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Celebrating 20th Anniversary as Mississippi Certified Retirement City


Nearly 10,000 Baby Boomers are turning 65 each day and with retirement in arm’s reach, they’ve got to have a place to settle down. Days of leisure, traveling and playing with their grandchildren are right around the corner. And for most Baby Boomers of Oxford, they have gone to raise their children in Oxford making it hard for them to leave this beautiful place.

Rosie Vassallo gives us the scoop on why Oxford is such an appealing place to retire.

“It’s safe, a small town offering ‘metropolitan amenities,’ with lots of diverse opportunities and activities for our retirees to dabble in,” Rosie said. “There are a multitude of activities from educational to entertainment one can enjoy while enhancing their skills.”

“In the past 5 years, the Oxford/Lafayette County area has attracted over 200 retires partially due to the State’s Hometown, MS Retirement Attraction Program and the hard work of my predecessors of the Economic Development Foundation. Their work has taken Oxford-Lafayette County into the national spotlight. Today’s retirees can read about us,” Rosie said, “from numerous national publications like Kiplinger’s, Where to Retire, USA Today, MSN Money and the lists goes on.”

The University of Mississippi plays a major part by opening up their calendar of events to the public producing endless opportunities for seniors and/or retirees. Individuals 65 or older can take a 4-credit course at no charge. Rosie goes on to say, “The wonderful thing about the university offering these courses is that it gives one the opportunity to be amongst college students, resulting in them feeling young again.”

“In addition, another source for classes is through Communiversity a program offering non-credit classes by the Division of Outreach through Ole Miss,” said Rosie. “Retirees can enjoy different classes that change monthly offering a broad spectrum of activities and classes from learning about social media, to painting, or even how to sew.” The classes can range from $30 to $130 and individuals 55 and older get an additional 10% discount.

If you are a new to Oxford, then you have the option to join the Newcomers Club for $15 annually. This club has a vast array of activities from book clubs, to lunch-bunch, to eating out at their favorite spots in Oxford, playing Bridge, participating in a Men’s Breakfast and watching movies at someone’s home, plus much more. This club welcomes newcomers to Oxford as they meet and make new friends, which in turn, makes it easier for them to feel more comfortable in their new setting.

“Furthermore, our retirement program works closely with the Newcomers Club,” said Rosie. “We offer educational seminars that are beneficial and open to the public as well. They consist of healthy living, history of different religions, as well as learning from professors from the University regarding their own topics. It truly does make for a wonderful place to retire. There are so many great events and classes for retirees to get involved in.”

“This year marks our 20th anniversary of being a Certified Hometown, MS Retirement City, we are delighted to serve the retirement community,” reveled Rosie. “We are finding that Mississippi locals are relocating to Oxford and that’s definitely due to Ole Miss and everything the city has to offer.”

Texas, Tennessee, Illinois and California are amongst the top states whose people possess interest in relocating to Oxford for retirement. Rosie hopes to keep driving traffic to Oxford and is ready to help make that decision easier for you and your family. Rosie Vassallo is the Director of Hometown, MS Retirement Attraction Program for Oxford/Lafayette County.

Brittany Bugg is a HottyToddy.com staff reporter and can be reached at brittany.bugg@hottytoddy.com.

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