Columnist: The best place to retire

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 5, 2015

Jerry Johnson

Contributing columnist

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has picked 10 great places to retire. I am picking LaGrange, Georgia, as number 11. But here are Kiplinger’s top 10 picks:

1. Sarasota, Florida: Population – 53,326; Median home price – $218,000

2. Charlotte, North Carolina: Population – 792,862; Median home price – $193,000

3. Winchester, Virginia: Population – 27,543; Median home price – $192,000

4. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Population – 107,289; Median home price – $643,000

5. Columbia, Missouri: Population – 115,276; Median home price – $112,000

6. Rochester, Montana: Population – 110,742; Median home price – $174,000

7. Santa Fe, New Mexico: Population – 69,976; Median home price – $244,000

8. Salt Lake City, Utah: Population – 191,180; Median home price – $226,000

9. Carlsbad, California: Population – 110,972; Median home price – $662,000

10. Portland, Oregon: Population – 609,456; Median home price – $312,000

Now we jump to my vote, LaGrange, Georgia. The population is about 68,300 (countywide). The median home price is $125,000 and the average sales price is $135,289.

We have four real seasons here, are within five hours’ driving time to the ocean and three hours’ drive time to the mountains. We have Lake West Point — 26,000 acres — one of the better fishing lakes in the South. We have some of the finest golf courses just 18 miles away at Callaway Gardens.

Yes, I think we need to say LaGrange is a retirement paradise that is one of the greatest values in the world. LaGrange is only 54 miles from the Atlanta Airport. We also have great people and great medical doctors here. This is a great place to live and retire.

• • •

Write down your goals

“Where there is no vision, the people perish …” Proverbs 29:18.

This is true at your home, school, church or your job. Do you have your goals in writing?

This is the most important thing: write your goal down. Have sight of what you want to do in life.

I have a friend named John. Last November, he got very serious about his health. He has lost 82 pounds so far.

He has it written down in his goals, has an app on his phone so that he knows what he eats, his calorie count and how far he walked. He has a vision of being at 192 pounds for his granddaughter’s wedding in a few weeks.

He had a time limit, an exact amount and a burning desire to do it. It has not been easy, but he keeps his goals in front of him and he will do it. I dare you to write your goals down and share your story with me.

Enjoy the moment, my friends. I am proud of my friend and I will be proud of you and your goals.

“Dreams are wishes that seldom happen.” — Dave Ramsey

Jerry Johnson is president of First Realty of LaGrange.