Mississippi is also known as the Magnolia State, after their state flower. It is definitely not the number one retirement spot in the south with steep competition like Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina. However, Mississippi is worth taking a second look at since it has many similarities to these states, but with a much lower price tag. Besides, there are many good places to retire in Mississippi.
Mississippi is one of the tax friendliest states for retirees in the nation. And of the reasons why is because the state is actively working to attract retirees to move to this sunny state.
Mississippi does not tax social security or other valid retirement income, such as 401Ks and pensions. Additionally, property taxes, for those 65+, allow for an exemption on the first $75,000 when the average price of a home is around $100,000, which is a significant break.
Mississippi does not have a tax on prescriptions; however, they do tax groceries and have slightly higher than average sales tax. But when you consider that Mississippi has the 4th lowest cost of living in the country, the 7% sales tax doesn’t seem too bad.
In addition to being a tax-friendly affordable place to retire, Mississippi has a lot more to offer. The weather in Mississippi is sunny in the summer and warm in the winter, allowing active retirees to enjoy the outdoors year-round.
Many may not think of Mississippi as having a rich cultural scene, but they would be wrong. Mississippi is hosts the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra, the opera, the ballet, and the Mississippi Museum of Art.
Mississippi also has a vibrant music history, including being the birthplace for Elvis Presley and the Delta Blues. Music lovers will love seeing live performances and visiting some music museums like the Grammy Museum and the Delta Blues Museum.
So when you take into consideration the affordability of the state, the white sandy beaches, and warm winters, Mississippi might just top your list for best places to retire.
Where to Retire in Mississippi
Percent of Senior Population: 160,628
Overall Population: 11.7%
Jackson is not only the capital of Mississippi, but it is also the largest city in the state. Jackson is the ideal place for retirees looking to live in the city where they will be close to all the action and have easy access to outdoor activities.
The northeast corner of Jackson sits along the shores of the Ross Barnett Reservoir, where boaters, anglers, and kayakers can enjoy the water. In addition to the Reservoir, Jackson is home to several smaller lakes and the Pearl River.
For those looking for arts and culture, Jackson is the city for you, here you will find:
- The symphony orchestra
- The opera
- Museum of Art
- Natural History Museum
Jackson is particularly well-known for its music and is even nicknamed the City with Soul. Jackson has a strong blues and jazz community, so residents never have difficulty finding a place to enjoy live music.
And Jackson’s many historical landmarks and museums should not be overlooked either. History buffs will love exploring the various historical sites found throughout the city, like the Old Capital Museum, Eudora Welty House and Garden, and the Mississippi War Museum.
Jackson is an affordable city with a lower cost of living than the national average. However, Jackson does have a significant drawback, which is its high crime rate.
Percent of Senior Population: 46,212
Overall Population: 14.7%
Biloxi, located along the Gulf of Mexico, has miles of white sandy beaches, amazing restaurants, and several casinos. In some ways, Biloxi is a lot like many coastal cities in Florida, except that it is less crowded and much less expensive. And though Biloxi sits on the water, the cost of living here is still lower than the national average.
Golfers will love checking out the twenty different local golf courses, including the Windance Country Club. And many of the courses have an excellent view of the Gulf.
The Gulf of Mexico offers great opportunities for fishing and boating. This region boasts some of the best fishing found in the world. Plus, the seafood found here is some of the freshest you can get in the country.
Biloxi hosts the Blessing of the Fleet Festival, an annual event held on the first Saturday in May. It is a large event with visitors coming from all around to see the Blessing, listen to live music, and eat tons of shrimp. And, the Blessing is not the only festival in Biloxi; they have the Cruisin’ the Coast festival featuring more than 7,000 cars.
Art and history enthusiasts will enjoy Biloxi too, since it has the:
- Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art
- Historic Biloxi Lighthouse
- Beauvoir – the retirement home and final resting place of Jefferson Davis
Biloxi has numerous medical clinics and a couple of hospitals, including Merit Hospital, a full-service hospital.
