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Tybee Island, Georgia
Idyllic Tybee Island is a Casual Vacation Destination with an Iconic Lighthouse and Dramatic Sand Dunes
Overview: Both a barrier island and a beach town, Georgia's Tybee Island, referred to as Savannah Beach by the locals, is an idyllic, casual vacation destination. It is the easternmost point in Georgia, with the historic city of Savannah only 20 minutes away.
The town's iconic lighthouse, long fishing pier, wide beach and dramatic sand dunes create a classic coastal Georgia tableau. Local history spans more than 400 years, and the island's neighborhoods feature established estates, modern bungalows and ancient trees draped with sphagnum moss. Residents enjoy art groups, boutique galleries, a community theater, some very good seafood restaurants and a variety of local events, including a beach bum parade and an annual wine festival. The island lives in harmony with its sea creature neighbors, including whales, sea turtles and porpoises, and with its colorful bird species. Fishing, biking, kayaking and beachcombing are popular activities. Shopping is limited, but there are some specialty shops, a department store and a grocery store.
Population: 3,200 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 55%
Cost of Living: 25% above the national average
Median Home Price: $460,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 70s, 80s and 90s with high humidity. Winter temperatures are usually in the 50s and 60s. On average, the area receives 43 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, about 15 miles away, accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, about 15 miles away, is accredited.
Public Transit: A shuttle runs to and from the Savannah Visitor Center to Tybee Island's North Beach.
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Liberal
College Educated: 51%
Is Georgia Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The island is completely exposed and vulnerable to hurricanes. In fact, Hurricane Dorian in 2019 brought heavy winds but little flooding.
Notes: Tourists descend in the summer, and much of the island closes in the winter. There are enough service providers (accountants, dentists, etc.) to cover most needs, but residents also go into Savannah for shopping, etc. The population has grown by 2% within the last decade. According to locals, visiting Bonaventure Cemetery on a foggy day is a nearly mystical experience.
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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