Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

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Barefootgirl
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Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by Barefootgirl » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:48 am

Some friends and I are tossing this question around. We are leaning toward warm weather, tax friendly locations where there is at least some level of culture and opportunities for intellectual engagement.

If you have a favorite(s) to suggest, please comment?

Thanks
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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by livesoft » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:51 am

Raleigh, NC
Charlottesville, VA
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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by 3CT_Paddler » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:54 am

Charleston - College of Charleston
Athens - UGA
Winston-Salem - WFU
Raleigh/Durham - take your pick
Knoxville - UT

All are wonderful towns to retire in with great universities.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by cadreamer2015 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:05 am

I've never been there but I hear good things about Asheville, NC. There's a campus of UNC there.
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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by Nowizard » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:09 am

Fayetteville, Arkansas area. Beautiful, growing, substantial culture that accompanies a University and world-class museum started by Walmart heiress, Walmart headquarters, along with Tyson and J. B. Hunt trucking nearby, LCOL, major, outdoor activities including location of several, large lakes holding world record Walleye, and tailwaters with world-class trout fishing. One of the most popular areas for retirees. Excellent climate.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by bob60014 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:18 am

Raleigh Durham Chapel Hill. Along with the cultural and recreational activities, having world class healthcare and access to a major airport puts it on our short list.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by stan1 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:26 am

Lots of choices, here's a few more not mentioned yet:
Clemson/Calhoun County, SC (Clemson)
Columbia SC (USC)
Nashville TN (such as neighborhoods near Vanderbilt)
Huntsville (higher incomes than much of south)

I'd have Asheville, Knoxville and Nashville on my list over some of the smaller towns, but that's a personal preference.

Of course Chapel Hill or Charlottesville would very nice (but you pay a lot to live there).

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:30 am

Montgomery County, Virginia. This puts you outside Blacksburg municipal tax borders for lower taxes, but that can be as little as 3 miles from the center of town. Vibrant community because of Virginia Tech. Lots of restaurants, schools with consistent student help, nice, active downtown area adjacent to campus. Temperatures are moderated by the mountains to the west so summers aren't quite as oppressive (as Raleigh, Chapel Hill) and winters are relatively mild. Services from the town can be paid for like trash collection. We lived there when I was in grad school. Great area.
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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by Watty » Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:14 am

Here is a list of college towns by state, but some of them may be more towns that have a college instead of your classic college town.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_c ... ted_States

Someone already mentioned Athens Georgia which is large college town. One advantage it has is that it is less than two hours from Atlanta so if you need an airport or something from a big city you have convenient access to Atlanta.

When looking at income taxes one thing to realize is that here in Georgia there is a retirement income exclusion and once you are 65 then $65K ($130K from a couple) of retirement income per person is excluded from state income tax. You can look up the details but that includes pretty much any income other than paid wages.

That is in addition not taxing Social Security which is not counted in that $65K figure. For a couple the standard deduction is $6K which is also in addition to the retirement income exclusion.

I don't expect to pay any state income taxes in retirement.

One gotcha is that it is calculated per person so if you are in a situation where most of your nest egg was in once spouses 401k and in that spouses name then you may not be be able to take advantage of then entire $130K exemption for a couple if the other spouse does not also have a lot of retirement savings in their name.

Property taxes vary dramatically by county in Georgia and some counties exempt seniors from paying school property taxes once you are 62 or 65. Some counties will have income or other limits on this exemption if they have it so you need to dig through the details. I am in the suburbs of Atlanta and only paid $750 in property taxes this year on a pretty average house. Without the senior exemption my property taxes would have been around $3,500. They way property taxes are calculated are if my house was worth twice as much I would normally pay a lot more than double the property taxes.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by jsaver » Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:33 am

Asheville is going to have cold winters. Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill benefit from Raleigh also being the state capital. NC has a flat 5.5% income tax. Also, though Asheville and the Triangle area have colleges, they aren't really what I'd call college towns. There is a lot going on besides the colleges.

