Categories
Marietta

Downtowns in Small Towns Make Come Back

Marietta GA small town

Remember in the 60’s and 70’s when mon and pop businesses on main street in most small towns were being driven out of business by big box retailers like Walmart who settled on the outskirts of town on the bypass and near the edge of the freeways and sold at at discounts the Mom and Pops could not match?  In additional to cheaper prices there was plenty of parking and the newness of it.  Then after a while the main street of small towns were ghost towns.

Now many of small towns have their main streets and downtown section back in business with more mom and pop businesses like restaurants, clubs, music stories, antique shops, restored move theaters and more. There are town greens, town squares, bandstands, free concerts, art shows and people walking around taking it all in.  A stroll around on main street of many small towns making you feel good and enjoy their comebacks.    Some housing is even taking place in or near these walkable down towns with lofts being made from old buildings that were hotels or above store fronts or even new construction for people who like living in a walkable community.  The buy local movement plays right in to these down towns with some having weekly farmers markets and seasonal festivals featuring local craftsman.  Then there are new communities on the outskirts that try to bring this small town feel to lifestyle with a town square and walking trails, and some retail.

Some downtown in small towns are going beyond and becoming quite trendy and artsy sporting boutiques and tasty unique restaurants.  Many times local governments have helped bring these downtown back by making improvements including building city centers to get things started.  I am writing this post tonight after spending the day in Marietta Georgia, strolling around their town square, vising museums, antique shops, having lunch at a nice restaurant, stopping by the visitors center and buying tickets for a future concert on the square.   There were many people strolling around and enjoying the Spring weather and this beautiful small town. It is good to see small towns across America make a come back.

Originally posted 2010-04-07 22:18:36.

Categories
Georgia

Griffin GA – Sun City Peachtree

Griffin GA

I visited Griffin GA for a couple of days recently and got a feel for what it might be like living there.  It seems to be the all American small town, formerly a textile mill town, it is only 40 to 50 miles south of Atlanta but quite a bit more in lifestyle differences.

Griffin has quite a few good amenities that would make it desirable for retirement.  It has a lovely downtown with Hill street running down the middle. The City Hall and the Court Courthouse are right there also.  Tim’s or Louise’s are southern food restaurants with affordable prices and good food. They are quite packed on Sundays after church lets out. All the chain restaurants are there too.
Griffin also always had a good high school football team. The people are real people who are sincere, hard working and humble. A lot of people do commute to the Atlanta area since there are not a lot of high paying jobs in Griffin.  But there are sufficient stores and services, a large regional Griffin Spalding hospital, an experiment station of the University of Georgia, Elk Club, Moose Club and other clubs you would normally find in a small towns.

Prices seems to be very reasonable on services like auto repairs, yard work, handyman services, etc. The housing is very affordable. I called about a 3 bedroom brick ranch with fenced yard in a nice subdivision. It was a HUD foreclosure listing for only $55,000.  Anther person was renting a similar 3 bedroom, 2 bath brick ranch with fenced yard for only $650 month.

Getting around is easy. The traffic is light. To get across town takes 5 to 10 minutes.

So what is the catch?  Well I think Griffin is a very local place.  Many talk about Atlanta as another state even though it is very close.  Many people live their whole lives in Griffin, some move to Atlanta and become professionals to move far away, but many stay put and work blue collar jobs.  There is nothing wrong with that. There are a lot of people retiring in Griffin, but there have not been many moving to Griffin to retire. Until now.
On the outskirts of Griffin toward I-75 that leads to Atlanta, Del Webb has built an active adult community, Sun City Peachtree it is called.  It will have 3400 homes on 1,726 acres, a large golf coarse and a huge activities center that is already built.  Last year I attend the Grand Opening and there were some very excited people there, a few from Griffin, and many from all over.  As Bob Dylan sang, the times they are a changing.

More 55+ Georgia retirement communities   Griffin Spalding Chamber of Commerce

Originally posted 2010-01-16 00:21:09.

Categories
Atlanta Ellijay Georgia North Georgia Mountains

Big Canoe – Retirement in North Georgia Mountains

Big Canoe is perfect for
Retirement in North Georgia Mountains

Big Canoe is one of the nicest large mountain resort communities in the country. It’s a small town in itself.

Last week we used a friends home in Big Canoe for a couple of days for a family reunion and I was reminded what a nice community Big Canoe is.  It is a beautiful mountain community with 8,000 acres, 3 or 4 lakes and 22 miles of trails.  A self sustaining park like resort community only one hour north of Atlanta GA.

Lake at Big Canoe
Lake at Big Canoe

Now Big Canoe is not officially a retirement community but they have everything say a Del Webb Community has and more. There are over 100 clubs in their activity center building as well a gym, pool, craft room, etc.  Several restaurants are in the community. Some more reasons we like Big Canoe for a retirement home.

Categories
Gainesville Georgia Hoschton Small Town Living

Small Town Livability

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. Here are reasons we live small town living.

Categories
Atlanta

Small Town Retirement Options – Serenbe Community in Georgia

Bosch house at Serenbe Community

2020 update: This original post was from Mary Ann and I visiting Serenbe a few years ago.  We loved that visit and took plenty of pictures.  As an update the community really is special. Here is a recent article that will give you more reasons to like Serenbe. What Makes A Neighborhood Resilient?

Yesterday my wife Mary Ann and our neighbors Scott and Dawn set out to visit the HGTV Green House for this year.   We drove from our Johns Creeks Georgia home down to the southside of Atlanta, then another 20 miles out in the countryside to the Serenbe Community. Here are some pictures and information about this wonderful community.

Categories
Georgia

Georgia Income Tax Exemption for Seniors

State of Georgia Income Tax – Retirement Income Exclusion for 2020

*Currently in Georgia at age 62 citizens may exempt retirement income from state income tax.

You don’t have to be retired, just have retirement income which is defined as follows.

Taxpayers who are 62 or older, or permanently and totally disabled regardless of age, may be eligible for a retirement income adjustment on their Georgia tax return. Retirement income includes:

  • Income from pensions and annuities
  • Interest income
  • Dividend income
  • Net income from rental property
  • Capital gains income
  • Income from royalties
  • Up to $4,000 of earned income

For married couples filing joint returns with both members receiving retirement income, the maximum adjustment for that year may be up to twice the individual exclusion amount. Retirement income exceeding the maximum adjustable amount will be taxed at the normal rate.

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. Up to $4,000 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 be regarded as retirement income.

Here is a link to the State of Georgia Department of Revenue about the Retirement Income Exclusion.

This is a major benefit for the state of Georgia seniors and anyone considering relocating to Georgia.  We applauded 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 retirement communities of GA.

*This is our understanding of the Retirement Income Tax Exclusion for the State of Georgia Income Tax. Please check with your tax professional to verify and see how this effects your personal situation. This is not income tax advise.

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