Best Places to Retire in Tennessee

Best Places to Retire in Tennessee

Last Updated on May 18, 2024 by Ben

Tennessee’s regional real estate market is expanding! The more you drive through downtown Nashville, the more foreign license plates you see. Tennessee is seeing a large influx of residents from the northeast, midwest, and even the southeast for a good cause. Due to its pleasant environment, inexpensive housing, first-rate healthcare system, and stunning views of the big smokey mountains, Tennessee offers an excellent quality of life.

The Best Places to Retire in Tennessee have lower cost of living levels than the country as a whole. Tennessee’s cost of living is 10.3% lower than the US average, making it the eighth-lowest state in the nation.

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Why Is Tennessee a Great Place to Retire?

More and more retirees are flocking to Tennessee to spend their golden years. For a variety of reasons, retirees find this state of being an excellent place to call home.

Affordable Housing and Cost of Living

Tennessee has a low cost of living overall. The classic supply and demand laws will also apply here, and as more people move to the state and fewer depart, property prices are projected to climb. However, You may still get a lot for your money because the median household price is still low. New homes are being built in prominent locations like Nashville, Memphis.

Chattanooga, and Knoxville

The Tax Rates are Favorable Taxes and favorably rarely go so well together, but in the situation of Tennessee, they do. Your retirement income is not subject to capital gains tax. Moving here will be a terrific method to put more money in your pocket if you have a pension from another state or are living off your 401k income. Who wouldn’t want to do something like that? Aside from no state income tax, overall property tax rates are low. Your property’s effective tax rate is 0.74% on average. Davidson County, where Nashville is located, has increased property taxes by 34%, yet they remain competitive with developing urban cities such as Charlotte and Atlanta. Compared to other locations in the country, this inexpensive rate is challenging to pass up.

The Mild Climate

Winters in the northeast can be icy, while summers in the south can be oppressively hot. Both extremes are nicely balanced in Tennessee. The climate is mild and has lovely four seasons, but the summers are not quite as humid, and the winters are not nearly as chilly as in the northern states. Tennessee is a fantastic alternative, mainly because most retirees prefer warmer climates!

Tennessee Has a Beautiful Landscape

The splendor of Tennessee is difficult to describe. Nothing beats having the huge smoky mountains as a backdrop or living along the state’s hundreds of lakeshore miles. Tennessee is also known for its rolling hills and vast farms.

Best Places to Retire In Tennessee

One of Tennessee’s many tempting aspects is the abundance of possibilities for retirees looking for the ideal place to settle down. The cost of living in all 15 of Tennessee’s Best Places to Retire is lower than the national average. This list is graded from most significant to most minor significant cost-of-living savings.


  • City Population: 11,779
  • Share of Population 65+: 21.6%
  • Cost of Living for Retirees: 18% below the national average
  • Per Capita Income for the Population: $22,592
  • Tax Rating For Retirees: Tax Friendly

Crossville is an excellent choice for retirees because of its inexpensive cost of living and attractions. The city is home to several golf courses, including Stonehenge, the state’s top-rated system. In addition to excellent golfing opportunities, Crossville provides seniors with a range of stores and restaurants and easy access to medical care. With its numerous features and advantages, Crossville is several of the best cities in the United States to retire. Retirees can enjoy a good standard of living for a fraction of the expense of living in other areas of the country. Furthermore, the city’s proximity to Nashville makes it simple to maintain contact with the rest of the world. Crossville is an excellent choice for people seeking an economical and comfortable retirement community.


  • City Population: 8,982
  • Share of Population 65+: 20.6%
  • Cost of Living for Retirees: 11% below the national average
  • Per Capita Income for the Population: $33,349
  • Tax Rating For Retirees: Tax Friendly

For a variety of reasons, Winchester is an excellent area to retire. The small-town vibe is ideal for individuals seeking to leave the rush and bustle of urban life. Tims Ford Lake offers excellent fishing and boating activities, while the adjacent towns of Chattanooga, Nashville, and Huntsville give a wealth of entertainment and food alternatives. Another advantage is the moderate climate; you may enjoy the outdoors in Winchester all year! Winchester is worth considering if you’re seeking a tranquil location to retire from or an exciting community to call home.


  • City Population: 39,225
  • Share of Population 65+: 21.5%
  • Cost of Living for Retirees: 9% above the national average
  • Per Capita Income for the Population: $60,956
  • Tax Rating For Retirees: Tax Friendly

Germantown is among the best places in Tennessee to retire, and for a city of its size, it has one of the lowest crime rates in the state. Every town inhabitant has access to one of the city’s 27 parks, and the parks and recreation division has been named Tree City USA by the Arbor Foundation.


  • 65+ Population: 13.4%
  • Cost of Living: -16.1%
  • Median Household Income: $41,864

Memphis is the place to be if you’re seeking a retirement destination with big-city conveniences and a small-town feel. Memphis, with a population of over 650,000 people, has major sports teams, shopping, restaurants, and healthcare. Veterans will also have access to the VA Medical Center. Despite its size, Memphis has a distinct personality from elsewhere. There are numerous activities available within the city, or you can live a more relaxed lifestyle on the outskirts. Because the median property value is low, you can stretch your retirement savings here. Memphis is the ideal destination to retire, whether you want an exciting or relaxing retirement.


