For many people, retirement means staying in the same house they’ve lived in for decades, close to family, familiar places, and everything that reminds one of home. For others, however, a destination retirement holds a certain appeal. Whether you’re motivated by climate, cultural, or personal considerations, you and your spouse may want to move elsewhere once the kids are grown and your careers have come to an end. If this sounds like your situation, you may want to consider eschewing the Fort Lauderdales and Palm Springs of the U.S., and instead settle down in a college town.
Although they have grown tremendously as a retirement locale in recent decades, college towns are certainly not what comes to mind when one thinks of retirement. But they come with considerable benefits for the average retirees. Let’s take a look at some of the general college town advantages:
As you grow older, you’re probably going to want the security and peace of mind that comes from having hospitals and doctors nearby that you can trust. Most people assume that this requires living in a major metropolitan area. However, some of the nation’s best healthcare systems are affiliated with state universities and located in college towns. If you settle in one of these places, you’ll never be far away from excellent care. Furthermore, the location of the college town is likely to be removed from urban pollution and in proximity to many outdoor activities. Not only will you be able to forgo your water softener, but you’ll also have access to a wide range of healthy pursuits.
Cost of Living
These days, many people worry that they won’t have enough money to sustain them through retirement. If this is a concern for you and your spouse – or even if it isn’t – college towns offer a remarkable cost of living advantage when compared to major cities. In a college town, you’ll likely be able to find a cheaper home and less costly restaurants than you would in most cities or traditional retirement communities.
If drunken frat parties are all that come to mind when you think of a college town, you’re in for a surprise: due to the high density of students, college towns often act as a bubble onto themselves – especially when it comes to cultural offerings. If you enjoy theater, obscure movies, innovative restaurants, creative art shows, or a relaxed evening of jazz, there’s a good chance that you’ll find offerings in a college town that rival those that are available in a city many times its size.
As you can see, the right college town is capable of combining some of the best attributes of an urban and rural society. This is just as true for retirees as it is for students. If you’re approaching that phase in your life, and you’re looking to move somewhere new, you may want to give thought to settling in a college town.