Retirees find a home in South Ga. - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Retirees find a home in South Ga.

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July 18, 2005

Valdosta - The Valdosta-Lowndes, Brooks County, and Lanier County Chamber of Commerce's have joined forces to attract more retirees to South Georgia. Their efforts are proving to be a big success.

Bill and Sandy Prentiss moved to Valdosta seven months ago, and couldn't be happier. "We love it, we have everything we like to do here," said Bill.

They initially retired in Tampa, but soon realized it wasn't where they wanted to spend the rest of their lives. That's when they were lured to Valdosta by the Triple Crown Hometown program. "It was one of the best packages we got and we solicited a number of packages from different communities, we were really impressed with it," said Bill.

The program has a simple mission. "To promote retirement living in South Georgia," said Allan Dear.

They've recruited 50 families to the Lowndes County area, created dozens of new jobs, and pumped millions of dollars into the local economy. "We believe each family brings in a positive asset value of over a half million dollars each," said Dear.

Allan Dear chairs the Triple Crown Hometown Committee. He says because of our geographic location and our affordable cost of living, it's not hard to promote this area as the perfect place to retire. "You can get to either coast from here in about two hours, our taxes are lower than the national average, and our homes are reasonable," said Dear.

For the Prentisses, it was an easy decision. "Everybody's just so welcoming and it feels like home immediately," said Prentiss.

And because they love it so much, they've convinced several friends to move here too.

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