Retiring to a college town?

ginger_st_thomasFebruary 8, 2002

I've considered retiring to a small town but was hesitant because of lack of services available until a friend mentioned living in a college town. I've sort of narrowed it down to Columbis, SC which is home to USC. Here's a good article on the benefits.

Here is a link that might be useful: Retiring to a college town

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It would seem to me that living in a college town has both good points and bad points.
Good: you can take college courses for fun
you can be around some great young people and really learn a lot, especially if they are different parts of the world, you can learn how to cook hamburger a zillion different ways, you can see lots of exhibits, plays, listen to guest speakers at a good price, and if you take even one course, you get all sorts of great benefits.
Bad" young people reminding ME that I truly am a grandma
What ever you choose, enjoy

    Bookmark   February 9, 2002 at 12:37AM
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I sometimes refer to myself as the "World's Oldest Living Graduate Student" but in reality, I LOVE IT!!! You are correct about all those benefits, Marie. I could name others. One thing that has been difficult for me, but has probably been good for my health, is that I have to walk further every day than I am used to, and I have had to adjust to a backpack and carrying tons of books. I got a backpack on wheels, and that helped some, but there's the laptop, and the loose books that don't fit, and the drink, and before you know it, you feel like you are carrying your whole life around!!

Definitely go to the college town. I don't know what I would do without the library and the art gallery.

-- Another Marie, from Texas

    Bookmark   February 9, 2002 at 2:32AM
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It is great to live in a college town. We lived in Ocala, Florida for several years. There was a college within a very short walk from our house. It was a community college but it had lots of opportunity for the senior citizens to take interesting courses. Where we live now in a Retirement Community there is a community college somewhere here. I have not found it yet. We have not been here that long. My husband got Pneumonia after moving here and we have been busy with doctor's appointments :-((
Betty in Florida

    Bookmark   February 11, 2002 at 11:15AM
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Ginger, I live about 2 hours from Columbia. That's close enough for me to "hire" you to stop by on your way to Myrtle Beach and cook me one of your wonderful meals. LOL Columbia is a great city.

You'll love SC!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2002 at 8:45PM
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I passed over this earlier, because we live in a College town. I finally read all that, and it was interesting. Our community fits every one of those requirements. Retired people do like to spend the warm half of the year in this area, but those who are able head for warmer climates in the winter. Except for the winter weather, this is a wonderful community. I think DH and I need to take advantage of more of what is available.
That was interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2002 at 11:17PM
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Tyler is a great college town! We have Seniors College! Great medical facilities! Roses and Azelas! A Good Seniors Center.

Go for the college town!

We Seniors have a great time in East Texas!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2002 at 10:20PM
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Well, I like Texas, too so maybe I'll check into Tyler! Thanks, Suzy. If I do wind up there you'd be most welcome to come for a meal any time. The Chamber sent me a great packet of information & it looks perfect on paper. I wanted more inland than coastal (tired of hurricanes) so I'll be visiting in a couple of years to see it in person.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2002 at 5:31AM
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I totally understand what you're saying about hurricanes Ginger. There's an area near the Gulf coast that we're searching for our retirement spot. For curiousity sake, take a look at Fairhope, Daphne & Foley in Alabama. Fairhope & Daphne are on Mobile Bay (inland from the Gulf) and Foley is outside of Gulf Shores. They're all fairly protected from the brunt of a hurricane. Other than the things that you are looking at, one of the things that we are looking for is a low cost of living and compatible lifestyle. A comfort level, so-to-speak. Although we don't necessarily want to live on the water, we do want to be close to water AND we like a laid back lifestyle. These are communities that we can enjoy walking, biking or driving. Just to give you an idea of the cost of living, I'll give you an example. We are now living in central Alabama, it's a beautiful area and meets all the criteria listed in your college town post. BUT...Our cost of living is 36-38% higher here than it is in the southern part of the state in the areas that we are looking at right now. That's a chunk when we're talking about living on retirement income. Actually, we both retired 3 years ago (we're in our early 50's) and DH decided to work as a contractor for a few years so we could build our retirement funds a bit more. We're looking at about 2 years left right now before we make our move. We're both still young enough that we want to work part-time at something we enjoy to supplement our retirement. There's opportunities for that in the areas that we're looking and a large population of our age group for socializing and interacting.

There's a couple of areas further east on/near the Gulf coast in Florida that we've considered and the cost of living is about 36% less than here. A couple of reasons we've considered Florida is: no state income tax in case we do decide to work and no tax on groceries.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2002 at 2:58PM
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Thanks, LK. Cost of living is another reason I'm checking into the South. Of course anything is cheaper than here but I've always liked the South so somewhere like Alabama or S. Carolina pretty much fits the bill, at least without having actually visited in years & years. I can stand heat but bitter cold really gets to me.

If I'm able, I'd like to get some little part-time job to supplement the $$ & to keep my brain active. I can turn into a hermit easily so it would be good for me to get out & about & stimulate my 2 remaining brain cells.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2002 at 5:13PM
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You might think about Augusta, Ga. It's across the river from SC. It is also the home of the Medical College of Georgia which is quite large. Excellent health care is available and I believe there is a small Liberal Arts college there too. The weather is warm in the winter. Hot and muggy in the summer. It is far enough from the coast that hurricanes are not the problem that you would have lower down.

And one big advantage, if you like to travel and want to own your own home. You can rent your house during the Augusta Masters Golf week for enough to travel almost anywhere in the world. LOL.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2002 at 5:40AM
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Thanks, Aileen. I'll look into it.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2002 at 8:13PM
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Housing is not expensive here in Florida either...I'm a Massachusetts transplant. We also have the benefit of the Homestead Exemption, which gives you $25,000 right off the top of your assessed value of your house. I don't know about other states, but my Auto insurance is considerably less, but unfortunately, I find groceries the same. Don't expect to be very well paid down here either if you decide to work.

Elaine in Florida

    Bookmark   March 3, 2002 at 5:28PM
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Boise, ID where I plan to retire is a college town. Since I spent 21 years working at a university here I would be lost without a college nearby. I enjoy college sports and the cultural events a college draws.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2002 at 2:53PM
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Hey, Ginger, on your way to Myrtle Beach pick up Suzy and we'll all eat at my house. Yea!! Hi Suzy!!

We lived in a college town in NC for awhile but it was much smaller than Columbia, SC. Columbia would have much more to offer.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2002 at 3:14PM
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I can see we'll all have to get fat together in SC (if not August, GA.) I'm looking forward to those good ole' southern biscuits.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2002 at 4:51PM
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