Low housing prices, affordable health care and inexpensive public transportation all make Knoxville an ideal place to retire for seniors living on a budget. Although Tennessee has a relatively high sales tax rate, residents pay no income taxes on labor or social security benefits. State tax relief programs and a low cost of living help Knoxville seniors to live comfortably while keeping their monthly bills manageable.
Many Knoxville area retirees choose to purchase a home in popular neighborhoods such as Holston Hills, Edgewood, and Sequoyah Hills. Seniors can find affordable houses that are close to dining, shopping, entertainment and more. According to Forbes, the median price of a Knoxville area home was just $141,900 as of July 2015. Rental rates in Knoxville also tend to be inexpensive, with a 1-bedroom apartment costing an average of $734 per month and a 2-bedroom unit costing $895.
If you are unable to live independently, you may choose to pay for room and board in a senior living community. As of 2016, semi-independent seniors paid an annual median of $46,800 for a room in a Knoxville area assisted living facility. Those who lived in a skilled nursing facility spent around $72,635 for a shared room and $81,030 for a private room.
Tennessee seniors who qualify for Medicare are able to enjoy quality health services at affordable prices. In 2014 Medicare paid just $8,686 per Tennessee beneficiary, which was less than the national average of $9,500 per person. Medicare spending in Knoxville was even less, at just $7,966 per beneficiary. You can visit your nearest senior center to speak with an expert about Medicare coverage and to connect with participating providers in your neighborhood.
Car insurance is expensive for Knoxville residents, who pay an average of $1,226 per year for coverage. By shopping around, however, local families can find auto insurance premiums as low as $720 per year. Different insurance companies give discounts based on age, gender, driving record and more.
If you don’t have access to a car, don’t worry. You can still make your way around town by hopping on a Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) bus or trolley route. Seniors aged 65 or older are able to purchase half-priced KAT tickets, including both single ride and multi-day passes. The Knox County Community Action Committee (CAC) provides on-demand rides for Knoxville residents who have no other means of transportation, charging just $2.00 per trip.
There are plenty of ways that Knoxville seniors can have fun without spending money. If you love the outdoors, you can visit one of the city’s many parks for free. Enjoy festivals and special performances at the World’s Fair Park, hike along scenic trails at Ijams Nature Center, or bring your dog to Concord Park for the day. Several of Knoxville’s museums charge no entry fee, including the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture and the Knoxville Museum of Art. The art museum also offers membership discounts to seniors and senior couples.
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