Retiring soon? Tennessee ranked 21st best state in which to retire

New and upcoming retirees, it's time to cash in your 401(k) and start packing your bags for ... Tennessee?

Tennessee was recently ranked the 21st best state in which to retire, according to a new report from Bankrate, a financial advice and resources website.

The report examined cost-of-living, taxes, health-care quality, weather, crime, cultural vitality and well-being.

Cost-of-living and taxes weighed the most, at 20 percent each, heath-care quality and weather weighed 15 percent each and crime, cultural vitality and well-being weighed 10 percent each.

These weights are based on a survey Bankrate conducted last year that asked seniors which categories were most important to them.

Each state was ranked individually on these seven categories, and their scores were averaged together to get the overall ranking.

Taylor Tepper, a Bankrate analyst who worked on the report, said Tennessee's rankings were a bit all over the place.

"The experience of living in Nashville is different than living in Knoxville, and Memphis," said Tepper. "So that may be why the category rankings were a bit scattered."

Tennessee's best and worse

The cost-of-living, weather, and taxes came in at No. 7, No. 13 and No. 14, respectively.

Tepper also talked about the importance of the well-being category, which Tennessee was ranked No. 29. It's sort of a "quality of life," category that measures retirees general sense of purpose, societal relationships and more.

South Dakota was ranked the best place to retire based on the seven categories with its only main drawback being weather. Utah, Idaho, New Hampshire and Florida are included in the top five places to retire in the United States.

The study found that New York is the worst state to retire because of the high cost of living, the taxes, and the healthcare quality. Maryland, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Arkansas are in the bottom-five along with New York.

It's a long-term commitment

Tepper said that although retirement can be a stressful decision, it doesn't have to be a radical one.

"When people think about retirement, they should think about the reality of their own lives and what they value," said Tepper. "Hopefully, this study will do a small part in helping people slow down a little bit and help them focus on what they want for the next few years rather than what they want for the next few weeks."

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, by Rebecca Wright

The East Tennessee Economic Development Agency markets and recruits business for the 15 counties in the greater Knoxville-Oak Ridge region of East Tennessee. Visit


Published July 13, 2018