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The Best Places to Retire in Tennessee 🪴 | Complete Guide to Retiring in Tennessee

Last Updated on: 28th May 2024, 05:53 pm

Are you considering retiring in Tennessee? There are many benefits to settling down here. More and more retirees are coming to The Volunteer State, and there are a number of good reasons why. Tennessee has a very affordable cost of living and affordable housing, which is great for seniors on a fixed income.

The tax rates are favorable in Tennessee too. That’s a big deal if you’re retiring in Tennessee because you’ll have more money in your pocket. Property tax rates are low, and the mild climate has 4 distinct seasons, including hot summers and warmer winters than up north.

Tennessee is known for its natural beauty, which includes the Great Smoky Mountains, lots of rolling hills, open farmland, and many lakes. Tennessee isn’t short on culture and entertainment, either. Nashville is the county music capital of the world. It is home to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Tennessee is full of music, art, museums, and lots of history.

Another feature important to retirees is healthcare, and Tennessee has a high-quality, affordable healthcare system that includes many highly-ranked hospitals and medical centers when compared to the national average. Once you find the perfect place in Tennessee to retire, our senior movers can have you settled in and enjoying your best life in no time!

Is Tennessee a Good Place to Retire?

You’re in your golden years, so you should live it out somewhere that’s beautiful! If you’re looking to retire in Tennessee, there are some things you should consider, such as the climate, transportation, healthcare, crime, cost of living, and taxes.

Depending on your lifestyle, you’ll also want to consider what activities and social scenes are available. Tennessee checks many of these boxes for retirees, making it an appealing state to retire in. Here are some of the bonuses of retiring in Tennessee:

Taxes in Tennessee

If you want to retire in Tennessee, finances are important. Here’s why the tax rates are favorable in Tennessee: 

  • There is no capital gains tax on your retirement income. 
  • You won’t be taxed on your retirement savings, such as your pension or your 401k income, leaving you with more money in your pocket. 
  • Property tax rates in Tennessee average 0.65% and are among the lowest in the country. 
  • Tennessee doesn’t tax your social security benefits or any withdrawals. 
  • Tennessee doesn’t have a state income tax, so you won’t pay any state tax if you continue working.
  • Qualifying homeowners aged 65 or older can receive tax relief from the taxes due on their property. The amount of relief will depend on where you live. 

Climate in Tennessee

Retirees come to Tennessee for the mild climate, which includes four distinct seasons. The summers are hot, and winters can be cold. It does snow in Tennessee, but the winters aren’t nearly as cold and snowy as those up north. 

Natural Beauty in Tennessee

man overlooking the great smoky mountain peaks of smoky mountain national park

Those who retire in Tennessee will have lots to do. Tennessee is known for its natural beauty. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most popular national park in the country. Tennessee has stunning landscapes and beautiful outdoor spaces to enjoy. The fall is a special time when the leaves change color.

Outdoor Activities

Tennessee has many parks, trails, and mountain passes to explore. Popular outdoor activities include hiking, fishing, and boating.

Cost of Living

Tennessee has a very affordable cost of living. There’s also affordable housing. The median home value in Tennessee is $368,000, which is below the US average of $395,100. 

Attractions and Amenities

Tennessee has many attractions. Some of the top places to see are:

  • The Great Smokey Mountain
  • Dollywood
  • Ruby Falls
  • Beale Street in Memphis

Nashville is the county music capital of the world, and many music festivals are held throughout the state every year. Tennessee has many museums, galleries, and Civil War historic sites.  

Healthcare

  • Healthcare is important to retirees, and you’ll be pleased that Tennessee has a high-quality, affordable healthcare system that includes many highly ranked hospitals and medical centers.

Best Places to Retire in Tennessee

Tennessee has many excellent places to retire. Finding the right retirement location for you will depend on factors such as your budget, safety, amenities, community, and personal preferences. Here are some of the top places in Tennessee to retire:

Tellico Village – Tennessee’s Best Planned Retirement Community

  • Population: 7,311
  • Share of population 65+: 70.6%
  • Crime rate: 59% below the national average

Tellico Village is an unincorporated planned community and census-designated place located on the western shore of Tellico Reservoir in Loudon County. The planned active adult community is nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains and is regarded as one of the best retirement communities in the southwest.

Tellico Village is about 30 miles southwest of Knoxville. Tellico Village has lots of amenities for retirees. The community has three championship golf courses and 357 miles of shoreline along Lake Tellico, which offers waterfront living, walking and hiking trails, boating, and water sports thanks to its mild climate.

Tellico also has a yacht and country club. Residents can enjoy swimming, racquet sports, cards, dancing, fitness, art, and much more. The crime rate is low as are healthcare costs. World-class medical facilities are nearby at the Fort Loudoun Medical Center. 

Germantown – Lots of Parks and Green Space for Active Retirees

the colonial style homes of germantown tennessee

  • Population: 41,333
  • Share of population 65+: 22.8%
  • Crime rate: 27% below the national average

Germantown is located in Shelby County, Tennessee, about 22 miles east of Memphis. Germantown has plenty of advantages for retirees. The city has a low crime rate and low healthcare costs compared to the national average.

Germantown is also home to many of Memphis’s top healthcare facilities and providers and offers seniors programs such as free fitness classes. Germantown has many amenities for retirees. The town hosts Festivals year-round to celebrate their history and German Culture.

Germantown hosts many horse shows and competitions annually, including the Germantown Charity Horse Show in June. Germantown is safe for retirees, having the lowest crime rate of any city its size in the state.

