9 Pros and Cons of Retiring in Tennessee 

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Tennessee is known for many things, from its country music roots to its delicious, world-famous food to the gorgeous, mountainous scenery it has to offer. You may have even considered spending your retirement years in Tennessee, and for good reason. But, before you pack your bags and hit the road, you should know all the pros and cons first.

There are both pros and cons to retiring in Tennessee. For one, Tennessee offers its residents a low cost of living, warm weather, and beautiful landscapes. However, it’s also important to be mindful of the high crime rates in some cities and the risk of tornadoes. 

In this article, we’ll be going in-depth into both the pros and cons of retiring in Tennessee. If you’re interested to see what points made our list, keep on reading to find out.

9 Pros and Cons of Retiring in Tennessee

Pros of Retiring in Tennessee

As we stated above, there are both pros and cons to living in Tennessee, but this applies to living in any state. Below, we’ll explore some of the top pros that come from retiring out in Tennessee.

Low Cost of Living

One of the biggest pros of living in Tennessee is the low cost of living. Not only is Tennessee’s cost of living lower than the national average, but it’s the sixth cheapest state to live in

While some cities in Tennessee are cheaper than others, especially compared to some of the state’s major cities, Tennessee is still an inexpensive state to live in. This is the case thanks to many different factors, such as Tennessee’s lack of state income tax

Tennessee offers retirees low cost living across the board, from factors such as housing, utilities, and even groceries. As we stated earlier, some cities within this state are more low-cost friendly than others. 

For instance, the city of Smyrna is a popular retirement destination in Tennessee for many reasons. One of the most popular reasons is its home pricing is lower than both Tennessee’s state average and the national average. 

Johnson City is another low-cost option for those searching for the most affordable housing within the state of Tennessee. It’s also a popular town for young professionals and retirees alike, seeing how their housing cost is also below both the national and state average. 

This is just one of the many pros that come with retiring in Tennessee. While the overall cost of living in this state is low, many smaller cities within have an even lower cost of living while also being retirement friendly. 

Ideal State for Music Lovers

While many may consider Tennessee and cities such as Nashville the home of country music, this state is rich in all kinds of music, from rock to folk to bluegrass. 

If you’re a fan of live music and festivals dedicated to some of the best music of all time from a variety of genres, you’ll be sure to fall in love with everything Tennessee has to offer.

Famously known as “Music City,” Nashville is rich in historic venues and yearly music festivals that music lovers will be sure to enjoy. It’s not just major cities like Nashville; Tennessee’s music scene exists all over the state, so you’ll be sure to be nearby something historic and exciting no matter where you are.

Tennessee is also home to plenty of historic museums dedicated to the music that’s been made there. There’s so much to check out, from the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville to the Rock and Soul Museum in Memphis. 

You can also enjoy an afternoon walking through the Johnny Cash museum and taking in the beautiful sights at Lorreta Lynn’s ranch whenever you please. 

These are just some of the many options residents of Tennessee have available to them when you live in such a culturally and musically rich state. You can’t get these kinds of experiences anywhere else, so if you’re looking to dive deep into Tennessee’s rich musical history through yearly festivals, never-ending concerts, and historical museums, this is the perfect place for you. 

Warm Weather 

Another pro of retiring in Tennessee is that it’s a great place to settle down if you’re looking to avoid the cold. Winters are mild in this area, while the summers can get pretty warm.

Depending on the part of the state you’re located in, the summers can feel warmer than other parts of the state. The warmest city in the state is Memphis, with the average heat in the summer reaching up to around 91°F (32°C). 

All in all, you’ll be able to experience all four seasons, no matter where you are in Tennessee. If you’re looking for an overall warm and comfortable place to live, with a moderate kind of climate throughout each season, Tennessee may be just the place for you. 

Summers are a great time to get outdoors and get involved in recreational activities. No matter where you are in the state, there’s plenty to do and plenty of beautiful landscapes to visit. 

