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34 College Towns That Are Perfect For Retirees

34 College Towns That Are Perfect For Retirees

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Did you know retirees in college towns often stay healthier and sharper? Many universities even offer free classes for seniors. Why let the young folks have all the fun? Let’s explore 34 vibrant college towns that could turn your retirement into an exciting new adventure. Ready to go back to school – minus the exams?

1. Huntington, West Virginia

College Towns That Are Perfect For Retirees

First up, we’ve got Huntington, right on the Ohio River. It’s home to Marshall University, which means there’s always something fun going on. The town gets a solid 81 out of 100 for how nice it is to live there. And get this – about 17 out of every 100 people here are over 65, so you’ll fit right in! The best part? Houses are super cheap. You could pay as little as $707 a month for a mortgage. That leaves plenty of cash for fun stuff like cheering on the Thundering Herd (that’s the university’s sports teams) or checking out local art shows.

2. Lexington, Kentucky

Next stop: Lexington, the Horse Capital of the World! But don’t worry, you don’t need to be a jockey to love it here. The University of Kentucky keeps things lively, and the town scores a great 86 out of 100 for livability. About 13 out of every 100 folks are over 65, so you’ll have plenty of pals your age. Living here costs about $1,775 a month, which isn’t too bad. You can spend your days watching horse races, sipping bourbon (if that’s your thing), or rooting for the Wildcats basketball team.

3. Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Let’s head north to Stevens Point, Wisconsin. This Midwest gem is home to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. It scores 85 out of 100 for livability, which is pretty awesome! About 12 out of every 100 people are over 65, so it’s a nice mix of young and old. You can live comfortably here for about $1,691 a month. Stevens Point is perfect if you love the outdoors – there are tons of parks and trails. And when you’re done exploring nature, you can catch a show or art exhibit at the university.

4. Ames, Iowa

Now, let’s check out Ames, Iowa. Home to Iowa State University, this town gets a whopping 90 out of 100 for livability. That’s like getting an A+ on a test! Only about 10 out of every 100 people are over 65, which means you’ll feel young and spry all the time. Living here costs about $1,863 a month. You can spend your days cheering for the Cyclones (that’s the university’s sports teams), exploring beautiful parks, or learning cool new things at university events.

5. Lawrence, Kansas

Rock Chalk, Jayhawk! That’s what you’ll hear in Lawrence, home to the University of Kansas. This town scores a great 88 out of 100 for livability. About 11 out of every 100 folks are over 65, so you’ll have a nice mix of neighbors. It costs about $1,882 a month to live here. Lawrence is known for its fun downtown, great music scene, and beautiful campus. Whether you want to catch a basketball game, listen to live music, or just enjoy a nice walk, Lawrence has got you covered.

6. Normal, Illinois

Don’t let the name fool you – Normal is anything but boring! Home to Illinois State University, this town scores a solid 87 out of 100 for livability. About 11 out of every 100 people are over 65. You can live comfortably here for around $1,816 a month. Normal has a cute downtown area with lots of shops and restaurants. Plus, there are tons of parks and bike trails if you like to stay active. And hey, how cool would it be to tell your grandkids you live in Normal?

7. Winona, Minnesota

Next, let’s visit Winona, nestled along the Mississippi River. It’s home to Winona State University and scores 77 out of 100 for livability. About 17 out of every 100 folks are over 65, so you’ll be in good company. The best part? It’s super affordable, with living costs around $1,618 a month. Winona is known for its beautiful scenery – you can hike in the bluffs, boat on the river, or just enjoy the view. And with the university in town, there’s always an interesting lecture or concert to check out.

8. Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

Lewisburg might be small, but it packs a big punch! Home to Bucknell University, this charming town scores 79 out of 100 for livability. A whopping 17 out of every 100 people are over 65, so you’ll have lots of peers. Living here costs about $1,926 a month. Lewisburg has a cute downtown with lots of shops and restaurants. And if you love history, you’re in luck – there are tons of old buildings and museums to explore. Plus, the university brings in cool speakers and shows all the time.

