It’s the twilight of your life, but you are ready to live it to the fullest.  Why not retire in a place that brings you back to your youth? College towns are abounding with amenities for retirees, including top-notch healthcare, good public transportation, and many free or low-cost things to do. And small college towns afford you a quality life at an affordable cost. Here's a look at some perks of retiring in a college town:

Free classes. College isn't necessarily expensive when you attend as a retiree. There are many colleges and universities that allow older adults to audit classes for free. For example, at regional public colleges and universities residents age 60 and older can audit college classes for free on a space available basis.  Follow your passion to study a foreign language, philosophy, history, or any other college class. See Lifelong Learning for links on admission and tuition waivers for regular college courses at Virginia Tech, Radford, New River Community College, or Virginia Western. In addition, The Virginia Senior Citizens Higher Education Act allows Virginia residents who are 60 years of age or older to take college courses at public colleges and universities without paying tuition, subject to the admission requirements of the institution. If your federal taxable income does not exceed $23,850. per year, you may take courses for credit without paying tuition.

Good hospitals. Many colleges have affiliated teaching hospitals or clinics that provide medical services to the community that you would otherwise have to travel to a large city to get access to. "The large schools often, particularly if they teach medicine, have a really good hospital with a lot of specializations," says John Howells, author of Where to Retire: America's Best & Most Affordable Places. These hospitals may provide cutting-edge medication and treatments and allow you to enroll in clinical trials. Carilion Clinic


 

 

 

 

 

 

Speakers and concerts. College towns often attract world-class performers, speakers, artists and musicians. You can enjoy small town life and still have access to the arts and entertainment that you would find a in a large metropolitan area.  In some cases, alumni and other members of the community can also get access to the library, lectures, plays, and performances for free or at a nominal cost.

Virginia Tech Events

Radford University Events

Sports. If you are a sports fan of any kind, you are likely to be able to find a game or match to watch in a college town.  Football, basketball, soccer and volleyball are just a few of the sports that you can follow in the New River Valley region.  Discounted tickets are often available for senior citizens. 

Affordable cost-of-living. Many restaurants and local businesses cater to people living on a college student budget by offering affordable services. Also, many college towns offer bargain real estate prices compared to similar towns elsewhere. Since approximately 20 percent of the population comprises students on limited budgets and another large percent is working as beginning teachers or support staff, housing prices aren’t likely to be bid up past consumers' ability to pay. Check out some of the homes at Desi Sowers Real Estate to see what is available in the New River Valley region.

Scenic beauty. Colleges are often built in picturesque settings, and they sometimes go to great lengths to keep the campus and surrounding community looking beautiful.  One thing that cannot be denied is the splendid beauty of the New River Valley Region. Nestled in the Great Appalachian Valley, it encompasses majestic mountain and pastoral views with uncommonly clear waters that support a healthy ecosystem.

Visit New River Valley to learn more about this appealing area.