Could College Towns Be the Next Best Place to Retire?

Blog posted On October 30, 2018

Before flocking to Florida, Arizona, or another retirement hotbed, retiring Americans could consider relocating to college towns.  College towns could be the next best place to retire because they are known for affordable housing, walkability, arts, cultural, and sporting activities, plus accessible healthcare services.  The Balance evaluated college towns around the country to compile the top 10 for retirees.  

Athens, GA – home to the University of Georgia.  Athens is less than two hours away from the state capital, Atlanta.  The state of Georgia also has no state income tax on Social Security and no state inheritance or estate tax.

Madison, WI – home to the University of Wisconsin, which offers continuing education opportunities for seniors.  A great option for retirees who don’t mind the winter and are interested in outdoor activities like hiking and biking.  Madison is also home to Wisconsin’s only comprehensive cancer treatment center, and University of Wisconsin Hospitals consistently top hospital rankings. 

Austin, TX – home to the University of Texas-Austin, another university that offers continuing education classes for seniors.  The cost of living is higher, but retirees interested in a car-free retirement will enjoy the city’s walkability, plus the vibrant arts scene.  The state of Texas has no state income tax on all forms of retirement income, including Social Security. 

Boone, NC – home to the Appalachian State University.  The low cost of living combined with the abundance of outdoor activities, make this the right choice for active seniors who love the great outdoors. 

Lincoln, NE – home to the University of Nebraska.  For a state capital, Lincoln’s cost of living is well below the national average.  The active community offers plenty to do including golf, fishing, and sporting events. 

Gainesville, FL – home to the University of Florida.  In addition to warmer winters, the state of Florida is known for its low cost of living and affordable taxes.  Gainesville also has a particularly high concentration of doctors and other healthcare providers.

Iowa City, IA – home to the University of Iowa.  Iowa boasts a low cost of living, low crime rate, and many tax breaks for seniors.  The city is also known for its recurring festivals and fairs, and its numerous museums to visit. 

Oxford, MS – home to the University of Mississippi.  Perfect for retirees seeking milder winters and warmer summers, but still interested in the seasonal change.  Oxford is rich in southern gothic literary history and home to the Ford Performing Arts Center. 

Lexington, KY – home to the University of Kentucky.  Lexington is known for its walkability, volunteering opportunities, and affordability.  Kentucky also has lower state taxes compared to other retirement destinations. 

Bloomington, IN – home to Indiana University Bloomington.  Bloomington combines a dynamic arts scene with plenty of outdoor activities.  The low cost of living and tax advantages also make it an excellent retirement destination.

Retirement is an exciting time and potentially a chance to explore a new city.  If you’re interested in downsizing or moving when you retire, consider meeting with a loan officer.  Setting a mortgage plan ahead of team means smooth sailing later. 


Sources: The Balance