9. Norman, Oklahoma

Boomer Sooner! That’s what you’ll hear in Norman, home to the University of Oklahoma. This town scores 84 out of 100 for livability, and about 13 out of every 100 folks are over 65. You can live well here for around $1,876 a month. Norman is great if you love sports – the OU football games are legendary. But there’s more than just sports. You can check out world-class museums, enjoy outdoor concerts, or explore the nearby Lake Thunderbird State Park. It’s a perfect mix of college town energy and small-town charm.

10. Greensboro, North Carolina

Let’s head to Greensboro, home to several colleges including UNC Greensboro. This city scores 82 out of 100 for livability, and about 13 out of every 100 people are over 65. Living here costs around $1,702 a month, which is pretty reasonable for a city this size. Greensboro has a bit of everything – beautiful parks, great museums, and lots of shopping and dining options. Plus, with all the colleges in town, there’s always an interesting event or lecture to attend.

11. Evanston, Illinois

Just north of Chicago, we’ve got Evanston, home to Northwestern University. This lakeside town scores 83 out of 100 for livability, and about 16 out of every 100 folks are over 65. Now, it’s a bit pricier, with monthly costs around $1,931. But for many people, it’s worth it. You get the perks of a small town with easy access to big-city Chicago. Plus, there’s the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline, lots of parks, and tons of cultural events thanks to the university.

12. Richardson, Texas

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the opportunities in Richardson! Home to the University of Texas at Dallas, this town scores 85 out of 100 for livability. About 13 out of every 100 people are over 65. Living here costs around $1,927 a month. Richardson is known for its tech industry, so it’s great if you want to keep your mind sharp. But it’s not all work and no play – there are lots of parks, a great arts scene, and tons of festivals throughout the year. Plus, you’re just a short drive from Dallas if you want a big city adventure.

13. Denton, Texas

Let’s stay in Texas and check out Denton, home to two universities – the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University. This town scores a high 86 out of 100 for livability, with about 11 out of every 100 folks over 65. You can live comfortably here for around $1,826 a month. Denton is famous for its music scene – they even call it the “Live Music Capital of North Texas.” There’s always a concert or festival going on. And if you’re into quirky shops and cool restaurants, you’ll love the downtown square.

14. Ann Arbor, Michigan

Home to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor scores a fantastic 88 out of 100 for livability. About 12 out of every 100 people are over 65. Now, it’s on the pricier side with monthly costs around $1,784, but many folks think it’s worth every penny. Ann Arbor is known for its great food scene, beautiful parks, and top-notch cultural events. You can spend your days exploring art fairs, cheering for the Wolverines, or enjoying the city’s many festivals.

15. Greenville, South Carolina

Next up is Greenville, home to several colleges including Furman University. This charming Southern city scores 79 out of 100 for livability, and about 14 out of every 100 folks are over 65. Living here costs around $1,740 a month. Greenville has been getting a lot of attention lately for its beautiful downtown, complete with waterfalls right in the middle of the city! There’s a great food scene, lots of outdoor activities, and a thriving arts community. Plus, you’re just a short drive from the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

16. Champaign, Illinois

Let’s head to Champaign, home of the University of Illinois. This Midwest town scores 83 out of 100 for livability, with about 10 out of every 100 people over 65. You can live well here for around $1,808 a month. Champaign is known for its friendly people and lively downtown area. There’s always something going on, from farmer’s markets to music festivals. And if you’re a sports fan, you’ll love cheering for the Fighting Illini. The university also brings in lots of interesting speakers and events, so you’ll never run out of things to learn and do.

