College Towns May Be Best Place to Retire

Today's Boomers Want a Different Retirement

Forget the yesteryears where retirees get shoved into old ghettos to play shuffleboard and share stories of their grandchildren for the 100th time. As a baby-boomer, this is not how you want your retirement to go. And it won't. As one of the biggest generations of the 20th century, the boomers have shaped everything over the last 50 years of the 20th century and will shape the first 50 years of this century.

The year 2018 marks the first year that the earliest boomers (born in 1946) will turn 72.  Many have spent their whole careers saving for retirement and plan to spend it not where they worked their careers.  Perhaps they want to go to the beach or a mountain cottage.  No matter what destination they might want to go, it surely will be different than their parents generation.

college towns
 

Retiring to a College Town has Become Poplar Thing to Do (for good reasons)

To help make this decision, many factors go into choosing where to retire.  Retiring to a college town has become very popular these days for both the nostalgia and culture factors.  Here are some other factors for choosing a college town as a retirement community.

1. Location near Family and Friends- with many boomers choosing college towns for retirements, there's an increasing chance that some of your friends will have chosen that retirement community. Perhaps you could even retire there together with some of your closest friends. With many grandchildren of boomers getting closer to college, retiring to a college town to be close to your undergraduate grandson or granddaughter also is an attractive option.

2. Weather- even though many college campuses are located in colder climates, there are many located in warmer destinations. Las Cruces, New Mexico is home of New Mexico State and has a warm (sometimes hot) but dry climate.  Many college towns have mixed seasons with lots of foliage as well. State College, Pennsylvania, home to Penn State University is in the middle of a valley called Happy Valley. With one of the biggest alumni networks, someone you know is likely to be a Penn Stater.This community ranks highly in almost all retire to a college town guides, due to unique weather of being in a valley, proximity to mountains and skiing, and a gorgeous landscape.

3. Friendly People and Lower Cost of Living- although some colleges are located in big metropolises there are many located in smaller towns that are cheaper. With a small town feel and cheaper housing than the big city, it's possible to downsize into a smaller, friendlier community and save money from New York or Los Angeles prices.

4. Rich Cultural Life Full of Fun Activities- college towns are full of theaters, comedy clubs, bars and restaurants, lectures, and many other intellectual pursuits. With so many students congregating in one area, there is bound to be lots of inexpensive or free entertainment throughout town. Due to this large mass of people, there are movie theaters, shopping malls, and many college towns have lots of little independent shops selling all sorts of stuff. The simple ability to walk Main Street in any college town is a quality of life that many people in the bigger cities don't experience. A college town like Ashland, Oregon, home to Southern Oregon University, is a quick drive from either the ocean or the mountains and is home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Athens GA, home of the University of Georgia, could be among the best college towns with it's unparalled setting, big time sports, thriving music scene, arts and entertainment, healthy economy and favorable climate.  Retirement in California near Claremont Colleges east of downtown La is a desireable place according to AARP.  With activities like this in abundance, retiring to a college town could be a lot busier than your previous life working

5. Access to High Quality Medical Care- with many college campuses home to medical schools, medical care is usually of higher quality found in similarly-sized communities that don't contain a university.  By retiring to a college community, you can ensure access to cutting edge medical care that a big city would offer without sacrificing quality of life. A college town that fits this bill is the city of Hanover, New Hampshire, home to Dartmouth College which has a fine medical school.  A small town at heart with only 10,000 residents, this town is small but has plenty to do.  With a focus on keeping the small town feel without being boring, Hanover, New Hampshire is a fine community full of life and yet quiet and charming at the same time.

Some Top College Towns for Retirement

In top college town polls, these towns come up: Gainesville FL, Athens GA, Chapel Hill NC, Boulder CO, Eugene OR, Bloomington IN, Burlington VT, Charlottesville VA and Springfield IL.

Overall, choosing a college town as a is a great option for those who want an activity-filled retirement that doesn’t entail laying around all day.  College towns offer intellectually-stimulating activities like lectures and classes while offering high-quality medical care at (usually) less-expensive prices that a big city would offer. Retiring to a college town can be the right choice if you want a fun-filled part of your life after giving up the rat race. University & Colleges Provide Benefits To Retirees

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18 Nov 2018


By Robert Fowler
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