Alabama: #6 Best State to Retire in 2018

Alabama, which ranked sixth on our list of the best states for retirement, offers retirees many of the perks of Florida for less money.

Deciding where to retire? You'll need to weigh the personal factors yourself, from preferred climate to proximity to family. But when it comes to financial factors, we can help. We ranked all 50 states for retirement based on the financial factors most critical to retirees, figuring that the best states will offer low living costs and light tax burdens, as well as affordable health care options. We also favored states that are economically healthy and home to fit, active and relatively prosperous residents age 65 and over. After crunching all of the numbers, Alabama ranked sixth—two spots ahead of retiree haven Florida—on our list of the best states for retirement. Check out why.

Alabama: #6 Best State for Retirement

Population: 4.8 million

Share of population 65+: 15.3% (U.S.: 14.5%)

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Cost of living: 13% below the U.S. average

Average income for 65+ households: $44,934 (U.S.: $53,799)

Average health care costs for a retired couple: Below average at $404,922 (U.S.: $423,523)

Tax rating for retirees: Tax Friendly

Retirees are sure to love the Heart of Dixie. You can get many of Florida's retirement attractions—warm weather, nice beaches and plenty of golf—all at a lower price. The low living costs extend to health care, for which retirees can expect to spend 4.4% less than the average retired American couple. Taxes are easy on the budget, too, with income tax rates ranging from just 2% to 5%, and Social Security benefits being exempt.

Learn more about how we ranked all 50 states for retirement including our methodology and data sources.

Stacy Rapacon
Online Editor,

Rapacon joined Kiplinger in October 2007 as a reporter with Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and became an online editor for in June 2010. She previously served as editor of the "Starting Out" column, focusing on personal finance advice for people in their twenties and thirties.

Before joining Kiplinger, Rapacon worked as a senior research associate at b2b publishing house Judy Diamond Associates. She holds a B.A. degree in English from the George Washington University.