17. Iowa City, Iowa

Home to the University of Iowa, Iowa City scores a great 84 out of 100 for livability. About 11 out of every 100 folks are over 65. Living here costs around $1,758 a month. Iowa City is known as a UNESCO City of Literature, so it’s perfect if you love books and writing. There are tons of bookshops, reading events, and writing workshops. But it’s not all about books – there’s also a great food scene, lots of parks, and of course, exciting Hawkeye sports.

18. Chattanooga, Tennessee

Next, let’s visit Chattanooga, home to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. This city scores 75 out of 100 for livability, with about 17 out of every 100 people over 65. Living here costs around $1,766 a month. Chattanooga has come a long way in recent years – it’s now known for its outdoor activities, fast internet, and revitalized downtown. You can spend your days hiking in the nearby mountains, exploring the Tennessee Aquarium, or enjoying the city’s many festivals. And with the university in town, there’s always an interesting lecture or event to attend.

19. Syracuse, New York

Let’s head north to Syracuse, home of Syracuse University. This city scores 79 out of 100 for livability, with about 13 out of every 100 folks over 65. Living here costs around $1,966 a month. Syracuse is known for its snowy winters, but don’t let that scare you off! There’s plenty to do year-round. The city has great museums, a beautiful lake for summer fun, and of course, exciting Orange basketball games. Plus, you’re in the heart of New York’s beautiful Finger Lakes region, perfect for day trips and wine tasting.

20. West Lafayette, Indiana

Home to Purdue University, West Lafayette scores a perfect 90 out of 100 for livability. Only about 7 out of every 100 people are over 65, so you’ll feel young here! Living costs are around $1,699 a month. West Lafayette is great if you love science and technology – Purdue is famous for its engineering and science programs. But there’s more than just academics. The town has beautiful parks, a great farmers market, and lots of community events. And of course, you can always cheer on the Boilermakers at a football or basketball game.

21. Newark, Delaware

Next up is Newark, home to the University of Delaware. This town scores 83 out of 100 for livability, with about 12 out of every 100 folks over 65. Living here costs around $2,000 a month. Newark has a charming Main Street with lots of shops and restaurants. The university brings in lots of cultural events and interesting speakers. Plus, you’re close to big cities like Philadelphia and Baltimore, but with a much more relaxed vibe. It’s a great spot if you want a small-town feel with easy access to big-city amenities.

22. Eugene, Oregon

Let’s head west to Eugene, home of the University of Oregon. This city scores 78 out of 100 for livability, with about 16 out of every 100 people over 65. Living here costs around $1,755 a month. Eugene is perfect if you love the outdoors – there are tons of parks, bike trails, and nearby mountains to explore. The city is also known for its arts scene, great farmers markets, and of course, Duck football. And if you’re into sustainability, you’ll love Eugene’s eco-friendly vibe.

23. Buffalo, New York

Next, we’ve got Buffalo, home to the University at Buffalo. This city scores 78 out of 100 for livability, with about 13 out of every 100 folks over 65. Living here is pretty affordable, with costs around $1,957 a month. Buffalo has been making a comeback in recent years, with a revitalized waterfront, great museums, and a thriving food scene (it’s not just about wings!). Plus, you’re right near Niagara Falls for easy day trips. If you don’t mind a little snow, the winters can be beautiful.

24. Tallahassee, Florida

Let’s head south to Tallahassee, home to Florida State University. This city scores 82 out of 100 for livability, with about 11 out of every 100 people over 65. Living here costs around $1,863 a month. Tallahassee is perfect if you want warm weather without the crowds of South Florida. The city has beautiful parks, great golf courses, and lots of cultural events thanks to the university. Plus, you’re just a short drive from beautiful Gulf Coast beaches. Of course, there’s always exciting Seminoles football to enjoy in the fall.

25. Lubbock, Texas

Let’s wrap up our tour in Lubbock, home to Texas Tech University. This city scores 78 out of 100 for livability, with about 12 out of every 100 folks over 65. Living here is pretty affordable, with costs around $1,809 a month. Lubbock is known for its friendly people, great BBQ, and exciting Red Raiders sports. But there’s more than just football – the city has a growing arts scene, interesting museums, and beautiful parks. Plus, you’re in the heart of Texas wine country, perfect for weekend trips.