Water-skiing is very popular in Tennessee during the summer. If you’re looking for something a little more slowed down and relaxing, many folks bring their boats, canoes, and kayaks out on the water in Tennessee when the weather is nice.

Tennessee offers many different options for you if you’re a fan of walking through gorgeous trails and parks. You’ll also find that many of the gorgeous walking and hiking options offer a view of some of Tennessee’s many gorgeous waterfalls.

One of Tennessee’s most popular waterfalls is located at Fall Creek State Park in Spencer, Tennessee. These are just some of the perks you’ll have access to when the weather is nice in this state, which is most of the time.

Beautiful Landscapes 

As we stated above, there’s plenty of beauty to see and experience in Tennessee when the weather is nice. But no matter the season, Tennessee offers its residents beautiful scenery and landscapes that you will enjoy throughout the year. 

The trees in the fall showcase stunning colors that you can see no matter where you are in the state, and of course, you can’t beat the breathtaking view of the Smoky Mountains in the east that serve as a stunning backdrop. 

We also stated above that Tennessee is rich in waterfalls, and you can find them anywhere in the state, as there are over 500 in Tennessee altogether. No matter what you are interested in seeing and visiting, there is beauty all around you in this state that you just can’t find anywhere else.

Tennessee is also home to thousands of gorgeous, underground caves that you can visit. While the public can’t access all of them, there are plenty of available walking tours that allow visitors to soak up the unique beauty they have to offer. 

If you’re looking to spot wildlife in their natural habitat, there are plenty of places to spot multiple different creatures in the Great Smoky Mountains. If you are looking to take a nice, relaxing stroll through one of the most beautiful places on Earth while watching bears, bobcats, and elks stroll nearby, settling down in Tennessee may be the right move for you.

As you can see, Tennessee has so much unique beauty to offer that you can’t find anywhere else. There’s no shortage of beautiful landscapes and animals in this state, and you will be sure to discover something new every day. 

Delicious Food

9 Pros and Cons of Retiring in Tennessee

If you’re a fan of southern comfort food, Tennessee has exactly got what you are looking for. While Nashville is quite famously known for its historic music scene, this major city is also well-known for its southern cuisine as well. 

There is a lot of delicious food that you won’t find anywhere else unless you are in the south, and some of these foods happen to be iconic staples of Tennessee culture. No matter where you go to eat in the state, you will be sure to find things such as catfish, fried pickles, and sweet tea on the menu. 

Tennessee is also famously known for its barbeque, and Tennesseeans will put it on just about everything, from mac n’ cheese to their mouthwatering sandwiches. Regardless of what part of the state you are located in, you are most likely nearby a small, mom and pop restaurant that will cook up a hardy and reasonably priced meal for you and the whole family. 

Similar to their music festivals that go on year-round, Tennessee has no shortage of food festivals that will leave you stuffed. Memphis is home to the World-Famous Barbeque Cooking Contest, where people from all over the world come and compete. 

Every year in May, this competition takes place and hosts over 200 teams to compete and cook the most delicious barbeque they can for a line of judges. In mid-September, Nashville hosts a food and wine festival where some of the biggest names in cooking make an appearance. 

While there are plenty of food festivals and competitions that occur throughout the year, visitors and spectators can join in on the fun and eat their way through the day with all the vendors that are available and ready to serve. 

No matter what you are hungry for, there is plenty to see and eat throughout the year at the many food festivals Tennessee has to offer. 

Cons of Retiring in Tennessee

Above, we discussed all the pros involved in making Tennessee an ideal state to retire in. Below, we will explore some of the cons that may want to make you think twice about packing your bags just yet. 

Lots of Tornadoes

While Tennessee doesn’t sit in what is known as “Tornado Alley,” they do lead the nation in the number of Tornadoes that occur at night. This state does average around 30 tornadoes per year, so this is something to be mindful of before moving there.

While tornadoes can occur at any time and are often not something people have a large amount of time to prepare for, most tornadoes do occur in the springtime. While living in Tennessee, it is important to keep up to date in case a tornado watch or warning has been placed near or in your location.

