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  7:48 a.m. January 16, 2014
Chicago-area Boomers choose Tennessee for retirement

LOUDON, TN — According to a 2013 study by, Tennessee is the number one retirement state due to low taxes and affordable cost of living. One Tennessee active-adult community, Tellico Village, in Loudon County and Monroe County, Tenn. reported more than 10 percent of new residents relocated to the community from Chicago and its surrounding suburbs in the past two years.

john and dee rottluff
Former Naperville, IL residents John and Dee Rottluff play the piano in their Tellico Village home, an active-adult community in Loudon County and Monroe County, Tenn. More than 10 percent of Tellico Village's new residents have relocated from the Chicago-area in the past two years. Photo by Doug Christman. (PRNewsFoto/Tellico Village)

Former Gurnee, IL resident, Pat Reome moved to the lakeside community in 2012 after purchasing a home in the community's Tanasi neighborhood. Upon relocating, she has been welcomed to the community and is surprised by the number of Chicagoans she again calls neighbors.

"I wanted a community that offered a lot of activities and provided a chance to meet new people," said Reome.

Chicago-area boomers are relocating to Tennessee not only to stretch their funds: many are seeking active lifestyles to help maintain personal health and a milder four-season climate. Jim and Jean Dowd relocated to Tellico Village from Aurora, IL and wanted an active lakeside community.

"We looked at moving to Florida, which was nice, but Jim wanted to live on the lake and Tennessee is the best spot for lake-living," said Jean Dowd. "We seem to have long springs and long falls which are really nice. Our community is located in such a beautiful spot with the mountains and lake."

Tellico Village offers an active lifestyle. Residents run more than 200 clubs and organizations from pickleball to line dancing. The community offers affordable amenities including three golf courses, three health clubs and a yacht club. John and Dee Rottluff, former Naperville, IL residents, participate in the Muddy Boots hiking group and Soggy Bottoms kayak group.

"If you are an active person, Tellico Village is the place to be," John Rottluff said.

Finding a location that fits lifestyle wants and needs is an important step for boomers looking to relocate and making an informed decision is crucial. Many active adult communities offer packages for perspective buyers to stay in the community for a long weekend or extended time period to truly experience the lifestyle.

"Try and get to know the culture of the community you are considering, because these are the people you will be spending the rest of your life with. You need to know that you'll fit in," said Rick Kane, former Schaumburg, IL resident.

Although Chicago-area boomers have found a comfortable retirement and are happily living in Tennessee, some aspects of Chicago are irreplaceable.

"What I miss most about the Chicago area is the Italian roast beef sandwiches. I have yet to find one in Tennessee," said Kane.

Tellico Village, a planned, active adult community located in Loudon County and Monroe County, Tennessee, encompasses nearly 5,000 acres along Tellico Lake. The community offers a variety of recreational amenities available and the friendliness of the nearly 7,000 residents.

Source: Tellico Village

Published January 16, 2014

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