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Retire in Pine Mountain, Georgia?
Known for most of its history as Chipley, little Pine Mountain changed its name in the 1960s to reflect its proximity to the mountain of the same name. Situated in the southern Appalachians foothills of west central Georgia, the town is about an hour southwest of Atlanta.
The downtown is cute and slightly touristy with red brick sidewalks and locally owned, awning-draped antique stores, groceries, eateries, craft shops and more. Callaway Gardens, a beautiful 6,500-acre wooded resort with exquisite gardens, a butterfly center, lakes and several golf courses, is just outside of town, attracting 750,000 visitors every year. FDR's Little White House and sprawling 9,000-acre F.D. Roosevelt State Park, which is Georgia's largest state park, are also nearby. The state park's extensive trail system wanders through stands of hardwoods and longleaf pine, providing plenty of opportunities to connect with nature. The nearby Wild Animal Safari is a drive-through safari with 65 species of exotic animals.
Neighborhoods have a country quality with wooded lots, and most homes are ranch ramblers or bi-levels. Some larger properties are made from brick.
Population: 1,500 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 38%
Cost of Living: 22% below the national average
Median Home Price: $255,000
Climate: Summer temperatures reach the upper 80s and low-90s. Winter temperatures are in the 30s, 40s and 50s. The area receives 50 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but West Georgia Medical Center, 16 miles away, accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited By Joint Commission? No, but West Georgia Medical Center, 16 miles away, is accredited.
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: No
Political Leanings: Very conservative
College Educated: 20%
Is Georgia Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The poverty rate is above the national average.
Notes: Areas that cater to tourists are quite nice, but some other areas are a little more "backwoods." Pine Mountain has grown by 22% during the last decade, and home prices have increased 14% since last year. The elevation is 925 feet above sea level.
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.
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