If a tornado has been spotted, it is ideal that you get yourself in a safe space. Hurricanes can also occur in this state, but they aren’t full captivity hurricanes, and residents usually feel the effects of a weakened hurricane in the form of a heavy storm.  

While the effects of a weakened hurricane are not likely to be as dangerous, they are likely to affect the weather for some time, so it is important to be mindful of that. While residents will likely have time to prepare for a tropical storm brought on by a weakened hurricane, this is not the case for those facing a tornado in their area.

Factors such as large amounts of tornadoes and hurricanes hitting down in Tennessee is something to be wary of before deciding whether you will retire here or not.

High Crime Rates in Major Cities

Another factor to be mindful of is the high crime rates that exist within most of Tennessee’s major cities. Tennessee is ranked as the third most dangerous state to live in, with its violent crimes ranging higher than the national average.

According to a 2018 study, 30% of these violent crimes took place in Memphis. Also, in 2018, the FBI addressed the public to communicate that every major gang was found to be operating with all the eastern tri-cities in Tennessee. 

Based on a 2020 study done by SafeWise, Tennesseans’ biggest fear in terms of crime is falling victim to property crime. The amount of property crimes that occur in this state is also above the national average, so this is something to consider. 

According to that same study, the safest city in Tennessee based on reported crimes is Church Hill, with the smallest amount of violent and property crimes occurring here. 

While it is clear to see that many of Tennessee’s major cities are abundant in culture, food, and music, there is also no shortage of crime in these cities either. 

Traffic Congestion

If your car is your number one means of transportation, you should be aware beforehand that traffic in Tennessee can be pretty congested. In fact, Nashville is ranked 24th as having the most congested roads in America. 

One of the most dangerous roads in Tennessee is 1-29, or known by some as “Tail of the Dragon.” While this is definitely one of the most scenic routes, it is also known as one of the most dangerous roads in the state, as well as the country. 

As for any major city, traffic congestion is going to be brutal, so it is important to be mindful of that. While some of the smaller cities and highways in Tennessee are not as busy compared to the major cities, Tennessee is known to have some of the most dangerous roads in the country, so it is important to be careful out there if you plan on driving every day.

Hot and Intense Summers

While we mentioned earlier that warm weather was a pro of living and retiring in Tennessee, some summers can become excessively hot, so this is another factor to be mindful of. 

July and August can be the worst months, as the temperatures can sometimes reach well over 90°F (32°C), and the weather can feel more hot and sticky, as opposed to warm and comforting. It is important to ensure that you stay hydrated to avoid heatstroke if you’re out and about on a day like this. 

Knoxville is known to have reached temperatures up to 102°F (39°C) some summers, so residents must take care of themselves in this extreme heat. While anyone can suffer from heatstroke, the elderly and young children are the most susceptible to heat-related illnesses. 

When the Tennessee heat reaches levels such as these, it is important to drink lots of water and stay inside when you can to avoid falling ill. 


In this article, we discussed multiple different pros and cons of retiring in Tennessee. No matter where you settle down, there will obviously be pros and cons to the situation, but it is important to educate yourself on these factors and weigh your options.

For one, Tennessee is a low-cost state with zero state income tax, affordable housing while also being ranked as one of the cheapest states in the nation. When you move to Tennessee, you’ll have beautiful landscapes to look at every day, along with warm weather and an environment rich in culture. 

It is also important to be mindful of the fact that Tennessee has high crime rates, a large number of tornadoes that occur throughout the year, and congested roads and dangerous highways.

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding as to whether Tennessee is the right place for you in terms of retirement. 



Hey there, my name is Anja, I’ve seen and supported my mom’s incredible transformation in her fifties. Seeing how my mom “awakened” and took full control over her life really impressed me. I got inspired and started dreaming about how we could inspire more people, especially women, to open up and create a second life for themselves. That’s how the idea of aginggreatly.com came to life…

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