Not all that long ago, when someone mentioned “Tennessee”, you probably thought about the old-time country-western singers, southern-fried chicken with a side of grits, and a twang so distinctive, y’all almost couldn’t understand it.
Well, the good news, is Tennessee still has all those features, but it has also evolved into a wonderful tapestry of lifestyles. From the hip urban chic of Nashville to the rolling hills and Great Smoky Mountains, you’ll discover a state that can serve up the type of retirement you’ve been looking for. Need some specific reasons to retire in Tennessee? Try these.
#1. Find your fun. People who love the outdoors love living in Tennessee. You can hike, bike, or take a walk on nature trails or along city streets. Head to any of the lakes for boating, fishing, swimming, and other water sports. Venture out to one of the 54 state parks or the two national parks where you can camp, picnic, hike, or just enjoy the beautiful Tennessee outdoors. Golfers can also experience world-class golf courses around the state all year ‘round.
Cities like Nashville, Knoxville, and Murfreesboro provide all the amenities of city life—entertainment, dining, shopping, arts and culture, museums, parks, and events. Music is, of course, a staple in Tennessee, but in addition to traditional country-western, you’ll find that jazz, bluegrass, and a mix of other music genres are vibrant throughout the state. Nashville is known as “Music City” because it’s the mecca for songwriters and studios.
#2. Tennessee is very budget-friendly. The cost of living in Tennessee gives you plenty of ways to stretch your retirement budget. According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center and a CNBC report, Tennessee has the 7th lowest cost of living index in the country. Housing prices and property taxes are below the national average. Tennessee is also one of only two states that only collect income tax on dividends and interest income (New Hampshire is the other one).
Healthcare presents another reason to retire in Tennessee. Health insurance costs in the state are among the lowest in the United States. You can also receive exceptional care at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville and University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, both nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report’s list of “Best Hospitals” in a broad range of specialties.
#3. Four seasons of weather, but on the mild side. If you like experiencing a change of seasons every few months, but not particularly fond of extreme cold or searing heat, Tennessee will give you a happy medium. You’ll have cold weather in the winter, a little bit of snowfall, but nothing substantial. The summer is sunny and warm, comfortable enough to get outside and enjoy yourself. In some areas, you might see the temperature creep up to 90, but only for a very short time. For most of the year, you’ll just relax in a climate that makes it easy to take it easy outdoors.
#4. Y’all come back. Southern hospitality is a homegrown part of living in Tennessee. The people are friendly and welcoming. You’ll make friends easily here. People will invite you to join them in activities, experiences, culinary specialties, and just plain fun that you might never have imagined.
Retirement in Tennessee is not just the end of your working life. Living here presents a brand new start to your life.