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Home | Tennessee | Below Average Costs | August 12, 2017

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retire

Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!

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Reader Requested Short Review of Maryville, Tennessee

Nestled in the rolling, wooded foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in eastern Tennessee, about 20 miles south of Knoxville, comfortable Maryville (population 29,000) got its start as a fort in 1785. It was the brief home of soldier and politician Sam Houston in the early-1800s and was a hotbed of abolitionist activity during the Civil War.

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Today, the city is growing and has won national accolades for its affordable, yet rich quality of life. It has a award-winning school system, often an indicator of a city's priorities and financial health, and it is surrounded by natural beauty and plenty of places to enjoy the outdoors.

Forty percent of residents are age 45, and 35% of all locals hold at least a four year college degree. The crime rate is well below the national average. Racial diversity is minimal. Politics lean to the right. The cost of living is 12% below the national average.

The median home price is $165,000. Neighborhoods are tidy and peppered with everything from modest ranch ramblers to stately brick contemporaries.

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Maryville is the Blount County seat and so it is the economic and cultural hub of this area. The Foothills Mall has 70 retailers, including national brands Radio Shack, J.C. Penny's and T. J. Maxx. Dining options are primarily family-style chains and in good supply. Maryville churches are plentiful.

The Blount County Library is in a beautiful, airy building and has a lovely reading rotunda, a popular genealogy department and a fun cafe. It also has book clubs, exhibits, public computers and books.

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The Appalachian Ballet Company presents a full schedule. The Last Friday Art Walk, organized by the Maryville Arts Coalition, is an event that celebrates the arts on the last Friday of every month. Maryville College is a small (1,100 students), private four year liberal arts institution associated with the Presbyterian Church, and its music department presents concerts throughout the year. Its impressive Clayton Center for the Arts hosts art exhibits, theater presentations, concerts and lecture series.

What brings many retirees to this area, though, is the physical landscape. The lush Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 815 square miles of wildlife and nature at its best, is just minutes away and boasts fly fishing lakes, 850 miles of hiking trails, including 70 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Cades Cove, a historical site that has preserved early Appalachian life, is also here. Within the county and along its edges, Chilhowee Lake, Tellico Lake and Fort Loudon Lake offer even more water recreation, as does the meandering Tennessee River.

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The city's park and recreation department has a good menu of programs and activities for people age 50 and better, and most are held at the attractive Everett Senior Center. Programs include health screenings and a health fair, tai chi classes, day trips, driving safety classes, card games and ballroom dances.

Maryville public transportation is provided by the East Tennessee Human Resource Agency. The service offers residents on demand, door to door van transportation.

Blount Memorial Hospital (314 beds) is award-winning for excellence in clinical care, coronary intervention, pulmonary care, general surgery and more. It is accredited by the Joint Commission and is a Level III adult trauma center. Medicare patients are accepted.

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Nearby Knoxville (population 655,000 in the metro area) has amenities that Maryville does not, including a zoo, an aquarium, an opera, a symphony and more extensive shopping and dining. It is also home to the flagship campus of the University of Tennessee and its nationally recognized athletic teams. Many a Maryville retiree can be spotted at University of Tennessee Volunteer football and basketball games.

Maryville has a relatively mild climate, thanks in part to its elevation of nearly 1,000 feet. Summer temperatures are in the 80s and low-90s, and winter temperatures are in the 30s, 40s and low 50s. On average, the area receives 47 inches of rain and 10 inches of snow each year. On the comfort index, a combination of temperature and humidity, Maryville comes in below the national average. The tornado risk meets the national average.

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Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes  |   Is Tennessee Tax-Friendly for Retirement? Somewhat

A healthy cultural scene, outstanding outdoor recreation, a good hospital, affordable living, a pretty setting, a low crime rate and nearby big city amenities make Maryville a great spot for retirement.

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