10 Best College Towns To Retire | All You Need to Know

With the various impressive features which college towns offer senior citizens, it is no surprise that college towns are witnessing an increasing population of retirees moving to settle there.

College towns are known to have a unique blend of young and old people. The senior citizens in college towns are usually uninterested in retiring and relaxing. Most retirees in college towns are still interested in learning and intellectual growth. The various benefits offered to retired residents of college towns endear it to many. 

One of the biggest decisions you’ll make on retirement is where you’ll like to stay and enjoy a simple, laid-back life. Believe it or not, college towns are now widely adopted as the best retirement place.

What are college towns? What are the benefits of retiring college towns? Which of these are the best college towns to retire to? This article focuses on reviewing these major questions and highlighting the best college towns to retire in to give you the best retirement experience.

What Are College Towns?

Before delving into the best college town to retire in, you must understand college towns. A college town is also known as a university town. A college town is also known as any town or community with its dominant population, the university population. 

These towns are dubbed college towns because of the university or college’s diversity. The presence of these college towns brings increased economic and social life to its residents.

It is possible to find college towns where the student population is higher than the population of residents. The college in college towns can be one large college or might have smaller liberal arts colleges.

College towns are especially great options for retired personnel seeking an active lifestyle. With colleges being major centers for artistic, research, and innovative growth, such retired officials get into the mode of life seen in these towns.

Read: Best Beach Towns To Retire In 2023

What Are The Benefits Of Retiring In College Towns?

With an increased population of retirees selecting college towns as their destination, you might wonder what they stand to gain by retiring in these towns or cities.

Retiring in college towns aims to provide you with affordability and a lively environment. Despite envisioning a town filled with young people as a bad fit for your retirement, the town delivers by offering various activities for retirees. The main benefits which retiring in college towns will offer you are:

  • The presence of teaching hospitals on most college campuses provides retired residents with a good medical care facility.
  • Colleges are known for constantly hosting various programs and activities. Some of these programs are open for residents, allowing retirees to witness several memorable events throughout the year.
  • Do you love football or music? Retiring in college towns allows you to watch many impressive college football teams compete and attend various music concerts.
  • Still interested in studying? Some retired officials are known for being still interested in furthering their learning process. Living in a college town enables you to achieve your learning dreams while being on an affordable side. Most college towns offer reduced tuition to retirees over a particular age in the community. 
  • Some colleges have retirement communities located inside or around the campus.
  • Being a center for learning, college towns attract different people from different cultures. Hence retirees get to interact and live with people from diverse cultural backgrounds.
  • College towns are known as hubs for research and intricate art growth, and retiring in one of these college towns is sure to rope you into the lifestyle of its residents.
  • College towns are usually small; hence this offers the retiree the well-sought affordability feature. Most college towns are small and have a relatively low cost of living, which is ideal for senior citizens living on a fixed budget.
  • Overall steady learning experience. Residents of college towns are constantly in sync with the cycle of learning new things every day due to the colleges and students residing there. 
  • College towns offer you the volunteering opportunity. As a retiree, you can volunteer for mentorship programs at the university.
  • This slogan states that living near young people will surely rub off some energy on you. Retiring in college towns will enable you to mingle with the younger student society and prolong life.

10 Best College Town To Retire

With over 154 college towns or communities in the united states, this section highlights the best college towns to retire using factors like college health care, overall living cost, volunteer opportunities, and access to education.

1. Athens, Georgia

Athens is home to one of the best colleges in America, the University of Georgia. The college town is a popular choice for retirees interested in college football. Athens, Georgia, offers senior citizens the choice of living at a lower-than-average cost. Retirees living in these college towns are offered impressive tax rates as they have social security and estate tax exemption laws.

Athens is proudly one of the best college towns to retire in as the country boasts of outstanding features like affordable housing costs, interesting modern alt-rock history, and its famous record of having more bars than any other city in the country. 

READ ALSO: 15 Cheapest Universities in Athens: Ranking, Courses, Tuition fees, Scholarship Opportunities & Student Visa

2. Madison, Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin, is home to the University of Wisconsin. The college town is an ideal college town for settling down. The college has offers for seniors continuing education programs. The college own also has impressive features for various outdoor activities, from hiking, biking, or just swimming.