The Germantown Parks and Recreation Department is nationally accredited and operates 27 parks, covering over 700 acres, that are within walking distance of every residence in town. The acoustically perfect Germantown Performing Arts Centre hosts top artists from around the world.  

Chattanooga – Best All-Around City in the South to Retire

overlooking the lake in chattanooga tennessee

  • Population: 181,099
  • Share of population 65+: 17.2%
  • Crime rate: 174% above the national average

Chattanooga is the county seat of Hamilton County, situated along the Tennessee River, bordering Georgia to the south. Chattanooga is the fourth-largest city in Tennessee. Located near the Appalachian Mountains, Chattanooga offers stunning scenery and lots of outdoor recreation.

For retirees, Chattanooga has a relatively low cost of living and excellent, low-cost healthcare. Housing costs are 6% below the national average. The crime rate is high in Chattanooga, but that is true of most big cities. Fortunately, most crime is located in specific areas that can be easily avoided.

Chattanooga has a vibrant downtown area with a wide range of entertainment, dining, cultural, and architectural attractions. The Tennessee Aquarium, the Creative Discovery Museum, and the historic Walnut Street Bridge are just a few highlights.

Some of the many popular parks in Chattanooga are Coolidge Park, Renaissance Park, Miller Park, and Main Terrain Art Park. Chattanooga hosts many festivals, including the Riverbend Festival, the Bessie Smith Strut, and the Southern Brewer’s Festival. Chattanooga was voted the best all-around city to retire in the South by Southern Living Magazine.  

Franklin – One of the Top Places to Retire in the US

overview of the town center of franklin tennessee

  • Population: 83,454
  • Share of population 65+: 13.9%
  • Crime rate: 47% below the national average

Located in Williamson County, about 21 miles south of Downtown Nashville, Franklin is a quaint, historic town that offers a range of amenities for retirees at a lower cost of living than Downtown Nashville. A low crime rate and plenty of outdoor activities make it an attractive place for active retirees.

The town has several golf clubs, walking trails, museums, historic sites, including Civil War sites, and cultural attractions. The Franklin Theatre hosts concerts, plays, and other performances throughout the year. The city has many parks and green spaces for outdoor recreation.

Franklin is home to many of Nashville’s country music stars. Nearby Vanderbilt University Medical Center is a world-class facility, and Williamson Medical Center employs many specialists and highly-ranked physicians. Money Magazine named Franklin one of the “10 Best Places to Retire in the US in 2022.” 

Pigeon Forge – Best Mix of Stunning Views and Fun Attractions

overview of the city of pigeon forge tennessee and town

  • Population: 6,343
  • Share of population 65+: 18.2%
  • Crime rate: 105% above the national average

Pigeon Forge is a mountain resort city located in Sevier County. The city is 5 miles north of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is a popular tourist destination. The magazine, “Where to Retire,” named Pigeon Forge a top retirement destination thanks to the lower cost of living and beautiful neighborhoods.

The cost of living in Pigeon Forge is slightly higher than the rest of Tennessee but lower than the national average. Pigeon Forge in Tennessee offers a laid-back lifestyle in East Tennessee.

There’s plenty to do for retirees in Pigeon Forge. Top attractions in Pigeon Forge include Dollywood, Dollywood’s Splash Country, WonderWorks, and Alcatraz East Crime Museum. Pigeon Forge hosts many country music concerts throughout the year, and musical theater venues and dinner shows cater to residents and tourists alike.

Pigeon Forge offers easy access to the mountains and ski slopes of Gatlinburg. Surrounded by the Great Smokey Mountains, Pigeon Forge offers stunning views and many walking and hiking trails. With an abundance of shops, restaurants, and attractions, it’s no wonder Pigeon Forge is a popular site for retirees. 

Memphis – Big City Amenities and Lifestyle for Retirees

  • Population: 633,104
  • Share of population 65+: 14.0%
  • Crime rate: 312% above the national average

Memphis is the seat of Shelby County, located along the Mississippi River, and is the second largest in Tennessee. If you want to enjoy big city life in your retirement, Memphis is a great choice.

Memphis has a vibrant music scene and is home to many music genres, including Memphis soul, Memphis blues, gospel, rock n’ roll, rockabilly, and Memphis rap. Graceland and the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum are top attractions.

Memphis has a relatively low cost of living, and housing and healthcare costs are inexpensive. Being a big city, Memphis does have a high crime rate, and the property crime rate is 65% higher than the rest of the state. That being said, the crime is mostly restricted to certain areas. You’ll find many safe neighborhoods in Memphis to retire to, including a wide variety of senior-friendly communities.

Memphis features annual events such as the Beale Street Music Festival, the Indie Memphis Film Festival, International Week, The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, and the Great River Run. The Africa in April festival celebrates African-influenced arts, history, culture, and diversity. Beale Street is a historic site and home to many street performers, bars, and clubs featuring live entertainment.

Memphis is also home to many museums, galleries, and the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA. For retirees looking for outdoor activities, Memphis has lots of parks and green spaces. Another benefit is that Memphis has really good healthcare facilities.

Map of Best Towns in Tennessee to Retire

If you’re retiring in Tennessee, you’re not alone! Many retirees are flocking to this state. When it comes to the best places to retire in Tennessee, the list above is a great starting point. When it comes to relocating to one of the Tennessee cities above, All Out Moving is here to help! Call us today at 423-716-3025 for a free quote!

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