I’ve been traveling to Chattanooga for over a year on business. Almost every other week and it’s a great town. So, that started me thinking about the retirement potential of Chattanooga. I’ve enjoyed spending time and exploring downtown as well as some of the other areas of Chattanooga. In 2018, financial website SmartAsset, ranked Chattanooga #15 on a list of U.S. cities where retirees are moving.
What I Love about Chattanooga
Great downtown area, I mean really AMAZING! The river is gorgeous and there are 13 miles of walkways to run, walk or bike along the river. There are also several parks on both sides of the river. Not to mention that something is going on downtown almost every weekend! Enjoy a music festival, art, Jazzanooga, or athletic events like Head of the Hooch Rowing Regatta.
I’ve stayed a couple of weekends and had a little time to explore the blue bridge and the walking paths around downtown.
Rating Retirement Spots
I used a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best. The ratings are my own subjective opinion.
Walkability – 10 – downtown is a 10! So much to do and see when walking around including restaurants, the river, artwork and shops.
Friendliness – 10 – the people here are so nice and hospitable. Southern charm!
Getting around – 10 – It’s easy to drive around Chattanooga and the traffic isn’t bad. It’s close to Atlanta and Nashville.
Safety – 7 – I always felt safe walking around during the day and at night with coworkers. I wouldn’t walk around by myself after dark (except to go around the corner from my hotel to Ben and Jerry’s ice cream). According to Macrotrends, the Chattanooga TN crime rate for 2018 was 1048.24 per 100,000 population, a 1.64% decline from 2017.
Things to do – 10 – there is always something going on. Chattanooga has a Double A baseball team, the Chattanooga Lookouts. The Tennessee Aquarium is one of the best in the US and includes IMAX. Check out the Chattanooga Choo Choo.
Weather – 7 – Love the 4 seasons, but summer is hot and humid! The average annual high temperature is 72 degrees, and the average annual low temperature is 50.
Healthcare -9 – Chattanooga has 4 large hospital systems including CHI Memorial and Erlanger that provide comprehensive, high quality healthcare.
Taxes – 6 – While, there isn’t any state income tax, Tennessee is one of the five states with the highest average combined state and local sales tax rates Tennessee (9.46 percent)
Food – 10 many great restaurants to explore. I love Blue Plate Grill, you can sit outside and watch the river while having a great meal. A local told me about a terrific little Italian restaurant, Tony’s Pasta Shop and Trattoria, up on the hill in Bluff View.
My favorite adventure was Rock City. I visited on a perfect sunny fall day. The views, the rock formations and just being outside in nature was phenomenal. Standing at the spot where you can see 7 states is beautiful, amazing and humbling. They were beginning to decorate for Christmas and I would love to go back and see the lights and decorations.
Choosing the Best Place to Retire
Are you getting retirement ready? If you’re thinking about moving when you retire, be sure to visit and spend some time in potential locations. Start a couple of years before you retire so you have the ability to explore several different places. Once you have narrowed down your choices, take an extended vacation or rent in the area for a couple of months so you can weigh the pros and cons of day to day life.
Overall, Chattanooga would make my retirement possibility list! Where are you thinking about retiring?