Independent Living in Tennessee

Though “The Volunteer State” earned its nickname for sending generous amounts of volunteer troops to battles during multiple American wars in the early 1800s, Tennessee today is known for its natural beauty and musical roots. On the eastern end of the state is the college town of Knoxville, as well as Gatlinburg, the popular resort village that serves as a gateway to the majestic Great Smoky Mountains. Music fans from across the world flock to Tennessee’s two largest cities: Nashville and Memphis. Whether it’s blues, rock ‘n’ roll, or country, the history of American music runs deep through these two cities. Tennessee also shares the most borders with other U.S. states (tied with Missouri at eight), so its central location — along with a lower-than-average cost of living — makes Tennessee an ideal retirement destination.

Currently, A Place for Mom partners with more than 65 independent living communities in Tennessee.

The median monthly cost of independent living in Tennessee is about $2,000.

Top cities in Tennessee

Independent Living in Tennessee

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Tennessee Independent Living Regulations

Each state regulates senior living communities differently. Because independent living is often provided by assisted living communities, states may regulate independent living within their guidelines for assisted living. You can use APFM’s guide to assisted living regulations to learn more about access to facility records in Tennessee.

In Tennessee, independent living communities — also known simply as retirement communities — are geared towards seniors who are able to live on their own, without daily assistance, and prefer to live among people their age. This usually means residents are self-sufficient and do not require hands-on care. Think of independent living communities as age-restricted (typically 55+) complexes, which provide organized activities, meal services, and transportation.

Cost of Living

Overall, the cost of living in Tennessee is considered to be more affordable than the national average. All index scores are based on a scale with the national average set at 100.

Price Indexes

  • Cost of Living: 90
  • Groceries: 93
  • Housing: 80
  • Utilities: 93
  • Transportation: 90

Demographics

Around 15% of Tennessee’s population are seniors. In the 2016 presidential election, Tennessee leaned conservative. However, many of its counties with larger cities, such as Memphis and Nashville, tend to be more progressive.

2016 Presidential Election

  • 35% voted Democratic
  • 61% voted Republican
  • 4% voted third party or abstained

Population

  • Median age: 39
  • Over the age of 55: 29%
  • 2018 population: 6,770,010
  • 2020 population: 6,894,123
  • Estimated 2025 population: 7,214,451

Miscellaneous

  • 51% regularly attend a religious service
  • 22% consider themselves atheist, agnostic, or a non-believer
  • There are a total of 11,542 congregations in Tennessee
  • There are 505 Masonic lodges in the state

Climate and Weather

Tennessee’s climate is divided into two sections, with almost all of the state classified as humid subtropical, and the far eastern area with higher elevations classified as the subtropical highland variety of oceanic climate. This means the state has four distinct seasons including warm summers and cold winters, although temperatures tend to be mild throughout the year and less extreme compared to most of the country. The Appalachian Mountain region in the eastern part of the state brings slightly cooler temperatures and drier weather compared to the rest of Tennessee.

Humidity and Precipitation

  • Average humidity level: 69%
  • Average monthly precipitation: 4”
  • Average maximum monthly precipitation: 7” (May)

Air Quality

  • Average air quality index rating: 37 (Good)
  • Average maximum air quality rating: 47 in June (Good)

Seasonal Temperatures

  • Average temperature: 58°F
  • Average summer temperature: 76°F
  • Typical summer high: 92°F (July)
  • Typical summer low: 55°F (June)
  • Average winter temperature: 39°F
  • Typical winter high: 56°F (February)
  • Typical winter low: 22°F (January)

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Cities in Tennessee
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