Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Signal Mountain, Tennessee
High on a Ridge at the End of the Cumberland Plateau, Pretty Signal Mountain Overlooks the Tennessee River and Has a Suburban, Country Vibe
Walden Ridge is a flat mountain ridge that marks the end of the Cumberland Plateau in southeastern Tennessee. On top of the ridge sits Signal Mountain, a Chattanooga suburb with nearly 1,800 feet of elevation, a country feeling, good schools and gorgeous views of the Tennessee River and Chattanooga.
One of the main draws of living here is the nearby Cumberland Trail, a 196-mile system of remote, scenic hiking trails that follows the ridges and gorges of the Cumberland Plateau. A town highlight is the Mountain Opry, which showcases bluegrass music and mountain tunes performed by fiddlers, banjo-pickers and harmonica players every Friday night. The Signal Mountain Playhouse is nestled deep in the forest and has two performances, one indoor and one outdoor, each year. The weekly farmers' market, which is held in the parking lot of the popular Pruett's grocery, is a hoppin' place and has a good selection of jams, grass-fed beef, produce, dairy products and more.
Neighborhoods are low density with wooded lots. Homes include ranch ramblers, bungalows, chalets, contemporaries and at least one flying saucer house.
Population: 8,000 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 48%
Cost of Living: 23% above the national average
Median Home Price: $545,000
Climate: The area has a mild, humid four season climate. Summer temperatures reach the upper 80s and low-90s, and winter temperatures are in the 30s, 40s and 50s. The area receives, on average, 57 inches of rain and a dusting of snow per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Chattanooga Healthcare System is in Chattanooga and accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Chattanooga Healthcare System is in Chattanooga and is accredited.
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Transit: No
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
College Educated: 69%
Is Tennessee Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Somewhat
Cons: The tornado risk is 128% higher than the national average.
Notes: Many more services are in Chattanooga, which involves a drive down the mountain. The population has grown 25% within the last decade. Home prices have increased 17% since last year.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
Explorer DeSoto visited this area in 1540, and in 1763 England won the land by winning the Indian Wars. Early pioneers named the new state Franklin, and in the mid-1780s, the region was allowed to send representatives to the legislature. The state joined the union in 1796 and the Confederacy during the Civil War. Many residents remained pro-Union and the state was the scene of extensive fighting.
Today the majority of Tennessee locals live in urban areas. Textiles, chemicals, electrical machinery, leather goods and furniture are the state's primary products. Tennessee also produces a lot of tobacco, but other income is derived from dairy products, livestock, nursery and greenhouse products, as well as cotton.
A few of the state's points of interest are the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Hermitage (home of Andrew Jackson), the American Museum at Oak Ridge (atomic energy), three national military parks, and Rock City Gardens (in Chattanooga).
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