Top 10 Reasons to Retire in Eastern Tennessee
The secret is seeping out about the Best Bang for the Buck City, Knoxville Tennessee named by Forbes Magazine. This month, Bankrate.com too recognized Tennessee as the Best State for Retirement because of the low cost of living. Add to the perfect mix, America’s most visited national park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, excellent boating lakes such as Tellico Lake and an exciting college atmosphere from the University of Tennessee. Here are 10 reasons to retire in Eastern Tennessee:
LOW COST OF LIVING
In April 2013, Bankrate.com named Tennessee as the #1 Best State for Retirement because of the low cost of living. Tennessee has no state income tax and real estate taxes average less than 1/2 percent, among the lowest in the country. Although sales tax is higher at 9.25%, medical care, energy costs and daily essentials all cost less than cities like New Haven Connecticut. Luxury lakefront homes can cost up to 40% less at Tennessee gated communities like Rarity Bay giving retirees an opportunity to live a life of luxury on Lake Tellico at a bargain price. Lifestyle amenities at Rarity Bay include a championship golf with long range views of the Great Smoky Mountains, an equestrian center, lighted tennis courts, swimming pool and fitness center. Foothills Pointe is another bargain neighborhood on Tellico Lake.
LOW CRIME AREAS
Of the 30 cities Real Estate Scorecard monitors, Loudon County in Eastern Tennessee has the #1 lowest crime rate and it’s hard to say why. Could it be because people are just happier living in a small town at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains? Or is it because these best small towns in Tennessee have a less transient population? With a crime rate of 75% less than the national average, it’s hard not to notice the remarkably low crime rate in Loudon. The secret to living safely in Eastern Tennessee may be by choosing smaller towns in the suburbs such as Loudon.
IN THE HEART OF EVERYTHING
Within a day’s drive or 12 hours, just about any major city on the eastern seaboard can be reached from Knoxville. Within a six hour drive of Knoxville, families can be collecting sea shells on the warm sunny shore of the Hilton Head Island beaches. Interstate 40, Interstate 75 and Interstate 26 make commuting easy in every direction. Knoxville’s McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS) is a low density airport and is easy to get in and out of by car. Delta, United, US Airways, Allegiant Air and American Airlines offer non-stop flights from Knoxville.
BEST TENNESSEE BOATING LAKES
The world’s largest power boating magazine - Boating, named Tellico Lake in Eastern Tennessee on the list of 10 Best Places to Live and Boat. Tellico Lake is a 15,860 acre navigable lake on a lock system leading to the Gulf of Mexico. Remote islands and undeveloped shoreline add to the natural beauty along with the Great Smoky Mountains in the distance. By the end of May, water temperatures can rise above 80 degrees making the lake warm enough to enjoy swimming, water skiing and jet skiing.
GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
America’s most visited national park can be accessed in Eastern Tennessee from Gatlinburg. The park spreads across 522,419 acres and 16 mountains with elevations exceeding 6,000 feet. The park has 850 miles of hiking trails. More than 10,000 animals and plant species have been catalogued in the park and estimates predict there may be as many as 90,000. Over 100 types of trees and 5,000 flowering and non-flowering plants are found in the park making the park one of America’s most valuable natural treasures. In addition to fly fishing and mountain biking, exciting annual events in the park include observing bugling elk in Cataloochee Valley and the annual synchronized firefly show during mating season. One of the most photographed views of the Great Smoky Mountains is taken from Tellico Lake at Tennessee gated communities like Rarity Bay.
BEST COLLEGE TOWN IN TENNESSEE
The University of Tennessee (UT) is headquartered in Knoxville. More than 25,000 students attend the university which offers 300+ degree seeking programs. UT is recognized as a top school in medicine, business, architecture, and engineering. Collegiate sports include college football, crew, soccer, golf and paintball. The Vol team spirit flows throughout the city. This best college town attracts top entertainment, championship events and educational brilliance teaching lifelong learning courses to adults over 50.
TOP MEDICAL CARE
The University of Tennessee Medical Center is the area’s top teaching hospital. The 12 best rankings include cancer, diabetes, heart & heart surgery, and neurology care. Methodist Medical Center is the 2nd top ranked hospital with 8 best specialty rankings. In addition to these Knoxville hospitals, Johnson City Medical Center, Erlanger Medical Center, Holston Valley Medical Center, Indian Path Medical Center and Wellmont Bristol Regional Medical Center also serve the area.
Ask any diva who’s been to Eastern Tennessee and the Shops of Turkey Creek will likely roll off his or her lips. This shopping mecca is a destination for many travelers passing through the city. From trendy brand label fashion to the best Knoxville restaurants, this large town center has the best stores and hotels all within a mile. The Shops of Turkey Creek is easily accessible from Interstate 40 just west of downtown Knoxville.
FRIENDLINESS OF PEOPLE
One of the quickest ways to find out the friendliness of Tennessean's is to drive around town. When a red light turns green, it’s unlikely a Tennessean will beep their horn rushing cars ahead. People are courteous and kind no matter the age difference. Simply put - the southern charm is refreshing making Eastern Tennessee a best place to retire.
MILD FOUR SEASON WEATHER
Folks who enjoy four distinct seasons will find Eastern Tennessee a great option. Mild winters are sprinkled by less than 11 inches of snow. Golf courses are open year round and local’s still boat on Tellico Lake near Rarity Bay in the winter. The warm summer months boast temperatures in the 70’s. Not too hot, not too cold, Eastern Tennessee has great weather.
Whether you’re a Florida half backer seeking to escape the summer heat or a northerner leaving the frigid winters behind, Eastern Tennessee offers four mild seasons, scenic mountain and lake beauty, quick access to major cities and most of all, home affordability. How many more reasons would you need to retire in Eastern Tennessee?