Best Places To Retire In Tennessee For 2020


We analyzed over 49 places in Tennessee to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best places to retire in Tennessee.

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If you've hung up your office attire for the last time and are looking for a great place to retire in the Volunteer State, then you're in the right place. We've done the research to determine where the hottest spots for retirement are in Tennesee.

Whatever your priorities are for retirement, we're sure Tennessee has what you need. If you're a diehard country music fan, you couldn't retire in a better place than Tennessee. Whether you're just visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame or Elvis's Graceland, or you'd rather catch a live show at the Grand Ole Opry, you'll never run short of places to go to get your country music fix. And if you've always been a whiskey enthusiast but want to become a real connoisseur, then you'll have to compare the hooch from Tennessee's 30-some-odd distilleries. Sounds like a good retirement hobby to me! Maybe, for you, retirement is a time to just chill out in nature. In that case, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a place you'll certainly want to frequent.

The best places to retire in Tennessee are fairly well spread out around the state, with a bit of a higher concentration in the Nashville Basin. If being close to a big city is an important factor in deciding where to retire, we'd suggest Brentwood as the best of the Nashville suburbs, while Germantown is the best place to retire near Memphis. If you want to retire in the place with the best scenery and easiest access to outdoor activities, then Greenville is definitely for you.

Crank up the Dolly Parton, grab a plate of southern comfort food, and turn off that alarm clock forever, because we're going to the best places to retire in Tennessee.

Why did Paris take the top spot? And where are Memphis and Knoxville?

Whether retirement is right around the corner or still a far-off daydream, keep these Tennessee cities in mind when you're making a plan. Many of the cities on this list overlap with the best family cities in Tennessee, so they're all around good spots for every generation.

If you're wondering how we came up with this list, wonder no longer. We only looked at cities in Tennessee with a population of at least 10,000 people, leaving us with 49 cities to score. We looked at the data from the Census, the FBI's Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights to discover which of these 49 cities were the best in terms of safety, affordability, weather, and access to things to do. So which city was the most impressive by these metrics? According to the data, Paris is the best place to retire in Tennessee for 2020.

Still curious as to how each of the 49 Tennessee cities we examined ranked for retirees? Check out the complete list below.

For more Tennessee state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Tennessee For 2020

Paris, TN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,042
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 6)
Median Rent: $617
Distance to Closest Airport: 91 miles
More on Paris: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Paris is a city in Henry County, Tennessee, 86 miles northwest of Nashville, on a fork of the West Sandy River and the Tennessee River. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 10,156. It is the county seat of Henry County.

Lawrenceburg, TN

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 10,684
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $598
Distance to Closest Airport: 70 miles
More on Lawrenceburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lawrenceburg is a city in Lawrence County, Tennessee, United States, Lawrenceburg is the largest city on the state line between Chattanooga and Memphis. It sets on the banks of Shoal Creek. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city's population was 10,428 in 2010, with an estimate of over 14,736 as of the end of 2016. Lawrenceburg is the county seat of Lawrence County. The city is named after War of 1812 American Navy officer James Lawrence.

Review Of Lawrenceburg by HomeSnacks User

I'm mighty proud to be from Lawrenceburg, The Dimple of the Universe. Best place in Tennessee. And by the way, those who don't know where Hohenwald is.... it's only about an hour away. Pulaski is maybe 20 minutes away. One more thing..... don't mess with us!

Greeneville, TN

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 14,896
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $557
Distance to Closest Airport: 124 miles
More on Greeneville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Greeneville is a town in, and the county seat of Greene County, Tennessee, United States. The population as of the 2010 census was 15,062. The town was named in honor of Revolutionary War hero Nathanael Greene. It is the only town with this spelling in the United States, although there are numerous U.S. towns named Greenville. The town was the capital of the short-lived State of Franklin in the 18th-century history of the Tennessee region.

Tullahoma, TN

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 19,669
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 3)
Median Rent: $706
Distance to Closest Airport: 57 miles
More on Tullahoma: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Tullahoma is a city in Coffee and Franklin counties in the south-central part of the U.S. state of Tennessee. The population was 18,655 at the 2010 census. In 2014 the population was estimated to be 18,899. It is the principal city of the Tullahoma micropolitan area, which consists of Coffee, Franklin, and Moore counties and is the second largest micropolitan area in Tennessee.

Germantown, TN

Source: City Of Germantwon
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 39,164
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $1,388
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
More on Germantown: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Germantown is a city in Shelby County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 38,844 at the 2010 census.

Brentwood, TN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 41,987
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $1,891
Distance to Closest Airport: 10 miles
More on Brentwood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Brentwood is a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee; located in Williamson County, it is known for its rolling hills as well as being one of the wealthiest cities in America relative to average cost of living. The population was 37,060 as of the 2010 U.S. Census, and estimated at 40,982 in 2014.

Elizabethton, TN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 13,555
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $627
Distance to Closest Airport: 105 miles
More on Elizabethton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Elizabethton is a city in, and the county seat of Carter County, Tennessee, United States. Elizabethton is the historical site of the first independent American government located west of both the Eastern Continental Divide and the original Thirteen Colonies.

Dickson, TN

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 15,294
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 5)
Median Rent: $736
Distance to Closest Airport: 10 miles
More on Dickson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Dickson is a city in Dickson County, Tennessee, United States. It is part of the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population at the 2010 census was 14,538, with an estimate of 14,993 in 2014.

Lewisburg, TN

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 11,638
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Rent: $691
Distance to Closest Airport: 47 miles
More on Lewisburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lewisburg is a city in Marshall County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 11,371 in 2014. It is the county seat of Marshall County. Lewisburg is located in central Tennessee, forty-eight miles south of Nashville and fifty-two miles north of Huntsville, Alabama, along I-65.

Gallatin, TN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 36,139
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $937
Distance to Closest Airport: 21 miles
More on Gallatin: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Gallatin is a city in and the county seat of Sumner County, Tennessee. The population was 30,678 at the 2010 census and 32,307 in 2013. Named for U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin, the city was established on the Cumberland River and made the county seat of Sumner County in 1802. It is located about 30.6 miles northeast of the state capital of Nashville, Tennessee.

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Volunteer State for 2020

To create our list of the best places in Tennessee to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Volunteer State -- 427 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 10,000 people that weren't townships. This left us with 49 places from across the state.

For these 49, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI's Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • Low cost of living as measured by rent
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport
  • Other retirees (High median age)

We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 49, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Paris, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers. You can download the data here.

Maybe You're Not Ready To Retire In Tennessee Yet...

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Tennessee goes to Paris.

If you're not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:

  1. Clarksville
  2. Cleveland
  3. Chattanooga

For more Tennessee reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Tennessee?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Paris 10,042 $617
2 Lawrenceburg 10,684 $598
3 Greeneville 14,896 $557
4 Tullahoma 19,669 $706
5 Germantown 39,164 $1,388
6 Brentwood 41,987 $1,891
7 Elizabethton 13,555 $627
8 Dickson 15,294 $736
9 Lewisburg 11,638 $691
10 Gallatin 36,139 $937

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.