Retirement Gems: Revealing the Best Places to Retire in Tennessee

Is it the low cost of living? Is it tax-friendliness? Is it the access to quality healthcare? In the past few years, the Volunteer State has become something of a magnet for retirees, and for good reasons!

According to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2023, about 17.3% of the 7.1 million residents in Tennessee are 65 years and older. While this landlocked state might not match Maine or Florida in terms of its senior citizen population, the reduced cost of living and extra perks make it a better option for most retirees. 

If you plan on making your retirement state home here, let's walk you through the best place to retire in Tennessee. 

Key factors used in creating this list

  • Cost of living
  • Access to quality healthcare
  • Percentage of +65 population
  • Crime rate
  • Housing valuation
  • Tax rate
  1. Chattanooga

Chattanooga is a city rich with natural beauty and green scenery, situated between the Appalachian Mountains and the banks of the Tennessee River. 

As an outdoor enthusiastic retiree, the mid-sized city of Chattanooga is just right for you. If you're using professionals to relocate, all Tennessee moving companies will let you know the city has plenty of state parks, mountains, and recreational activities to do.

The cost of living here is relatively low; with a median annual household income salary of $50,437, you can enjoy a wonderful experience. Housing and healthcare costs also lie below the national average, making this a steal for retirees. 

  • +65-Year-Old Residents: 17.2% of 184,086
  • Cost of Living: 7% lower than the national average
  • Median Home Value: $293,300
  • Property Tax: 0.92%
  • Healthcare Rating: B
  • Crime Rate: 1 in 16
  1. Franklin

If you are looking for one of the best small towns in Tennessee to retire in, Franklin should be among your top picks. The town is among the affluent areas, and it offers a unique blend of a charming mid-size community and the modern amenities of a large city.

As a retiree, you become exposed to its vibrant culture, history-rich neighborhoods, excellent restaurants, and stunning parks. If you're a history buff, Franklin has a lot of it, being the site of the Civil War between 1863 and 1864.

Maintaining an active life after retirement is also possible here—from walking trails to park sightseeing and golfing, there's no room for boredom.

  • +65-Year-Old Residents: 13.9% of 86,895
  • Cost of Living: 2% lower than the national average
  • Median Home Value: $889,000
  • Property Tax: 0.57%
  • Healthcare Rating: A
  • Crime Rate: 1 in 81
  1. Nashville

Being the capital city of Tennessee, of course Nashville makes it to this list. The city has a lot to offer retirees; from having an international Airport for convenient travel to over 100 parks, plenty of social clubs, and limitless entertainment, what isn't there to love?

The capital city is famous for its music history, and it's home to a thriving country music and rock scene that might appeal to the older generation. Plus, you will discover the Country Music Hall of Fame in its neighborhood, which can be an excellent place to learn about the city's music history.

Nashville houses top-notch healthcare facilities, with the Vanderbilt University Medical Center on its grounds—one of the nation's best.

  • +65-Year-Old Residents: 12.6% of 683,622
  • Cost of Living: 2% lower than the national average
  • Median Home Value: $445,000
  • Property Tax: 0.88%
  • Healthcare Rating: B
  • Crime Rate: 1 in 20


  1. Memphis

Known for its blues, rock n roll, and soul music, Memphis is surely one of the good places to retire in Tennessee. 


Situated in the southwestern region of Tennessee, this city offers retirees coming to live here access to world-renowned healthcare facilities like the Baptist Memorial Health Care and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

For outdoor enthusiasts, they can find their place in one of the city's many green spaces and parks. If history is more of your thing, there are famous landmarks and historically rich museums like the National Civil Rights Museum within the city.

  • +65-Year-Old Residents: 14% of 621,056
  • Cost of Living: 13% lower than the national average
  • Median Home Value: $189,000
  • Property Tax: 1.37%
  • Healthcare Rating: B
  • Crime Rate: 1 in 10
  1. Knoxville

Among Tennessee's many affordable retirement communities, Knoxville stands out as an excellent place for retirees with a fixed income.

The University of Tennessee Medical Center provides quality healthcare for all ages and a good sense of communal living among residents. Living costs are affordable, with the city's average below the standard of most American states.

Sadly, the high crime rate might be a factor you should consider before becoming an aged resident in the city. 

