You’re not alone if you are thinking about a Tennessee Retirement! Tennessee is a perfect place to retire – for so many reasons. It’s a blessing to be able to choose where you live – and Tennessee surely is a good place to be! Did you know that many of our communities are frequently voted as the best places to live and work in the United States? The Readers Digest just voted Gallatin the friendliest town in America.
Considering Tennessee Retirement?
Here are a few reasons to retire in Middle Tennessee:
- Weather – We do have four seasons – but winter is short (typically January and February) and usually mild. It does get cold sometimes – but the abundance of sunshine makes it feel warmer. You will see very little snow in Middle Tennessee. Spring is glorious, summers can get hot in July and August…and the fall season is absolutely beautiful! The location here is great because (1) we’re too far south for the heavy snows and blizzards, and (2) too far north and west for the hurricanes. The soil around Memphis is sandy near the Mississippi River, and could have problems with liquification in case of a New Madrid earthquake. But, the Nashville area soil is on a rock foundation…and in my opinion, is a much safer place to live.
- Taxes – Tennessee has no income tax! Social Security and retirement benefits are not taxed at the state level. There has been a flat 6% tax on interest and dividend income – but even that is going away. The Hall Tax Bill cut it down to 5% in 2016 – and it continues to go down to the point of being eliminated by 2022. In the meantime, there is a $1,250 per person exemption on interest income. We do have a high sales tax of 9.25%, and there is an inheritance tax on estates larger than $1,000,000.
- Real Estate Taxes – People from all over the country tell me that our real estate taxes are much lower than what they are accustomed to paying in other states.
- Economy – In 2015, Tennessee was ranked #38 for debt and #50 for per capita debt. So, economically, we are in really good shape compared to other states. Many people also tell me that our roads and highways are in much better shape than other states.
- Car Tags – The cost is $80.00 per year and that includes a wheel tax. An emissions test is required at a cost of $9.00.
- Entertainment – It doesn’t get any better than Nashville if you like entertainment. Yes, we love our country music and the Grand Ole Opry – but there’s also the Nashville Symphony, Tennessee Performing Arts Center…and I could go on and on. Auto Racing, Sports Teams, Lakes and Rivers complete the entertainment package. One thing’s for sure – Nashville sure knows how to put on a show! Here’s what Nashville is all about?
- Health Care – Middle Tennessee is known for its’ world-class health care. From Vanderbilt University Medical Center to St. Thomas Hospital to local/regional hospitals – our citizens have the best care anywhere.
- People – You won’t find friendlier people than here in Middle Tennessee. Even though the area is rapidly growing – it seems to retain its’ Southern Hospitality.
- Outdoor Activities – Middle Tennessee has an abundance of lakes, rivers and campgrounds and all sorts of outdoor activities.
You’ll find fishing tournaments, parks by the lake and even a Christmas Boat Parade. It’s like being on vacation year-round!
- Scenery – Our rolling hills make the area enjoyable to just drive around. It’s easy to find a home with gorgeous views!
- Restaurants – From Southern Cookin’ to Fine Dining to International Cuisine – you’ll find what you’re looking for in the Nashville area.
- Shopping – YES! Shop ’till you drop! Cool Springs Galleria, Opry Mills Mall, Providence Marketplace, Rivergate Mall and the Streets of Indian Lake are just a few of the great shopping areas! No matter where you live in Middle Tennessee, you’ll never be far from plenty of shopping.
- Cost of Living – The numbers vary from year to year – but I believe you will find that our cost of living is about 10% below the national average.
- Sports – There is something special about sports in the South. Nashville a.k.a. “Smashville”, is home to a slew of professional sports teams like the Nashville Predators, Tennessee Titans, Nashville Sounds, Nashville Soccer Club and the Nashville Speedway.
On the college front…things can stand still during college football season as fanfare reaches chaotic levels. The SEC host several powerhouse teams with plenty of Tennessee Volunteers around to paint our fun town orange! But, believe me, you’ll see plenty of different teams represented here so bring it! Yes, people around here take football and hockey very seriously…and now Smashville became ‘Crazy Town’ in 2017 when the Preds made it to the Stanley Cup! The electric atmosphere in Smashville took the nation by surprise – voting Nashville as the best franchise in professional sports! BAM!!
Best place to Retire in Tennessee
It all depends on what you’re looking for…
- Do you want a planned retirement community? Yes – there are plenty of those. Scroll down for a list of retirement communities in the Nashville area.
- Do you want to have a small Hobby Farm with a few acres? Yes – we can find this kind of property in most of the Middle Tennessee counties.
- Do you want a gated Luxury Community? Oh yeah! You’ll find just what you’re looking for here. Fairvue Plantation and Foxland Harbor are both golf communities on Old Hickory Lake.