  • City Population: 54,127
  • Share of Population 65+: 23.3%
  • Cost of Living for Retirees: 2% below the national average
  • Per Capita Income for the Population: $30,740
  • Tax Rating For Retirees: Tax Friendly

In Kingsport, you won’t have trouble finding friends and other retirees to hang out with, as one-quarter of the population is over 65. Kingsport, which reaches the Virginia border, joined the AARP Age-Friendly Community Network as its inaugural member.

Kingsport stands out due to a few unexpected facts, given the size of the city. Ballad Healthcare’s network of hospitals in the area includes 21 facilities. This area is home to the Symphony of the Mountains Orchestra and is only 20 miles from the Tri-Cities Airport. It has previously won awards for “Most Walkable City” and “Most American City.”

Pigeon Forge

  • City Population: 6,266
  • Share of Population 65+: 21.9%
  • Cost of Living for Retirees: 2% below the national average
  • Per Capita Income for the Population: $20,478
  • Tax Rating For Retirees: Tax Friendly

Pigeon Forge is an excellent retirement destination because of its closeness to the Smoky Mountains and offers so much shopping and dining. The town is full of charming boutiques and restaurants, making it an ideal destination to spend your retirement years. You’ll never be bored with close access to the mountains and ski slopes! Whether you prefer hiking or simply taking in the scenery, Pigeon Forge will not disappoint. Look no further than Pigeon Forge if you’re seeking the ideal place to retire in Tennessee!


  • City Population: 187,603
  • Share of Population 65+: 13.6%
  • Cost of Living for Retirees: 18% below the national average
  • Per Capita income for the population: $26,340
  • Tax Ratings for Retirees: Tax Friendly

Knoxville offers several outdoor activities, including birdwatching, cycling, hiking, and more. Knoxville boasts several cultural attractions, including a symphony, museums, and more.

The healthcare alternatives are excellent because the University of Tennessee is located here. There are also two VA Outpatient Clinics in the city for veterans.

Knoxville was named one of the top American cities for retirement and quality of life by US News and World Report. It ranked number 20 on the list of the most excellent locations to retire and number 33 on the list of the best places to live in the US.


  • Population: 170,957
  • 65+ Population: 8.4%
  • Cost of Living: -9.7%
  • Median Household Income: $55,819

Clarksville is a lovely riverfront neighborhood that is neither too big nor too little. Street art, upscale eating, artisanal shops, distilleries, and boutiques are all present. It is home to several hospitals as well as a regional medical institution. There is a VA Health center in the city for veterans, and retirees may take advantage of everything Clarksville offers! This lovely city has plenty of activities and amenities for everyone to enjoy!

Clarksville is the ideal spot to retire if you want to keep active and enjoy the outdoors or if you want to explore the local stores and restaurants.

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  • 65+ Population: 16.6%
  • Cost of Living: -6.6%
  • Median Household Income: $47,165

Chattanooga is the place to go if you want more excitement in your retirement. With four distinct seasons and moderate winters, this city allows retirees to enjoy all that nature offers. And, because the Tennessee River runs through it, there are plenty of chances for fishing, swimming, and other water-based sports. In addition, with three state parks and woods nearby, retirees can enjoy hiking, biking, and other activities without driving far. Chattanooga should be on your list if you’re searching for a calm spot to retire or a city with a little more energy.


  • Population: 157,519
  • 65+ Population: 9.2%
  • Cost of Living: -5.5%
  • Median Household Income: $60,683

Murfreesboro is only 34 minutes southeast of Nashville. This city is ideal for folks who prefer being outside, as it is located adjacent to the Stones River and has over 40 miles of greenway pathways.

While this is a college town, it is an underappreciated mid-sized city. Middle Tennessee State University, located in Murfreesboro, hosts spectacular sporting events for the community. There are historical battlefields and monuments in Nashville, as in most Tennessee communities.

If your grandchildren or children have special needs, they will enjoy a trip to the Miracle Field. The sensory stations, zip lines, ramps, and turf on this custom-designed, rubberized baseball field are ideal for wheelchairs and other assistive equipment. Children of all abilities may enjoy the sensory stations, zip lines, ramps, and turf.

Murfreesboro has five hospitals, and veterans have access to the city’s VA Medical Center. Murfreesboro is an excellent location for those who wish to be close to nature while having access to good healthcare and historical places. It is also a city that welcomes everyone, as evidenced by The Miracle Field. Murfreesboro should be on your radar if you’re looking for a spot to retire in Tennessee!


  • Population: 85,469
  • 65+ Population: 12.7%
  • Cost of Living: -5.2%
  • Median Household Income: $100,169

Franklin, a Nashville suburb, is brimming with Southern charm, character, and history. You’ll find one-of-a-kind boutiques with general stores, Tennessee-made products, antiques, and more! Franklin’s advantages as one of the most excellent locations to retire in Tennessee include distilleries, farms, hot air balloon tours, and delicious restaurants.

