Mississippi – Retirement Guide

Mississippi   Retirement Guide

Mississippi often gets overlooked as a retirement destination, when in fact, the state offers a lot of perks to retirees, including a low cost of living, low taxes, mild weather and easy access to Gulf Coast beaches.

The state’s cost of living is 14 percent lower than the national average, and median home prices are marked at less than $100,000.

Additionally, retirees will see a number of tax benefits, including a low 5% top state income tax, and no tax on Social Security benefits, or retirement income such as IRAs and 401Ks.

Mississippi is home to a number of charming towns both inland and along the shore, such as Hattiesburg, Oxford and Biloxi.

The state has designated 20 certified retirement cities, meaning each town passed a rigorous 3-month screening process by Hometown Mississippi Retirement, the official retirement attraction program.

Pros: Low cost of living, low taxes, 20 certified retirement towns
Con: High poverty and obesity rates; humid, bug-filled summers

At a Glance:
Best For: Water lovers
Population: 2,978,512
Cost of Living: 14% lower than national average
Median Home Cost: $98,400
Unemployment: 8.9% Top State Income Tax: 5%

Towns are evaluated according to cost of living, low taxes, low crime rate, quality medical care, recreation, educational and cultural opportunities, and community. Cities making the ranking include the 3 mentioned above, as well as Tupelo, Natchez and Vicksburg. Active retirees can enjoy the Gulf Coast beaches, saltwater fishing and metropolitan areas with museums and theaters.

Still, Mississippi isn’t without it’s drawbacks. The state’s unemployment rate is high, and the state consistently ranks as having a below average education system, and some of the nation’s highest poverty and obesity rates.

Additionally, homeowner’s insurance rates can be high, particularly along the Gulf Coast which was severely damaged during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Finally, although the climate is mild year-round, summers are typically hot, humid and mosquito-filled.

Photo by Adrianna Battista via Flickr. All statistics were up to date as of publication. See these sources for the most current data.