to amenities than you were used to. We have 5 theaters around our area, a regional mall within 15 minutes, Universities nearby, museums and some very nice gourmet restaurants. Just about any service you want is available. Amazon Prime delivers to my doorstep!
Small Town Demographics
Most people, I have found, are open and friendly. They are well spoken, interesting and at least as intelligent as the public can be. They can not be type cast. The teenagers show a respect to us adults and don’t just look through you as though you do not exist, like they did in the suburbs.
Small Town Education
I have been impressed with the colleges, universities and technical schools in the area. We went to a show put on by the Gainesville Theater Alliance put on by the Drama Department of two area colleges and it was excellent! I reviewed recently the IT computer department of the local university and was impressed with the staff and the programs offered. There is a program for senior adults that offers a range of interesting courses for us.
Small Town Economy
The economy in my area is dong great. The paper lists the new commercial projects and rezoning requests. Four or five new restaurants just opened last year in the immediate area and several more in the general area and they are doing a good business.
Small Town Health Care
I have never had this good of access to health care. We have a hospital right next door to Village at Deaton Creek off Friendship Rd and that has caused multiple medical buildings to sprout up in the area. Most of my doctor appointments are now only 5 minutes away! This has been the best and biggest surprise since moving to my area. They can handle anything right here from heart stents and by pass surgery, removing prostate cancer, cataract surgery to my annual physicals.
Small Town Housing
Small towns offer a variety of homes from 55+ communities to farms to rural homes with big lot or acreage. The prices may be a little lower than in the city but not as much as you may think. Retirement areas seems to bring more services catered to us retirees and they is a good thing. Buying in an 55+ Retirement Community like we did, gives you certain housing standards as do other communities. The new Del Webb at Chateau Elan is opening in March.
Small Town Governments and Civics
We have been pleased to be part of Hall County. They have a nice mid rise government building with tag and tax and other services that is very efficient. You are in and out.
Hall County Georgia also has a senior school tax exemption that we are getting and helps a lot.
Our voting precinct is 5 minutes away. I am going for jury duty Monday morning. There is an Arts Council with Summer and Winter programs. There are programs to promote downtown Gainesville and other towns with events each week.
Small Town Transportation and Infrastructure
Our parkway at the entrance is two years new and goes 9 miles all the way to Lake Lanier. It has a Life Pathway walk way all along the route where you can walk, run, bike and even use your golf cart. The intersecting busy Spout Springs road will be widen as is I-85 up past our exit. The road are good but we do have some two lane rural roads too and while scenic must be the reason our drivers insurance is a little higher. But it is worth it for the atmosphere of seeing pasture, barns and llamas.
Life After The Suburbs
After having retired to a small town over two years ago, I am pleased with the livability. I see nothing that I am lacking and have gain more than I expected. Could not ask for anything more.
Also see my blog about living in a Del Webb community.