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Retire in Magnolia Springs, Alabama?
Overview: The peaceful little hamlet of Magnolia Springs sits on the road to Gulf Shores and at the headwaters of the Magnolia River in southwestern Alabama. It dates from about 1800 and became a popular destination for ex-soldiers after the Civil War. In 1900, a testing company declared Magnolia Springs' water to be the world's purest.
Considered one of the prettiest towns in Alabama, Magnolia Springs has tree-lined streets and front yards that burst with camellias, azalea, wisteria, and dogwoods. Local businesses include an art gallery, a public library, a Victorian bed and breakfast, and Jesse's Restaurant. Jesse's specializes in steak and seafood and hosts art shows. The garden club has helped produce a jazz and art festival. St. Paul's Episcopal Church has a November Market Day packed with food and craft booths. Golf courses in the area run the gamut from modest nine-hole ranges to massive 36-hole private clubs. The county is surrounded by water, and the mail is delivered by boat up and down the Magnolia River. Housing includes bungalows, cottages and ranch ramblers.
Weeks Bay and Bon Secour Bay are minutes away. Both offer trails, boardwalks, and infinite opportunities for wildlife watching (Magnolia Springs is itself a bird sanctuary). Nearby Blakeley State Park is the site of the Civil War's last major battle. Guests can camp, discover the Tensaw River boardwalk, or hike the park's 15 miles of trails. Gulf State Park, also not far away, rents cabins and cottages.
Population: 750 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 55%
Cost of Living: 2% below the national average
Median Home Price: $180,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 30s and 40s. On average, the area receives 66 inches of rain each year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No. The nearest hospital, South Baldwin Regional Medical Center, is six miles away in Foley.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but South Baldwin Regional Medical Center in nearby Foley is accredited.
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: Yes, but it is small.
Political Leanings: Very conservative
Is Alabama Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Notes: Magnolia Springs has a mayor and a city council, but it contracts with the county for police and fire protection. Racial diversity is minimal.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
The Heart of Dixie was admitted to the Union on December 14, 1819. The Cotton State was a major player in both the American Civil War and the American Civil Rights Movement. Montgomery was once the capital of the Confederacy and also the heart of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Its current economy is fed by agriculture, auto production, and aerospace. Only Arkansas and Georgia produce more broiler chickens. Alabamians built the Apollo 11 rocket and helped land the first human on the moon.
Bordered by Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, and the Gulf of Mexico, Alabama covers 52,423 square miles of land and water. Topography ranges from mountains and plateaus to river valleys, lowlands, and coastal plains. Average rainfall is 56 inches per year. Growing seasons can be long and summers hot. Winters are normally mild.
Mobile, Alabama has the oldest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States. Nicholas Langlois introduced Carnival to the city in 1703, fifteen years before New Orleans was founded.
Population - 4,863,300
Persons 65 years old and over - 16%
High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 84%
Bachelor's degree or higher, persons age 25+ - 23%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 4%
White persons, not Hispanic - 65%
Median household income - $43,634
Median home value - $125,500
Social Security taxed? No
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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