10 Great College Towns to Retire to

Remember when you went off to college for the first time?

Senior Indian Couple On Cycle Ride In Countryside
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Remember when you went off to college for the first time? You were eager for challenges and psyched to try something new. Retire to a college town, and you can re-create that horizon-broadening experience and sense of adventure.

In these ten towns, a university generates intellectual and cultural sizzle for local residents and opens the door for retirees to take free or low-cost classes. College sports unite the entire community (and sometimes impel retired alums to move back). On-campus attractions, such as concerts, lecture series and games, are open to all comers, not just undergraduates.

College life isn’t the only reason these towns are great places to retire. Most are in states that are tax-friendly to retirees. Most have home prices close to the national median (some far below), active restaurant scenes, and access to good health care. As for size, they range from tiny Oxford, Miss. (population 20,865) to Lexington, Ky., a midsized city (308,428). A few are below the national average for the cost of living index (100). Take a look.

Home price data was provided by the National Association of Realtors and local realtor associations. Cost-of-living data was provided by the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness.

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.