For a prototypical southern college town, I'd strongly consider Gainesville, FL. No state income tax. Also has excellent medical options. It's a beautiful city. Summers are warm and winters can get cold, but you'll rarely if ever get snow. Closest major airports are Jax and Orlando.
Last edited by jsaver on Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:41 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by OSUmountaineer » Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:36 am

St Petersburg FL has USF St Pete and a thriving, active retiree community commingled with the rest of us in accumulation phase. I cant imagine a place with a higher quality of life.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by Barefootgirl » Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:19 pm

Thank you for the suggestions~!

Huntsville AL
Tallahassee and Gainesville, FL
Athens GA

these were already on our list.....would prefer to live in a medium sized community with proximity to a larger city - as we are burned out from living in the metropolis of our career years.
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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by Bfwolf » Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:09 pm

Knoxville would be appealing to me due to its proximity to Smoky Mountain National Park.

It’s got a couple hundred thousand people so big enough to have its own airport.

Winters are chilly though.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by jlawrence01 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:29 pm

I looked at three towns that fit the bill when I was looking to relocate:

Murfreesboro, TN - Middle Tennessee St.
Cookeville, TN - Tennessee Tech


Both nice communities with a much lower cost of living than Nashville.

Berea, KY - Berea College
Denton, TX - North Texas and Texas Woman's College

I would add that you should consider looking at towns with smaller colleges as they tend to be a lot more community friendly. I have found that many of the mega-universities have high parking fees, limited visitor parking and the like that limit community participation. One university that sought me as a volunteer actually expected me to pay $10 for parking per day of volunteering.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by SuperSaver » Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:39 pm

I would also put:

University of Kentucky - Lexington KY
Vanderbilt - Nashville TN
University of Florida - Gainesville FL
Davidson College - Charlotte NC suburbs

Athens Ga routinely makes Top of List in numerous rankings.

Just keep in mind that although RTP/Raleigh touts “world class healthcare”, this still is not in same plane as Mayo/Boston/Cleveland Clinic. Many of their laurels rest in NIH-funded, clincial trials, and superspecialized medicine. For the majority of us, any large university-based health system would suffice

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by drummerboy » Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:52 pm

Two that might be an option:
  • Greenville, SC - Furman University and others are there. Clemson is not far away. The downtown area has become a very trendy spot over the past several years.
  • Midtown Atlanta, GA - Georgia Tech, Emory, and Georgia State are all close-by. A true "walkable" section of Atlanta. Great hospitals nearby. Art Museums, Performing Arts, Piedmont Park, mix of ages and culture. Someone already mentioned the tax advantages to GA residents after the age of 65.
I personally think retiring in a secluded laid back area is a recipe for boredom and depression in retirement. I think your plan of seeking out a college-town (or urban) is a fantastic way to experience everything and enjoy retirement. Another great benefit in Georgia is the over-62 graduate course "Tuition Free". For example, her is Georgia Tech's page: http://www.gradadmiss.gatech.edu/62-or-older

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName » Mon Sep 02, 2019 2:05 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:19 pm
Thank you for the suggestions~!

Huntsville AL
Tallahassee and Gainesville, FL
Athens GA

these were already on our list.....would prefer to live in a medium sized community with proximity to a larger city - as we are burned out from living in the metropolis of our career years.
Based on the info you provided I think your best options are:

Athens GA
Raleigh Durham Chapel Hill

Athens has proximity to Atlanta as well as all the tax and other benefits that others have posted here (some of which I wasn't aware of - the over-62 graduate class benefit could be a huge incentive if you're that kind of person.)

Raleigh Durham Chapel Hill is probably all-around the next best thing to Athens/Atlanta.

