Chattanooga, Tennessee – Retirement Guide

Chattanooga, Tennessee   Retirement Guide

Many retirees may remember Chattanooga from their history classes: the town was home to the Civil War’s bloody Battle of Chattanooga, thanks to its enviable position on the Tennessee River. Today, the town is gaining notoriety for much more peaceful endeavors, specifically, its burgeoning arts district, miles-long River Walk, city bike share program and low cost of living.

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.

Pros: Vibrant arts district, multiple museums, Con:tinuing education at nearby university
Con:: High crime rate

At a Glance
Best For: Arts lovers
Population: 170,136
Cost of Living: 10.4% lower than national average
Median Home Cost: $114,089
Unemployment: 8.4%
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.

Top Retirement Cities in Tennessee:  Chattanooga | Crossville | Paris

Photo by London looks via FlickrAll statistics were up to date as of publication. See these sources for the most current data.