Top 10 college towns in the US — for retirees

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Think college towns are just for 20-year-olds? Think again.

The communities surrounding America’s colleges and universities have become some of the most diverse, intellectually stimulating places in the country. They’re a beacon for museum and theater lovers, a source of sporting events, cultural and political discussion, and they offer classes to anyone who might want to learn something new.

Why let the kids have all of that to themselves?

“I believe that college towns are attractive to more highly educated retirees, especially alumni of these colleges who have a sense of loyalty to these institutions,” says William Frey, demographer and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “It gives them a sense of familiarity with a place they have fond memories of, and can provide them with both cultural and intellectual support.”

To find the best college towns for retirees, Bankrate searched its database of about 200 U.S. cities and towns. We filtered for communities where students make up at least 15% of the college-age population, and then we ranked what remained based on several measurements including cost of living, health care quality, crime and tax rates, community wellness and walkability. We also gave points for communities with a high density of museums and other cultural attractions.

Here, in ascending order, are the 10 best college towns for retirees.