best places to retire

Wetumpka and Tallassee have been named among the top 10 cities in Alabama for retirees, according to an annual study by SmartAsset, a company that provides interactive tools help residents make sound financial decisions.

The study measures tax burden, access to medical care and opportunity for recreation and social activity in determining the best places to retire. Tallassee ranks third on the list, and Wetumpka followed, ranking fourth.

Greenville came in first place, while Florence snagged the 10th spot. The top 10 cities are:                                     

1. Greenville

2. Attalla

3. Tallassee

4. Wetumpka

5. Guntersville

6. Fairhope

7. Harvest

8. Boaz

9. Roanoke

10. Florence

To find the best places to retire, SmartAsset gathered data on three separate regional factors that affect the quality of life for retirees, including tax-friendliness, medical care and social opportunities.

"First, we looked at state and local tax rates, considering two types of taxes: income and sales," the website states. "We calculated effective rates based on a retiree earning $35,000 annually (from retirement savings, Social Security and part-time employment). We subtracted income taxes paid from the gross income to determine disposable income. Sales taxes paid were calculated based on the disposable income being spent on taxable goods." 

SmartAsset also determined the number of doctors’ offices, recreation centers and retirement centers per thousand residents in each location. Finally, the company measured the number of seniors in each city as a percentage of the total population.

An average ranking for each area was created with the three factors weighted equally. The areas with the highest average ranking were determined to be the best places to retire.

To read the full report, go to Smartasset.com/retirement/retirement-calculator#alabama.