Percent of Senior Population: 45,863
Overall Population: 11.3%
Hattiesburg is the perfect place to retire if you want easy access to the Gulf, Jackson, and New Orleans, all of which are just an hour or two drive from here. However, you don’t need to leave Hattiesburg to find something fun to do.
Hattiesburg has a couple of large festivals that bring guests in from all over. The first is in March, Hubfest, which is a music and food festival. And the second one is a two-week-long festival, FestivalSouth. FestivalSouth is all about music, dancing, art, and food.
This city has three colleges, all of which significantly contribute to Hattiesburg’s art and culture scene. Thanks to these communities, there are art galleries, exhibits, and live performances. Plus, at the University of Southern Mississippi campus, you will find the All American Rose Garden.
The All American Rose Garden features 32 gorgeous rose beds, each of which highlights a special hybrid rose. The garden is open to the public, and best of all, you can bring your dog to stroll through and see the 750 different varieties of roses.
In addition to the arts and gardens, the colleges in Hattiesburg give seniors the opportunity for lifelong learning. And the three colleges often host various guest speakers and concerts open to the public.
Another great benefit of living in a college town is the area’s health care opportunities. Hattiesburg has several medical clinics, including specialty centers and two hospitals.
Percent of Senior Population: 28,122
Overall Population: 12%
Literary fans will love retiring to Oxford, former home to William Faulkner and current residence to John Grisham, Richard Ford, and Curtis Wilkie. Plus, Oxford has several interesting bookstores, including Square Books, which hosts author readings and a public radio broadcast every Thursday.
The University of Mississippi, aka Ole Miss, calls Oxford home too. This university contributes to the art scene through the Gertrude Ford Center for the Performing Arts. Sports fans will appreciate retiring to a college town where they can take in live sports events and cheer on their home team.
The Square, in the downtown area, has boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and bars. Here you can find live music and high-end restaurants owned by award-winning chef John Currence.
Oxford has several historical sites and museums including:
- Rowan Oak the William Faulkner home
- Historic Downtown Square
- Civil Rights Monument
- Q.C. Lamar House Museum
- University of Mississippi Museum
Though far from a small town, Oxford, has the charm and neighborliness often found in the south. So, if you’re looking for urban conveniences and small-town charm, Oxford is the place for you.
Best of all, Oxford is a certified retirement community. Meaning that the city has put great effort into making upgrades to make Oxford more appealing and accessible for those 65+.
And if all of that is not enough to convince you Oxford is the ideal place to retire, it also has a lower than average crime rate.
Percent of Senior Population: 21,653
Overall Population: 14.3%
Vicksburg is another certified retirement town. The town sits along the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers, just forty-five minutes west of Jackson along the Louisiana border. Plus, Vicksburg is only a three and half hour drive from New Orleans, close enough for a weekend away.
Vicksburg is perfect for history buffs since it the site for the famous battle that decided the Union’s victory, led by General Ulysses S. Grant. In addition to being home to a famous battleground, Vicksburg also has several historical sites and museums, including:
- Vicksburg National Military Park
- U.S.S. Cairo Museum
- Vicksburg National Cemetary
- Old Courthouse
- Vicksburg Riverfront Murals
- Vicksburg Campaign Trail
In addition to being rich in history, Vicksburg offers other entertainment opportunites such as the Community Orchestra, Theatre Guild, and Community Chorus.
The Southern Cultural Heritage Center hosts concerts, lectures, book signings, art programs, and genealogy workshops. The center often acts as a meeting place for residents to get out and socialize and is an excellent place for new residents to meet others.
Vicksburg is a great place for those who enjoy the outdoors. The local lakes and rivers are great for fishing, boating, and kayaking. And there are two local golf courses.
And the Vicksburg downtown area is the perfect place for shopping and grabbing a bite to eat. The downtown district has various boutiques and antique shops. Dining in the area has a bit of everything from southern cuisine, seafood, sushi, and even rooftop dining.
Vicksburg does have several medical centers, including Merit Health River Region Hospital. Unfortunately, Vicksburg does have a higher than average crime rate.