Knoxville, TN vs. Asheville, NC: Which is Better for Your Retirement?

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

Financing is the difference!

Get the details in The 62+ Loan Homebuyers Guide.

55places Mortgage is a joint venture between Mutual of Omaha Mortgage and 55places.com.
Details here.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get Weekly Updates

I agree that 55places and its affiliates, partner providers or agents may call, text, or email me about my inquiry, which may be made with automated means. I understand that my consent is not a prerequisite for buying a property. I may revoke my consent at any time by contacting optout@55places.com. Message/data rates may apply. I also agree to 55places.com’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Both Asheville, NC and Knoxville, TN are surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains. Which scenic town is for you?

Location, location, location — it’s often the most important word used when it comes to any type of real estate, and for good reason. Where a property is located can make a huge difference when considering a lot of important factors, including taxes, cost of living, climate, attractions, and amenities. So when it comes down to choosing where to relocate between two desirable mountain towns like Knoxville, Tennessee and Asheville, North Carolina it’s important to pay close attention to specifics that set each location apart. And, although the two Appalachian towns are only about two hours apart, there are several factors that make each standout:

Knoxville

Knoxville isn’t as heralded as its North Carolina neighbor, but it does have similar outdoor options and is more affordable.

Considered somewhat of a college town — due mostly in part to the large University of Tennessee campus — Knoxville, TN boasts a number of desirable amenities and attractions, which have made the Eastern Tennessee metropolis grow to a population of over 185,000.

Affordability and Taxes

There are several financial benefits to retiring in Knoxville as the state of Tennessee does not tax retirement income or private and public pensions. Retired military pay is also exempt and there are no inheritance or estate taxes. As an added bonus according to Bestplaces.net, Knoxville’s cost of living is 6.50% lower than the U.S. average.

Attractions and Amenities

Nearby attractions include Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Zoo Knoxville, Star of Knoxville Riverboat cruises, and the Sunsphere. The city is also home to several renowned theaters, historic sites, museums, galleries, and shopping destinations. Knoxville has more than a dozen hospitals and healthcare facilities within a short drive, as well as a regional airport.

Climate

Knoxville is comfortable year-round with a July high around 87 degrees and a 28 degree low in January. Summers offer visitors from the coast a relief from the stifling Southern heat that can often top 100 degrees, and while Knoxville winters do produce some snow, the yearly average is only about 5.7 inches.

Knoxville Communities

The Knoxville area is home to a few 55+ communities, but it’s the active lifestyle communities here that really stand out. Some of them are even best sellers on 55places.com. Let’s take a closer look.

Tellico Village – Loudon

Hosting more than 3,000 single-family and attached homes, Tellico Village is a sprawling master-planned community with resort-style amenities with water access. Homes are priced from the mid $100s to the high $1Ms, so there’s an option for every budget. Whether active adults want to spend time on the lake, the golf course, the clubhouse, or the wellness center, they can do it all in Tellico Village.

Rarity Bay – Vonore

Rarity Bay is another lakeside community with modern amenities and a big range of price points. Custom homes in the community range anywhere from the low $100s – mid $3Ms and come in a variety of floor plans. Amenities include everything from a golf course to an equestrian center, as well as a marina for boating.

Asheville

Asheville is a booming city with popular breweries, art galleries, and outdoor spaces.

Listed as one of the  20 best places to retire by 55places.com, the small, eclectic city of Asheville is nestled in the heart of the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains in Western North Carolina. The town has a lot to offer its residents from innumerable entertainment options to award-winning restaurants and breweries, and countless world-class art galleries. While Asheville is more densely populated than Knoxville by 4%, the city has almost 100,000 fewer residents than its Tennessee neighbor, according to Bestplaces.net

Affordability and Taxes

When it comes to finances Knoxville has a bit of an edge over Asheville. While the Western North Carolina town does have some financial benefits, like not having estate or inheritance taxes and the fact that social security benefits are completely exempt from income taxes, there are some downsides. Turns out 401(k) plans, as well as private and public pensions, are taxable at a flat rate, and the city’s cost of living is 13.40 percent higher than the U.S. average.

Attractions and Amenities

Popular attractions in the area include several of the state’s most popular landmarks, including the Biltmore Estate, Blue Ridge Parkway, Grandfather Mountain, and Linville Falls. Downtown Asheville is known for its impressive selection of award-winning breweries and eateries as well as its River Arts District that is packed to the brim with all types of art created by both locals and artists from around the world.

Other advantages to the area include close proximity to several major highways, a regional airport, multiple healthcare facilities, and the University of North Carolina at Asheville’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, where active adults can opt to take college courses on just about anything.

Climate

Asheville’s high elevation offers residents comfortable summers with July highs being 82 degrees. The city has cool falls and cold winters with some snow, but the mostly moderate year-round temps allow for plenty of time outside taking advantage of the area’s many outdoor activities.

 Asheville Communities

There are over 20 age-restricted or active lifestyle communities in the Asheville area, here are a few of our favorites.

Biltmore Lake

One of Asheville’s most popular all ages communities is Biltmore Lake. The development’s expansive property spans 1,300 acres and boasts a mixture of 1,000 single-family and attached homes for potential homebuyers. Notable amenities include a cozy clubhouse designed like a mountain lodge with a comfortable fireside lounge, a 62-acre lake, four miles of walking and biking trails, and several athletic courts.

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

Financing is the difference!

Get the details in The 62+ Loan Homebuyers Guide.

55places Mortgage is a joint venture between Mutual of Omaha Mortgage and 55places.com.
Details here.

We're here to help! (800) 928-2055

Call us to speak with a customer service representative.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get Weekly Updates

I agree that 55places and its affiliates, partner providers or agents may call, text, or email me about my inquiry, which may be made with automated means. I understand that my consent is not a prerequisite for buying a property. I may revoke my consent at any time by contacting optout@55places.com. Message/data rates may apply. I also agree to 55places.com’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

The resort-style pool at Brightmore at Wellen Park in Venice, Florida

New Active Adult Communities Added to 55places.com

In this comprehensive roundup, we bring you the latest additions to 55places.com—a trusted resource for exploring active adult communities. Over the past 30 days, several new communities have joined the ranks, each offering different amenities and locations.

View of the Cumberland River and Downtown Nashville, an attractive place to retire to Tennessee.

Why You Should Retire in Tennessee

Whether you want to live in a city like Memphis or you want a small town like Jonesborough, you’ll find the ideal place to settle down in the Volunteer State. Tennessee has plenty of things to do, and here are five reasons why we think you’ll love it!

A side-by-side image of Houston, Texas and Dallas, Texas.

Houston vs Dallas: Where Should You Retire?

Both Houston and Dallas each one have their benefits and charm. It can be hard to pick one over the other. Let us help you weigh some of the factors to decide which one is right for you.

About 55places

We’re changing the way people 55 and older are searching for their perfect next place. With a national network of hand-selected real estate experts, plus comprehensive information, unbiased content, and on-the-go insight about thousands of communities across the country, we’re a trusted resource paving the way from here to home. Whether you’re interested in a low-maintenance single-level residence, an active lifestyle or age-qualified community, an intimate enclave, or anything in between, we can help you make your next move the best one yet.

Scroll to Top