Downtown Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Image credit EQRoy via Shutterstock

8 Top-Ranked Towns in Mississippi for Retirees

In Mississippi, where history and natural beauty intertwine, retirees will find more than just a place to relax. Discover communities rich in culture and convenience. Natchez, draped in antebellum elegance, boasts a vibrant arts scene. Ocean Springs, with its laid-back coastal life and thriving arts community, is a remarkable place to settle down. Oxford, home to the University of Mississippi, combines the intellectual with small-town warmth. Bay St. Louis, a coastal gem, promises a peaceful beach lifestyle, while Biloxi blends the Gulf Coast with entertainment and Southern hospitality. Ridgeland, known for upscale living and scenic trails, and Hattiesburg, with top-tier healthcare and a lively community vibe, cater to diverse preferences. Starkville, energized by university life, offers youthful energy and opportunities for lifelong learning.

Each of these Mississippi towns presents retirees with affordable living, accessible healthcare, and a welcoming community, set against Mississippi's scenic backdrop, an ideal ensemble for a fulfilling retirement.


Prayer Garden of the St. Mary Basilica (Our Lady of Sorrows Cathedral) with the statue of Virgin Mary at the center in Natchez, Mississippi
Prayer Garden of the St. Mary Basilica in Natchez, Mississippi. Image credit Nina Alizada via Shutterstock

Perched high on the bluffs of the Mississippi River, Natchez rests in a picturesque setting filled with historical allure. This town, renowned for its well-preserved antebellum architecture, invites retirees to step into a world where history comes alive. Streets lined with grand mansions and gardens narrate stories of a bygone era.

The housing market in Natchez caters to those looking for affordable retirement living options. As of early 2024, a typical home in Natchez costs around $106,688. This figure is substantially lower than the national average of $420,000 (according to the US Census Bureau), making Natchez an economically attractive option for homebuyers.

By combining this affordability with its historical character and modern healthcare facilities, like the Merit Health Natchez, which provides comprehensive services, the town is not just a feast for the eyes but a practical choice for those seeking peace of mind, and body.

Ocean Springs

A caboose located on the side of Highway-90 proudly displays the city's sign of welcome.
A caboose located on the side of Highway-90 proudly displays the city's sign of welcome. Image credit EQRoy via

Ocean Springs, set along the Gulf of Mexico, is a coastal treasure marked by scenic beauty and a lively arts scene. Known for its flourishing creative community, the town bursts with color and artistic energy. Here, everyday life is enriched with local art, from vibrant street murals to bustling galleries.

Ocean Springs' welcoming atmosphere pairs well with its varied housing choices, providing cozy cottages and modern condos, suiting diverse tastes and budgets. The median home price is about $251,486.

Healthcare needs are well-met by top-tier facilities like Singing River Health System, ensuring resident care is a priority. This blend of arts, health, and community makes it a prime retirement spot. Moreover, the Gulf's proximity guarantees leisurely beach strolls and fishing opportunities, adding to the town's charm.


Oxford, Mississippi Downtown building in autumn
Downtown Oxford, Mississippi. Image credit Feng Cheng via Shutterstock

Oxford, celebrated for its literary heritage, is an unparalleled experience for retirees. This town, home to the esteemed University of Mississippi, resonates with academic prestige and Southern charm. The streets of Oxford echo the legacy of renowned writers, making it a literary haven for those who cherish the written word.

Retirees can find a range of real estate properties, from historic homes that echo the town's past to modern residences proposing the latest in comfort and style. The median home price in Oxford ranges around $324,843 and provides an attractive proposition for those seeking quality living without excessive expense.

Healthcare in Oxford is anchored by facilities like Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi, which delivers comprehensive medical care. Additionally, the town's focus on wellness and active living, with numerous parks and recreational opportunities, like the lakeside park, Lamar Park, complements the robust healthcare infrastructure, ensuring a healthy, balanced lifestyle for retirees.

Bay St. Louis

The Hancock bank of Bay St Louis, Mississippi.
The Hancock bank of Bay St Louis, Mississippi. Image credit clayton garrison via Shutterstock

Bay St. Louis, a charming seaside town, ensures retirees a peaceful yet lush lifestyle. This community is known for its artistic flair. The streets of Bay St. Louis are lined with galleries, boutiques, and restaurants, creating a lively atmosphere that stimulates the senses.

The housing market in Bay St. Louis is inviting, with options ranging from cozy beachfront cottages to spacious family homes. The town's real estate presents an opportunity for retirees to find their dream home, whether it is overlooking the serene waters of the Gulf or nestled within the downtown area. The affordability of homes here is a significant attraction, with a median home price of $234,946, offering value for money while maintaining high standards of living.

