By Dave Ongie
Kiplinger, a publisher based in Washington D.C., recently recognized Johnson City as one of nine great places in America to retire.
Johnson City made the list alongside Mesa (Ariz.), Richland (Wash.), Portland (Maine), Lancaster City (Pa.), Williamsburg (Va.), Lexington (Ky.) and Columbia (S.C.). Gary Mabrey, president and CEO of the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce, said the honor also speaks well of the entire region.
“We believe they’re recognizing all of us. They’re recognizing the region,” he said. “Yes, Johnson City was one of nine, but we think that Kingsport and Abingdon and other places in the region are thought of equally well.”
The list took into account the quality of available health care, state and local tax policies regarding retirement income, availability of cultural amenities, affordability of housing and access to the great outdoors. Mabrey noted the team effort it takes for Johnson City and the rest of the region to stand out in all those categories, citing local and state government as well as great businesses, economic development organizations and engaged chambers of commerce.
But he said the individuals in our area also play a large role in making this a great place to live.
“We have citizens who are welcoming,” Mabrey said. “When you have all those ingredients, we have a great team in place, and the best is still to come.”