The 10 Best Places To Retire In Alabama For 2021


We analyzed over 52 places in Alabama to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best places to retire in Alabama.

Want to see why Alabama is one of the best states to retire in America?

Now that you're here, HomeSnacks is going to tell you how Alabama earned the above ranking. And, folks, it starts with the top ten best places to retire in the The Yellowhammer State for 2021. And lucky for you, we have them listed below.

But first, a look at how we identified Alabama's best places to spend your retirement years. We looked at the FBI and Census data for 48 cities with 10,000 residents. To narrow down our list even further, we looked at important factors like crime, affordability, rent, and how close a place is to an international airport.

Our research concluded that The Heart of Dixie's best places to retire are some of the safest in the state, they are also some of the most affordable, and the people that reside in these southern gems are super nice. And if you're thinking about renting before you buy, you should: Alabama's current rental rates are below the national average. More importantly, if you want to live close to an airport, the odds are in your favor: there are six passenger airports and two international.

Want to know more? We suggest that you grab a cold glass of sweet tea, a sunny spot at Anchor Bar on Orange Beach, and read on as we uncover Alabama's top ten best places to retire.

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Alabama For 2021

  1. Cullman
  2. Hartselle
  3. Athens
  4. Talladega
  5. Gardendale
  6. Gadsden
  7. Scottsboro
  8. Jasper
  9. Eufaula
  10. Pelham

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

If you're the type of retiree that likes to socialize, Alabama's best places to retire do not disappoint. There's the Parrot Head Club in Gulf Shores, shuffleboard clubs in Foley, and a bunch of knitting clubs in Madison. Whatever you decide, you'll have plenty of options and plenty of money because Alabama is one of the most tax friendly states.

So, what is the best place to retire in Alabama for 2021. According to the latest data, Cullman is the best.

To see the other great Alabama places that made our list, continue to scroll; and if you don't find what you're looking for there, the rest are just a click away.

For more Alabama state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Alabama For 2021

Cullman, AL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 15,729
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Rent: $671
Distance to Closest Airport: 42 miles
More on Cullman: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hartselle, AL

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 14,428
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $681
Distance to Closest Airport: 61 miles
More on Hartselle: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Athens, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 25,922
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $664
Distance to Closest Airport: 84 miles
More on Athens: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Talladega, AL

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 15,522
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Rent: $548
Distance to Closest Airport: 38 miles
More on Talladega: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Gardendale, AL

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 14,016
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Rent: $909
Distance to Closest Airport: 8 miles
More on Gardendale: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Gadsden, AL

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 35,486
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Rent: $645
Distance to Closest Airport: 52 miles
More on Gadsden: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Scottsboro, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 14,526
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Median Rent: $599
Distance to Closest Airport: 84 miles
More on Scottsboro: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Jasper, AL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 13,649
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Rent: $625
Distance to Closest Airport: 35 miles
More on Jasper: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Eufaula, AL

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 12,065
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Median Rent: $579
Distance to Closest Airport: 121 miles
More on Eufaula: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Pelham, AL

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 23,428
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 8)
Median Rent: $1,119
Distance to Closest Airport: 16 miles
More on Pelham: Real Estate | Data | Photos

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Heart Of Dixie for 2021

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 -- 574 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 10,000 people that weren'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 as measured by rent
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport
  • Other retirees (High median age)

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 Cullman, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers. You can download the data here.

Maybe You're Not Ready To Retire In Alabama Yet...

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

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

  1. Millbrook
  2. Prichard
  3. Saraland

For more Alabama reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Alabama?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Cullman 15,729 $671
2 Hartselle 14,428 $681
3 Athens 25,922 $664
4 Talladega 15,522 $548
5 Gardendale 14,016 $909
6 Gadsden 35,486 $645
7 Scottsboro 14,526 $599
8 Jasper 13,649 $625
9 Eufaula 12,065 $579
10 Pelham 23,428 $1,119

How Is The Area In ?

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About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.