Kiplinger's Tax Map for Retirees: About Our Methodology

Here's how we put together our retiree tax map and related state tax guides.

US map with the names of each state in different colors
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Our Retiree tax map and related state tax guides include data from a range of sources. 

Kiplinger tax map for retirees methodology

Our ranking for the most tax-friendly states for retirees is based on two major factors. Only states that don't tax retirement benefits were considered. 

Of those 13 states, the 10 with the lowest median property taxes paid were chosen. 

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Property tax bill amounts are based on 2021 data (the most recent available) from the US Census Bureau and reported by PropertyShark

For our ranking for the worst states to retire in (which place the highest tax burden on retirees), we considered states that still tax Social Security retirement benefits for single filers with an adjusted gross income (AGI) below $75,000. 

Then, we factored in states with the highest median property tax bills. (States that don’t tax retirement income were excluded from consideration.) 

State tax guide data sources

Data for state tax guides is gathered from several sources including the U.S Census Bureau, state government websites, the Sales Tax Handbook, and the Tax Foundation

Property taxes are cited as a rate percentage rather than the assessed value.

Katelyn Washington
Former Tax Writer

Katelyn has more than 6 years of experience working in tax and finance. While she specialized in tax content while working at Kiplinger from 2023 to 2024, Katelyn has also written for digital publications on topics including insurance, retirement, and financial planning and had financial advice commissioned by national print publications. She believes knowledge is the key to success and enjoys providing content that educates and informs.