Friendly Murfreesboro, Tennessee is located approximately 35 miles southeast of Nashville. This is a fast-growing city with a small town ambiance and the cost of living is below the national average, however it also has a higher national average for crime and the air quality is also below the national average.
Home to Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro offers retirees plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities and the cost of living here is about 6% below the national average. Most people who live here are younger but about 9% are over 60.
The median price of homes here is about $165,000 which will give you 1700+ square feet of living space. Not as cheap as where to retire in other states like Arizona or Nevada but not as expensive as California or the East Coast. The northern section of town tends to have nicer, more expensive homes.
Modest homes can be found in the low-$100,000s.
Tennessee is somewhat of a mixed bag when it comes to taxes and retirement. The state has no personal income tax (but it does have a 6% tax on stock dividends and bond interest income). Social Security, IRAs and retirement income are not taxed. Real estate is assessed at 25% of fair market value so the annual taxes on a $165,000 home are approximately $1,165. There is no homestead exemption, but a property tax relief program for seniors, the disabled and veterans exists. The state sales tax is high at 7%.
Murfreesboro retains a country charm with parks, greenways and farmers' markets. There is a decent selection of cafes and restaurants (such as Longhorn Steakhouse and Macaroni Grill) and also has three large shopping malls and two Wal-Marts.
Nashville is just 30 minutes away.
Middle Tennessee Medical Center has 286-bed. It is accredited by the joint commission and is award-winning for orthopedic surgery. Medicare and Medicaid patients are accepted.
It gets hot and humid in the summer and cool and damp in the winter. Temperatures here fall below the national average for comfort. Daily summer highs are in the mid- to low-90s. Winter temperatures fall as low as the mid-20s. The city sees one to two snowfalls each year. The tornado risk here is 135% higher than the national average. Yikes.
In Tennessee, when people refer to the Tri-Cities, they are talking about Johnson City, Bristol and Kingsport, three unassuming communities found in the northeastern corner of the state among the rolling foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
Each has a cost of living 10% to 15% below the national average, the median price of homes is $100,000 in Bristol and $145,000 in Johnson..
Bristol has a beautiful performing arts center, as well as some fun underground caverns, a summer-long farmers' market and a downtown dotted with well-tended Victorian buildings. Bristol also has a NASCAR race track.
Johnson City, for a time was nicknamed "Little Chicago" for its bootlegging activities. Al Capone spent time here, and a favorite hotel of his is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Kingsport (population 45,000), nestled along the Holston River, may be the most interesting. It started out as a port city and has won some national awards, including being named an "All American City," the "Most Walkable Community" and a "Top 100 Community to Live." It also offers great restaurants.
There are two major hospitals, the Johnson City Medical Center (410 beds), a Level 1 Trauma Center, and Kingsport's Holston Valley Medical Center, also a Level 1 Trauma Center, as well as a regional medical center in Bristol.
The climate is hot and muggy in the summer and can be quite chilly in the winter.
The crime rate in all three cities is above the national average. Eastman Chemicals is located in Kingsport and residents say the plant emits a sickly sweet odor. Some people do not mind it, but others have had to leave town because of it.
Each town one offers a relaxed lifestyle. The area is rural and steeped in music history and conservative values. Medical care and senior services are strong, and housing is affordable. Despite some drawbacks, Bristol, Johnson City and Kingsport deserve a look when it comes time for retirement.
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Not only are these cities affordable, the offer most of the things seniors want who are looking for cheap places to retire in Tennessee