These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Tennessee


We analyzed over 88 places in Tennessee to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

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When most people think of calling it quits on a career, they immediately think of a move to Florida.

But not everyone wants to spend their golden years in Florida; some of us want to stay close to friends and family and within the great state of Tennessee.

But where exactly in Tennessee? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.

To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Tennessee that are safe, affordable, and have plenty of things to keep you busy well into retirement.

What did we find after pouring through all the data? Let’s just say we hope folks in Erwin don’t mind us spreading the word. Here are our top ten places in the Volunteer State to retire:

  1. Erwin
  2. East Ridge
  3. Germantown
  4. Red Bank
  5. Bartlett
  6. Elizabethton
  7. Signal Mountain
  8. Maryville
  9. Hendersonville
  10. La Follette

Why did Erwin take the top spot? And where are Memphis and Knoxville? Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details.

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

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 with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.

This left us with 88 places from across the state.

For these 88, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • Low cost of living
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (As measured by population density)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport

We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 88, with the lowest number being the best.

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

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1. Erwin

Erwin, Tennessee

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,052
Cost Of Living: 84
Distance to Closest Airport: 104 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,834
Erwin ranked 1 overall thanks to its 35 place rank for cost of living and 17 place safety rank.

2. East Ridge

East Ridge, Tennessee

Source: Flickr

Population: 21,220
Cost Of Living: 85
Distance to Closest Airport: 104 miles
Crime Per 100k: 5,537
East Ridge ranked 2 overall thanks to its 39 place rank for cost of living and 56 place safety rank.

3. Germantown

Germantown, Tennessee

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 39,207
Cost Of Living: 112
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,198
Germantown ranked 3 overall thanks to its 84 place rank for cost of living and 6 place safety rank.

4. Red Bank

Red Bank, Tennessee

Source: Flickr

Population: 11,759
Cost Of Living: 88
Distance to Closest Airport: 104 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,915
Red Bank ranked 4 overall thanks to its 57 place rank for cost of living and 46 place safety rank.

5. Bartlett

Bartlett, Tennessee

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 57,805
Cost Of Living: 89
Distance to Closest Airport: 15 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,989
Bartlett ranked 5 overall thanks to its 61 place rank for cost of living and 20 place safety rank.

6. Elizabethton

Elizabethton, Tennessee

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 14,322
Cost Of Living: 82
Distance to Closest Airport: 105 miles
Crime Per 100k: 6,235
Elizabethton ranked 6 overall thanks to its 25 place rank for cost of living and 71 place safety rank.

7. Signal Mountain

Signal Mountain, Tennessee

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,416
Cost Of Living: 119
Distance to Closest Airport: 101 miles
Crime Per 100k: 712
Signal Mountain ranked 7 overall thanks to its 86 place rank for cost of living and 1 place safety rank.

8. Maryville

Maryville, Tennessee

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 27,824
Cost Of Living: 88
Distance to Closest Airport: 147 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,533
Maryville ranked 8 overall thanks to its 57 place rank for cost of living and 27 place safety rank.

9. Hendersonville

Hendersonville, Tennessee

Source: Flickr

Population: 53,257
Cost Of Living: 104
Distance to Closest Airport: 13 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,596
Hendersonville ranked 9 overall thanks to its 82 place rank for cost of living and 13 place safety rank.

10. La Follette

La Follette, Tennessee

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,304
Cost Of Living: 79
Distance to Closest Airport: 143 miles
Crime Per 100k: 7,242
La Follette ranked 10 overall thanks to its 6 place rank for cost of living and 77 place safety rank.

