When it comes to choosing the best place to retire, the options can be overwhelming! There are certainly specific cities that offer features that retirees are looking for, and some that definitely don’t! So let’s find out: Is Laurel, Mississippi a good place to retire? 

Overall, Laurel, Mississippi is a good place to retire because it offers a low cost of living, a small population (which means plenty of space), a good educational system, and prominent health care systems. However, there are some downsides to Laurel, such as high poverty rates, a high crime rate, and a low median age of residents. 

In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of retiring in Laurel, Mississippi, as well as the many factors to consider so you can decide for yourself if retiring in Laurel is right for you and your family. 

What Makes a City a Good Place to Retire?

Before we dig into the details of Laurel, Mississippi, to find out whether or not it is a good city to retire to, we should first understand exactly what makes a certain city a good spot to retire! 

Typically, people want to retire to a city that has high-quality public health care and education systems, good and affordable housing options, good public transport infrastructure, and a low cost of living. 

As well, it’s important that the city has a low crime rate, green spaces, limited pollution, and plenty of activities and community engagement. 

Now, let’s find out if Laurel, Mississippi checks all these boxes. 

Pros of Retiring in Laurel, Mississippi

Living or retiring in Laurel, Mississippi has a lot of advantages! Here are a few of our favorite parts of retiring in Laurel: 

  • Low cost of living. One of the most important factors for many retirees is a low cost of living, as it means your retirement fund will last a whole lot longer. The cost of living index for Laurel is only 77, which is significantly lower than the national average of 100. 
  • High-quality education. The Laurel school system is considered quite good because even though the poverty rate in the city is high, there are also high graduation rates in most schooling levels, impressive enrollment rates, good teacher-to-student ratios, and substantial extra programs for students. 
  • High-quality health care. There are several high-quality health care centers in downtown Laurel, including South Central Regional Medical Center, which is a major medical center. 
  • Affordable housing. If you are looking to retire in a beautiful home without a huge price tag, Laurel is a great option, as the average price of a one-family home is only $124,628, whereas the national average is $428,700. 
  • Public spaces. Laurel, Mississippi is home to many parks, walking trails, national forests, and fishing, and it is a wonderful place to enjoy the outdoors.  
  • Quality of life. Most residents of Laurel, Mississippi have reported that they truly enjoy living there, and they feel a true community presence in the city, which is certainly a positive when it comes to deciding if you would like to retire there! 

Now, before you go ahead and retire to Laurel, Mississippi, it’s important to also understand the few disadvantages of the city. 

Cons of Retiring in Laurel, Mississippi

Here are a few of the cons of retiring in Laurel, Mississippi: 

  • The population is in decline. Laurel is not a big city, and currently, there are only 18,000 residents. However, that number is actually decreasing as many young residents are leaving for better job opportunities in larger Mississippi, and other American, cities. 
  • Lack of public transport. While you can easily grab a bus to Laurel, there are no substantial inner-city buses for its residents. That means that if you don’t drive, getting around can be challenging. 
  • High crime rate. Unfortunately, Laurel also has a fairly high crime rate, with 5,008 incidents for every 100,000 people. For comparison, the national total crime rate is 2,489 incidents for every 100,000 people.
  • The median age is only 37. Laurel is home to many young families, and with such a young median age, there may be less of a community for senior citizens or retirees. 
  • High poverty rate. The average poverty rate in the United States is 11.4%, but in Laurel, Mississippi, it’s 30%. Such a high poverty rate is certainly one of the downsides of life in Laurel. 

As you can see, there are quite a lot of pros and definitely plenty of cons, so let’s come back to our original question: Is Laurel, Mississippi a good place to retire. 

Is Laurel, Mississippi a Good Place to Retire?

Amidst all of the pros and cons, Laurel actually does have several retirement facilities that are extremely popular for retirees. In fact, Laurel is one of only 21 certified retirement cities in the state of Mississippi. 

Realistically, it is up to you to decide if Laurel, Mississippi is the right place for you to retire, but from our research, it seems that Laurel would be a good place to retire!