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2021 Retirement Trends: Why Seniors Are Choosing College Towns

senior couple on college campus taking an online class

2021 Retirement Trends: Why Seniors Are Choosing College Towns

You might not think that a town full of college students would be an ideal place for retirement. But college towns have a lot going for them that seniors find attractive: a rich arts and cultural scene; high-level sporting events; intellectually challenging classes and guest lectures; and, more often than not, great medical care.

To learn more about why seniors are choosing to spend their golden years in college towns, read on. And if going back to college sounds good to you, remember no one will grade your homework. You can continue learning simply for the love of it.

Great cultural and athletic events.

The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. If you’re a sports fan — especially if you’re rooting for your alma mater — the excitement of game day doesn’t diminish with age. It’s one reason many seniors are drawn back to their alma mater where they can cheer in the stands along with thousands of students while the band rocks on.

In addition to the action on the field, a college campus offers easy access to plays, recitals, concerts, movies, lectures, art galleries and museums. College towns offer a richer, more vibrant cultural scene than most towns their size. Plus, seniors have more opportunities to engage with younger generations, which makes life interesting.

College classes minus the exams.

Many schools in college towns offer seniors tuition discounts or the ability to audit classes for free. This is attractive for anyone who wants to continue learning and challenging themselves intellectually. Plus, participating in classes allows seniors to engage with younger people who share their curiosity about the world.

One example of the popularity of college towns for seniors is the number of university-based retirement communities (UBRCs) springing up across the country.

UBRCs are affiliated with a college or university and are typically located on the college campus. Currently, there are more than 100 UBRCs affiliated with schools such as Penn State, Furman, and Arizona State — with more on the way. Coming soon to residents of Westchester County, NY, is Broadview Senior Living at Purchase College, currently under development by LCS Development and Purchase College.

Easy to get around.

Driving becomes more challenging as you grow older. Vision can deteriorate, hearing may change, and reflexes get slower. If you live in a community designed for cars, getting around can be a problem. That’s not the case in a college town. They’re designed for students who don’t have cars. Almost everything on a college campus is within walking distance, and public transportation tends to be more reliable. There are also more readily available ride-sharing options like Uber and Lyft. And if you like to walk for exercise, you’ll generally find lots of walking and biking trails to explore in a college town.

Good health care.

Having access to quality health care is a priority for seniors. That can be a problem if you live in a small town, especially rural or isolated communities. College towns, however, are much more likely to have great clinics, hospitals and specialists. While it’s true that many of the best university medical centers are located in large cities or metro areas, smaller college towns often have nationally ranked university health care systems. This is particularly true if you move somewhere with a renowned medical school.

Lower cost of living.

While some college towns can be pricey, many college towns are located in relatively small cities in inexpensive states, which can help stretch your retirement dollars. If you’re moving from a larger city or metro area, you might be pleasantly surprised at the cost of living in a college town.

What’s your ideal location for retirement?

Do you prefer the beach or the mountains? A golf course or a college campus? Whatever your ideal retirement looks like, we can help you realize your vision. We manage more than 140 senior living communities nationwide. To find a Life Care Services community in your preferred location, use our find a community tool. Or contact us for more information.