These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Alabama


We analyzed over 48 places in Alabama to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

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When most people think of calling it quits on a career, they immediately think of a move to Florida.

But not everyone wants to spend their golden years in Florida; some of us want to stay close to friends and family and within the great state of Alabama.

But where exactly in Alabama? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.

To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Alabama that are safe, affordable, and have plenty of things to keep you busy well into retirement.

What did we find after pouring through all the data? Let’s just say we hope folks in Birmingham don’t mind us spreading the word.

Here are our top ten places in the Heart of Dixie to retire:

  1. Birmingham (Photos)
  2. Alabaster (Photos)
  3. Vestavia Hills (Photos)
  4. Irondale (Photos)
  5. Hueytown
  6. Hoover (Photos)
  7. Albertville (Photos)
  8. Helena (Photos)
  9. Moody
  10. Homewood (Photos)

Why did Birmingham take the top spot? And where are Birmingham and Montgomery?

Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details. Or check out the purely worst and best places to live in Alabama.

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How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Heart of Dixie

To create our list of the best places in Alabama to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Heart of Dixie with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.

This left us with 48 places from across the state.

For these 48, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • Low cost of living
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (As measured by population density)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport

We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 48, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Birmingham, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.

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1. Birmingham

Birmingham, Alabama

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 212,424
Cost Of Living: 78
Distance to Closest Airport: 3 miles
Crime Per 100k: 8,143
Birmingham ranked 1st overall thanks to it’s 1st place rank for cost of living and it’s 44th place safety rank.

2. Alabaster

Alabaster, Alabama

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 32,269
Cost Of Living: 89
Distance to Closest Airport: 24 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,076
Alabaster ranked 2nd overall thanks to it’s 23rd place rank for cost of living and it’s 5th place safety rank.

3. Vestavia Hills

Vestavia Hills, Alabama

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 34,243
Cost Of Living: 114
Distance to Closest Airport: 6 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,395
Vestavia Hills ranked 3rd overall thanks to it’s 48th place rank for cost of living and it’s 2nd place safety rank.

4. Irondale

Irondale, Alabama

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 12,388
Cost Of Living: 85
Distance to Closest Airport: 5 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,721
Irondale ranked 4th overall thanks to it’s 14th place rank for cost of living and it’s 15th place safety rank.

5. Hueytown


Population: 15,797
Cost Of Living: 83
Distance to Closest Airport: 18 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,026
Hueytown ranked 5th overall thanks to it’s 9th place rank for cost of living and it’s 18th place safety rank.

6. Hoover

Hoover, Alabama

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 84,100
Cost Of Living: 105
Distance to Closest Airport: 13 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,800
Hoover ranked 6th overall thanks to it’s 45th place rank for cost of living and it’s 9th place safety rank.

7. Albertville

Albertville, Alabama

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 21,434
Cost Of Living: 81
Distance to Closest Airport: 57 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,634
Albertville ranked 7th overall thanks to it’s 4th place rank for cost of living and it’s 14th place safety rank.

8. Helena

Helena, Alabama

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 17,630
Cost Of Living: 91
Distance to Closest Airport: 20 miles
Crime Per 100k: 918
Helena ranked 8th overall thanks to it’s 31st place rank for cost of living and it’s 1st place safety rank.

9. Moody


Population: 12,464
Cost Of Living: 87
Distance to Closest Airport: 15 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,893
Moody ranked 9th overall thanks to it’s 17th place rank for cost of living and it’s 3rd place safety rank.

10. Homewood

Homewood, Alabama

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 25,652
Cost Of Living: 107
Distance to Closest Airport: 7 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,292
Homewood ranked 10th overall thanks to it’s 46th place rank for cost of living and it’s 22nd place safety rank.

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Alabama goes to Birmingham.

If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:

  • Opelika
  • Troy
  • Eufaula

For more Alabama reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Alabama

City Rank Population Cost Of Living Distane To Airport Crimes per 100k
Birmingham 1 212,424 78 3 8,143
Alabaster 2 32,269 89 24 2,076
Vestavia Hills 3 34,243 114 6 1,395
Irondale 4 12,388 85 5 3,721
Hueytown 5 15,797 83 18 4,026
Hoover 6 84,100 105 13 2,800
Albertville 7 21,434 81 57 3,634
Helena 8 17,630 91 20 918
Moody 9 12,464 87 15 1,893
Homewood 10 25,652 107 7 4,292
Florence 11 39,938 87 101 4,201
Hartselle 12 14,475 90 61 2,411
Gardendale 13 13,750 88 8 4,298
Pelham 14 22,596 91 16 1,916
Jacksonville 15 12,827 90 59 4,108
Leeds 16 11,701 83 10 4,982
Madison 17 46,396 98 79 2,355
Gadsden 18 36,235 80 52 8,731
Tuscaloosa 19 96,352 95 50 4,778
Selma 20 19,650 82 80 11,908
Talladega 21 15,793 82 38 7,326
Cullman 22 15,156 89 42 4,631
Daphne 23 24,295 93 134 2,132
Decatur 24 55,419 90 71 4,624
Northport 25 24,544 99 52 4,408
Oxford 26 21,202 86 50 5,249
Prattville 27 35,107 95 77 3,859
Mobile 28 193,717 81 136 6,757
Montgomery 29 201,717 89 88 4,992
Enterprise 30 28,025 96 77 3,778
Millbrook 31 15,045 92 76 5,004
Sylacauga 32 12,696 89 38 6,340
Atmore 33 10,067 83 122 3,516
Fairhope 34 17,996 104 132 3,434
Prichard 35 22,340 78 137 7,350
Saraland 36 13,778 83 140 4,144
Auburn 37 60,318 110 93 2,951
Athens 38 24,461 94 84 3,094
Jasper 39 14,137 88 35 8,707
Anniston 40 22,441 84 54 10,012
Scottsboro 41 14,748 87 84 4,481
Muscle Shoals 42 13,585 90 95 6,117
Huntsville 43 188,973 97 78 5,624
Ozark 44 14,721 84 85 6,568
Foley 45 16,741 90 118 4,981
Eufaula 46 12,688 89 121 4,342
Troy 47 18,944 95 111 5,637
Opelika 48 29,030 96 86 6,234

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