Retirement in the North Georgia Mountains

More of my friends are retiring to the North Georgia mountains. See why here

north ga mountain view from deck at Big CanoeWhen 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.  Time and David bought a foreclosure in Big Canoe, a wonderful mountain community about one hour north of Atlanta.  David does home rennovations 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 their 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 major just keeping making repairs rather than run new lines that are needed.  She says he has a “small town mind” about things and just looks as 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.



Anticipating a Move to a Small Town

Anticipating a Move to a Small Town

After having lived in an urbanized suburb of Atlanta for 40 years, this is the year I will be moving out to a Del Webb community Atlanta in a small town. Granted it is on outskirts of the metro area, about 15 minutes from a major mall and commercial district, but it will still be plenty different from my current location.

There are groceries stores, UPS store, some restaurants, liquor stores, banks and others around my new community. A biggie is a brand new 100 bed hospital at the entrance to my new community. That is actually closer than my current hospitals.

What is also closer is recreation amenities right in the community, plenty of sidewalks and trails for walking.  There are daily activities, a gym and indoor and outdoor pools at the clubhouse which is within walking distance from my new home.

Our current friends will be about 45 minutes to an hour from our new community so we can still stay in touch and meet for lunch.  At the new community there will be plenty of opportunities to meet new friends who will live in the same community and be available during the week, not just the weekends.

After a month or so at the new community I will have to do a post with my observations about how living in an active adult community in a small town is different from what I am used to.

We are thinking all the community offers will more than make up for any dislocations of living in a small town.  Part of what scares people moving from a metro area to a small town is the people – will they be accepting and what kinds of cultural changes will be faced. Most of that concern will be alleviated by moving to an active adult community with almost two thousand residents coming from all over the country and the world.

Of course my old friend the Internet will be with me. There is high speed Comcast cable and the cell phone reception is reportedly good for several carriers. Small towns these days have very good broadband and cell phone coverage

So this year will be an interesting one for us as we take life by the horns and transition to a new life in an active adult community. We have waited long enough and at age 67 and retired we look forward to making new friends and being active in our new community on a daily basis. We are avid Bocce players and they say we will fit right it. That is the first club we will sign up for, along with coin collectors club, day trippers, travel club and hiking club.  That will be a good start.

As far as the town, exploring the several nearby small towns, visiting the dairy, the winery and maybe the outlet mall up the road will be on the list. The Road Atlanta sports car track is nearby and a group from the community visits the track for several races which I will probably join them. Fort Yargo Park is nearby with over 1800 areas with a 260-acre lake that offers a large swimming beach, fishing and boat ramps.  Maybe it’s time to take up fishing again. I will keep you posted.  -Robert Fowler

Village at Deaton Creek



Two Interesting Small Towns with Retirement Communities in Georgia

Interesting Georgia Small Towns with Retirement Communities

Retirement communities and small towns go together anywhere and Georgia is no exception.

Maybe it is the idea that folks want to slow down and get out of the rat race. Maybe some folks remember growing up in a small town and would like to return to the days not so complicated by traffic and businesses everywhere.  Some want the natural scenery and being close to many outdoors attractions. Some say the land is cheaper for the big track of land to be developed into a large retirement community.

What ever the reasons, many of the retirement communities in Georgia are located in small towns, albeit many are in close proximity to the large Atlanta metro area.

So what are some of the small towns with retirement communities in Georgia?

Fall Festival in Hoschton GA
Fall Festival in Hoschton GA

1.  Hoschton, GA – Is home to Village at Deaton Creek, a Del Webb community of over 1,000 homes. By the way a new hospital with 100 beds is under contruction adjacent to this community.  The City of Hoschton is a small community located just off Interstate  I-85 in Jackson Country in North Georgia.  This area where Deaton Creek is located is the convergence of three or four counties and most of the homes are actually located in Hall County but have a Hoschton mailing address.  This area is a small community but close enough to be at Mall of Georgia in about 20 minutes.  This mixes the advantage of small town living and the convenience of being less that 45 minutes from cities like Athens, Gainesville and Atlanta metro.

Lake Lanier GA
Lake Lanier GA

2.  Gainesville, GA – ia home to  Cresswind at Lake Lanier, a wonderful retirement community on Lake Lanier while still in the city of Gainesville, which is the country seat of Hall County. Downtown Gainesville has a mixture of shops and first class restaurants. Also there are like 4 or 5 theaters and playhouses in Gainesville. At the foothills of the North Georgia mountains and easy access to Metro Atlanta from both I-985 and GA 400, Gainesville is a highly rated town for retirement with excellent hospital, shopping, Lake Lanier and more.

Other Georgia towns with nice retirement communities are Griffin, Canton and Greensboro.



