25 Best Places to Retire

Thinking about your post-work home? You'll get huge bang for your buck -- plus lots of other perks -- in these towns.

21 of 25
Chattanooga, Tenn.
Chattanooga, Tenn.
Population: 169,900
% over 50: 32%
Typical 3-bedroom home: $140,000
State income tax: 6.00%*

Once among the most polluted cities in the country, Chattanooga cleaned itself up in the 1990s, and residents now pride themselves on green living and making the most of opportunities afforded by their surroundings. The scenic city on the Tennessee River and surrounded by the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains offers everything from camping and fishing to whitewater rafting and hang gliding.

In 2005, the city completed a $120 million revitalization of the city's waterfront downtown. The project transformed 129 acres on both sides of Chattanooga's downtown waterfront and included expansions to the Tennessee Aquarium and the Hunter Museum of American Art as well as the addition of a public pier, several new waterfront green spaces, public art and pedestrian connections throughout the area.

Other, more practical benefits exist for retirees as well: Tennessee has no state income tax, and Chattanooga is home to three hospital systems. --B.B.

See complete data, including tax rates, for Chattanooga

NEXT: Columbia, S.C.

Last updated September 24 2009: 1:21 PM ET
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* For top bracket. Applies to interest and dividend income only.
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