ideal-LIVING Retirement and Relocation Blog

Back to School!

Best Places to Retire - College Towns - Back to SchoolAugust is the time of year when children and college-aged students all over the United States are heading back to school. Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you can’t go back to school, too.

Colleges around the country offer classes especially designed for retirees. Community Colleges also offer a variety of classes, which contribute to lifelong learning. There are 117 college campuses offering Osher Lifelong Learning programs. These programs often offer non-credit courses or activities for those 50+. Plus, many communities offer classes through community programs.

If you don’t want to go back to school, there are many great advantages to retiring in a college town.

  1. Free tuition- Many colleges offer tuition waivers for older adults. “There’s wonderful access to continuing learning, such as auditing college and graduate courses, opportunities for some to even contribute to some subjects in terms of teaching as a guest speaker, great opportunities for volunteering, lots of access to the arts, and a chance to mingle with people of all ages,” says Andrew Blechman, author of Leisureville: Adventures in America’s Retirement Utopias.
  2. Good Healthcare- Many colleges have affiliated teaching hospitals that are offered to those in the community. These hospitals are often more affordable and more convenient than traveling to a hospital in the big city.
  3. Sports- Whether you are in Nittany Lion country or are an Orangeman, college towns offer a variety of sports for you to watch. The Forest at Duke, near Duke University, offers rides to basketball and football games for community members. The Forest at Duke also allows residents to Duke’s athletic facilities.
  4. Speakers and Concerts- College towns often attract world-class performers and lecturers. Often times, these lectures, performances, and access to the library are free or offered at a nominal cost to members of the community.
  5. Affordable- Students live on a budget. You’re living on a budget. College towns cater to students living on a budget, which means you’ll fit right in. You’ll find affordable services around the community and even housing is more affordable.
  6. Strong Economy- Colleges stabilize the local economy. “College towns often prove to be the best towns to invest in because they have a guaranteed changing student population always in need of housing and a steady core of professors and administrators going nowhere,” says Barbara Corcoran, author of Nextville: Amazing Places to Live the Rest of Your Life. “College towns typically have a thriving downtown which supports the business community and enough visitors to keep small hotels happy.”
  7. Public transportation- Public transportation is both affordable and reliable in college towns. Most towns offer discounted or free transportation for senior citizens.
  8. Scenic Beauty- Colleges are often built in picturesque areas, and the college community works to keep the community where the school is located beautiful.
  9. Fountain of Youth- “For young-at-heart retirees, there are often free classes, open concerts, and discounted tickets to sports events,” says Corcoran. “They offer youthful enthusiasm and lots to do.” Plus, there’s a steady stream of youth moving into town every few months.
  10. Retirement Communities on Campus-Many colleges are now offering retirement communities on campus. Residents have access to libraries, athletic communities, and cultural activities.

So whether you’re looking to continue learning for yourself or to help others, or looking to relive your own college days, consider going back to school or by living in a college town. For U.S. News’ List of “The 10 Most Educated Places to Retire”






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