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Hardin County earns national Seal of Approval as retirement haven

A top Tennessee retiree destination, Hardin County has again achieved national recognition, receiving the 2018 Seal of Approval Award from the American Association of Retirement Communities during their annual conference last week in Daytona Beach, Florida.
(Ed note: This story was originally published in the Nov. 29 print edition.)
As a leading organization in educating and inspiring communities to attract retirees, AARC deemed Hardin County one of the best places to retire in the country. The Hardin County Convention and Visitors Bureau serves as the marketing arm for retiree recruitment as well as visitor development in Hardin County.

Hardin County Tourism/Retire Hardin County director Beth Pippin, center, accepts an American Association of Retirement Communities Seal of Approval award from AARC board member/Tennessee Department of Tourist Development Director of Tourism Initiatives Ramay Winchester and AARC board member Frank Carmel.

Tourism Director Beth Pippin attended the three-day conference to receive the award while also participating in educational seminars and networking sessions among destinations and developers from 14 states and Canada.
The Seal of Approval honor is presented annually to recipients from across the U.S. that demonstrate a strong commitment to attract retirees through lifestyle programming, amenity development, communication programs and education. Award winners are evaluated by a national panel of retirement destinations experts on a variety of criteria, including health care, retiree-appropriate housing, lifestyle amenities, adult education, recreational and cultural opportunities and governmental and private support of retiree-focused programs.
“As we continue to build our marketing strategies for both travel inspiration and retiree relocations, it offers great pride to be recognized by AARC for the work being done in our community to create a desirable destination,” said Pippin. “As retirees are estimated to visit a community three to five times before making a decision to relocate, it is a natural fit for our organization to target this demographic.”
Hardin County has become an attractive location to visit and to retire. Retirees become “permanent tourists,” according to Pippin, seeking a well-positioned location with easy access to large, metro areas and an international airport, access to healthcare, and a low cost of living. No state income tax, four relatively mild seasons, extensive outdoor recreation and community-focused amenities are also desired among today’s retiree.
Noted as one of the best retiree communities in the state, Hardin County has been highlighted by Retire Tennessee since the program’s inception in 2007 under the direction of the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development. Now a program of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, Retire Tennessee partners with communities like Hardin County to target retirees.
The AARC, established in 1994, is a nonprofit group that encourages communities to make their areas desirable for retirees – and promotes the significant, positive economic impact that population can have in an area. For more information on AARC, go to
For more information about retiree recruitment in Hardin County, contact Beth Pippin at or go to

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