10 great college towns to retire to

It can be easy to stay active in your golden years living near a university.

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284Comments
Aug 21, 2014 6:30AM
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Some good comments on retiring and the reasons why places are good for the individual retiree. Some bad comments about politics which have no place in this discussion. Remember folks, retirement is a plan that has to be worked for many years. Case in point. The love of my life since 1965 and I planned for retirement since marriage in 1967. Starting a retirement portfolio with $1,000.00 in 1967. Today at 71 years old we are very comfortable. Continually investing we grew that $1,000.00 into over a million dollars and live in the valley of the sun. No politician, government policy, political party or President ever affected our gains or losses.  
Aug 12, 2014 9:08PM
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For once a good, sensible article - retiring to a college town is a great way to stay active after you retire . . . .!  
Aug 21, 2014 8:49AM
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The facts are wrong about Florida and Gainesville.  This says the population is 32,533 - maybe in 1955.  The current population of Gainesville was 126,047 in  2012.  Plus, there are 50,000 students at the University of Florida who are not usually counted in the census. The cost of living here is higher than surrounding towns, especially for housing and gas, and the traffic is terrible except the few weeks in the year when the students are gone.  I have lived here since 1966 and have seen massive changes.
Aug 21, 2014 8:53AM
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Most of these are not college towns, they are cities that have colleges.  Try a place like Ames, Iowa or Bowling Green, Ohio.  Where most of the population is at the college.  Where the local businesses depend on it, etc.  That's a college town. 
Aug 21, 2014 6:11AM
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Charlottesville, VA is waaaay overpriced! Good luck trying to live there on Social Security unless you want to live on the street. Million dollar homes in this cesspool? Unreal!  Is it also one of the snobbiest places on earth. Not sure why it is on this list.
Aug 17, 2014 8:32AM
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I am surprised that Bloomington In didn't make the list. Great college town with cheaper housing then most on this list.
Aug 13, 2014 12:59PM
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I have long thought about retiring to a college town such as Lawrence, Kansas with the idea that the cost of living would be reasonable to accommodate the students. I also thought about how a college town normally has things going on like sporting events, plays, concerts and such.  The idea of taking classes at a college after retirement is a new spin for me as the last thing I want to do is to register for classes again.  I do wonder if it would be a weird thing to be growing older and older while the majority of the population around you reminds young. You'd might have to develop a Peter Pan complex to survive. I enjoy sports but I don't think I have it in me to become a fanatic for any college football team this late in my life.
Aug 12, 2014 7:31PM
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Try Clemson S.C.  Great town, great Lake, great place to be,
Aug 21, 2014 8:20AM
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Been to many UVA football games in Charlottesville and can say that picture of shops and restaurants is about 3 blocks long and that's it. The rest of the campus is spread across the city and it does not have college town feeling like a campus. Plus it's way to expensive. 



Aug 21, 2014 7:37AM
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Asheville ? that's pretty funny. Unless you want to buy a shack in the hills you may as well be talking about buying a cheap house in Manhattan.  
Aug 21, 2014 7:09AM
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I'd like to move somewhere near or in the mountains....NC, Ga, Tn.....nice places to go on long walks....
Aug 12, 2014 9:23PM
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All of these are nice places with a good quality of life. The other thing to keep in mind is every state/region of the USA has these kind of cities. FYI--the cost of living index for Oxford, MS per the City-Data website is 93.6, the national average cost of living index being 100.  
Aug 13, 2014 1:01PM
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You forgot Chico CA . . great weather along with $60 annual fee for seniors to audit classes.  L
Aug 13, 2014 9:03AM
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you know how them seniors like to party...show them college town kids how to get down...you bring the geritol...i'll bring the weed...
Aug 21, 2014 11:09AM
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Another stupid topic by MSN. When you retire, the majority of people want peace and quiet NOT a "cool college town" with drunk kids running around having sex in parking lots.
Aug 21, 2014 8:09AM
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Interesting article. I love Boise and Idaho but it is not as tax friendly as the article states. Normal

retirees here have all income treated just like the it is by the IRS.

Aug 21, 2014 8:17AM
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It is quite apparent that the author of this article has never been to Chapel Hill, NC, the home of The University of North Carolina.
Aug 21, 2014 10:02AM
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I live in a southern college town. Nice place to live, safe, quiet enough. Plenty to do - music, movies in the park, county fair, lots to eat and drink beyond the standard franchise fare available in all the cities coast to coast.


Its definitely what you make of it though. If you come to a place like this looking to be entertained or if you are picky about the entertainment (you like only one kind of music)  - you'll be disappointed. If you need a nice town to do your thing in - close to the stores that support your hobbies (outdoors, antique cars, woodcraft) - and close to things like craft shows and car shows and wilderness areas where you can hike and camp - then a place like this will work for you. Plenty of educated people here and always interesting things happening on campus like famous people who come and give talks. Classes can be taken on campus or nearby at the local vocational school. All in all a pretty good place to live. FWIW I have friends that are bored to death living in a big city all b/c they don't create something to do, they wait for entertainment. Go to the lake! Go for a hike! Build something. Fix something. Turn off the darn TV!

Aug 21, 2014 10:07AM
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State College was voted 2nd most party college in the county...yeah, right , like I want to move there in the middle of nowhere..College ave is only a few blocks long ...nothing but bars and kiddos..who would want to spend their retirement years back on a campus?
Aug 21, 2014 12:38PM
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I lived in Ft Collins, Colorado back in the 70's.  At that time it was a truly great "town" with small town appeal. No real industry, just a simple college town.  However, in the mid 80's it started to boom out of control with what they call progression in land and property development.  Thanks to the liberal greed inspired fat cats, Ft Collins no longer has that small college town appeal.  It is quite expensive to live there now that the "acceptable" lifestyle expectation that has been driven into the upper middle to well to do households.  Basically, it's now a compressed city type small town.    
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