College Towns Offer Perfect Amenities for Retirees

Entertainment and activities abound near universities.

By Lynn Edmondson, regional manager, Wendover Management LLC 

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I really miss my old college campus; I wonder what it would be like to live there again.” If so, you are not alone. Nationwide, there’s a recent trend with many retirees choosing to relocate to towns with colleges or universities.

Communities that surround colleges and universities provide top amenities for more than just students. The thriving economy and culture can make a college town the perfect place for seniors to retire.

Eerily similar to the deciding factors of high school seniors choosing their dream colleges, retirees consider the abundance of entertainment, activities and amenities when determining where to retire. Thus, it comes as no surprise that college towns consistently top the list of long-term destinations for retirees.

Can I afford a college-town residence?

One of the best-kept secrets of finding an affordable place to live is finding a community that has a stable economy with a steady influx of residents. A top place to find affordable housing and overall low cost of living is generally within a college town.

One of the driving factors leading to retirees living in college towns is the ability to have intellectual stimulation, cultural features and sports offerings without city price tags. In towns with higher educational institutions, residents have access to affordable entertainment many believe are restricted to students.

Whether it’s a Saturday football gam, a farmer’s market in the middle of the week, fitness classes, concerts or food truck rallies, there are numerous events around college towns. Residents are able to maintain an active lifestyle with almost no effort.

Another benefit to living in a college town is the ability for seniors to be involved in diverse communities. As diverse students enter colleges and universities, the surrounding community enjoys the opportunity to evolve with the student body.

What about my health?

One of the most attractive features to living in a college town is the potential access to top-notch hospitals or healthcare centers. Many medical schools offer a variety of medical programs due to the wide range of doctors and research facilities.

Whether someone is seeking help for respiratory issues or treatment for arthritis, seniors can usually find a nearby medical professional suited to treat them.

Living at the core of intellectual stimulation may rouse the desire in retirees to participate in the academic side of their community, as well. One benefit retirees have when living in a college town is the ability to attend classes offered by the nearby institution.

For example, Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee offers non-degree-seeking students the opportunity to audit classes. Residents who live within walking or a short driving distance from FSU can audit classes or even attend guest lectures.

How is seniors housing in college towns?

As more seniors decide to retire in college towns, seniors housing development is keeping pace. Affordable seniors housing communities in college towns, like Kenwood Place in Tallahassee, provide senior residents with an active, stress-free community to call home.

These communities attempt to engage residents in community-wide events and activities offering residents with the same style and amenities you would find in high-end apartment communities.

Deciding where to retire can be a tough decision, but it doesn’t have to be. College towns are not just for undergraduates who want to begin their careers, but also for those who want a change as they enter retirement.

College communities are full of the intellectual stimulation, activity and affordability that many retirees desire. Adding the events and activities offered by affordable seniors housing communities in these college towns, retirees may have a more packed schedule than the college students.


As regional manager of Wendover Management, Lynn Edmondson is responsible for day-to-day operations. She has overseen portfolios in both Texas and Florida exceeding more than 40 properties and 10,000 units, as well as overseeing the successful redevelopment of numerous assets.