Retirees have discovered Chattanooga’s offerings, as well as its low cost of living (more than 10 percent lower than the national average), mild weather and proximity to 3 major health centers. This influx of retirees means that a number of active adult and 55+ communities have sprung up in the area.
Additionally, some retirees find themselves drawn to the town’s more historic neighborhoods, 4 of which, have been placed on the National Register of Historic Places: Fort Wood, Ferger Place, Glenwood and St. Elmo.
Chattanooga officials have made it their mission to create a thriving arts scene in Chattanooga. The city’s first arts district, the Bluff View Arts District, boasts vibrant galleries, a number of restaurants, a sculpture garden and shops.
Con:: High crime rate
Best For: Arts lovers
Cost of Living: 10.4% lower than national average
Median Home Cost: $114,089
Top State Income Tax: State income tax of 6% on dividends and interest income only
Crime Rate: 63% higher than national average
Additionally, arts lovers can explore some of the town’s noteworthy museums, such as the Hunter Museum of American Art, Bessie Smith Cultural Center and the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.
Intellectuals will also find themselves at home in Chattanooga; the town is home to the University of Tennessee – Chattanooga, where they can take continuing education classes in topics as varied as writing, photography and ballroom dance. Finally, music lovers will appreciate the annual Riverbend Festival, which brings tens of thousands of music lovers to the city each summer.
Perhaps the major downside to Chattanooga is its high crime rate, though local residents say it’s easy to avoid problem areas.