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If you’re looking for an easy, southern way of life and a low cost of living, Tennessee may be your ideal retirement state. Tennessee is blessed with many beautiful natural features, including the Mississippi River, the Cumberland Mountains, and the Great Smokies.

Perhaps the most notable thing about Tennessee is its musical history. Memphis is home to Elvis Presley’s estate and has significant blues and rock ‘n’ roll history. Nashville is a world mecca for country and gospel music. And throughout Tennessee’s mountains, open spaces, and small towns, you’ll hear bluegrass, folk, and country music played by local bands and larger musical acts alike.

There are 54 state parks in Tennessee, offering hiking, fishing, camping, boating, birding, and other outdoor activities. Tennessee has four distinct seasons, with moderate weather characterized by blooming dogwoods in spring and fall foliage displays in the winter. Winters tend to be mild, although they do get colder in the mountainous areas—and summer temperatures average about 83 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tennessee saw a lot of Civil War action—and it’s a major attraction for history buffs. The state has carefully preserved numerous Civil War battlefields including Stones River, Shiloh, and Lookout Mountain. The Trail of Tears also has its beginning in Tennessee.

Housing prices and costs of living are generally much lower than the US average, and Tennessee taxes are among the lowest in the country—the state ranks 44th out of 50 states. There is no income tax, although interest and dividends are taxed—residents over 65 may qualify for exemptions from interest and dividend taxes, depending on the amount of income. Property taxes are low in Tennessee, set at 25% of assessed value, and a property tax relief program for older residents lessens the burden.

If you’re interested in learning more about Tennessee retirement, check out the following areas for retirement communities in Tennessee:


A small town situated next to one of the largest man-made lakes in the world, Paris offers plenty of opportunities for boating, fishing, and other lakeshore sports. Paris offers affordable retirement costs and a mild climate, making it a popular destination for retirees. While it’s a definite small town, those who need the occasional big-city fix can drive two hours to Memphis.


Tennessee’s third-largest city, Knoxville is home to the University of Tennessee—which fuels a thriving artistic and cultural community, with plenty of events and activities happening throughout the year. In 1982, Knoxville hosted the World’s Fair—and several interesting structures still stand from that time.


One of Tennessee’s richest towns, Franklin has grown 32% since 2000. It has a rich Civil War history and many beautiful pre-war buildings in its historic downtown, as well as plenty of upscale shopping, dining, antiques shops, and more. Chosen by MoneyCNN as one of the best places to retire in the US, Franklin offers a low crime rate as well as low taxes.


Music-lovers, especially those who love country music and gospel, will love Nashville for its historical significance and its many existing music venues. Nashville is well known as a mecca for music in the south, but it’s also got a rich history with several Civil-War era forts, museums, universities, and countless destinations for shopping and fine dining.

If you love barbecue, music, low taxes, and a relaxed pace of life, you’ll love Tennessee. The state offers several cities with cultural and musical significance, rolling hills, mountain and river vistas, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Check out our free listing of Tennessee retirement communities today, and start planning your ideal Tennessee retirement.