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Retire in Watkinsville, Georgia
Overview: Quiet and comfortable, Watkinsville is in northwestern Georgia, just south of Athens, the University of Georgia and is next door to a University of North Georgia satellite campus. The town, which dates from 1802, is the Oconee County seat and the center of county life.
The well kept downtown includes a farmers' market, antique stores and galleries, and its popular First Fridays are a family affair. Ashford Manor, a sumptuous Victorian home, hosts a summer concert series, and Eagle Tavern, the town's oldest building, houses a museum that highlights the area's frontier past. The Oconee Cultural Art Foundation sponsors exhibits and events, and its workshops range from bagpipes and blacksmithing to pottery and writing. The town's Heritage Park has a feeder barn and show arena, and the lush Georgia Nature Center sits on 100 acres of rolling hills. Its walking paths run through meadows and hardwood forests. Scull Shoals Mill Village is part of the nearby Oconee National Forest, which has campgrounds, trails, and a man-made lake.
Neighborhoods are leafy, and home styles include brick traditional, Craftsman, Colonial, ranch rambler and more.
Population: 3,000 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 31%
Cost of Living: 10% above the national average
Median Home Price: $245,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 30s, 40s and 50s. On average, the area receives 49 inches of rain and a dusting of snow each year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Athens, six miles away, has a hospital that accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Athens, six miles away, has a hospital that is accredited.
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Well below the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Very, very conservative
Is Georgia Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The tornado risk is 85% higher than the national average.
Notes: Watkinsville has grown by 80% in the last decade or two. Racial diversity is minimal. Residents are educated.
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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