If you want "some level of culture and opportunities for intellectual engagement" and proximity to a larger city, I personally would not consider most of the other options being suggested in this thread.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by GmanJeff » Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:52 pm

Williamsburg, VA, home to The College of William and Mary, the second-oldest university in the nation, and to Colonial Williamsburg. Several communities particularly suited to retirees are located in the area, including Ford's Colony, Governor's Land at Two Rivers, Kingsmill on the James, and Colonial Heritage. It's not far from Norfolk, Richmond, Newport News or even from Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by delamer » Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:07 pm

We have friends who live in Charleston who are very happy there. Lots to do.

But summers are pretty awful, heat and humidity-wise.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by tigerdoc93 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:12 pm

Auburn, Al. Great college town. Close to Columbus, GA. About 90 minutes to Atlanta and 60 minutes to Montgomery.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by psy1 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:19 pm

Not quite southeast, but it has similar climate, similar to Lexington KY already mentioned: Bloomington, IN

Bloomington is a booming but still small town, has excellent housing, great restaurants, and Indiana University which is one of the most beautiful campuses. Whenever I see rankings of beautiful college campuses I can't believe the schools that get picked all the time - it is as if the reviewer just went to one iconic location and skipped the rest of the campus. IU is fantastic top to bottom, easily the best campus in the Big 10 and I think among the best in the country.

Bloomington has great healthcare for its size. It is soon to rebuild the main hospital. It is also close to Indianapolis which has a huge medical school and a very nice airport.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by CULater » Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:45 pm

Some college towns are attractive because of the presence of the school and the cultural and social opportunities that offers, but a couple thoughts. Some college towns are just a bit too small, so there's no balance between the college population and other aspects. Clemson is an example of that which I know of personally. Lovely town, campus and geographic area but there's not much other than the University and the surrounding country. Also, I think it might be worthwhile to consider if the college has a medical school and hospital associated with it, since that would provide better medical care for retirees.
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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by tainted-meat » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:02 pm

Big kudos for mentioning Berea. I used to go through there for work sometimes and sit at the top of the hill on campus.
jlawrence01 wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:29 pm
I looked at three towns that fit the bill when I was looking to relocate:

Murfreesboro, TN - Middle Tennessee St.
Cookeville, TN - Tennessee Tech


Both nice communities with a much lower cost of living than Nashville.

Berea, KY - Berea College
Denton, TX - North Texas and Texas Woman's College

I would add that you should consider looking at towns with smaller colleges as they tend to be a lot more community friendly. I have found that many of the mega-universities have high parking fees, limited visitor parking and the like that limit community participation. One university that sought me as a volunteer actually expected me to pay $10 for parking per day of volunteering.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by whodidntante » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:06 pm

I'm surprised to see NC recommended more than once. It has a pretty high income tax rate and retirement account withdrawals are not exempt.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:16 pm

Nothing more to add for college towns in the SE for retirees. If you open up the geographic area, you may also want to look at the Pioneer Valley in central Mass. There are five colleges nearby: Amherst, Smith, Mount Holyoke, Hampshire, and UMass Amherst. They are all liberal arts colleges except the UMass flagship.

As people get older and eventually retire, they tend to be shut off from the society and become isolated. Unless you retain power (societal clout, money, special talent, connections,,,), younger people do not see much value in associating with you. Consequently isolated elders tend to become conservative in many aspects which in turn lead to more turn-off. Colleges are full of young people, young people always come and go, and they are usually more open than the general public. College towns are good option for retirees, but they have to try hard to get out of their comfort cocoon.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:34 pm

delamer wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:07 pm
We have friends who live in Charleston who are very happy there. Lots to do.

But summers are pretty awful, heat and humidity-wise.
And they have evacuated the entire Charleston area for hurricanes in 2016, 2017, 2018, and now 2019. My parents retired from Washington DC to Charleston in the late 1990s, and they loved it for many years, but once the hurricanes started coming at the rate of once a year, my father is wondering whether it was worth it.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:36 pm

I keep seeing recommendations for Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill. Having lived there, I can assure you that Raleigh and Durham, although they have major universities, are not college towns. Chapel Hill, on the other hand, is a true college town.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by TN_Boy » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:43 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:06 pm
I'm surprised to see NC recommended more than once. It has a pretty high income tax rate and retirement account withdrawals are not exempt.
There is more to retirement living than tax considerations.

