8 Best Places To Retire In Tennessee
8 Best Places To Retire In Tennessee

Retirement is an exciting time for many people, and finding the perfect place to settle down is essential. Tennessee offers retirees a plethora of options when it comes to choosing a place to retire. From bustling cities to quaint towns, there's something for everyone in The Volunteer State. This article will highlight some of the best places for retirees in Tennessee.

From scenic mountain views and outdoor activities to affordable housing and quality healthcare, each of these locations provides something special for those looking to enjoy their golden years. Read on to find out which city or town is the best fit for you!

Nashville, TN

Nashville is a great retirement destination for those seeking a mix of city amenities and Southern charm. It is the largest city in Tennessee and is known for its music venues, historic downtown, and recreational activities.

Nashville  TN

Housing Options and Cost of Living in Nashville

Housing options in Nashville vary from active adult communities to affordable housing in quiet towns. The median home price in Nashville is higher than the national average, but it's important to consider the overall cost of living, which is relatively affordable.

Attractions and Amenities for Retirees in Nashville

Retirees can enjoy a wide range of attractions and amenities in Nashville, including live music, walking trails, and historical sites. The city also offers access to national parks and the Tennessee River.

Knoxville, TN

Why Knoxville is an Ideal Retirement Location

Knoxville, TN is a great place to retire due to its affordable housing and overall cost of living. In fact, the cost of living in Knoxville is lower than the national average, making it an ideal location for retirees on a fixed income.

Recreational and Cultural Opportunities in Knoxville

Retirees in Knoxville can also take advantage of the many recreational and cultural opportunities that the city has to offer. From the Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium to music venues and historical sites, there is no shortage of activities to keep retirees busy and engaged in the community.

Knoxville  TN

Chattanooga, TN

Chattanooga has become a popular destination for retirees for a variety of reasons. The city is known for its blend of natural beauty and small-town charm, as well as its abundance of recreational activities and community resources.

Housing Market and Affordability in Chattanooga

One of the most attractive aspects of retiring in Chattanooga is the city's housing market. The median home price is well below the national average, making it a more affordable option for retirees on a budget. In addition, the city has a variety of affordable housing options, including active adult communities and retirement communities.

Chattanooga  TN

Outdoor Activities and Community Resources in Chattanooga

When it comes to outdoor activities, Chattanooga has no shortage of options. From walking trails along the Tennessee River to the nearby national parks, there are plenty of opportunities for retirees to stay active and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The city also has a number of community resources, such as senior centers and recreation centers, where retirees can participate in organized activities and events.

Franklin, TN

Why Franklin is a Top Retirement Choice

Franklin, Tennessee, is a top retirement choice for many reasons. The city is located in middle Tennessee and offers a unique blend of natural beauty, southern charm, and historic significance.

Real Estate Market and Cost of Living in Franklin

The real estate market in Franklin is favorable for retirees, with a median home price slightly above the national average. However, the city's overall cost of living remains affordable due to its lower-than-average property taxes and no state income tax.

Cultural and Historic Attractions in Franklin

Cultural and historic attractions can also be found in abundance in Franklin. The city is known for its historic downtown, which boasts plenty of boutiques, restaurants, and music venues. It's also known as the birthplace of country music and home to a number of museums and historical sites.

Furthermore, outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of recreational activities in Franklin, such as Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium and numerous walking trails. Plus, the city's location provides easy access to other popular destinations in Tennessee, such as Pigeon Forge and Music City.

Franklin  TN

Johnson City, TN

Highlights of Johnson City as a Retirement Destination

Johnson City, located in East Tennessee, is an ideal retirement destination that boasts southern charm, natural beauty, and plenty of recreational activities. The town is home to East Tennessee State University, which makes it a perfect college town for adults looking to continue their education or enjoy a vibrant campus culture.

Housing Options and Affordability in Johnson City

When it comes to housing, Johnson City offers a variety of options at an affordable cost, with a median home price below the national average. Retirees can choose to live in a quiet town or opt for active adult communities. Additionally, the town's low tax rate and affordable housing prices make it an attractive option for retirees looking to stretch their retirement dollars further.

Healthcare Facilities and Services in Johnson City

When it comes to healthcare, Johnson City has access to quality medical facilities, including Johnson City Medical Center, a state-of-the-art healthcare facility with multiple specialties. The town is home to healthcare clinics, senior living facilities, and assisted living communities that cater to the needs of retired individuals.

Johnson City  TN

Gatlinburg, TN

Exploring Gatlinburg's Appeal for Retirees

Gatlinburg, Tennessee is a top destination for retirees looking for southern charm and natural beauty. The town, located in East Tennessee, is surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and offers easy access to hiking trails, camping, and other recreational activities.

Housing Market and Cost of Living in Gatlinburg

Housing in Gatlinburg varies, with options for retirees ranging from quiet neighborhoods to active adult communities. The cost of living in Gatlinburg is slightly higher than the national average, but the housing market offers a variety of affordable options.

Recreational Opportunities and Natural Beauty in Gatlinburg

The town's main attraction is the bustling tourist destination of Pigeon Forge, known for its theme parks and music venues. However, Gatlinburg also has its own share of recreational opportunities, including walking trails, bays mountain park & Planetarium, and the Tennessee River.

