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Retire in Dillard, Georgia?
Overview: About two hours north of Atlanta along Highway 23, the little Blue Ridge Mountain town of Dillard makes its home. It started out in the early-1800s and has grown by 65% within the last decade or two.
Dillard is primarly known for the Dillard House Inn, a family-owned, stone lodge, restaurant and conference center. People come from around the region to stay at the Inn, giving Dillard a vitality not always found in small towns. Two other well-regarded inns have a Dillard address, too. Atlanta weekenders come up to revel in the natural beauty of the area and enjoy rafting, fishing and camping in spectacular Black Rock Mountain State Park and hiking along the nearby Appalachian Trail. Tourists also arrive to shop in nearly a dozen "downtown" antique stores. Locals pick up supplies at the flea market, general store and country store.
The Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences is a private retreat that offers public lectures and ceramic exhibitions. The North Georgia Community Players, a theater group, perform regularly. Cabins, A-frames, ranch ramblers, farm houses and more are tucked in the woods. Many have stunning mountain vistas.
Population: 400 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 53%
Cost of Living: 7% below the national average
Median Home Price: $165,000
Climate: Summers temperatures are in the 70s and 80s, and winter temperatures are in the 20s, 30s and 40s. On average, the area receives 65 inches of rain and a dusting of snow each year. The elevation is 2,135 feet above sea level.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Highlands-Cashiers Hospital, 13 miles away, accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Highlands-Cashiers Hospital, 13 miles away, is accredited by the Joint Commission.
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: No
Political Leanings: Very conservative
Is Georgia Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Notes: The Dillard House Inn's restaurant is renowned for its Southern cooking menu. A new hospital, Mountain Lakes Medical Center, recently opened in Clayton, six miles away. Clayton also has a library. Dillard has some racial diversity and has grown by 85% within the last decade.
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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