Its warm weather and rich culture make retiring in Alabama one of the best-kept secrets of retirement options. From delicious food to beautiful museums, there is no shortage of exciting attractions for retirees to enjoy. But some of the best parts about Alabama are the things you never knew. If you’re still not sure about where you want to live after you retire, take a look at some of the hidden gems of retiring in Alabama!

Small Town Beauty

When you think of Alabama, cities like Birmingham and Montgomery probably come to mind—but when you retire in Alabama, it’s not all about city life. Instead, you’ll get to enjoy the beauty of some of the state’s most charming towns. Decatur is just one example of these towns, and there are all kinds of historical landmarks and parks for you to explore. The Old Decatur Historic District features lovely Victorian-era homes that will transport you to another world. In fact, some of the houses pre-date the Civil War, which means they have a lot of history to share.

If you’re a nature-lover, Decatur is home to the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge, a 35,000-acre nature preserve that is perfect for a day of sightseeing and animal-watching. Established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938, the refuge was originally designed as a place for migratory birds to live and breed during the winter months—but it has since expanded into a home for hundreds of different fish, reptiles, and mammals.

You might like visiting the well-known cities and seeing all the popular historical landmarks in Alabama—but if you’re looking for some hidden gems, all you have to do is find a local small town on the map and see what it has to offer!

Uncommon Museums & Landmarks

When you host visitors—or even when you just want some entertainment for the weekend—it makes sense to go to a local art museum or theater. But Alabama is home to some of the most unique museums and attractions, which means you have plenty of activities to choose from to stay busy. For example, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, located in Huntsville, takes you on an adventure through the history of space travel. It’s even home to the Space Camp Hall of Fame. With constantly changing exhibits, you’ll be able to enjoy something new every time you visit.

Another unique Alabama tourism site can be found in Fairhope, Alabama—one of the aforementioned small towns you can visit when you don’t want to be overwhelmed by city life. Tolstoy Park, the home of a man known as the “Hermit of Montrose,” is a small hut only 14 feet in diameter. In the middle of a parking lot surrounded by office buildings, you can find this hermit’s home—and see it for yourself.

Cost-of-Living Perks

Although many people think of Florida as the ideal state to retire in for tax benefits, Alabama offers some very similar advantages—especially since it’s a cheaper place to live. Although Alabama does have an income tax, it’s one of the lowest in the country, and Social Security benefits are completely exempt. Additionally, the cost of living in Alabama is 13% below the national average, which means the financial benefits of retiring to Alabama might even outweigh the financial benefits of retiring to Florida. Healthcare costs are lower in this state too, with retired couples paying an average of 4.4% less than the average retired American couple.

Finances are a crucial aspect of your retirement, and you want to live in a state where you can get the most for your money without having to sacrifice too much of your comfort. Thanks to the tax-friendly advantages you never knew about in Alabama, you can get all the joys of a Florida retirement—like golf, beaches, and beautiful weather—at a much lower cost.

Retiring in Alabama

As you do more research into retirement, we know the decision can be overwhelming. There are plenty of great attractions in Alabama—but even within the state, there are so many locations to consider.

If all the things you never knew about retiring in Alabama seem appealing to you, then we want to help you make this beautiful state your next home. Learn more about our communities located in Alabama, including one located on the pristine Gulf Shore!