When picking their next retirement destination, many folks look to warmer climes, while others may be after places with low costs of living. If a combination of both sounds like music to your ears, then Mississippi might be the place for you. But before you take the leap, you might want to consider how you will be cared for in your later years, as this state consistently ranks last, or near last, in terms of healthcare network coverage.
Mississippi lacks for a large over-65 crowd, with the 2016 U.S. Census declaring that only 15.1 percent of the total population was in their golden years. While this equates to approximately 45 million people, it is only up from 38 million six years earlier. That said, Mississippi does not have the focus on elder care that many other states and regions do.
This is confirmed by the government’s lackluster investment in health care expenditures per capita. To wit, the national average for health-related spending for the citizenry is over $8,000, whereas Mississippi comes in dead last with only $7,646 spent per person.
Mississippi has, on average, a 22-minute wait time for first responders, which you might look to lessen by pairing your information with an in-home medical alert system connected to a fully-staffed call center. Additionally, being seen for a broken bone takes, on average, less than one hour, while transfer to long-term rooms was slightly above the 60-minute mark.
Mississippi ranks nearly last across all categories and all surveys for strength of care. More specifically, a U.S. News report ranked the state dead last for the quality of both public and private healthcare, as well as 49th for overall access to treatment. McKinsey & Company confirmed these rankings with their own survey, which had Mississippi rated as #49 for adult dental visits, #47 for wellness visits, #45 for insurance enrollment and #50 for overall affordability. But, again, if cost of living is what you are after, then WalletHub confirms that Mississippi is ranked #10 for comfortably making your dollar stretch further and further into old age.
One might not be too surprised to find that the overall senior health rating for Mississippi might leave you and yours a bit disappointed. There are no robust services offered beyond the standard care required by the 1973 amendment to the Older Americans Act. Even so, Mississippi does provide home-delivered meals, prescription drug programs, healthy aging programs, fraudulent-case management, caregiver training, senior socials, support groups and some transportation.
This pales in comparison, however, to some states that have private agencies driving more education-based campaigns about Medicare or long-term retirement planning.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This is to say that if you have considerable medical needs or long-term conditions that need top-notch monitoring 24/7, the state of Mississippi may not be the place for you to call home. Alternatively, if you feel comfortable and confident that an in-home medical alert system coupled with a mobile or USB-enabled device will keep you feeling confident and covered, then this state might be just the place to pinch your pennies.
Ultimately, as with all of life’s decisions, knowing what you need and knowing what to expect financially in your later years will help you make the best choice possible when relocating for retirement.