10 Best Places To Retire In Tennessee For 2019


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 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the best places to retire in Tennessee.

Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.

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

But not 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.

Where exactly in Tennessee is the best place to retire? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data — which returns Greeneville as the best place to hang up your cleats.

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 Greeneville don’t mind us spreading the word.

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

Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details.

For Tennessee state reading:

Greeneville, TN

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 15,035
Rank Last Year: 44 (Up 43)
Median Rent: $508
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.

Lawrenceburg, TN

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 10,573
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 7)
Median Rent: $577
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!

Tullahoma, TN

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 19,185
Rank Last Year: 53 (Up 50)
Median Rent: $664
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: 39,213
Rank Last Year: 91 (Up 87)
Median Rent: $1,398
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: 40,873
Rank Last Year: 89 (Up 84)
Median Rent: $1,922
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: 14,012
Rank Last Year: 43 (Up 37)
Median Rent: $557
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.

Lewisburg, TN

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 11,376
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 4)
Median Rent: $607
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.

Columbia, TN

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 36,130
Rank Last Year: 39 (Up 31)
Median Rent: $693
Distance to Closest Airport: 40 miles
More on Columbia: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Columbia is a city in and the county seat of Maury County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 34,681 at the 2010 census and in 2013 the population was 35,558.

Paris, TN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,168
Rank Last Year: 21 (Up 12)
Median Rent: $592
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.

Gallatin, TN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 33,426
Rank Last Year: 71 (Up 61)
Median Rent: $849
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 2019

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 Greeneville, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire In Tennessee Yet…

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

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

  1. Knoxville
  2. Cleveland
  3. Memphis

For more Tennessee reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Tennessee?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Greeneville 15,035 $508
2 Lawrenceburg 10,573 $577
3 Tullahoma 19,185 $664
4 Germantown 39,213 $1,398
5 Brentwood 40,873 $1,922
6 Elizabethton 14,012 $557
7 Lewisburg 11,376 $607
8 Columbia 36,130 $693
9 Paris 10,168 $592
10 Gallatin 33,426 $849

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.