26. Austin, Texas

Austin is the capital of Texas and home to the University of Texas, which is known for its live music scene – the “Live Music Capital of the World”! About 10 out of every 100 people here are over 65, so you’ll be among folks of all ages. Homes averaging around $359,900. But many think it’s worth it for the endless fun. You can catch a show any night of the week or take part in the famous South by Southwest festival. And if you love learning, UT’s OLLI program for older adults is so popular they had to split it into five groups!

27. Beaufort, South Carolina

Next up is Beaufort, a charming Southern town home to the University of South Carolina Beaufort. This place is like stepping into a postcard, with beautiful old buildings and trees draped in Spanish moss. About 17 out of every 100 people here are over 65, so you’ll have lots of peers. Homes here average around $226,600, which isn’t bad for such a pretty place. Beaufort is great if you love history and art too. And get this – if you’re over 60 and not working full time, you can take classes for free!

28. Claremont, California

How about some California sunshine? Claremont is a slice of paradise just outside Los Angeles. It’s home to the Claremont Colleges, so there’s always something exciting happening. Picture tree-lined streets and a cute downtown that looks like it’s from a movie. About 16 out of 100 folks here are over 65. Houses cost around $624,400 on average, but you get amazing weather, mountain views, and tons of fun events. Plus, if you’re 60 or older, you can take college classes for free!

29. Durham, North Carolina

Let’s head east to Durham, home of the Duke Blue Devils! This cool city is part of the Research Triangle, with lots of smart people and interesting companies around. About 13 out of 100 folks here are over 65. Houses only cost about $169,800 on average – a real bargain! Durham’s got yummy food, neat museums, and top-notch doctors. The weather’s nice too, with all four seasons. Duke’s OLLI program offers tons of classes for older adults.

30. Fort Collins, Colorado

Ready for some mountain air? Fort Collins, home to Colorado State University, has a lively downtown and Rocky Mountain views. About 55 out of 100 people here are over 55. Houses cost around $313,200 on average. If you love the outdoors, you’ll be in heaven – there’s hiking, biking, and beautiful scenery everywhere. And if you’re 55 or older, you can take CSU classes for free! It’s great for folks who want mountain living with a fun college town vibe.

31. Gainesville, Florida

Home to the University of Florida, Gainesville offers great weather and outdoor activities. About 13% of residents are over 65, and homes average an affordable $142,200. Sports fans will love the exciting Gators games. There are beautiful springs nearby, lots of parks, and a thriving arts scene. Folks 60 and up can take UF classes for free. It’s ideal for those wanting warm weather, affordable living, and plenty of learning opportunities.

32. Northampton, Massachusetts

Northampton, home to Smith College, sits in the beautiful Berkshires. About 16% of residents are over 65, and homes average $259,200. The town has a funky, artsy vibe with lots of cultural events. The Five College Learning in Retirement program offers numerous classes for older adults. If you’re after New England charm with a progressive twist, Northampton’s your spot.

33. Oxford, Mississippi

Oxford, home to Ole Miss, is a charming Southern town with a rich literary history. About 22% of residents are over 65, and homes average $219,000. The town square is beautiful, football games are exciting, and there are many learning opportunities for older adults. Those 65 and up can take free classes at Ole Miss. It’s perfect for those wanting Southern hospitality with intellectual stimulation.

34. State College, Pennsylvania

State College, home to Penn State, is a vibrant town in central Pennsylvania. About 46% of residents are over 65, and homes average $265,800. There’s always something happening, from cultural events to football games. The surrounding area offers beautiful outdoor spaces. Folks 60 and up can take evening classes at Penn State for free or at a discount. The OLLI program is huge, with over 300 courses yearly. It’s great for those seeking an active retirement in a lively college town.

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