Healthcare is a top priority in Bay St. Louis, with facilities like Ochsner Medical Ctr - Hancock providing quality medical services. The town's commitment to health and wellness is evident in its numerous fitness trails, public parks, and community health programs, all contributing to an environment where retirees can thrive both physically and mentally.


Biloxi, Mississippi USA at Biloxi Lighthouse.
Biloxi, Mississippi and the Biloxi Lighthouse.

Biloxi, with its historical landmarks and mesmerizing beachfront vistas, stands as a prime destination for retirees seeking a balance of leisure and culture. The city's history is showcased in its well-preserved lighthouses and museums that drive one to discover the Gulf Coast's past. The picturesque beaches provide a serene backdrop for leisurely strolls or relaxed afternoons.

In the real estate realm, Biloxi shows a range of options to suit varying tastes and budgets. From elegant beachside properties to comfortable downtown apartments, the city caters to diverse housing needs. With a competitive housing market and a median home price of $212,709, retirees find value in Biloxi's property offerings, ensuring a comfortable lifestyle without the burden of excessive costs.

Healthcare in Biloxi is robust, featuring facilities like Merit Health Biloxi and the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System. These institutions have comprehensive medical care, ensuring residents have access to quality health services.


An aerial shot of the tower at the Colony Park in Ridgeland, Mississippi
Tower at the Colony Park in Ridgeland, Mississippi.

Ridgeland, known for its harmonious mix of urban sophistication and natural beauty, presents a compelling choice for retirees. The city's modern amenities are complemented by stunning outdoor spaces like the Natchez Trace Parkway and the Ross Barnett Reservoir, granting ample opportunities for recreation and relaxation.

The housing market in Ridgeland as of early 2024, with figures of a median list price of approximately $258,221, shows a range of options. Healthcare in Ridgeland is top-notch, with facilities like St. Dominic's Ridgeland and numerous specialized clinics providing a wide range of medical services. The city's commitment to health is further evident in its fitness trails, public parks (like the popular Old Trace Park), and active community wellness initiatives.


Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States, a historic theater with lights in the evening.
Hattiesburg, Mississippi, historic theater with lights in the evening. Image credit Sabrina Gabrielle Gordon via Shutterstock

In the heart of Mississippi, Hattiesburg is an attractive spot for retirees. Known as the "Hub City," its central location in the state makes it a nexus of culture and community. Here, retirees find a city that celebrates its past while embracing the future. The Historic Downtown, with its vibrant arts scene and lively restaurants, propounds a taste of urban life amidst a small-town atmosphere.

Hattiesburg's housing market reflects this blend of old and new. Whether it's a cozy home in a historic neighborhood or a modern apartment close to the city center, there is a sense of value and affordability that's hard to overlook. The median home value is around $196,339, which reflects a slight increase from the previous year, and rent for a two-bedroom unit averages just below $1,000 per month. The city's growth has been managed in a way that ensures a high quality of life without the premium price tag often found in more metropolitan areas.

The University of Southern Mississippi adds a layer of educational and cultural opportunities, making lifelong learning a tangible part of everyday life. This, combined with the city's commitment to healthcare, evidenced by facilities like Forrest General Hospital and Merit Health Wesley, means that retirees have access to excellent medical care alongside opportunities for intellectual and social engagement.


Mascot "Bully" on the campus of Mississippi State University.
Mascot "Bully" on the campus of Mississippi State University. Image credit Stephen Reeves via

Moving northward to Starkville, the energy of a college town comes into play. Home to Mississippi State University, this town pulsates with an energetic vibe that inspires and invigorates. It's a place where retirees can find themselves exploring new hobbies, attending university events, or simply enjoying the bustling atmosphere of a youthful city.

Starkville's real estate market is as dynamic as the town itself. From quaint, historic homes to contemporary housing developments, the choices cater to different lifestyles and budgets. Median property prices settle around $244,679 as of the beginning of 2024.

The presence of the university not only enriches the town's cultural landscape but also contributes to its economic stability, making it a wise choice for those considering their financial future in retirement. Healthcare in Starkville benefits from the university's research and medical programs, offering residents cutting-edge medical services. OCH Regional Medical Center stands as a testament to the town's commitment to health, supplying comprehensive care that retirees can rely on.

From the historical elegance of Natchez and the artistic vibrance of Ocean Springs to the literary prowess of Oxford and the coastal serenity of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi's towns beckon with open arms. Biloxi's coastal charm, Ridgeland's urban-natural balance, Hattiesburg's historical-modern fusion, and Starkville's youthful energy illustrate the state's multifaceted personality.

Each town shares a commitment to providing a high quality of life, with affordable housing options and comprehensive healthcare facilities. This exploration of Mississippi's top towns for retirees reveals a state that is more than a backdrop for retirement—a stage for new beginnings and lifelong enjoyment. It is a place where history, culture, and natural beauty converge, offering a retirement experience as dynamic as the state.

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