For retirees seeking a peaceful town with a below average cost-of-living, Alexander City, Alabama is hard to beat. Lake Martin, the primary attraction in this area, is about 10 miles down the road and is a sparkling clean, shimmering blue body of water with 750 miles of shoreline. The Lake offers world-class recreational opportunities in all kinds of water sports, including fishing, sailing and water skiing. Increasing numbers of seniors are discovering affordable retirement spot, yet housing in Alexander City remains reasonably priced. Lakefront homes average slightly above $200,000, but homes in town average $55,000. Property taxes are just $38 per $1,000 (assessed at 10% of market value), less than in many other areas of the United States.
Alexander City (or Alex City as its known around here) is located 53 miles north of Montgomery, Alabama. Birmingham, Alabama’s largest city, is 80 miles northwest. Each of these cities offers big-city culture and conveniences, but Alexander City has more than adequate shopping and cultural opportunities. The senior population here is active, and it is easy to become involved in any number of volunteer activities. The Art Council brings plays and concerts to town on a regular basis, and there is a residential performing arts group.
Rolling countryside and dense woods surround Alexander City, and many seniors are attracted to the area for its natural beauty. About 16,000 people call Alexander City home, and the community makes a point of trying to attract seniors to the area through a a program called Alabama Advantage for Retirees, a state program founded in 1988.
Golfers will find the Willow Point Golf Course, a country-club course that is rated one of Alabama’s top five courses, located here. Thirteen of its eighteen majestic greens are nestled along the Lake Martin waterfront and provide wonderful views. The City also has three additional golf courses, including one 18 hole municipal course.
If there is a drawback to Alexander City, it is the hot, humid summers. For retirees who cannot tolerate such weather, July and August can be less than desirable. Still, many seniors do not mind sweating out these two months in exchange for the other ten months of beautiful weather each year.
Climate: Mild climate; average January high is 55 degrees and the low is 35 degrees. Summer temperatures range from 70 degrees to 90 degrees. Average 60% relative humidity.
Cost-of-Living: Below national average
Health Care: Russell Hospital is a full service acute care facility with close ties to the University of Alabama Medical Facility in Birmingham.
Housing: The average housing cost in Alexander City is $55,000 and four times that along the waterfront. Contact Alabama Advantage (below) for available rentals.
Taxes: 8% sales tax; 2% to 5% income tax; social security is not taxed; $38 per $1,000 property tax (assessed at 10% of market value).
Safety: Average of 12 crimes per 1,000, well below the national average.
Contact: Alexander City Area Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 926, Alexander City, AL 35010 (205) 329-0835; Alabama Advantage for Retirees, P.O. Box 5690, Montgomery, AL 36103 (205) 242-5469.