Pike County doesn’t fit the bill

Published 11:00 pm Monday, August 6, 2012

Written by Tyler Spivey

According to locals in Pike County, it’s a nice place to retire compared to the rest of the state.

Recently, the site bankrate.com released a list of the top 10 worst states to retire and Alabama made the list, which was based on three different issues – crime rate, life expectancy, and the percentage of retirees living below the poverty line.

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Alabama’s crime rate is 3,894.6 crimes per 100,000 people, 10.7 percent of retirees in Alabama are living below the poverty line and life expectancy in the state is 75.2 years, according to the list.

The state, as a whole, may not be a good place to retire, but that may not necessarily be the case for Pike County.

“I think we have a lot of people retire in Pike County,” said Mayor Jimmy Lunsford.

Lunsford described Pike County as a “fabulous” place to retire for several reasons including the close proximity to the beach, low taxes and high-quality senior programs.

The Troy Recreational Center offers the “Silver Sneakers” program, which focuses on physical activity for older adults.

And Morgan Drinkard, director for the Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center, reported that a lot of retired residents take part in the center’s docent program providing tours to facility guests. According to Drinkard, retirees can also volunteer at the Johnson Center to greet visitors at the door.

Dale Law, one of the owners at Noble Manor, said he doesn’t feel Pike County should be lumped in with the rest of Alabama when it comes to retirement, either.

“A lot of it is the people,” said Law, describing how the “hometown” atmosphere makes people feel welcome.

Beverly Capozzoli, who teaches a class at the Colley Senior Complex, said she likes Troy and that she plans to retire here, too.

The Colley Senior Complex offers classes in exercise, pottery, ceramics and a variety of other classes for seniors.

She said that the complex, as well as the university and Pike County Cultural Arts Center, offers a lot of entertainment for seniors.

Capozzoli described the citizens of Troy as “some of the nicest people I’ve ever met.”

“I retired here,” said Charlene Erdoesy, a patron of the Colley Senior Complex. “It’s one of the best!”