Three Great College Towns for Retirement

Cities with universities offer quality health care and lifelong learning for retirees. Watch the video.

Do you want the amenities of a big city without the traffic and high cost of living? Consider retiring to a college town. College towns offer plays, concerts, sports and great food, plus the opportunity to keep your mind engaged through no-cost or low-cost university courses. Plus, you’ll have access to high-quality health care, often through hospitals associated with the university. Most of the college towns on our top 10 list are also located in tax-friendly states and have a low cost of living.

Consider, for example, Oxford, Mississippi. The home of Ole Miss is a hub of culture and college sports. It’s also a magnet for book lovers, who can mingle with famous authors at Square Books, a world-renowned independent bookstore. Property taxes are low and retirement income is exempt from Mississippi state taxes. Use the savings to splurge at the dozen or so delicious restaurants in The Square, the heart of Oxford.

A popular retirement haven for lovers of the great outdoors is Boise, Idaho, home to Boise State University. Boise offers a 25-mile bike and pedestrian path, and you don’t have to venture far to find some great hiking trails. Boise State’s football and basketball teams are popular with locals, and the city also has a minor league baseball team, the Boise Hawks. Idaho is a tax-friendly state for retirees and is served by two major medical centers.

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Florida is also a tax-friendly state for retirees, and Gainesville, home to the University of Florida, has a lot to offer people who don’t mind living a couple of hours from the ocean. Residents 60 and older can enroll in college courses at no cost if space is available. In addition, the Institute for Learning in Retirement at Oak Hammock, which is affiliated with the university, offers an extensive roster of courses. Gainesville also offers 13 museums and galleries and a thriving downtown.

Take a look at the complete list of 10 top college towns for retirement .

Sandra Block
Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Block joined Kiplinger in June 2012 from USA Today, where she was a reporter and personal finance columnist for more than 15 years. Prior to that, she worked for the Akron Beacon-Journal and Dow Jones Newswires. In 1993, she was a Knight-Bagehot fellow in economics and business journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has a BA in communications from Bethany College in Bethany, W.Va.