- Do you like living downtown within walking distance to restaurants, clubs, and entertainment? Nashville has awesome downtown lifestyle communities.
- Do you want to downsize into a smaller home? Maybe all on one level?
- Wouldn’t it be wonderful to take the equity from your large home and pay cash for a smaller home in Middle Tennessee? It would free you up to do whatever you want!!
You decide on your Tennessee Retirement options – and we’ll be here to help you find the right home to fit those plans!
What are the Middle Tennessee Counties Like?
Davidson County is bordered by the following counties…and includes our service area. You can find many descriptions of areas in Tennessee – but here are the basics (in my opinion):
- Davidson County – Very populated and congested. The downtown area has a lot of lofts and condos with beautiful views of the city of Nashville. It’s home to a lot of young people, up-and-comers, artists and people on the go. There are several towns inside Davidson County – like Hermitage, Old Hickory, Madison and Goodlettsville where you can still find affordable housing. Belle Meade, Forest Hills and Brentwood are pricey, so keep your pocketbook handy if you want to live here. Opry Mills Mall is in Davidson County off Briley Parkway at Opryland. You’ll get your fill of shopping here!
- Sumner County – Northeast of Nashville. Gallatin, Hendersonville and Castalian Springs are very scenic communities on Old Hickory Lake. There are several lakes in the Nashville area, but ONLY Old Hickory allows for residential property on the lake. Other communities include White House, Portland, Bethpage, Westmoreland, and Cottontown. It’s easy to find gated communities, planned retirement communities, small acreage properties or anything in-between. This county borders Kentucky on the north edge. The Highway 386 By-Pass runs from Gallatin and Hendersonville to I-65, which is a 4-lane interstate highway running south through Nashville or north through Bowling Green, KY. Rivergate Mall is just south of Hendersonville…and is located on the border of Goodlettsville and Madison. The Streets of Indian Lake is located in Hendersonville.
- Williamson County – South on I-65 from Nashville. Again, very scenic and beautiful! Communities include Brentwood, Franklin, Nolensville and Fairview. It can get pricey – but possible to find something at an affordable price. It can also be very congested. You’ll find gated communities galore and planned retirement centers as well. Cool Springs Galleria will give you all the shopping you could ever want – and more!
- Wilson County – East of Nashville on I-40. Communities include Lebanon, Mt. Juliet and Watertown. Lebanon and Mt. Juliet are also located on Old Hickory Lake – just across the lake from Hendersonville and Gallatin. You’ll find the Lebanon Outlet Marketplace just off I-40. Mt. Juliet is home to the Del Webb community of Lake Providence.
- Robertson County – Northwest from Nashville. Communities include Springfield, Cross Plains, Cedar Hill, Adams, White House and Coopertown. It’s easy to find small to large acreage properties in this area.
- Rutherford County – Southeast of Nashville on I-24. Communities include Murfreesboro, LaVergne and Smyrna.
- Cheatham County – West of Nashville on I-40. Communnities include Ashland City and Kingston Springs. The terrain in this area is more rugged with beautiful cliffs and scenery. Again, it’s easy to find small acreage properties here.
Retirement Communities in Middle Tennessee
There are available listings in a few of these communities – and they are shown here. If no listings are shown – it simply means there are no listings available at this time.
Lake Providence – A Del Webb Community – Mt. Juliet
Cottages of Providence – Mt. Juliet
Academy Place – Lebanon
StoneBridge – Lebanon
Colonial Village – Lebanon
Lenox Place – Gallatin
Retreat at Fairvue – Gallatin
Cottages of Plantation – Gallatin
Cottage Grove at Twelve Stones Crossing – Goodlettsville
Reid Hill Commons – Franklin
The Cloister at St. Henry – Franklin
Distance from Nashville to Other Cities within 500 Miles
Nashville is centrally located and makes for an easy drive to so many cities. Several interstate highways run straight through Nashville – I-65, I-40 and I-24. All these towns (and more) are within 500 miles of Nashville.
- Nashville to Louisville – 155 Miles
- Nashville to Knoxville – 160 Miles
- Nashville to Memphis – 196 Miles
- Nashville to Indianapolis – 251 Miles
- Nashville to Atlanta – 215 Miles
- Nashville to St. Louis – 253 Miles
- Nashville to Little Rock – 325 Miles
- Nashville to Montgomery – 264 Miles
- Nashville to Huntsville – 99 Miles
- Nashville to Bowling Green – 66 Miles
- Nashville to Paducah – 139 Miles
- Nashville to Asheville – 240 miles
- Nashville to Charlotte – 340 Miles
- Nashville to Birmingham – 182 Miles
- Nashville to Cincinnati – 238 Miles
- Nashville to Jacksonville – 500 Miles
- Nashville to Kansas City – 472 Miles
- Nashville to Springfield, IL – 295 Miles
- Nashville to Chicago – 470 Miles
Considerations for Downsizing
I know you have a million things to think about when considering a move to Tennessee! As a baby-boomer myself, it’s easy for me to know how to help people my age find a new home. Life is easier with some pre-planning and thought. So, keep in mind a few things when searching for your new home!