Home With Southern Charm in Bogart (near Athens GA)

Bogart GA

Last weekend I went to a wedding in Bogart Georgia which is located off the Atlanta Hwy just outside Athens.  The house where the wedding took place was in a large house that has been turned into a special events facility.  Getting outside Metro Atlanta and visiting this place took me take to my Southern roots.  I was born in Middle Georgia and went  to the University of Georgia in Athens.

This house as you can see from the picture of the front porch was Southern style through and through.  Very nice wedding took place there but first we had cocktails on the back patio overlooking the gardens and little court yard areas with small buildings around.  Inside had hardwoods floors and nice windows.  The house was nice but I think it was the outside which impressed me.  I took some more pictures, but I don’t want to be tacky and post someone’s wedding photos so I will stick with these two.

It was a very peaceful  setting to have a wedding.  The thought occurs about living in a house like this one and how  neat that would be.

Maybe if it was in Athens which is one of the most charming towns in Georgia but Bogart is a little remote for me.  But I do like those Southern Style homes and wouldn’t mind living in one.

wedding day

Actually, it is called The Thompson House and Gardens and here is a better picture.

Bogart house



Retirement States Gain in 2010 Census

The states gained the largest population in the 2010 census are the same states that have been the best retirement states.

Retirement States Gain in Population

Some of the results of the 2010 Census was released today and one thing I noticed is the the best retirement states are the ones to gain in population.  So job transfers is not the driver these days, it’s gain from those retirees moving to a new retirement destination.

Overall the US population grew 9.7% in the last ten years.  That is down from a 13.2% gain in the previous 2000 census, but still a respectable gain.  By region the biggest gainers in population are the South at 14.3% and the Southwest at 13.8%.  By comparison the gain in the Northeast was only 3. 2%.

By state Arizona had 24.6%, Nevada 35.1%, Georgia 17.3%, Florida 17.6%,  South Carolina 15.3% gain in population the last 10 years.  These also happen to be the states that are popular retirement destinations.  Some have speculated that people are not moving for retirement anymore, however these numbers do not bear that out.



Georgia: The Village at Deaton Creek

Just an update to the post we did about Village at Deaton Creek way back in 2007. It is now 2014 and the community is nearing completion at 1100 homes within the next six months or so. The board of directors is starting to include residents. The community is firmly established with over 100+ clubs and groups. New homes for still being built but not for much longer. It is one of the most successful 55+ communities in the Atlanta area.

Original Post

Mary Ann and I visited the Del Webb active adult community The Village at Deaton Creek this week and were very impressed with the new activity center which opened last week and the model homes. The Village at Deanton Creek is located north east of Atlanta. For locals it is up I-85 on the exit for Chateau Elan and Road Atlanta.  This whole area has become a great area for active adults.

The activity center is a good name because club house does not do justice to this 35,000 square foot building.  It is the largest of its kind in Georgia. All the features and activities reminded us of being on a cruise. The lifestyle director gave us a tour.  We were not ready or expecting such a wonderful facility. It has everything.  The communities marketing material has this say: This active adult oasis, known as The Club at Deaton Creek,” has been specifically designed to enhance and expand the active lifestyle for our current and future residents.” They are not exaggerating.  This is one of the most appealing 55+ communities in Georgia, no doubt about it.

The entrance is grand and has a registration/service desk and lounging area like a lodge you would see out West maybe in Yellowstone or Montana. Soaring ceilings and wall of glass to the back overlooking the terrace and the river.

The Grand Ballroom is huge and could be separated by rooms but I could see a community gathering for a dance or party taking place here. At one end a group of about 30 residents were playing bridge when we attended. At the other end of this large ballroom was a professional cooking demo room, like you would see at Whole Foods.

The crafts room was actually two colorful rooms and had facilities for ceramic making including a kiln. Also a library/Wall Street Room with wireless Internet access.

The fitness area was huge, again set up like on a cruise ship only much bigger.  Nautilus equipment arranged to look out through the walls of glass. Flat screen TVs and plug ins for music and video.  At the end of the building was a Junior Olympics size indoor heated pool. Adjoining locker and changing rooms were beautiful.

Outdoors there are upper and lower terraces just outside and part of the activity center overlooking the natural area and river.  Seating groups of wicker were arranged. Good place to sit with friends or by yourself to read a book. This area reminded us of a lodge we stayed at last year in Alaska. Oh, at the end is a huge outdoor swimming pool.

We did a home made video if you would like to take a look. This is our first video so please overlook the technical part but I think it will give you a good feel for the activity center.

With this community, you get both the advantages of a an active adult community and also small town living, even though it is part of metro Atlanta GA.

Robert and Mary Ann
SmallTownRetirement.com

Also Two Interesting Small Towns in Georgia with Retirement Communities