The Tennessee Department of Eco- nomic and Community Development recognizes retirement development
as an economic engine that is growing
dramatically and initiated the Retire Tennessee program. It’s not just as easy as
a community stating that they want to
attract retirees. In order for a community
to qualify for this retiree attraction program, it must meet several requirements,
including broad-based community support and a resolution by the local governing body. Each community must
meet their TN Three Star compliance for
the current fiscal year and have retiree
recruitment as a component in the three-star, five-year strategic plan.
Ramay Winchester of Retire Tennes-
see said, “Retire Tennessee is not merely
a PR tool. There’s a lot of work and com-
mitment in this program. Retire Ten-
nessee ensures that there is an economic
commitment and plan for economic de-
velopment in place for each of our com-
munities. We only sell the highest quality
of life in our towns.”
“The number one reason people relo-
cate to Tennessee is that property taxes are
significantly lower than other states,” com-
mented Winchester. Tennessee has no state
property tax; property taxes are locally de-
termined and collected. For example, a ho-
meowner in Loudon County, TN, would
pay $1.59 per $100 valuation of the home.
There are no state personal income taxes
in Tennessee either, and the average cost of
living is 10 percent lower than the national
average, including low utility costs.
Winchester indicated that the mild four-
season climate draws a significant number
of retirees. Cool mountain breezes as well
as verdant valleys and lakes attract a great
number of “half-backs,” those who moved
further south, but decided they wanted to
move halfway back to their original home.
Many discover that a year-round warm/hot
climate was not what they were looking for
and decide to give Tennessee a try.
Currently, there are 11 communities
that participate in the Retire Tennessee program: Hardin, Henry, Cumberland, Lincoln, Putnam, Roberston, Greene, Hamilton, Jefferson,Sullivan and Loudon counties.
Located on the southern border of
Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama,
Hardin County is known for its historic
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