When it comes to picking the right place to retire, there are quite a lot of factors to consider. While it may feel like there are almost too many options to choose from, the best way to find out where is right for you is to make a pros and cons list. Luckily for you, we have done all the research on Tennessee so we can tell you right now whether or not it is a good place to retire. 

While Tennessee is a good place to retire because of its low cost of living, no income tax, and affordable housing. It is not a great place to retire if you do not like humid summers and severe weather warnings.

There is a lot to unpack about the beautiful, yet hot, state of Tennessee, and in this article, we are going to do just that. So keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the pros and cons of retiring in Tennessee so you can decide if it’s the right state for your future! 

Pros and Cons of Retiring In Tennessee

As with any major life decision, you want to be sure before you make a big move. Whether you have visited Tennessee and thought it might be a nice place to live or have simply heard others talking about immigrating to this southern state, you are probably wondering: is Tennessee a good place to retire? 

Before we go through the pros and cons of retiring to Tennessee, it’s important to note that the state is quite large and diverse, so every county and even city are a little different and have various advantages and downsides. 

Pros of Retiring in Tennessee

Let’s start with the good news! There are a lot of advantages to retiring in Tennessee, here is a list of all of our, and fellow Tennessee retirees reasons why: 

  • Low cost of living.
  • Affordable housing. 
  • No income tax.
  • Mild winters.
  • Beautiful outdoor spaces.

Time to dig a little deeper into these reasons so you can fully understand whether or not Tennessee is the right place for your retirement. 

Low Cost of Living

On some lists it’s the sixth least expensive, while on others, Tennessee is the second most affordable state. Reports will vary, but overall, Tennessee is certainly one of the cheapest states to live in in the entire country! 

The official cost of living index puts Tennessee an 87.6 out of 100, however, there are several states that come in far above 100. Just to compare, Florida has an index score of 100.3. 

These statistics take information from the cost of groceries, gas, housing, health care, education, and even extra expenditures, and overall, Tennessee is one of the cheapest states for every single category. 

Affordable Housing

The real estate market is booming in Tennessee! Because so many retirees and young corporate workers are moving to the state, Tennessee is growing quickly. 

But luckily, there are still plenty of homes to be found at an incredibly affordable price point. If you are looking to live outside of one of the major cities, of course, it will be slightly more expensive, but out in the countryside, there are tons of great deals. 

No Income Tax

Even though you will no longer have an income when you retire, most retirees still have to pay some kind of income tax! But not in Tennessee you don’t! 

Any income taxation at the state level will be non-existent, which can save you a whole lot of money. 

Mild Winters

Although the weather can vary from county to county, in general, the winters in Tennessee are quite mild. 

You won’t need a snowblower or even a shovel, unless you decide to live up in the mountains, as the lower elevation of the state usually only gets about five inches of snow per year. And it’s hardly ever below freezing, especially during the day, so you can enjoy being outside all winter long. 

Beautiful Outdoor Spaces

Tennessee is known to be a beautiful state with some incredible national parks, rolling fields, gorgeous mountains, and plenty of space to roam!

Whether you love being outdoors or just enjoy a nice backdrop for your life, Tennessee certainly has a lot to offer. 

Cons of Retiring in Tennessee

Now, that may seem like a lot of pros, but before you pack up your life and retire to Tennessee, there are a few downsides you should be aware of. 

  • Humid summers. 
  • Severe weather. 
  • Consequences of migration. 

Let’s find out a little more about how these cons may affect you. 

Humid Summers

Because of its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and the warm winds that come from the south, as well as the dense forestation and rich damp soil, Tennessee gets hot and humid! 

The summers typically experience a humidity rate of anywhere between 60%-80%, and just to compare, the recommended humidity for a healthy body is between 30%-50%. 

Severe Weather

From tornados to hail storms to flash floods, Tennessee experiences a lot of severe weather. Now depending where you want to live, this can affect the safety of your home and your family on a regular basis. And it will certainly mean you want to make sure your home is weather proof. 

Consequences of Migration

There are a lot of people moving to Tennessee right now. While there may be a lot of great things about the state, if migration continues at the rate it is now, your small neighborhood could turn into a bustling suburb in no time. 

It’s something to consider when choosing where in Tennessee you might want to live; if you want space, you’ll have to pick a town or plot of land that is far away from any major city. 


So, is Tennessee a good place to retire? Well, it’s really up to you to decide! While there are several pros and cons to consider, only you know if it’s the right fit for your golden years.