Have you checked out your local library lately? These days libraries offer way more than books. For a while now they have been offering other media such as CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, film archives, all kinds of magazines and newsletters, research rooms, voter registration, and tax forms. There are wireless Internet access and computer terminals for your use, which is great when you are away from home.
Some libraries have very interesting web sites with digital content and archives, blogs and photo galleries. These are really virtual libraries where you can check out eBooks, videos and music on line and download for use for a limited period of time.
Now libraries are becoming community centers with free activities, senior programs, exhibitions, lectures by authors, and classes on many subjects.
No wonder about 66% of American 50+ already have a library card. Maybe you have a card but have not kept up with the new services your library is offering.Â Now is the time to “check out” your library to get up to date.
When it comes time to retire in Georgia, many people just look North to the Georgia Mountains, a short distance from Atlanta. You are still in your home state and can easily visit the metro Atlanta area to visit friends or attractions. Also you can get to know the new area where you will be living full time even before your move by making frequent visits to get to know the area.
We have two sets of friends who have done just that. Tina and David bought a foreclosure in Big Canoe, a wonderful mountain community about one hour north of Atlanta. David does home renovations so it has been perfect for them to fix it up and even thought they have been working hard on the house for almost a year, I think they really enjoy going up to the mountains and enjoying as well as working. We went up on July 4th to see the fireworks at their mountain home and fell in love with the place. They are not planning on moving there full time just yet, but are up there just about every week. There are many 55+ communities in Georgia but most are on the edge of Atlanta and not that far up in North Georgia.
The other couple, our friends Jim and Jean retired to the North Georgia Mountains. Knowing they would like to move to the North part of the state, Jim got a transfer to the Gainesville office a few years before his retirement date. This put them in a perfect situation to go ahead and move up to Banks County Georgia, where they built a perfect retirement home with screen porch overlooking a stream on five areas. This worked out so good Jim even delayed his retirement since he almost felt he was retired. This transition to a new area by relocating his job worked out for the best.
Jim and Jean visit us in Alpharetta or we just meet in Gainesville for dinner, half way for each for us. Really it is not harder to get together with them now than it was when they lived in DeKalb County in the metro Atlanta area.
They both like living in the North GA mountains even though there are some inconveniences. Jean says the water supply line has broken many times to their home and the head of the water department just keeps making repairs rather than run new lines that are needed. Jean says he has a “small town mind” about things and just looks at people like them as complaining “wealthy people from Atlanta”, which she says they are not. However building a barn and getting a horse, chopping your own firewood from your property and just listening to the crickets perform a symphony from your swing on your screened in porch makes in all worth it.
Jim and Jean knew what they wanted and went for it. I know I and others who envy them.
As an update to this post, Mary Ann and I retired to Northeast Georgia area in Braselton and love living in the Del Webb Over 55 Community there. We are close to Gainesville and Buford. We like the view of the mountains from our patio and love driving the area.
Previously I wrote about the Advantages of Small Towns and all those points still remain. Those were the basic reasons to consider moving to a small town.
I have come across even more reasons to consider living in a small town in the present environment.
Home prices may have come down even more in some small towns, relative to suburban or city homes. Home prices were already reasonable in many small towns, but now they are really reasonable. Affordability is near the top of the list of many boomers nearing or entering retirement.
If you are waiting for your suburban home to come back in price you may be waiting a long time. The lower price you get by selling your existing home now, will be partly made up by buying a lower price home in a small town.
These days small towns reportedly are a more accepting environment and gay or minorities can feel comfortable calling them home.
With these tense times where the news is non stop negative and the employment situation is not good for so many, escaping to a small town can give your life a refreshing change of pace.
Moving to a small town that is increasingly popular for retirees can put you in touch with a lot of potential new friends and offer social opportunities with people to whom you can relate.
These days many 55 plus retirement communities are located in small towns, which is ideal for you to take advantage of this type community plus enjoy small town living too.
Remember that there is not best small towns or top ten small towns, but only the small town for you. Things have changed but retiring to a small town still offers many advantages.
