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 Florence don’t mind us spreading the word. Here are our top ten places in the Heart of Dixie to retire:
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 Florence, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.
Population: 39,738Cost Of Living: 87
Distance to Closest Airport: 101 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,222
Florence ranked 1 overall thanks to its 17 place rank for cost of living and 20 place safety rank.
Population: 30,978Cost Of Living: 89
Distance to Closest Airport: 24 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,162
Alabaster ranked 2 overall thanks to its 23 place rank for cost of living and 5 place safety rank.
Population: 22,983Cost Of Living: 93
Distance to Closest Airport: 134 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,253
Daphne ranked 3 overall thanks to its 34 place rank for cost of living and 6 place safety rank.
Population: 82,849Cost Of Living: 105
Distance to Closest Airport: 13 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,842
Hoover ranked 4 overall thanks to its 45 place rank for cost of living and 9 place safety rank.
Population: 194,942Cost Of Living: 81
Distance to Closest Airport: 136 miles
Crime Per 100k: 6,715
Mobile ranked 5 overall thanks to its 4 place rank for cost of living and 41 place safety rank.
Population: 15,956Cost Of Living: 83
Distance to Closest Airport: 18 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,985
Hueytown ranked 6 overall thanks to its 9 place rank for cost of living and 18 place safety rank.
Population: 211,705Cost Of Living: 78
Distance to Closest Airport: 3 miles
Crime Per 100k: 8,170
Birmingham ranked 7 overall thanks to its 1 place rank for cost of living and 44 place safety rank.
Population: 10,096Cost Of Living: 83
Distance to Closest Airport: 122 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,506
Atmore ranked 8 overall thanks to its 9 place rank for cost of living and 12 place safety rank.
Population: 21,363Cost Of Living: 81
Distance to Closest Airport: 57 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,646
Albertville ranked 9 overall thanks to its 4 place rank for cost of living and 13 place safety rank.
Population: 16,752Cost Of Living: 91
Distance to Closest Airport: 20 miles
Crime Per 100k: 967
Helena ranked 10 overall thanks to its 31 place rank for cost of living and 1 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 Florence.
If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:
- Muscle Shoals
For more Alabama reading , check out:
- A Hilarious List Of Things Alabama Residents Google Most Often
- A Hilarious Look At The 10 Most Redneck Cities In Alabama
- These Are The 10 Most Redneck Cities In Alabama
Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Alabama