  • +65-Year-Old Residents: 14.2% of 195,889
  • Cost of Living: 15% lower than the national average
  • Median Home Value: $386,500
  • Property Tax: 0.65%
  • Healthcare Rating: B
  • Crime Rate: 1 in 21
  1. Pigeon Forge

Ever thought of having the Smoky Mountains in your backyard? Well, in Pigeon Forge, regardless of the season, from your balcony, you have a great chance to view the natural beauty of the mountain. 

There are plenty of perks living in this small town brings for retirees. From low living costs to easy access between large cities in Tennessee, stunning scenery, and a social community.

Pigeon Forge is a tourist-prone city, and for that, you should expect a diverse culture, shopping market, and dining scene. If this is something you fancy, then your time in this city would be full of good stories. 

  • +65-Year-Old Residents: 18.2% of 6,215
  • Cost of Living: 7% lower than the national average
  • Median Home Value: $450,000
  • Property Tax: 0.40%
  • Healthcare Rating: C+
  • Crime Rate: 1 in 21
  1. Germantown

Having a low crime rate, reduced healthcare costs, and availability of basic amenities, Germantown is among the retirement communities in Tennessee you would want to live in.

As an upscale suburb of Memphis, the cost of living is a little higher than the national average. Moreover, living here comes with its unique history. The town railroad depot construction in 1868 is a major landmark for Germantown residents.

Of course, Germantown has a suburban vibe. However, its high population of 65+ residents makes it perfect for anyone looking to retire in Tennessee. 

  • +65-Year-Old Residents: 22.8% of 40,816
  • Cost of Living: 13% higher than the national average
  • Median Home Value: $472,000
  • Property Tax: 1.37%
  • Healthcare Rating: A
  • Crime Rate: 1 in 59
  1. Crossville

What's the deal with many retirees and playing golf? If you fall into the category of senior golfing citizens, Crossville in Tennessee is just right for you.

Crossville is home to many top-rated golf courses across the state and is a major place for senior citizens who love the outdoor experience. The cost of living, housing, and healthcare are low, making it even better for retirees looking to save every dollar.

The crime rate is the only thing higher than the national average negatively in the town. Despite the considerably small population, violent and property crimes tend to stand out.

  • +65-Year-Old Residents: 21.1% of 12,470
  • Cost of Living: 11% lower than the national average
  • Median Home Value: $322,500
  • Property Tax: 0.37%
  • Healthcare Rating: B 
  • Crime Rate: 1 in 24
  1. Murfreesboro

Famous for its part in the American Civil War history, Murfreesboro is perfect for those planning their retirement living in Tennessee. 

The town has a vibrant arts and cultural scene, rich history, a good sense of community, and scenic surroundings. A retiree hoping to live in this southeastern part of the state can be sure of excellent healthcare services in the presence of St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital

Activities and attractions across the city for retirees aren't scarce either. You can enjoy time out at the Old Fort Golf Club or relax in any of the city's parks. Plus, at the heart of Murfreesboro, plenty of shows and other entertainment are available to keep the boredom away.

  • +65-Year-Old Residents: 10.4% of 162,398
  • Cost of Living: 9% lower than the national average
  • Median Home Value: $446,000
  • Property Tax: 0.68%
  • Healthcare Rating: B
  • Crime Rate: 1 in 38
  1. Kingsport

With plenty of amenities, low living costs, and affordable housing, Kingsport takes a final spot on this list. Living in this city means you are part of the large percentage of +65-year-old residents.

Kingsport easily wins the hearts of retirees with health challenges because it is home to several high-quality healthcare facilities. Plus, having one of the best weather conditions in Tennessee makes living here a gem.

In terms of cultural diversity, this city does a great job through its museums, theaters, art galleries, and a ton of festivals occurring all year long. 

  • +65-Year-Old Residents: 24.1% of 56,150
  • Cost of Living: 17% lower than the national average
  • Median Home Value: $208,000
  • Property Tax: 0.68%
  • Healthcare Rating: B
  • Crime Rate: 1 in 21


Finding the best place to retire in Tennessee is just a step forward on your retirement journey. However, just like with any relocation plan, it's best to have the mental and financial aspects of the move sorted out.

Whichever city you choose as your next home, ensure you work with professionals to handle your relocation. This will help you save time and monetary stress, unless you are on a tight budget.

Congratulations on your retirement, and happy relocation!