- Low Maintenance – Check for vinyl trim and soffits. Otherwise, you’ll be painting every few years. Wood frame homes will also be a pain as you get older and have to keep re-painting. Brick homes are a much better option. I also like the concrete siding products that are available in a wide variety of colors.
- First-floor Master Bedroom – Climbing those stairs may not be something you want to do for very long.
I prefer all the rooms on one level – but, if that’s not possible – at least look for a downstairs master. I know the upstairs master bedrooms are larger – but it’s just not worth it to have to climb all those stairs!
- Two Master Bedrooms? – Sometimes people like their own space. A second master bedroom/bath would sure be nice!
- Wide halls and doorways – What happens if you or your spouse needs a wheelchair at some point? you’ll need wider spaces to manuever around.
- Walk-in Shower – For the same reason as wide doorways. It makes life easier if you have a walk-in shower where you can either have a stool to sit on inside the shower or roll the wheelchair right in. My mother lived with me when she became ill…and my walk-in shower sure came in handy when I was taking care of her. I don’t know how I would have managed otherwise.
- Nearby Medical Facilities – Where is the nearest hospital? Doctor’s Office? Pharmacy? Rehab Center?
- Security – Do you want a gated community? Or a guard at the gate? Or is an alarm system sufficient for your needs?
- Social Interaction – Are social activities important to you? A planned community may have better organized functions. Fairvue Plantation in Gallatin even has its’ own private restaurant.
- Golf – Do you enjoy playing golf? Let’s look for a home in a golf community!
- Water Activities – Let’s find you a new home on the lake! Living on the lake is in itself a stress reliever!
- Good Lighting – As we age, we need better lighting for everyday tasks. Look for both natural and task lighting – and also large windows help a lot. Skylights give great light – but make sure they aren’t located where the sunlight would be a problem at anytime during the day.
- Home Office – Many of us baby-boomers like to work – and need a home office space. Even if you don’t work from home – it’s a great place to surf the internet or check your Facebook page.
- High-Tech – Are you a techie? Do you like the latest gadgets? If so, check to make sure the home is wired properly for the internet connections you will want.
- Home Theatre – Are you a movie junkie? A lot of people love to watch movies. If movies are your thing – then having a home theatre would really be nice for you.
- Flex Space – Do you need a special room for hobbies, crafts, sewing or workout space? Keep in in mind when home shopping. You might also consider the fact that you might need live-in help at some point. Where would this person sleep? It would be good for them to have their own space.
- Room for Parents – Many people our age need to have a space for Mom or Dad (or both)!
This might be a separate apartment, guest house – or even an extra bedroom and bath on a downstairs floor. This can be a great consideration when caring for aging parents. Maybe they are independent and need their own kitchen?? Privacy for both of you?
- Re-Sale Value – Always look for a place in a growing area so you will have the best re-sale potential. You may not think it’s important now – but life has a way of surprising us sometimes!
- Good Schools – Again, you may not be interested in the schools – but the people who buy your home someday very well might need those good schools for their children. It’s simply a smart re-sale feature.
- Closet Space – It’s important to a lot of people. Do you need extra storage space? Maybe you need his and hers master closets? An extra closet for easy access to Christmas decorations is a great thing to have.
- Garden Space – Whether it’s a flower or vegetable garden – it’s a great way to relax.
Look for southern exposure to grow vegetables. Square foot gardening boxes are an easy way to grow vegetables without all the work. Maybe you want a pool? Check out the available space.
- Fenced Yard – Do you have a pet or any other reason to have a fenced yard? I know you can always install one – but it’s easier and cheaper if it’s already there.
- Lower Utility Bills – The newer homes seem to have better insulation and energy-saving features. Whereas, an older home might actually be built better – but not as energy efficient. If you’re coming from a northern state – the utility bills should be noticeably less just because of the winter time temperature difference.
Only you know the answers to these questions. It’s good to have a checklist of things that are important to you. I always suggest that you make your checklist – and then make copies. Take them with you while house-hunting – use one for every house – and then you can compare then later.
Please feel free to call or contact me with any questions you have! I’ve lived and worked in this Middle Tennessee area for over 35 years and know it well. We actually came here on vacation many years ago – and stayed!! It’s that great! I would love to help you find your dream Tennessee Retirement home!