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Sorry for the long post and I'm not sure this is the Board for this question.

My wife and I plan to retire in a couple of years. We want to live near but not necessarily on the Gulf of Mexico because we both love the beach. We currently live outside of Dallas, TX (actually Plano which is a long way from the beach) and we normally take two beach vacations a year.

We discovered what seems like an ideal location. Dothan, AL is located in the SE corner of Alabama, near the Florida and Georgia boarders, it is about a two hour drive straight down to Panama City Beach which happens to be our favorite beach area in the U.S. From what I can find out on the web, Dothan has a low to moderate cost of living, a small town atmosphere(less than 100K population), good housing opportunities (very low property taxes), good hospitals, shopping, senior activities, and national and state parks nearby, etc. The problem is the crime rate appears to be much higher than the national average especially burglery (almost double). Which is strange because living in a Dallas suburb, I can't remember the last time a home in my neighborhood burglerized.

The question is how do I find out what the actual crime rate is for the area(we plan to spend some time in the area soon)? Also have any of you found or can you suggest a great place to retire (with a reasonable cost of living) that would be near the Gulf but not Texas.

Thanks for your suggestions.

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