Retiree cost-of-living index:
90.9 (national average is 100)
Average taxes per capita:
$1,712 (national average is $2,424)
Social Security benefits; military, civil-service, state- and local-government pensions; qualified private pensions
Residents over 65:
12.8% (national average is 13%)
Lipitor score: -8.8%
(compared to national average, $174.71)
They call Alabama "sweet home" for a reason: Living costs are low, sunny days are abundant, and taxes per capita fall $700 below the national average. Alabama exempts most retirement income from state income taxes, and older homeowners don’t pay property taxes. Medical costs are nearly 15% less than the national average. And in Birmingham, the state’s largest city, these amenities come with huge Dixie charm. It is home to an opera, orchestra and ballet, as well as a segment of the renowned Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.
Top selling point:
Big-city living at a Deep South discount
The summer heat can be stifling.