The 3 Best Places to Retire in Tennessee

It’s true: retirees are on the move. Now more than ever, people are leaving their hometowns to spend their golden years in new cities. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Tennessee is the sixth most popular destination for seniors – more than 8,000 retirees moved to the Volunteer State in 2019.

With its mild climate, vibrant culture, and serious Southern charm, it’s easy to see why people keep flocking to the Nashville area. The real draw isn’t Music City, though. Locals know that the top retirement destinations are just a few miles south of town. Read on to discover the best places to retire in Tennessee.

Choosing Where to Retire

Before you decide where to move, it’s important to think about a few key factors. While there are many great places to retire in Tennessee, some may better fit your lifestyle, hobbies, and needs. Here are a few things to consider while planning for the future.


The transition to retirement can be challenging if you don’t have a good way to spend your days. That’s why it’s important to move somewhere that can keep you entertained. Experts recommend that retirees take up residence in areas that are chock-full of senior-specific amenities. For many people, that means golf courses, fitness centers, and sprawling trails perfect for an afternoon stroll.

Remember, your comforts shouldn’t be limited to physical activities. Keep your mind occupied with trips to the public library, participation in civic organizations, and centers for the arts. Make a list of your “must-haves” and be sure that your destination checks many of those boxes.

Cost of Living

When you retire, you’ll likely live on a fixed income. To make the most of your savings, you should choose to reside in an affordable part of the state. While this may mean living outside of Davidson County, it also means that your money will go much further than it would in a downtown condo building.

The state’s capital is the most expensive destination. Nashville residents can expect to spend more on groceries, housing, and utilities than those who live further from town. However, the cost of living in the surrounding areas trends far below the national average. This means that if you’re willing to take up residence just a few minutes down the road, your investment could pay for itself.

Lifestyle Fit

Tennessee is an incredibly diverse state with many amazing places to retire. You’re sure to find a community that mirrors your lifestyle and values. If you’re athletic and want to spend a lot of time in nature, consider moving to a small town east of Nashville. If you’re hoping for bustling city life at an affordable price, Murfreesboro may be a good fit for you. Other lifestyle considerations include:

  • Public transportation
  • Proximity to the airport
  • Live entertainment
  • Places to practice your faith
  • Places to stay active
  • Charm and aesthetics
  • Activities you like
  • Local culture
  • Restaurants with foods you enjoy
  • Walkability
  • Access to the arts
  • Rural, urban, or suburban?
  • Distance from children, grandchildren, and friends

Access to Health Care

As we age, it’s more likely that we’ll require specialty medical care. Fortunately, Tennessee has a wide variety of such facilities available throughout the state. Middle Tennessee is among the best places you can be if you’re in need of quality care. In fact, Nashville has been named “the health care industry capital” because:

  • More than 500 health care companies operate in the Greater Nashville area
  • Over $1.6 billion in venture capital was invested in Nashville-area health care companies within one decade
  • 16 publicly traded health care companies have established their headquarters in Nashville

Thanks to this presence, the Midstate is an excellent place to retire for those seeking specialized services, groundbreaking treatments, and well-staffed hospitals.

The Best Places to Retire in Tennessee

Now that we’ve determined what you need in a retirement destination, it’s time to see what our state has to offer. Three of the best places to retire in Tennessee are just a stone’s throw from Nashville. Here are our top three recommendations:

1. Smyrna

The U.S. News and World Report and Forbes have both named Smyrna one of the best places to retire. Located less than 30 minutes from the capital, this family-friendly town is home to historic sites, outdoor activities, and lake access. Many retirees love this area for its outstanding, well-maintained greenway system. Others are fans of the local golf course. Smyrna is also much more affordable than many cities of its size – it has the third-lowest property taxes in the state.

2. Murfreesboro

With over 157,000 residents, Murfreesboro is the sixth-largest city in Tennessee. This means that it’s the perfect combination of fast growth and slow living for folks on the fringes. In addition to a reasonable cost of living, the “largest suburb of Nashville” is home to exciting historical sites, new construction homes, and dozens of unique restaurants. If you’re looking for somewhere exciting to retire, look no further than Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

3. Stewart’s Creek

No list of Tennessee retirement destinations is complete without Stewart’s Creek. This hidden gem is the best place for those seeking a blend of tight-knit community and easy access to amenities. Situated neatly between Smyrna and Murfreesboro, residents of Stewart’s Creek can easily enjoy the things that make both of these cities special – without living in the middle of the hubbub. If you’re interested in retiring in this area, there’s a new independent living community that just might strike your fancy.

Start Your Next Chapter at Dogwood Villas

Legacy South is proud to present Dogwood Villas: a haven for 55+ adults looking for effortless independent living. With 74 low-maintenance homes available, our community offers access to exclusive amenities. Residents enjoy pickleball, a fire pit, artisanal finishes, and more, all without the high expenses and constant programming pushed by other facilities. Retire in a warm, memorable home that has as much character as you do.

Contact the Legacy South Brokerage Team to get started. You can reach us through the contact button on this page. We look forward to helping you find the perfect home for your retirement.

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