Retiring in Scottsboro, AL



Sitting up in Alabama’s northeast corner, Scottsboro is a picture-book version of a retirement town.  An antique courthouse and old fashioned town square, tree-graced  neighborhoods of substantial brick homes, reasonable housing and lakes galore all contribute to make this a pleasant community or retirement.  For those who enjoy fishing, boating, and other water sports, Scottsboro sits on one of the Southeast’s largest lake complexes (Guntersville Lake), with more than a thousand miles of shoreline just in the county.  Even though its population is only about 15,000, it is far enough away from the nearest large city having ample shopping and facilities.  Huntsville is forty-five minutes away by car, Chattanooga an hour, and its three hours to Atlanta or Nashville.

Scottsboro is a city that believes in parks.  Goose Pond Colony, the largest of twenty-one parks and recreational areas in the county, is a complete recreational facility and is city-owned and operated.  Sitting on the edge of a gorgeous lake, Goose Pond Colony boasts an eighteen-hole championship golf course, a lakeside restaurant, rental cottages, meeting rooms, marinas, and camping and picnic facilities.

Why should Scottsboro be described here, instead of one of a dozen other beautiful, economical, lakefront retirement areas that crowds northern Alabama?  It is difficult to make this decision, but I submit two justifications.  The first is the cosmopolitan makeup of Scottsboro’s population.  It seems that several years ago, Revere Corporation moved its plant down here from someplace in the North transplanting hundreds of employees along with its manufacturing facilities.  For some reason or another, things didn’t work out, and when Revere moved away, many employees liked Scottsboro so much, they refused to transfer away.  They either took early retirement or found other jobs.  Later on, other Northern companies selected Scottsboro as a place to move their operations and brought along their employees, too.  The result; a pleasant mixture of Northern and Southern neighbors.

My second reason is the community’s dedication to betterment of their surroundings and quality of life.  A case in point; an ultra-modern community recreation center, which serves a wide spectrum of citizens, from preschoolers to the elderly.  Its construction came at a time when voters around the country were refusing to pass school bonds or fund libraries, yet Scottsboro voters didn’t hesitate to allocate money for this impressive recreational and cultural facility.  It comes complete with an Olympic-size pool that doubles as a training center for students as well as for senior citizen water aerobics, a gymnasium, an indoor walking track, racquetball courts, handball, and a game room, plus meeting rooms and hobby shops.  Another expensive project is the $11 million completed expansion of the hospital, making Scottsboro a leading medical center of the region

An example of an event that reinforces its small-city feeling.  At a monthly happening called the Firsts Monday Trade Day, the courthouse lawn fills with residents selling arts and crafts, antiques, flea market items, and locally grown produce – anything that can be traded or sold.  The first Monday in every September – Labor Day – the event grows so large they have to move it to the park.  This additional event is sponsored by the Three Arts League, called First Monday, Arts in the Park.

This is an area that makes the most of its blend of mountains, forests, and lakes.  Residential areas show taste and charm in this setting.  Real estate selling at 18 percent below national average also makes retirement here affordable.  Personal safety here is exceptionally high, ranking in the top 15 percent in the nation.

Scottsboro Weather – in degrees Fahrenheit

Jan    April    July    Oct    Rain    Snow

Daily highs    49    73    89    73    54”    ------

Daily lows    31    50    69    49

Scottsboro Area Cost of Living

Overall        Housing    Medical    Groceries    Utilities

Percentage of

National average    94        83        94        97        81

Excerpt from “Where to Retire” America’s Best and Most Affordable Places by John Howells, Fifth Edition 2003, Published by The Pequot Press, PO Box 480, Guildford, Connecticut 06437


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