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5 Drawbacks of Retiring in Alabama

By    |   Saturday, 30 May 2015 11:38 AM

Alabama can be a fantastic state to retire in – it has mild weather year round, beautiful beaches and a low cost of living index. However, before you pack up and move to Alabama, there are also some drawbacks to retirement here. From hurricanes to poverty to lack of healthcare in rural areas, here is what you need to consider before retiring in The Yellowhammer State.

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  1. Hurricanes are a Reality - With some 60 miles of coastline, Alabama does get hit by hurricanes. In fact, between 1997 and 2005 alone, there were seven major hurricanes that impacted the area around Mobile. This included Hurricane Ivan, which made landfall near Gulf Shores in September 2004, and did significant damage, along with the Gulf Coast's most destructive storm, Hurricane Katrina, in August 2005.
  2. State Income Tax - If you plan to work for a while before retiring completely, Alabama does have a state income tax unlike some neighboring states. However, the income tax rate is quite low compared to other parts of the country.
  3. Crime and Poverty - While Alabama has a low cost-of-living index, when it comes to other components that make up quality of life, it doesn't come out as well. Poverty is one example. According to the United States Census Bureau, 17.1 percent of Alabama residents live in poverty compared to an average of 13.8 percent nationally. Bankrate, which ranked the best and worst states to retire in 2015, rated Alabama as one of the 15 worst places to retire. The state's low ranking came from high scores in the areas of poverty, crime and access to healthcare.
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  5. Healthcare Issues - Although the larger cities have decent healthcare facilities, retirees living in outlying areas are much more limited in their access to doctors. "There are just 178 physicians per 100,000 people in Alabama, compared to 221 in the U.S. as a whole." MarketWatch reported.
  6. Living Near the Beach is Still Pricey - While buying a home in Gulf Shores, Alabama's premier beach community, will cost less than it does in say Palm Beach in Florida, it is still more expensive than retiring in other parts of Alabama. MarketWatch reported that the cost of living in Gulf Shores is 11.2 percent higher than in other parts of the state, which might make beachfront property inaccessible to some retirees on a fixed income.
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Alabama can be a fantastic state to retire in - it has mild weather year round, beautiful beaches and a low cost of living index. However, before you pack up and move to Alabama, there are also some drawbacks to retirement here.
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2015-38-30
Saturday, 30 May 2015 11:38 AM
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