Friday, April 18, 2014 · 9:44 a.m.

Bankrate lists Tennessee as one of the worst places to retire

The state has previously been listed as top retirement location

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Chattanooga has been featured recently in Where to Retire magazine, and state leaders promote Tennessee as an ideal place for boomers to live out their golden years, but Bankrate.com listed Tennessee as one of the top 10 worst places to retire. 

Bankrate.com used crime rate, percentage of retirees living below poverty and life expectancy to come up with the list. 

It lists Tennessee's crime rate as 4,271.2 property and violent crimes per 100,000 people.

Also according to Bankrate's information, 9.7 percent of retirees in Tennessee live below the poverty line, and the state's average life expectancy is 76.2.

But Tennessee recently unseated Florida as the best place to retire, according to research from TopRetirements.com.

The Volunteer State made that list because of its low cost of living, climate and appealing tax requirements.

State leaders have a website dedicated to promoting the state as a great place to retire. The website boasts that the state has a high quality of life at a low cost of living.

According to the Retire Tennessee site, which cites the ACCRA Cost of Living Index, Tennessee's cost of living is 10 percent less than the national average.

From state parks to music to history, the website also lists the state's amenities that contribute to "the good life" in Tennessee.

Where to Retire Editor Mary Lu Abbott recently noted that Chattanooga is a good place to retire because of the below-average living costs, affordable homes and low taxes.

But, statewide, the tax situation is a "mixed picture," according to an article from Kiplinger last month. 

Although Tennessee has no "broad-based" income tax, it does have a 6 percent state tax on stock dividends and interest income from bonds or other investments, according to Kiplinger.

Tennessee also has some of the country's highest sales tax rates—9.75 percent in some areas.

But Social Security benefits are not taxed, also according to the Kiplinger report. 

The state doesn't have a homestead exemption but does provide property tax relief for income-eligible senior citizens age 65 or older, according to Kiplinger. 

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