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The Unexpected Perks of Being Retired in a College Town

a group of seniors enjoys time together

Who says college towns are only for students? Retirees who are looking for meaningful opportunities to learn, contribute and flourish are seeking out college towns to retire in. With fewer than 250,000 residents and a college or university as a central focus of the community, college towns provide a vibrant environment with a host of other perks you may not have considered. Here are some reasons you might want to start looking for the best college towns to retire in:

#1 Lifelong Learning

The word “geek” may have been an insult in the past, but in current parlance, it describes “an expert or enthusiast obsessed with a hobby or intellectual pursuit.” In a college town, your inner geek can have a field day with access to university-level classes. Some universities offer programs like Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), in which noncredit courses in a variety of subjects give older adults the opportunity to learn for the fun of it, with no tests or papers.
You may need no additional motivation to pursue learning opportunities in retirement, but in case you’re curious, there are health benefits to lifelong learning, including improved memory, an increased sense of fulfillment and enhanced psychological well-being.

#2 High-Quality Health Care

Access to high-caliber health care is important at any age, but it can become more crucial as you get older. College towns often have top-rated clinics, hospitals and other health care services which, because of affiliations with medical programs offered at the university, provide state-of-the-art treatments.

#3 A Lively Cultural Scene

College towns offer an invigorating mix of local sporting events, cultural events like plays, concerts and art shows, and lectures by thought leaders from around the country. Research points to the health benefits of cultural engagement: protection against cognitive decline, improved well-being and happiness.

#4 Intergenerational Connections

According to George Vaillant, M.D., a Harvard professor and author of “Aging Well: Surprising Guideposts to a Happier Life from the Landmark Harvard Study of Adult Development,” older adults who mentor, invest in, or actively care for younger generations are three times more likely to be happy than those who don’t. In a university town, you’ll have ample opportunities to mentor students, volunteer at events, or be a guest lecturer sharing your wisdom or expertise.

#5 Lower Cost of Living

Smaller towns often have less expensive groceries, goods and services than big cities, so your retirement dollars may stretch further — although this will depend on the geographic region you’re leaving and the specific town you move to.

#6 Pedestrian-Friendly Areas

On many campuses, students don’t have cars, so the campus and the surrounding community are designed to be walkable. That means residents are within walking distance of the activities and opportunities they need for a full and engaged life. Walking has health benefits, as well as being an environmentally beneficial alternative to driving.

Greenville, SC: An Ideal College Town to Retire In

In Greenville, SC, you can find the best of two worlds at The Woodlands at Furman. Here, in our senior living Life Plan Community, you can enjoy an independent lifestyle with the promise of a continuum of on-site care, including assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing, should you need it. In addition, you’ll enjoy all the perks of life in a college town. We’re next door to Furman University and only a short distance — a 1.8-mile walk or 4-minute drive — from the building where Osher Lifelong Learning Institute classes are held. Contact us to find out more about the rewards of living at The Woodlands at Furman.