Feb 6, 2023

Is Tennessee a good place for my senior parents to retire?

Stuart Mason

If your parents are getting to, or are already at, retirement age, then they be thinking about where they want to move to spend their retirement years. For many seniors, the classic American retirement involves moving to a sunny state in the southeast along the coast such as Florida or Georgia. But while a Florida retirement may be the classic idea of an American retirement, these days people are moving to a wide variety of new retirement destinations like the Carolinas or southwest destinations like Arizona or New Mexico. Among the most popular of these new retirement destinations is Tennessee. 

There’s a ton of reasons why so many retirees are moving to Tennessee each year. From temperate year round weather, to a friendly tax climate for retirees, to some of the best medical facilities in the country Tennessee checks all the boxes for a comfortable, healthy, and social retirement. Find out all the things that make Tennessee such an amazing retirement destination for your senior parents here.

Tennessee retirement taxes

One of the things that marks Tennessee such an incredible place for your senior parents to retire is that Tennessee has one of the friendliest tax climates for retirees in the country. The main reason why Tennessee is such a tax friendly state for retirees is that in 2021 Tennessee repealed all forms of state income taxes (including income from interest and dividends). This means that Tennessee does not tax Social Security benefits or other forms of retirement income in any way. Given that state income tax can be over 10% in some states, Tennessee’s complete lack of state income tax can mean hundreds or even thousands of dollars in savings for your senior parents compared to if they retired in another state.

No state income tax means plenty of extra money for things like traveling or sightseeing.

Along with having no state income tax at all, Tennessee also has comparatively low property taxes compared to other states in the country. The average effective property tax rate in Tennessee is just 0.56%. This can mean further savings for your senior parents, as seniors often have a lot of their wealth tied up in their real property (specifically, their home). In addition to already having low property taxes, Tennessee also has a Property Tax Relief Program that can provide tax relief to some elderly or disabled homeowners in Tennessee. Eligible seniors, who must be at least 65 years or older to apply, can receive an exemption of $30,000 on their home value.

While Tennessee does have incredibly favorable income and property taxes, Tennessee does have some of the highest sales taxes in the US, with a state rate of 7% and sales taxes being added by local governments. That being said, even with a relatively high sales tax rate, Tennessee has incredibly favorable taxes for retirees.

Tennessee low cost of living

Sticking with everyone’s favorite benefit of saving money in retirement, another thing that makes Tennessee a great place for your senior parents to retire is that state’s low cost of living. Despite being one of the more desirable property markets in the country - with Nashville leading the way as one of the country’s most popular destinations - Tennessee is also one of the lowest cost of living states in the entire country, meaning that your senior parent’s retirement dollars will go much further in Tennessee than in some other places around the country. While it might surprise some, housing costs in Tennessee (for both purchasing and renting) are much lower than the national average meaning big savings for seniors who often have a majority of their wealth tied up in their property. But housing is not the only cost of living metric where Tennessee excels, as Tennesseans pay cheaper than average prices for most major life goods, from utilities, to food, to healthcare and transportation. For senior parents living on a fixed income, Tennessee’s low cost of living can be a huge relief. 

Great weather all year

Another thing that senior retirees really love about Tennessee is the state’s moderate year round weather, with four beautiful and distinct seasons. Winters and summer are both mild in Tennessee - with temperatures averaging in the 40’s in the winter and in the 80’s in the summer. Along with pleasant and mild summers and winters, Tennessee also enjoys gorgeous spring and fall weather with beautiful changing leaves in the fall and an explosion of flowering plants each spring.

Tennessee’s great climate comes in handy because there’s so much for your senior parents to do outdoors in Tennessee. Tennessee is home to some of the country’s most beautiful and popular national parks, including the famous Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Along with all its amazing national parks (including sections of the world-famous Appalachian Trail), Tennessee has plenty of amazing ways for your senior parents to stay engaged and active. From beautiful lakes and rivers for going fishing or just relaxing, to some of the country’s best golf courses, Tennessee is an amazing place for seniors to get outdoor recreation in.

There's no shortage of great outdoor activities for retirees in Tennessee, including some of the country's best golf courses.

But it isn’t just physical activities that will get your senior parents out and about in Tennessee, as Tennessee has plenty of cultural opportunities as well, headlined by Tennessee’s rich musical history. See a show at one of Nashville’s world famous venues like the Grand Ole Opry, or hop over to Memphis to see Graceland, the world-famous home of Elvis Presley. 

Tennessee’s great healthcare 

One of the most important things to plan for in your retirement is making sure that you have access to quality doctors and healthcare providers. Tennessee boasts some of the best hospitals and clinics in the country including the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, one of the country’s most well-respected medical providers. It can be a great source of comfort to both you and your senior parent knowing that world-class medical providers are located nearby should anything ever go wrong. 

If your senior parent is thinking about where to go for their retirement, Tennessee is a really amazing option. From low taxes and a low cost of living, to amazing weather all year round and some of the country’s best healthcare institutions, Tennessee has everything that your senior parents will need for an amazing retirement. To learn more about how Sunbound can help make senior living more affordable for you or your loved one, send us an email at info@sunboundhomes.com or request more information on Sunbound. Sunbound is the best way to pay for senior living and is on a mission to make senior living affordable for everyone.

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