#2. Knoxville

Good ‘ole Rocky Top ranks as one of the best places to retire for the second year in a row, but this time Knoxville, TN, has moved up. The city ranked seventh on our Best Places to Retire 2013 list, but after considering more data this time around, the city looks even better for retirees. For young whipper snappers, Knoxville isn’t just a best place to retire, it’s also been on our Top 100 Best Places to Live list twice. 

Knoxville residents enjoy a relatively low cost of living, access to good health care and lots of entertainment choices. Knoxville ranked second highest for housing affordability out of the cities that made this list. It also has the lowest unemployment rate for seniors, showing that Knoxville is a great place to start a second or even third career.

The city’s natural beauty and proximity to the Smoky Mountains make it an appealing place to live for people who want to stay active. A variety of parks, bike paths and trails allow residents to get plenty of exercise. While the city does get hit by the occasional winter storm, the weather is relatively warm and sunny, allowing for great days on the area’s golf courses.

Downtown Knoxville continues to emerge as a hip and happening entertainment district, which draws people from all walks of life. Many seniors take advantage of educational opportunities offered at the University of Tennessee and, of course, the exciting sporting events. 

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