Best counties to retire to in Tennessee

Written by:
May 11, 2022
Scott Basford // Wikimedia Commons

Best counties to retire to in Tennessee

Buyers and sellers of real estate alike—when asked what are the three most essential considerations about a property—will nearly always reply "location, location, location." While this answer is sometimes tongue-in-cheek, it is often quite accurate, and this reply perhaps applies to retirees more than any other demographic. Settling down after a lifetime of working and perhaps raising a family calls for the perfect location: a spot where you can enjoy life with as few concerns as possible.

When seniors aged 65 years or older decide on where they want to live out their golden years, they consider very specific factors, such as the cost of living, government services, health care facilities, weather and overall climate, crime rate, outdoor recreational activities, eating establishments, cultural and entertainment opportunities, and more.

Stacker compiled a list of the best counties to retire in Tennessee using data from Niche. Niche ranks counties based on a variety of factors including cost of living, healthcare, recreation and weather. Read more about Niche's methodology here.

Location is critical as retirees determine where to spend their senior years enjoying favorite activities; however, it’s a very unique decision based on a multitude of preferences and needs. Whether it be bustling downtowns or access to parks, affordable home prices or cultural amenities like museums, retirees seeking to settle in a permanent spot are sure to find a private paradise in any of these counties recommended by Niche because, in the end, there is no place like home—no matter the location.

Read on to discover the best counties to retire to in Tennessee.

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Hamilton County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (B), weather (B-), outdoor activities (A)
- Top places to live: Signal Mountain (A+), Lookout Mountain (A), Fairmount (A)
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Ballinindasierra // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Hardin County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (A-), weather (B-), outdoor activities (B)
- Top places to live: Crump (B-), Savannah (C+), Olivet (C+)
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Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons

#13. McNairy County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (A), weather (B), outdoor activities (B)
- Top places to live: Selmer (C+), Eastview (B-), Ramer (B-)
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Ɱ // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Knox County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (B), weather (B-), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Farragut (A+), Knoxville (A-), Mascot (C+)
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Johnson County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (A-), weather (B), outdoor activities (B-)
- Top places to live: Mountain City (C)

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Ichabod // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Giles County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (A-), weather (B-), outdoor activities (C)
- Top places to live: Pulaski (C+), Elkton (B), Lynnville (B-)
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AppalachianCentrist // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Greene County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (A-), weather (B), outdoor activities (B-)
- Top places to live: Tusculum (B+), Greeneville (B), Mosheim (C)
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Decatur County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (A), weather (B-), outdoor activities (C)
- Top places to live: Decaturville (B)
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Roane County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (A-), weather (B-), outdoor activities (C+)
- Top places to live: Kingston (B), Midtown (B-), Harriman (C+)
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Washington County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (B+), weather (B), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Johnson City (A), Jonesborough (A-), Oak Grove (B)

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Carroll County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (A), weather (B), outdoor activities (C+)
- Top places to live: McKenzie (B+), Clarksburg (B), Huntingdon (B)
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Cj4258 // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Henry County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (A-), weather (B), outdoor activities (B)
- Top places to live: Paris (B-), Henry (B), Puryear (B-)
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Cumberland County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (B+), weather (B-), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Lake Tansi (B), Fairfield Glade (B-), Crossville (C+)
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Scott Basford // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Loudon County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (B), weather (B-), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Tellico Village (B), Loudon (B), Lenoir City (B-)
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Sullivan County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (A-), weather (B+), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Kingsport (A-), Colonial Heights (B+), Bristol (B+)

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