Economic Perspective: Retiring to a College Town

Aerial view of downtown Raleigh.

MARY WALDEN:

“Today’s program looks at the pros and cons of retiring to a college town. Mike, we’re now at the age where many of friends either have retired or considering retiring. For those who are mobile, many experts recommend retiring to a small town with a college or university. Is this sound advice?”

MIKE WALDEN:

“We often see ranking of places in the country that are ranked best in terms of retirement, and often times they are college towns that are at the top of the list. It’s easy to understand in terms of what they offer. They offer opportunities for retired people to continue to learn. Usually you have fine arts facilities. You have athletic opportunities, et cetera. So you certainly have a lot of pluses associated with retiring to a college town.”

“If they’re a larger college town, with a larger university, you may actually have a teaching hospital. That’s another plus.”

“On the downside, I think retirees should recognize if they move to a college town for retirement they’re going to be around a lot of college students who may have different lifestyles than retirees. So you may have to take that into account. Also you want to check on whether that college town has particular communities that cater to retirees. Sometimes that’ll all you the best of both worlds. You don’t have to live with the college students, but you get all the opportunities.”

“Now if it’s a smaller town with a smaller college they may not have the range of medical facilities offered in a larger city. So the bottom line here is do your homework, consider the plus and minuses, but certainly for many retirees college towns are at the top of the list.”

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