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…

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

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

  • Crossville
  • Pigeon Forge
  • Fayetteville

For more Tennessee reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Tennessee

City Rank Population Cost Of Living Distane To Airport Crimes per 100k
Erwin 1 6,052 84 104 1,834
East Ridge 2 21,220 85 104 5,537
Germantown 3 39,207 112 11 1,198
Red Bank 4 11,759 88 104 4,915
Bartlett 5 57,805 89 15 1,989
Elizabethton 6 14,322 82 105 6,235
Signal Mountain 7 8,416 119 101 712
Maryville 8 27,824 88 147 2,533
Hendersonville 9 53,257 104 13 1,596
La Follette 10 7,304 79 143 7,242
Jonesborough 11 5,138 90 113 1,498
Dayton 12 7,316 84 103 5,276
Mount Juliet 13 27,053 102 11 2,221
Brentwood 14 39,059 159 10 957
Bristol 15 26,705 82 117 4,077
Church Hill 16 6,742 82 133 1,987
Mount Carmel 17 5,443 85 134 1,230
Smyrna 18 42,235 91 13 2,969
Knoxville 19 181,759 81 152 7,504
Collierville 20 46,780 109 15 1,819
Memphis 21 656,715 73 4 7,707
Cleveland 22 42,331 87 109 6,975
Shelbyville 23 20,616 82 45 3,526
Morristown 24 29,152 86 11 5,687
Newport 25 6,890 81 136 11,161
Kingsport 26 52,835 85 127 5,583
Mcminnville 27 13,600 81 58 4,566
Franklin 28 66,596 128 17 1,635
Clinton 29 9,874 83 142 4,182
Collegedale 30 9,488 102 103 2,202
Harriman 31 6,296 81 118 4,828
Kingston 32 5,888 90 122 2,173
Murfreesboro 33 114,660 92 23 4,027
Greeneville 34 15,015 86 124 4,921
Nolensville 35 6,131 114 11 1,109
Chattanooga 36 171,863 88 108 7,370
Spring Hill 37 31,467 99 29 1,194
Pulaski 38 7,734 79 67 5,676
La Vergne 39 33,637 86 9 2,277
Springfield 40 16,598 83 27 5,801
Greenbrier 41 6,550 89 21 1,877
Goodlettsville 42 16,466 94 14 4,585
Henderson 43 6,429 79 79 2,566
Morristown 44 29,152 86 148 5,687
Martin 45 11,396 82 66 2,395
Jackson 46 67,190 82 65 5,651
Gallatin 47 31,800 96 21 1,792
Soddy-Daisy 48 13,109 90 103 2,914
Mckenzie 49 5,561 80 81 3,920
Columbia 50 35,207 87 40 4,115
Sweetwater 51 5,856 83 128 5,379
Morristown 52 29,152 86 161 5,687
Morristown 53 29,152 86 17 5,687
Dyersburg 54 16,998 76 32 9,348
Milan 55 7,826 80 66 5,008
Athens 56 13,603 85 124 8,137
Clarksville 57 140,563 92 48 3,727
Dickson 58 14,814 87 10 6,223
Rockwood 59 5,480 82 113 7,354
Humboldt 60 8,363 78 58 5,703
White House 61 10,618 94 23 2,297
Millington 62 11,152 79 20 5,299
Brownsville 63 10,079 82 46 6,012
Oakland 64 6,944 90 27 1,080
Loudon 65 5,606 99 132 1,391
Munford 66 6,001 86 29 2,599
Winchester 67 8,493 82 71 3,920
Alcoa 68 8,556 80 152 6,778
Cookeville 69 31,004 85 65 4,925
Bolivar 70 5,275 80 56 5,194
Tullahoma 71 18,900 84 57 4,566
Portland 72 11,853 88 33 3,391
Morristown 73 29,152 86 53 5,687
Atoka 74 8,727 93 28 1,203
Covington 75 9,033 79 32 8,812
Millersville 76 6,481 92 18 1,558
Paris 77 10,165 80 91 5,430
Savannah 78 7,029 81 99 7,867
Ripley 79 8,350 81 27 6,431
Fairview 80 8,020 96 26 1,433
Lawrenceburg 81 10,440 81 70 6,551
Lebanon 82 27,847 94 19 4,212
Sevierville 83 15,592 90 155 5,246
Dickson 84 14,814 87 38 6,223
Manchester 85 10,223 86 56 6,006
Fayetteville 86 6,991 82 67 6,322
Pigeon Forge 87 6,004 88 152 7,428
Crossville 88 11,125 89 92 9,582

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