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Retire in Dawsonville, Georgia?
Overview: Dawsonville, leafy and welcoming, is just 55 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta. The North Georgia mountains loom in the distance.
Tourists come for factory outlet shopping at the attractive North Georgia Premium Outlets. The downtown is small but is the site of the annual Mountain Moonshine Festival, which features live entertainment, lots of homestyle food and displays of old moonshine hauling cars. Dawsonville's affection for NASCAR automobile racing, which grew up around the early Dawson County moonshine industry, is well known and documented with City Hall's racing museum. More of Dawsonville's past is on display in such structures as the old courthouse and jailhouse, both listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Bowen Center for the Arts has a variety of art classes and theater workshops available to the public.
Restaurants include national chains (Applebee's, Ruby Tuesday, etc.) and locally owned diners and steak houses. New subdivisions and master-planned communities boast sleek Craftsmans, four squares, raised ranch ramblers, plantation styles, Cape Cods and more. Outdoor recreation, including hiking, canoeing and fishing, is bountiful in this area, with 38,000-acre Lake Lanier within 45 minutes and beautiful Amicalola Falls State Park just 15 minutes outside of town.
Population: 2,600 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 33%
Cost of Living: Meets the national average
Median Home Price: $225,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 70s and 80s, and winter temperatures are in the 20s, 30s and 40s. On average, the area receives 58 inches of rain and a dusting of snow each year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Dahlonega, 12 miles away, has a hospital that accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Dahlonega, 12 miles away, has a hospital that is accredited.
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: This might be the most conservative town in the United States. Just 12% of people are registered as Democrats.
Is Georgia Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The tornado risk is 120% higher than the national average.
Notes: Racial diversity is minimal. Georgia Highway 400 is 18 miles south of town and provides direct, although sometimes congested, access to Atlanta. Dawsonville has grown by nearly 500% within the last two decades.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
The Peach State ratified the Constitution on January 2, 1788, becoming the fourth state to enter the Union. By the mid-19th century, Georgia was rich in plantations and deeply dependent on the slave economy. During the Civil War, General Sherman captured Atlanta and set about destroying much of the state's plantation culture.
The largest state east of the Mississippi River, Georgia has five major geographical regions that descend from the Appalachian Mountains in the north down to the Okefenokee Swamp in the southeast. The climate is surprisingly uniform. Most of the state experiences a mild winter and a hot summer.
Although Georgia is the nation's number one producer of peaches, peanuts, and pecans, agriculture is not its major employer. Trade, service industries, textile manufacturing, and federal organizations like the CDC and Fort Benning supply a larger number of jobs.
Georgia was the first state to lower the voting age to 18. Its Wesleyan College was the first chartered college in the world to grant degrees to women.
Population - 10,310,371
Persons 65 years old and over - 13%
High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 85%
Bachelor's degree or higher, persons age 25+ - 29%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 9%
White persons, not Hispanic - 53%
Median household income - $49,620
Median home value - $148,100
Social Security taxed? No
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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