The secret is out: Alabama is a terrific place to retire. It has a climate that is similar, if not better, than neighboring Florida, but much lower prices for purchasing a home on the beach, not to mention a lower cost of living index and taxes. Here are four benefits to retiring in Alabama today.
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- Easy on the Eyes - Whether you crave white sand and blue water or historic small towns, Alabama is a pretty place to retire. If you just want to eat fresh seafood and sip boat drinks by the dock, then head to Gulf Shores, which is probably the best beach retirement bet in the state. However, if you prefer arts and culture to sand and sea, then head inland to charming small towns like Auburn, famous for its football, or bohemian Fairhope, which is chock full of galleries.
- Low Cost of Living - Another benefit to retiring in Alabama is how affordable it is from a cost of living perspective. Not only are you paying less in taxes than in most other states, but the cost of products – from housing to dining to golf – also tends to be lower in Alabama than in other parts of the country. For instance, should you choose to settle down in Decatur, in northern Alabama, for your golden years, you can expect to pay 10.8 percent less than the national average to live, according to CBS News.
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- No More Freezing Winters - If you've suffered through decades of snow shoveling and freezing winter temperatures, Alabama's mild climate is another benefit of retiring here. While summers can definitely get hot and humid, and threats of hurricanes do exist, they tend to not be unbearable or as sticky as those in neighboring retirement powerhouse Florida, and winters are hardly ever super harsh – daytime highs along the coast tend to average in the 60s in January and lows rarely dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Taxes are Not Prohibitive - Retirees in Alabama are also seduced by the state's low tax rate. Although there is an income tax, it is one of the lowest in the country at just 5 percent. Additionally, those people age 65 and older don't pay Social Security or pension income taxes. Finally after the retiree's death, family members are not charged a fortune in additional state estate and inheritance taxes beyond the maximum allowed by the federal government.
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