Hattiesburg, (pop. 54,000) is the home of two universities, the University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey. Hattiesburg makes the “best places to retire” lists because it is a college town and has historic districts and a welcoming atmosphere. Mississippi’s 4th largest city, it is called “The Hub City” because of crossing rail lines and highways.
One of Hattiesburg’s top attractions as a community for adults 55+ is that it is designated as a “Certified Retirement Community”. Cities chosen for this honor must meet rigorous standards for health care facilities, housing, cultural opportunities and a welcoming committee. The Retirement Connection is Hattiesburg’s welcoming committee, and by all reports its volunteer “connectors” do a fabulous job of integrating new residents.
William Carey College has a highly regarded Institute for Learning in Retirement (see “Cultural” ). Although Hattiesburg was settled after the civil war and therefore does not have antebellum homes, it has a terrific collection of Victorian and Queen Ann and Greek-Revival homes. There is a 23 block Historic District and an active conservation program.
Active adults in retirement can either live in an historic home or one of the many newer developments just outside of town for people over 50, such as Canebrake, Lake Serene or Timberton. The financial climate is attractive to retirees, as Mississippians share the lowest per capita tax burden of any state.
According to Zillow.com the median home value was $149,400, in early 2019.
What Is Special about Hattiesburg
Charming college town with 23 block historic district; Institute for Learning in Retirement; Birthplace of Rock and Roll; Hub Fest; The Retirement Connection welcomes and orients new residents; 10 golf courses; 2 universities - the University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University; Low taxes and cost of living
What Is Not Special about Hattiesburg
Hot, humid summers; Hurricane Katrina hit hard here, killing 24 people in the area; Facilities have been strained with the influx of evacuees and new residents
The economy is driven by the universities and retirement housing
Climate and Physical Environment
The city of Hattiesburg is positioned in southern Mississippi at the fork of the Leaf and Bouie Rivers. It is about an hour and a half drive to New Orleans, Jackson, and Mobile. Try this link for a review of what it is like to retire in Oxford
Restaurants & Cultural Scene
Its 2 universities provide a rich cultural environment with musical, museum, and theatrical events on a regular schedule. The Hattiesburg Civic Light Opera, C.W. Woods Art Gallery, Just Over the Rainbow, and the Hattiesburg Arts Council are also active in town.
The Institute for Learning in Retirement offers a wide variety of educational programs that are extremely popular.
The crime rate in Hattiesburg is well below the national average.
Forrest General Hospital and the Wesley Medical Center offer almost 800 hospital beds between them.
Amtrak's Crescent train connects Hattiesburg with the rest of the U.S. Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport offers daily flights between Hattiesburg and Memphis, TN. The Hattiesburg - Bobby L. Chain Municipal Airport, a municipal airport providing business aviation services for much of South Mississippi. Highways include: Interstate Highway 59, U.S. Highway 49, U.S. Highway 98, and U.S. 11
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