Vicksburg, MS, Pleased With Retirement Certification

By Kevin Litwin on January 23, 2014 at 2:46 pm EST
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PHOTO CREDIT: Staff Photographer

Like many recent retirees, Bradley and Sharon Lutz were attracted to Vicksburg by its affordability, activities, weather and beautiful views.

“I think we have one of the very best views of the Mississippi River in the U.S., all from our porch,” Sharon says.

“We’re building a house to watch the activity on the Mississippi River,” Bradley says.

The couple, who moved here from Florida, will take occupancy of their large two-story house in 2014.

So many people are choosing Vicksburg as their retirement destination that the State of Mississippi has designated the community a Certified Retirement City. Vicksburg earned the distinction for a variety of reasons, including entertainment options such as the Vicksburg Theatre Guild, Vicksburg Community Orchestra, Vicksburg Community Chorus, and a two-day RiverFest celebration that occurs throughout the downtown district every April.

The city also features two hospitals and more than 120 places of worship, along with home prices that averaged $115,000 in 2013. For any seniors interested in spending their golden years in retirement communities, Heritage House Retirement Center and Belmont Gardens Personal Care Home both offer a variety of assisted living floor plans, and the staffs monitor activities to ensure that the residents remain healthy and safe.

“For recreation in Vicksburg, one of the most popular settings for retirees to congregate is the Southern Cultural Heritage Center, a campus of five historic buildings that offers art programs, concerts, lectures, book signings and genealogy workshops,” says Annette Kirklin, past director of the Southern Cultural Heritage Center and current executive director of the Vicksburg Convention Center. “Not all communities have a cultural arts center, but Vicksburg has an excellent one that people of all ages can enjoy.”

Fish, Casinos, Golf and College

Retirees who like to fish can catch bass, crappie and catfish on the Mississippi River as well as 18 other lakes and rivers in the vicinity, plus Vicksburg has attractions such as four casinos, two golf courses, annual Spring and Fall Pilgrimage home tours and the Vicksburg National Military Park, where 17,000 Union soldiers are buried.

“Also available to retirees is a low-cost program at Hinds Community College called the Institute for Lifelong Learning, specifically developed for retirees interested in both educational and social opportunities,” Kirklin says. “It’s for active men and women ages 50 and up who want to explore new learning experiences and form new friendships.”

Retirement programs offered at Hinds Community College include arts and crafts, cooking classes, computer training, fitness sessions, field trips, movie outings and game playing.

“In addition, active seniors in Vicksburg can also participate in an annual five-mile Over the River Run and an accompanying five-mile walk that takes participants across the old Mississippi River Bridge, and another popular activity is a music series called Classics in the Courtyard staged at the Cultural Heritage Center on four Fridays each fall,” Kirklin says. “Vicksburg is a Retirement Certified City for many reasons, and certainly earns that distinction.”

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