Wide open spaces, lush greenery and sandy white beaches – what better place to retire than in Mississippi? Mississippi also is the most affordable state for retirement, with a cost of living 14% lower than the national average and total retirement spending the lowest in the nation.

With 14 certified communities, each one a vibrant and hospitable area, the options are plentiful. Each of these offers the friendly, easy, and comfortable quality of living for which Mississippi has become renowned.

Aberdeen

Named as one of “10 Great Small Towns for Retirement” by Travel 50 & Beyond Magazine, Aberdeen is located on the banks of the Tombigbee River, along the Tenn-Tom Waterway. The town is famous for its magnolia-lined streets and gardens, its many historic homes and its unique cultural attractions, including annual pilgrimages where visitors can tour the town’s antebellum homes.

Brandon

Brandon offers a small-town atmosphere, just six miles east of the state’s capital city and a stone’s throw from Jackson Medgar-Evers International Airport. The city boasts a new 8,300-seat, open-air amphitheater, offering performances by world-class musicians.Areas of Brandon are situated near the Barnett Reservoir, which offers an abundance of recreational activities.

Cleveland

Situated in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, Cleveland, Mississippi, is a small town with a big vibe. Cleveland boasts a 1,200 seat performing arts center, art galleries, and the only GRAMMY® Museum in the country outside of Los Angeles. Steeped in cultural, social, and educational opportunities for residents and visitors alike, Cleveland is the home of Delta State University, a regional institution that provides numerous continuing educational amenities and the fiercest anthropomorphic vegetable mascot on the college circuit! (Go Fighting Okras!) Cleveland offers high-octane recreation, small-town service, and award-winning restaurants to everyone who chooses to call Cleveland home in the storied Mississippi Delta.

Clinton

Located in the Jackson metro area, Clinton is one of the fastest-growing cities in Mississippi. The city is home to the oldest four-year college in the state, Mississippi College, which offers many academic, athletic and cultural opportunities. Clinton is known for its thriving downtown area with tree-lined, brick streets, its award-winning parks and convenient walking trails.

Hattiesburg

Selected as one of the “100 Best Retirement Towns in America” by Where to Retire magazine, Hattiesburg is a rare example of a booming metropolitan area that has retained its small-town charm and atmosphere. Hattiesburg is home to the University of Southern Mississippi, so there’s always something to do, such as educational programs, college athletics, or bicycle rides along the 41-mile Longleaf Trace.

Madison

Madison regularly tops the list of best places to live in Mississippi, leading the state with the highest per capita income, highest median home value and highest educational levels, among other accolades. The city boasts exquisite subdivisions, expansive country lots and numerous fine retail, dining and arts opportunities.

Natchez

Founded in 1716, Natchez is bustling with history and is home to over 500 antebellum buildings, many of which are open for special home tours during the fall and spring pilgrimages. The city offers numerous cultural activities, including the renowned Angels on the Bluff Tour each November and the Literary and Cinema Celebration in February.

New Albany

Voted one of America’s Best Southern Small Towns by USA Today, nestled in the heart of the Mississippi hills and located on the banks of the scenic Tallahatchie River, New Albany offers the ideal setting for family and community living. The vibrant downtown area, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, features galleries, antique shops, boutiques, restaurants, and is the gateway to the Hall of Fame Tanglefoot Trail, which is Mississippi’s best Rails to Trails path. It is also home to the internationally-recognized William Faulkner Literary Garden, housed at the award-winning Union County Heritage Museum.

New Albany is a place filled with culture and a strong sense of community, a place overflowing with artistic and natural beauty, and a plethora of outdoor activities.

Oxford

Oxford is a vibrant university town heralded for its unique shops and galleries, eclectic restaurants and clubs, historic landmarks and comfortable inns, as well as the country’s number one bookstore, according to Publisher’s Weekly. It’s home to the University of Mississippi, which offers an array of exciting athletic events, as well as enlightening and enriching performing arts programs and museums and exhibits.

Picayune

Picayune is a thriving city of approximately 11,000 inhabitants, known for its well-maintained streets, good schools and abundance of churches, stores and restaurants. The city hosts many festivals and street fairs each year and is home to the nationally recognized Crosby Arboretum.

Southaven

Just a few miles south of the Tennessee border near Memphis, Southaven offers a perfect combination of recreational, public services and community living. The annual Springfest is one of the top 20 events in the Southeast. Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy fishing, hunting and camping along Arkabutla Lake. Northwest Mississippi Community College and the University of Mississippi both maintain campuses in Southaven.

Starkville

If you’re looking for just the right place to enjoy your retirement years, it might be difficult to find anywhere as pleasant and affordable as Starkville. As the home of Mississippi State University, Starkville offers advantages that are rare in many other communities of similar size.

Tupelo

Music fans around the globe know Tupelo as the birthplace of Elvis Presley. But Tupelo’s rich history reaches back much further than the birth of rock ‘n’ roll, encompassing historic Native American settlements and Civil War battlefields. Tupelo residents benefit from excellent medical facilities, educational programs, theatre, ballet, a symphony orchestra, the Tupelo City Museum and Tupelo Art Gallery.

Vicksburg

The historic City of Vicksburg, with its commanding view of the Mississippi River, has served as the region’s center of commerce and culture for nearly 200 years. The city is home to the largest collection of public art in Mississippi, art galleries, a thriving Theatre Guild and the Vicksburg National Military Park.

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