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
After looking for over a year, we found the perfect 55 plus community for us. It is on the edge of the metro area, about 40 miles from downtown but 18 minutes from a major regional mall and more retail-shopping. Nearby there is a winery with hotel and six restaurants, 15 minutes from outlet mall, and nearby some good places for lunch. It is far enough but not too far. We can still meet our friends in the metro suburbs for lunch every month. It will definitely change our way of living to a new lifestyle while being close to familiar areas too. Not a major relocation but a positive adjustment none the less.
Forty percentage of the people living in Village at Deaton Creek, this active adult community on the outer edge of our metro, still work. This means, at age 62, some will be our age or younger. So the age balance is right for us.
It took us some time to come up with the model home that we decided on. We live in a 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath two story with full basement. Not because we had a big family, but because we had a home office and one employee. We no longer have the employee coming over and have cut back the business to the minimal, but still my wife and I do want our offices. We had thought going in the perfect retirement home for us would be a “ranch with a basement”. Basements we found out are a little pricey. A basement runs $50,000 and then $30,000 to be finished, thus $80,000 extra for a finished basement. At Del Webb they have come up with another less expensive option, that of a loft. The finished loft is an option that runs $23,000 to $25 ,000 more, but does add a large room, a bedroom and a full bath upstairs. So we reasoned that would work as I could have my office in the loft and my wife could have the office on the main level and like the 2 bedroom plan. So a 2 bedroom with a loft we went searching for. But when touring the available homes, there was not a loft available, so it would take 5 to 6 months to have one built the Del Webb salesperson explained. Huh.
So next we decided to check out resales so we went through the brochures we picked up while riding around in our golf cart during our two night vacation getaway stay at the community. I asked about any listings with a loft and none were available since the loft is a relatively new option and none of the resales have a loft. But the agent did tell me about another listing which is a large ranch in the Overlook section rather then the middle size homes in the Vista collection. The plan was the Cumberland Hall floor plan.Â It is all on one level and has a large corner office and 3 bedrooms, one of which could be our second office.Â We liked the floor plan layout too. In addition, this resale has a large screen porch and a nice kitchen and many extras. The price was only $15,000 more that the two bedroom with loft that we would have to wait 6 months for. Wow, this is maybe the one for us!
The resale agent was very helpful. She could come to our current home and let us know the market price and what we could expect to get. So how would this work, we begin to ask. Would we contract to buy the resale and immediately list our current home for sale. Do you sell your current home first to reduce the risk then find a home to move to? One resident said she listed her home for sale and put a contract for Del Webb to build her a home but her home sold within two months. What did she do I asked? Got on a boat and traveled she replied.
Being the cautious planner that I am (and who isn’t when you are retired), none of these options looks that great. Yes, we could cash in a CD and buy the resale while listing our current home for sale. Both homes are similar in price so we may almost break even. Then take the sales proceed and buy the CD back. Sure there is a 3 month interest penalty, but that may not stop us. However the bigger risk is selling our current home. We have heard story after story about negatives of selling in this market. It is in great condition, with many improvements in a good location (doesn’t everyone think their home is special and more valuable than the rest of the neighborhood). Or another option would be to sell our current home and then find our new home, but that means maybe moving to a temporary residence if we cannot find a home to move in to right away. I don’t like moving that much.
About now I am asking, and why are we moving? Oh yes, the new lifestyle, new friends, activities, slower pace, nature walks around the pond, fun, etc. Yes, we are sold on the community and have a floor plan we think would work for us. We are positive about the move, it is just how to do it.
So thinking about this during this long Memorial Day weekend, my wife and I think we don’t want to put ourselves in an uncomfortable situation right now, just because we would like to move to a 55 plus community. We have our house paid off, we are retired, so why complicate matters. Our assessment is in this environment it is no time to roll the dice and try to sell your home if you don’t have to. We don’t want to move twice and we don’t want a vacant unsold home to worry about. We still plan on moving to a 55 plus community and now have a much better idea of where we want to live and the floor plan that would suit us. You just don’t know until you have checked things out, if it will work for you. We will keep our options open and look forward to making the move when the time is right for us.