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Old 06-13-2014, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Glenbogle
730 posts, read 1,029,427 times
Reputation: 1047

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I've noted with interest how many times people have mentioned a desire to retire to a "college town" and began to wonder what the attraction (or conversely, repulsion LOL) of a college town would be for a retiree.

On one hand, I can imagine that someone might enjoy the activity, vibrancy and "youthful exuberance" of an area that is home to many college students during most of the year.

On the other hand, I can also imagine that the prospect of an overabundance of rental housing stuffed with partying students, half (or mostly) drunk and/or particularly distracted drivers on the roadways especially weekends and breaks, and just an overall higher level of noise and commotion for most of the year, could be someone's worst nightmare. (frankly, that would be me, LOL)

So what do you personally think of college towns as a retirement destination: Thumbs up, or thumbs down?

Thumbs down for me, obviously.
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Prescott AZ
6,132 posts, read 9,105,896 times
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I am one that wants to be in a college town. Having been enthusiastic about learning my whole life (3 college degrees, including one masters, two bachelors), I want to take more classes and keep my mind alive. And many colleges these days have classes for seniors free of charge or minimal expense. Also Osher is in colleges and universities throughout the US. Another plus: concerts, speakers, culture, and things to do. I don't plan to live in the vicinity of student housing since I can imagine how much I would hate it, but close by. Near enough to take advantage of the pluses, yet far enough away to avoid the noise!
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,007,999 times
Reputation: 15649
I would not want to live in most state University towns. In some, the loud student parties, riots, and driving up rents and property values is a big negative. I would find (and have found) a private college town that is sedate with a lovely campus like a park (where I can walk year-round), and I can audit classes and use the pool. If you're considering moving to a U-town, visit it on a Fri or Sat night.
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:54 AM
 
Location: WA
5,398 posts, read 21,422,898 times
Reputation: 5908
All college towns are not the same but being in an area with heavy student activity can be a real hassle. Choose carefully and avoid areas with 'affordable rentals' and roads with direct access to campus.
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Old 06-13-2014, 11:18 AM
 
741 posts, read 642,714 times
Reputation: 576
Quote:
Originally Posted by StressedOutNYer View Post
... and/or particularly distracted drivers on the roadways especially weekends and breaks.
Seems to me you're describing the driving habits of many seniors!

Quote:
So what do you personally think of college towns as a retirement destination: Thumbs up, or thumbs down?
Just about everywhere I've lived has been a "college town," including here in Chicago. I lived in Tucson, where 55,000 students attend the U of A. I lived in Des Moines, close to Drake University. I like the vibrancy that's present in such environments. Also, too, there tends to be a good cultural life in college towns. Art exhibits, performances of all sorts, concerts, sporting events, a good library and many inexpensive places to eat. Living in a college town doens't mean you have to live in a dormatory building with the students. I wouldn't rule-out living in a college town after retirement, even a small college town.
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Old 06-13-2014, 01:08 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,251,822 times
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Quote:
Retiring to a "college town": Thumbs up, or thumbs down?
I think I answered this in another thread long long ago.

I worked at a college. Trash. Noise. Illegal parking. No way would I want to retire near one.
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Old 06-13-2014, 01:33 PM
 
Location: middle tennessee
1,926 posts, read 995,239 times
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I retired to the town where I first attended college. It felt like coming home to me.

I enjoy the students and the quiet summers when most of them are gone.

No downside that I am aware of in my small town. I am not sure that I would want to live in a town this size without the diversity the college provides.
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Old 06-13-2014, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Princeton
1,078 posts, read 1,126,534 times
Reputation: 2137
I can't speak for other college towns, Princeton, is not the norm, small school with good, smart kids, Historic Downtown Princeton, an "Ivy league" school and is a game changer, soft quite nights, great weekends out on deck sipping red wine, very scenic, rolling hills, wooded acres, our Museum is one of the finest in the world,McCarter Theatre, great acts, the scenic back drops, Nassau street, fantastic restaurants, centrally located between Philadelphia and New York, happy to call it home.

PS-My neighbors house, or maybe I should call it their castle, has tunnels that leave their home and pops up at the edge of the tree line, that dates back to the Revolutionary war and the battle of Princeton. lol. Simply fantastic ...
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Old 06-13-2014, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,769,401 times
Reputation: 32309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Longford View Post
....... I like the vibrancy that's present in such environments. Also, too, there tends to be a good cultural life in college towns. Art exhibits, performances of all sorts, concerts, sporting events, a good library and many inexpensive places to eat. Living in a college town doens't mean you have to live in a dormatory building with the students. I wouldn't rule-out living in a college town after retirement, even a small college town.
It seems what you mentioned would be the main advantage of living in a college town, unless the college itself is very small. At any larger college or university, there will be foreign films, visiting lecturers, musical performances, plays, and the like. Thus one can avoid living in a large city but still reap many of the advantages of same.

But for people who have no interest in any of the above, then I would have to agree with the OP that there is no reason to seek out a college town.

Many people (most people ??) who live in vibrant large cities never take advantage of the live opera, world-class symphonies, foreign and other independent films, genuine ethnic restaurants, museums of various kinds, and other such cultural amenities. So for those people, the only reason to live in a large city is the job market; when their working days are over there is no reason for them to stay.

A college town can have the best of both worlds, to an extent. More reasonable cost of housing, less traffic congestion, etc. combined with cultural activities and amenities to a greater or lesser degree.
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Old 06-13-2014, 02:32 PM
 
60 posts, read 57,013 times
Reputation: 118
A lot of colleges and universities in Massachusetts offer free or discounted classes for seniors, so I can see that being a draw.
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