Alabama is one of the hottest retirement spots in America right now thanks to a number of integral factors. Included in the reasons why Baby Boomers are flocking to the "Heart of Dixie" for their golden years are low taxes, warm weather and some fantastic beaches and charming towns. Here are five things to know about retiring in Alabama.
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- Gorgeous Beaches - With 60 miles of coastline, Alabama has some fabulous white sand beaches. If you've always dreamed of retiring by the sea, try Gulf Shores or Orange Beach. "Our beaches are as beautiful as you'll find barring maybe the Caribbean," Fergus Tuohy, an Ameriprise Financial advisor based in Birmingham, told MarketWatch. "It's not like in south Florida where it's sweltering most of the time."
- Charming Towns - In addition to its inviting beaches, Alabama also has some charming country towns that make perfect retirement communities. One such community is Decatur, which CBS News ranked as one of the best cities in the United States to retire in a recent report, citing a gorgeous setting by the Tennessee River and Wheeler Lake, a historic district dating back to the Victorian era with some of the best nursing home care in the country. Other top contenders for charming small towns to retire in include Auburn, Eufaula, and Fairhope.
- Mild Climate - Alabama features a mild climate year-round. Summers can be hot and humid, but usually not as bad as in parts of Florida, and winters are rarely harsh. In the coastal city of Mobile, for instance, the average daytime high in January is 61 degrees Fahrenheit and the low is 40 F.
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- Low Taxes - Although Alabama, unlike neighboring Florida, does impose an income tax, it is one of the lowest rates in the country, capped at just 5 percent. For retirees, Social Security and pension income is tax exempt. Alabama also does not impose additional estate or inheritance taxes on top of what is charged by the federal government. Property taxes are also restricted for people age 65 or older.
- Very Affordable - The low tax burden along with a low cost of living index also makes Alabama one of the most affordable states to retire in, meaning you'll get way more for your dollar if you are on a fixed income. Housing prices tend to be lower here than in other states, and even the cost of golf is less.
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