Gatlinburg  TN

Murfreesboro, TN

Why Murfreesboro is a Great Place to Retire

Murfreesboro, located in Middle Tennessee, is an excellent retirement destination due to its affordability, quality of life, and healthcare facilities. The cost of living is lower than the national average, and the median home price is affordable, making it a desirable option for retirees. The city has several 55+ communities and active adult neighborhoods with plenty of recreational activities for seniors, including historical sites and parks.

Healthcare Facilities and Quality of Life in Murfreesboro

Murfreesboro also boasts exceptional healthcare facilities, which is a vital factor for retirees. The Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital is a top-ranking hospital in the state and offers comprehensive medical services for seniors. Additionally, the city has a range of specialist clinics catering to specific health needs.

Murfreesboro  TN

Oak Ridge, TN

Discovering Oak Ridge's Retirement Advantages

Oak Ridge, TN is slowly becoming a popular retirement destination due to the many advantages it offers. The city has a unique history, being founded during World War II as a secretive location for research and production of the atomic bomb. Nowadays, it boasts a peaceful and welcoming environment, making it an ideal place for retirees seeking a quiet town with plenty of activities to keep them engaged.

Real Estate Market and Cost of Living in Oak Ridge

One of the biggest advantages of Oak Ridge is its affordable cost of living. Housing prices are reasonable, and the area offers plenty of affordable housing options, making it an excellent option for retirees seeking to stretch their retirement income. The city also has a lower-than-national average tax rate, helping to ease the financial burden on retirees.

Educational and Recreational Opportunities in Oak Ridge

Oak Ridge is also host to several educational and recreational opportunities. The city boasts highly-ranked schools, including top-rated private schools. The area also offers plenty of walking trails, historical sites, and a nationally recognized planetarium at Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium, perfect for intellectual stimulation.

Oak Ridge  TN


Tennessee is a great place to retire, with its beautiful scenery, low cost of living, and family-friendly environment. Whether you’re looking for a major metropolitan area or a small-town feel, Tennessee offers plenty of options to fit your retirement lifestyle. Chattanooga, Knoxville, Nashville, and Memphis are all popular choices for retirees looking for big-city amenities.

For those who prefer a more rural, laid-back lifestyle, Murfreesboro and Oak Ridge offer the perfect combination of affordability, quality of life, and recreational activities. No matter what type of retirement you’re looking for in Tennessee, there’s something to suit your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What factors were considered in selecting the best places to retire in Tennessee?

The most important factors that were taken into consideration when choosing the best places to retire in Tennessee include affordability, quality of life, healthcare facilities, recreational activities, and educational opportunities. Murfreesboro and Oak Ridge stand out for their low cost of living and highly-ranked healthcare facilities. Both cities offer a range of recreational activities to keep seniors engaged, while Oak Ridge additionally boasts a unique history and educational opportunities.

Is Tennessee tax-friendly for retirees?

Yes, Tennessee is very tax-friendly for retirees. The state has a lower-than-national average tax rate, helping to ease the financial burden on seniors. Additionally, Social Security benefits are exempt from state taxes in Tennessee. Property and sales taxes are also low in the Volunteer State, making it an attractive retirement destination for those looking to stretch their budget.

Are there age-restricted communities in these retirement destinations?

Yes, there are age-restricted communities in some of Tennessee’s top retirement destinations. Many of these communities offer a range of amenities including golf courses, swimming pools, fitness centers, and clubhouses. The majority of these age-restricted communities are located in larger cities such as Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga. These communities provide an excellent opportunity for retirees to enjoy a more low-maintenance lifestyle.

How is the healthcare system in these locations?

The healthcare system in Tennessee is highly rated and offers a range of medical services for residents throughout the state. Many of the top retirement destinations in Tennessee have hospitals and medical centers with excellent ratings. For example, Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville is ranked as one of the best hospitals in the country, while Knoxville also boasts numerous highly-rated facilities. Furthermore, Murfreesboro and Oak Ridge offer quality healthcare facilities and services for retirees.

Are there opportunities for outdoor activities and hobbies?

Yes, Tennessee’s retirement destinations offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities and hobbies. Chattanooga, Knoxville, Nashville, and Memphis all have easy access to hiking trails, parks, and other recreational areas. Murfreesboro is also home to a number of parks, including Stones River National Battlefield. Oak Ridge offers an array of outdoor activities from fishing in nearby Melton Hill Lake to visiting the nearby Obed Wild and Scenic River.

What are the average home prices in these retirement locations?

The average home prices in Tennessee's retirement destinations vary depending on the city. Chattanooga has an average home price of $207,000, while Knoxville’s median home values are around $169,000. Nashville's median home value is higher at $201,000. Meanwhile, Murfreesboro and Oak Ridge have median home values of approximately $180,000 and $167,000 respectively.

Are there social and community activities available for retirees?

Yes, there are many social and community activities available for retirees in Tennessee. Chattanooga offers a variety of cultural attractions such as the Tennessee Aquarium and the Creative Discovery Museum. Knoxville has an array of art galleries, museums, and historic sites to explore. Nashville is known for its thriving music scene, while Murfreesboro and Oak Ridge both offer unique shopping experiences along with plenty of restaurants and bars.

Are these locations safe for retirees?

Overall, Tennessee is considered to be a safe place for retirees. Most of the cities in Tennessee have below-average crime rates, with Murfreesboro and Oak Ridge having some of the lowest crime rates in the state. Nashville has seen an increase in crime over the past few years, but it remains relatively low compared to other major metropolitan areas. Chattanooga and Knoxville are generally thought to be safe cities for retirees.