Barry said. “For people over age 62, they exempt $35,000 a year
in passive income from taxes, that’s $70,000 for a couple, and
there is no estate tax.” Carol chimed in, “With the community
offered three-day discovery package, it was so easy to visit and
experience the island. It’s like camp for adults—our schedule is
always full. But what we love most are the enduring friendships
that we have made here.”
Chris and Mary Ellen Williams, five year Landings residents
originally from Rochester, NY, and Hong Kong, added about
nearby Savannah, “We love its rich history and ambiance.”
Savannah has the largest, restored historic district on the
U.S. east coast. “We only wanted to live in one place, where
there was no snow,” Mary Ellen said.
While visiting friends on Hilton Head Island, SC, 30 min-
utes north, they discovered The Landings. “We drove onto the
island through its canopy of oak trees and lush, semi-tropical
vegetation and fell in love.”
They rented a Hilton Head home until the new home was
finished in 2005. “We love that there are young families with
kids, as well as 95-year olds who still come out and play bridge.
We found there were many couples here just like us, who are
now our best friends,” Mary Ellen said. “What we love to do
together the most is walk on the 40 miles of walking and bik-
ing trails.” Chris added, “The trails can be enjoyed year-round.
Paths wind through peaceful and quiet marsh land.”
They joined NN and now love greeting newcomers as resi-
dents. Chris pointed out that there are two major hospitals
only 15 minutes away, and that was also a key in their selection
criteria. Mary Ellen is very involved as a volunteer and helps
raise funds for the Backus 100—a foundation largely supported
by Landings residents—which supports the children’s wing at
nearby Memorial Hospital.
According to Chris, “Economic diversity was important too.
We were looking for an area that was not retiree dependent.
Gulfstream, the private jet maker, is expanding manufacturing
and has added over 1,000 jobs. Mitsubishi and the Port’s Au-
thority are growing too. The Savannah College of Art & Design,
with over 9,000 students, hosts many of the area festivals and is
a driving force for historic renovation. The area infrastructure is
a good value, but the cost of living and taxes are very reasonable.
We’re accessible to Interstates 95 and 16, and we have many
Where do they vacation? Mary Ellen said, “We have three
married sons in Boston, Chicago and New York City, who we
visit, but we vacation right here at home.”
Bob and Allison Smith had lived all around the nation, (NY,
CA, NJ, IL, VA, MD & VT) before settling in 2007 at The Landings.
They came to the area looking at another planned community
and discovered Skidaway. “We became enchanted by the island;
people were extraordinarily friendly.”
While he is a golfer, she is not. “I wanted a place that had a lot
to do that had nothing to do with golf,” Allison said. “There are so
many (over 100 social clubs) organizations, a community garden
and so much more.” Like the Williams, walking trails are what
they love most. “You can walk forever and the wildlife is captivating,” Allison said. “When guests visit, there is so much to do.”