Retire in Athens


Find out how much it costs to live in Athens.

Cost of Living

With low state sales taxes, no social security taxes, no pensions taxes for those over 62, and very low state income taxes, it's no surprise Georgia is rated by Kiplinger as "Most Tax Friendly" for retirees. While Athens' cost of living index is right in line with the country average, the county sales taxes are quite high at 3%.

Kiplinger Rating:

Most Tax Friendly

State Income Tax:


Social Security Tax?


County + State Sales Tax


Property Tax Rate *


Property Tax Ranking (County Property Tax rank out of 2,773, higher rank=lower rate) *


* 2008-2010

Cost of Living Index (100=average):


Housing + transportation costs as % of income:


Tax Details

State Sales Tax Breaks for Seniors:


Pensions Taxed?

None (Over 62 years old)

Tax burden: % income going to state and local taxes:


Inheritance and estate taxes (per Kiplinger):


Taxing of other retirement income (per Kiplinger):

None (Over 62 years old)

Property Tax Break for Seniors (per Kiplinger):

For homeowners 62 and older who earn $10,000 or less, up to $10,000 of their property's assessed value is exempt from school taxes. People 62 or older whose family income does not exceed $30,000 may qualify for an exemption from state and county property taxes equal to the amount by which the assessed value of the home exceeds the assessed value for the preceding tax year. Individuals age 65 and older can claim an exemption from all state property taxes on their home and up to ten acres of land surrounding the home. For those 65 and older who earn $10,000 or less, $4,000 of their property's value is exempt from state and county taxes as well. Many counties offer homestead exemptions that are more beneficial to the taxpayer than the exemptions offered by the state. The homestead exemption is deducted from the assessed value (40% of the fair market value) of the home.


For more detailed tax information from Kiplinger, visit

Real Estate

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Work Potential

Employment growth and GDP growth in Athens have certainly failed to keep pace with the US average recently. However, that doesn't mean there aren't opportunities, especially for those seeking part-time work: roughly 2/3 of those employed 65+ have part-time jobs. Most of the work is likely provided by the University of Georgia, the local government or two of the local hospitals that make up the largest employers.

  • Area
  • National Average

5 Largest Companies

  • University of Georgia
  • Athens Regional Medical Center
  • Athens-Clarke County
  • Pilgrim's
  • St. Mary's Health Care System

GDP Growth Last 3 Years


Income Growth Last 3 Years


Employment Growth Last 3 Years


Top Industries Hiring

  • Accommodation and food services
  • State government
  • Wholesale trade
  • Finance and insurance
  • Healthcare and social assistance

Breakdown Fulltime vs Part Time over 65 (%)

  • Part Time over 65
  • Full Time Over 65

Occupation Breakdown (%)

  • Management, Business, Science & Arts (MBSA)
  • Natural Resources, Contruction & Maintenance (NRCM)
  • Production, Transportation, Materials & Moving (PTMM)
  • Sales & Office (S&O)
  • Service

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