Being home to the University of Wisconsin, it has a teaching hospital that is globally recognized. The health care provided in this health facility is suited for retiring senior citizens. The health facility in Madison also encompasses the country-reputed comprehensive cancer treatment center.  

3. Boston, Massachusetts

The city of Boston is the most populous in Massachusetts. This metropolitan area has a great population of globally top-ranked colleges hence making it one of the best college towns to retire in. the major colleges located in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, include Harvard University, Boston College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and many others to name a few.

This college town is the state capital of Massachusetts and has a recorded estimated level of unemployment ratio as it has a strong employment rate. Due to the various colleges present in this college town, it has state-of-the-art health facilities like the Massachusetts general hospital, which is among the top-rated hospitals in the country.

You may want to see: Best Banks in Boston in 2023 | Rates, Account Types, Min. Deposit

4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The city of Philadelphia is the largest in Pennsylvania. The college town has numerous colleges and universities like the University of Pennsylvania. The college town has many research universities, schools of medicine, and various higher institutions. The University of Pennsylvania is the area’s oldest and most popular college.

The university has favorable features in place for its older student population. The health facility is impressive and attractive for retiring senior citizens. Philadelphia’s living cost is affordable for retired citizens who might have a limited spending rate. Retiring in Philadelphia lets you completely relax in the urban setting with many museums and great restaurants.

5. Austin, Texas

The city of Austin is one of the most popular retirement destinations for retiring officials who want to live in a college town. The diversified cultural scene and thriving music scene is a major feature that makes not just retirees looking to settle in the town. Retired residents of Austin are offered extended learning classes. The tax rate in the city is also one of the best, with seniors in the state having no state income tax on all retirement incomes, including their social security benefits. The tax-friendliness of Austin makes it one of the most selected retirement choices.

READ ALSO: How To Start A Business In Texas In 2023: The Ultimate Guide, Step-by-Step

6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Despite being recently dubbed an all-industrial city, Pittsburgh is one of the best college towns to retire in. Pittsburgh is the hub of several universally recognized colleges and universities. The city has friendly neighbors, and the cost of living in the city is quite affordable.

The strong economy of the city and the presence of large companies increase the employment opportunities available to its residents. The University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University are some of the top universities in the town. The various university located in the college town offers impressive healthcare career services. 

7. Bloomington, Indiana

It’s a no-brainer that Bloomington is one of the best college towns to retire in the united states. The college town has a relatively low crime rate compared to other colleges. The town of Bloomington has an attractive and progressive community. The college town is the center of one of the oldest colleges in the country, Indiana university, which was founded in 1820. The low cost of living in the college town makes it one of the top locations for retirees. Bloomington also offers a very suitable taxing scheme for retired residents, enabling them to live comfortably on a budget.

8. Lexington, Kentucky

The college town of Lexington is one of the top destinations for retirees, especially those who love horses and horse racing. The town is the center of the reputable university of Kentucky. Various reasons make the college town of Lexington the best there is. The town has a steady rollout of art, music, and drama events. As a retiree, these various events will keep you entertained through your retirement in the city. The town has beautiful weather, and the community is filled with friendly people interested in ensuring every resident feels at home.

9. Boone, North Carolina

Popular in the united states as one of the best cities to retire in. the college city of Boone is regarded as a pretty mountain town. With a population of less than 19,000, the college town has a shallow crime rate, and housing and general living costs are affordable. This is a pro, especially for retirees living on a budget.

Also, read: Best Places To Retire In California In 2023

10. Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln is one of the best college towns to retire in, with its cost of living below the national average. The residents of the college town are known for golfing and fishing. If this is one of the activities you’ll love to participate in during retirement, the college town of Lincoln might be a good fit.


With the various activities, programs, and facilities that retiring in college towns offer, it’s no surprise that it is one of the best locations for retiring citizens to relax and enjoy life. Due to the various facilities like medical teaching hospitals, many college towns are made readily available to residents. Retiring in college towns is one of the basic goals of retirees planning to enroll in any continuing education program. This article has highlighted the benefits involved in retiring in college towns and which college town you should consider retiring to.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are college towns safe?

Most college towns are generally safe with their higher population of students.

Is the cost of living in college towns low?

The cost of living in a college town is usually below the national average.

Are college towns good to retire in?

Yes, college towns are ideal for retirees looking to further their education, with some offering benefits and incentives.


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