ABERDEEN, MISSISSIPPI- The role of this blog is to introduce you to places where I might want to live. Keep in mind my bias is towards small towns. That doesn’t mean I am right. But I offer it as a starting point when you must decide to stay where you live today, or go somewhere else. I favor small towns. That should he obvious by now. I’m told the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) now considers a rural town of 50,000 a small town. I tend to favor towns of 10,000 or fewer residents. But if offered a very low cost USDA housing loan I might change my mind.
So, if you are approaching retirement age and your savings are less than the amount you’d hoped for, don’t panic. It would he nice to have a million or two in cash. Social Security will help. of course. But your most significant investment is in your home. If you’ve explored reverse mortgages and the $150,000 or $200,000y you’d get might last you four or five years, six years at best, in the community where you live., what happens if you live longer than that? Most of us make it into our 70s. Some of us even live into our 80s and 90s.
At least one pleasant community offers an anwer. You might want to contact Tina Robbins in Aberdeen, Mississippi. It is her job to provide information to people – especially those who have retired or are about to retire since Aberdeen is certified by the Hometown Mississippi Retirement program.
The state and city have special tax incentives for retirees. Tina also will tell you about how safe Aberdeen has been over the years. And how, if you like to fish, or enjoy boating you can do it year round. It is a quiet, peaceful town with a low crime rate. Aberdeen is located not far from three universities where you can attend classes. She reports there is a first rate medical facility and an Arts Council as well as several festivals. In April there is a Pilgrimage Tour of Historic Houses.
There also are opportunities to volunteer. And the traditional national civic clubs are in Aberdeen.
You can call Tina at 662-369-9440 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aberdeen is one of the most attractive small towns I’ve visited so far. It is a quiet and a relatively inexpensive place to live. Like to go to the movies? You can buy a ticket for just $5 and for a $1 more you can buy popcorn or a soft drink. You should be able to afford a house there. Mayor Cecil Belle has recently returned from a conference on housing options and opportunities that could help.
Walmart came to Aberdeen, but the residents remained faithful to their local merchants. I’m told Walmart closed its store and moved on.
Aberdeen has plenty of downtown parking and the sidewalks on both sides of the street are sheltered from the storefront to the curb from rain or the sun for several blocks. On dark days or in the evening the canopy over the sidewalks sport attractive lantern-style lights.
Down the street, beyond the sheltered downtown stores the street has two lanes in each direction, divided by a long strip of mature magnolia trees. I visited Aberdeen in the winter, but when the large white blossoms appear it must be a magnificent sight. I can only think of one comparable place I’ve been in my long lifetime, and that was in the spring in Zurich, Switzerland. There the streets were lined with flowering linden trees. I wasn’t impressed by the blossoms. But the sweet, delicate aroma was amazing as I sat at an outside table and enjoyed my evening meal. It is difficult to forget even though that was 45 years ago.
In Aberdeen, during my very brief stay, (I don’t spend a lot of time when I plan to visit 1,000 small towns) people made me feel as if I have been a long time family friend.