Whether you are looking to retire in Tennessee to be with family or are just looking for a warmer climate to enjoy your retirement, Tennessee has a lot to offer to those seeking a place to retire.
There are large metropolitan areas such as Nashville and Chattanooga and small tranquil towns surrounded by waterfalls like Sparta and Pigeon Forge.
Tennessee is known as the Volunteer State, since 1812. They picked up this name during their involvement in the war against the British. And the nickname was reinforced when they provided aid during the Mexican American war in 1846 and ever since Tennessee has been known as the Volunteer State.
One of the more appealing aspects of retiring to Tennessee is their lack of taxes on retirement plan income and Social Security, allowing you to spend the hard-earned money things you want such as vacations. Additionally, the cost of living in Tennessee is 9.6% lower than the national average.
Though Tennessee has a lot of urban conveniences and entertainment venues, it is also the ideal place for those who love the outdoors. Tennessee’s mild year-round weather allows active seniors an outlet to explore the mountains and river area any time of the year. Some of the more popular activities residents of Tennesee enjoy are:
Some of the vibrant urban culture you can expect to find here are:
- Theaters for live performances
- Sophisticated dining such as Miel and Etch
- Grand Ole Opry
Tennessee is the perfect place for music lovers since there’s never a shortage of live music venues. Residents can find every type of live music genres such as classical, country, blues, and rock. Plus, there is an abundance of fun historical music sites to visit, like Graceland and the Country music hall of fame.
Tennessee’s most unappealing characteristic is the crime rate. According to Bank Rate’s report, Tennessee ranks 46 out of the 50 states for safety. Both violent and property crime rates come in higher than the national average. However, the crime rates in smaller towns are significantly lower than the urban areas.
Places to Retire in Tennessee
- Pigeon Forge
- Senior Population: 11%
- Overall Population: 669,053
If you are looking to retire in a vibrant city full of fun and excitement, Nashville is the perfect place for you. It offers a wide array of live entertainment, fabulous restaurants, and a busy nightlife.
Nashville, the state capital, home to the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum, is a country music lover’s dream city. Being the global hub for country music, Nashville often features some of the best up and coming musicians. Plus, if you want to run into some of country music’s biggest names, Nashville is where you will find them.
However, if you were hoping to spend retirement taking in more sports events, Nashville has plenty of teams for you to cheer on. There are enough teams to keep you busy all year round.
You can head over to the Bridgestone Arena and catch an NHL Predators game, grab tickets for the Titans at the Nissan Stadium, or go to First Horizon Park to check out the Nashville Sounds.
And for the retirees looking to stay active and enjoy the outdoors, Nashville is home to over 90 city parks spanning more than 10,000 acres. You can find boating, canoeing, and fishing opportunities all under 15 miles from the city.
Plus, if you are looking for a day trip in the wilderness, head 40 minutes out of town to the Cedars of Lebanon State Park, where you can enjoy horseback riding, hiking, and camping.
- Senior Population: 15.9%
- Overall Population: 180,557
Chattanooga is the fourth-largest city in Tennessee and is ideal for those still looking to enjoy retirement in the comforts of urban life but with a little less of the glitz and glamour. But this city doesn’t lack for things to do, there is plenty of live music, bars, and shopping.
Chattanooga is a quieter city compared to Nashville and Memphis. Chattanooga overlooks the Tennessee River and is a haven to many artists. It’s full of galleries, boutiques, and restaurants giving Chattanooga its unique character. The city is home to several artistic attractions such as:
- Chattanooga State Outdoor Museum of Art
- Hunter Museum of American Art
- Bessie Smith Cultural Center
Chattanooga has a few different districts to choose from when you are looking for entertainment such as the Riverfront, North Shore, and the Southern areas, all of which have an abundance of restaurants, nightclubs, and shops.
Chattanooga is also great for active retirees, especially those who enjoy bicycling. The Bike Chattanooga program allows people to rent bikes at various kiosks scattered throughout the city. Additionally, if you don’t feel like biking or driving, you can always take the free electric shuttle.
Plus, when family and friends come to visit, there is a regional airport, Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport, conveniently located in town, making picking up guests a breeze. Plus, there’s a multitude of things to do while your guests are in town like:
- Tennessee Aquarium
- Creative Discovery Museum
- Lookout Mountain
- Ruby Falls
- Coolridge Park
- Chattanooga Zoo
And if all of that isn’t appealing enough, Chattanooga also has one of the top hospitals in Tennessee, Erlanger Health System.
- Senior Population: 20.4%
- Overall Population: 10,057
The housing and rent in this small town is more than reasonable, allowing you to save your retirement for more essential things like boats and vacations.
Paris is home to one of the largest man-made lakes in the world and is perfect for the retiree who had hopes of spending free-time on the water. In fact, there are two nearby lakes, Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, so whether you just want a place for your boat or are looking for lake property, Paris has all that you need.
Additionally, Paris is also home to several artists that fill the local shops with their work and musicians who help provide live music year-round. Paris also is home to Krider Performing Arts Center and the Lee Academy for the Arts, both promoting the appreciation and practice of the different arts.
Though Paris is a small town, it does not lack medical care. It is home to several medical centers as well as an emergency medical center. Additionally, there is a county hospital only 22 miles away.
Paris is the perfect quiet lake town to retire, with the most significant event being the World’s Largest Fish Fry Festival that also features a parade. The majority of the local economy is driven by tourists, which keep the local boutiques and restaurants in business.
- Senior Population: 21.5%
- Overall Population: 6,324
Dolly Parton fans will love Pigeon Forge since this is the town she calls home. Plus, Dollywood is a great amusement park to bring the grandkids though Dolly isn’t the only retiree to be attracted to this tranquil small town.
This mountain town, located on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, attracts tourists from all over to enjoy the great outdoors and escape city life.
And for active retirees who love the outdoors, the mild climate of Pigeon Forge will allow you to take advantage of all it has to offer year-round. There is camping, hiking, fishing, white water rafting, and cave tours available at the national park. Plus, the town does feature several city parks.
Though Pigeon Forge is on the small side, it has many of the same benefits found in the city without the urban pace. For example, Pigeon Forge has live theater performances, art galleries, live music, shopping, spas, and The Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community.
Plus, Pigeon Forge is also home to Hollywood Star Cars Museum, which has both the Batmobile and the classic General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard on display.
There are multiple medical centers in Pigeon Forge, including LeConte Medical Center, which has an emergency room.
- Senior Population: 20.8%
- Overall Population: 4,945
Sparta is the town people go to retire to enjoy the outdoors and quieter side of life. The town of Sparta may be under 5,000 residents, but 20% of those are over the age of 65.
Sparta is located in one of the most beautiful areas in the country. The town is surrounded by waterfalls and is near the Virgin Falls Natural State Area, making it the perfect place for retirees who love the outdoors.
There are endless caves and trails in the area just waiting to be explored. And because of mild year-round weather, residents can enjoy the outdoors the greater part of the year.
Sparta’s small-town lifestyle means no traffic, small storefronts, and knowing your neighbors by name. The town also has a couple of local coffee shops where people go to catch up on the latest news in the community and enjoy time with friends.
Though the town is small, it has all the necessary shopping amenities needed within the city limits, such as a Walmart and a local supermarket.
And in the nearby towns, there are several other shopping choices available. Additionally, when you are looking to head out for dinner, there are various options to choose from all under 30 minutes from home.
As a bonus this picturesque small town’s cost of living is 22% less than the national average, making this place very economical for retirees.