The 10 Best Places To Retire In Tennessee For 2021


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

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Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best places to retire in Tennessee.

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 2021.

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 2021

Paris, TN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,043
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Rent: $643
Distance to Closest Airport: 91 miles
More on Paris: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Greeneville, TN

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 14,942
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $587
Distance to Closest Airport: 124 miles
More on Greeneville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Germantown, TN

Source: City Of Germantwon
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 39,193
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $1,387
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
More on Germantown: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lawrenceburg, TN

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 10,877
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $613
Distance to Closest Airport: 70 miles
More on Lawrenceburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Brentwood, TN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 42,407
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $2,085
Distance to Closest Airport: 10 miles
More on Brentwood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Dickson, TN

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 15,447
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $743
Distance to Closest Airport: 10 miles
More on Dickson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Gallatin, TN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 38,156
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $962
Distance to Closest Airport: 21 miles
More on Gallatin: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Tullahoma, TN

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 19,852
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Median Rent: $758
Distance to Closest Airport: 57 miles
More on Tullahoma: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Elizabethton, TN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 13,577
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $641
Distance to Closest Airport: 105 miles
More on Elizabethton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hendersonville, TN

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 57,083
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 4)
Median Rent: $1,173
Distance to Closest Airport: 13 miles
More on Hendersonville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Volunteer State for 2021

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. Chattanooga
  3. Knoxville

For more Tennessee reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Tennessee?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Paris 10,043 $643
2 Greeneville 14,942 $587
3 Germantown 39,193 $1,387
4 Lawrenceburg 10,877 $613
5 Brentwood 42,407 $2,085
6 Dickson 15,447 $743
7 Gallatin 38,156 $962
8 Tullahoma 19,852 $758
9 Elizabethton 13,577 $641
10 Hendersonville 57,083 $1,173

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.