Mississippi was recently featured in a http://kiplinger.com/slideshow/taxFriendlyStatesRetirees/1.html article:
Kiplinger Names Mississippi Number Two State in Country for Retirees
Jackson, Miss. (July 8, 2011) – Kiplinger, a publisher of business forecasts and information regarding personal finance issues, has named Mississippi as the number two state in the country for retirees to locate. The publication’s rankings were based on the overall tax burden on retirees in each of the contiguous U.S. states, factoring in both state tax rates and tax exemptions.
Kiplinger cited Mississippi’s exemption of Social Security benefits from state income taxes, as well as the exclusion of all qualified retirement income, including pensions, annuities and IRA and 401(k) distributions, from state income taxes in its ranking of Mississippi and its designation of the state as a “retiree tax heaven.” Additionally, the publication took into account that Mississippi boasts some of the lowest property taxes in the U.S. and that prescription drugs and healthcare services are exempt from sales taxes.
The Hometown Mississippi Retirement program, the state’s official retiree attraction program administered by the Mississippi Development Authority, has certified 20 Certified Retirement Cities located all throughout the state. These include Aberdeen, Booneville, Brandon, Brookhaven, Clinton, Corinth, Columbus, Gulf Coast, Hattiesburg, Laurel, Madison, McComb, Natchez, Oxford, Picayune, Southaven, Starkville, Tupelo, Vicksburg and West Point. To qualify as a Certified Retirement City, each city must pass a comprehensive three-month screening process, which is conducted by Hometown Mississippi Retirement. The cities must be warm and welcoming, and they must have an affordable cost of living, low taxes, low crime rate, quality medical care, recreation, educational and cultural opportunities.