Franklin will appeal to history fans. This city was the site of the Battle of Franklin, and there is a Civil War Museum and various Battlefield Parks and Monuments.

Part of the Natchez Trace Parkway runs through Franklin. This 444-mile national scenic byway follows the journey of Native Americans from Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee. Natchez Trace can be enjoyed by driving, biking, hiking, horseback riding, or camping.

Franklin has a lot of water activities because the Harpeth River runs through it. The area’s best popular water activities are fishing, paddle boarding, and kayaking.


  • Population: 62,257
  • 65+ Population: 15.7%
  • Cost of Living: -5%
  • Median Household Income: $75,146

Hendersonville will never cease. This historic Nashville suburb is also home to various live music venues and exciting restaurants, in addition to holding festivals and events throughout the year. And, because of its proximity to Nashville, you’ll be able to experience all of the advantages of a big metropolis while preserving a small-town vibe.

Hendersonville, located on the shores of Old Hickory Lake, offers numerous chances for outdoor enjoyment. It has Bear’s Pay Lake, Bledsoe Creek Nature Reserve, and Gallatin Pay Lake. There are four golf courses, a disc golf course, different hiking paths, and kayaking.


  • Population: 678,851
  • 65+ Population: 12.1%
  • Cost of Living: -4.8%
  • Median Household Income: $62,087

Nashville, the largest city in Tennessee, is one of the most significant places to retire in Tennessee because it offers all the amenities. Modern Healthcare, a ton of local entertainment, a variety of locally sourced and artisanal shops, and a food’s paradise can all be found here.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is located in Nashville. It is the top-rated hospital in the state and has received national recognition in 10 pediatric specialties and nine other areas. Additionally, it performs well in 16 circumstances and four procedures. On the list of the best hospitals, Vanderbilt Medical Center came in at number 20. The VA Medical Center and 2 VA Outpatient Clinics are located in Nashville.

Fans of other genres of music can also visit Music City. The eclectic live music scene at numerous locations, from arenas and parks to honky tonks and rooftop pubs, will appeal to music enthusiasts of all generations. Additional entertainment is available at several dinner theaters, performances, and even on the General Jackson Showboat dinner cruise.

Nashville is renowned for its regional cuisine and goods. You’ll find the ideal present in one of the numerous unique stores, from handcrafted artisanal goods to antique finds. The city was ranked seventh on Trip Advisor’s list of the best US destinations for food. Nashville is famous for BBQ, brunch, and its outdoor dining scene, in addition to its hot chicken.

US News and World Reports chose Nashville as another Tennessee city regarded as one of the country’s most excellent places to live and retire. It ranked number 25 on the list of the best places to live in the US and 23 on the list of best retirement locations. Nashville was chosen as Tennessee’s top city, receiving the most votes.

La Vergne

  • Population: 39,091
  • 65+ Population: 7.4%
  • Cost of Living: -3.6%
  • Median Household Income: $66,360

On this list of the most significant locations to retire in Tennessee, La Vergne may have a minor percentage of residents who are 65 or older. Still, its location makes it an excellent choice for retirees. It is a Nashville suburb and is only 30 minutes away from Murfreesboro. The J Percey Priest Reservoir, which forms La Vergne’s northeastern border, offers a variety of outdoor sports.

MONEY Magazine selected La Vergne as one of the best places to live in 2021–2022. The city was ranked 26th in the nation.

Tellico Village

  • Population: 5,314
  • 65+ Population: 75%
  • Cost of Living: -1.9%
  • Median Household Income: $77,365

Although it is not age-restricted, Tellico Village is a high-class senior retirement community. Most of its residents are older than 65, which is over 3/4 of the total population.

Tellico Village is considered to be remote while still being reachable. It is located on the banks of Lake Tellico (Little Tennessee River) and in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. From Knoxville, it is just 40 minutes south.

It’s ideal for active retirees to live at Tellico Village. Its recreational amenities include:

  • Three championship golf courses.
  • A wellness center.
  • A yacht.
  • A country club.
  • Walking and hiking paths.

Additionally, it’s a fantastic area for water sports and boating.

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Final Thoughts – Best Places to Retire in Tennessee

When selecting the best place to retire in Tennessee, there are numerous factors to consider. The very first is the environment. Places like Chattanooga and Nashville may be excellent for you if you delight in cozy weather conditions. On the other hand, if you choose cooler temperatures, it could be much better to suit cities like Knoxville for your needs.

An additional significant factor to take into consideration is the expense of living. Tennessee is usually an extremely inexpensive state, yet there can be substantial variants from one city to the following. It is necessary to consider the expense of living in each of the cities you’re considering before making your decision.

Finally, you’ll want to think about the kind of lifestyle you intend to appreciate in retired life. Do you wish to be close to friends and family? Or do you favor an even more independent way of life? Several wonderful retirement communities throughout Tennessee satisfy various forms of life. So spend some time discovering your choices and finding the ideal fit for you.

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