Recent reports and surveys have indicated that increasingly, college towns have become retirement destinations for the aging population as those cities and towns tend to offer the types of amenities many older Americans are seeking as they look to age in place.
Those benefits may include lower costs of living and services such as public transportation, hospitals, schools and entertainment, to name a few.
Heading to a college town rather than a more traditional retirement location may be one way that baby boomers redefine what retirement looks like, Budge Huskey, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate, told USA Today in a recent article.
“Historically, it was always Florida and Arizona,” Coldwell Banker President Budge Huskey told USA Today. “It seems as though for many people, the attraction to what their passion is now outweighs the typical retirement option. Instead of retiring to Florida and the warm weather, many retire to a college town, or a ski village because they love skiing. The traditional patterns are changing.”
The article profiled a couple that bought a retirement home in Athens, Ga., where the University of Georgia is located. The former New Jerseyans saw their property taxes drop 50% for a home comparable in size to the one from which they had moved. Their homeowners insurance dropped 40%, as did their health insurance (although, notes the article, all the inexperienced drivers around them caused their car insurance to go up).
The ability to audit classes or use university resources is also attractive to those valuing life-long education, while college sports lovers can conveniently attend games.
Affordable college towns include Ann Arbor, Mich., home to the University of Michigan; South Bend, Ind., home to Notre Dame; Gainesville, Fla., home to the University of Florida; and State College, Pa., where Penn State University is located. These locales, says USA Today, “offer exactly what Boomers are looking for these days: cheap homes, a reasonable cost of living, livability and lots of culture and sports.”
While some boomers may simply be moving into a college town, others are choosing retirement communities that are affiliated with a university, notes the article, which in some cases give residents “full access” to the campus’s facilities.
Written by Alyssa Gerace