I'm not being snarky, but the many positive things about NC are why it gets so many recommendations.

And overall, I think it is a medium cost of living state.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by whodidntante » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:50 pm

TN_Boy wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:43 pm
whodidntante wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:06 pm
I'm surprised to see NC recommended more than once. It has a pretty high income tax rate and retirement account withdrawals are not exempt.
There is more to retirement living than tax considerations.

I'm not being snarky, but the many positive things about NC are why it gets so many recommendations.

And overall, I think it is a medium cost of living state.
I agree, but the OP said "tax friendly."

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by delamer » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:54 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:34 pm
delamer wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:07 pm
We have friends who live in Charleston who are very happy there. Lots to do.

But summers are pretty awful, heat and humidity-wise.
And they have evacuated the entire Charleston area for hurricanes in 2016, 2017, 2018, and now 2019. My parents retired from Washington DC to Charleston in the late 1990s, and they loved it for many years, but once the hurricanes started coming at the rate of once a year, my father is wondering whether it was worth it.
Yes, the hurricanes are definitely an issue. And the older you get, the more hassle the evacuations become.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by tibbitts » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:54 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:48 am
Some friends and I are tossing this question around. We are leaning toward warm weather, tax friendly locations where there is at least some level of culture and opportunities for intellectual engagement.

If you have a favorite(s) to suggest, please comment?

Thanks
Is proximity to a well-connected airport a factor? That seems to limit the choices quite a bit.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by stan1 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:55 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:34 pm

And they have evacuated the entire Charleston area for hurricanes in 2016, 2017, 2018, and now 2019. My parents retired from Washington DC to Charleston in the late 1990s, and they loved it for many years, but once the hurricanes started coming at the rate of once a year, my father is wondering whether it was worth it.
Our relatives in multiple parts of Florida are wondering the same.

Charleston also has biting bugs ("no-see-ums") which is a no-go for me.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by LilyFleur » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:01 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:19 pm
Thank you for the suggestions~!

Huntsville AL
Tallahassee and Gainesville, FL
Athens GA

these were already on our list.....would prefer to live in a medium sized community with proximity to a larger city - as we are burned out from living in the metropolis of our career years.
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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by renue74 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:15 pm

stan1 wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:26 am
Lots of choices, here's a few more not mentioned yet:
Clemson/Calhoun County, SC (Clemson)
Columbia SC (USC)
Nashville TN (such as neighborhoods near Vanderbilt)
Huntsville (higher incomes than much of south)

I'd have Asheville, Knoxville and Nashville on my list over some of the smaller towns, but that's a personal preference.

Of course Chapel Hill or Charlottesville would very nice (but you pay a lot to live there).
I went to school at Chapel Hill. Even in 1995, it was super expensive. I remember looking at houses to rent then and they were $2000/month back then. If you paid my way, I would definitely live there. Quintessential "college town." Great food. Great bands. Great culture & performing arts. Plus, I think any resident over age XX can take classes free.

Clemson...it's a small area. Lots of good lakes. My dad lives near there in Anderson, SC. I would not live there.

Columbia....super hot and humid in the summer. I have clients there and in the dead of summer, you last about 20 seconds outside.

Asheville, NC....great town, but I wouldn't call it a "college town." Nice vibe. Lots of good restaurants and micro breweries. I think there is some culture. It sorta reminds me of an artsy/hippie town. Cold in the winter...but not Northeast cold.

Charleston, SC...great town, but cost of living is super high these days. One of the hottest real estate markets in the country. I wouldn't consider Charleston a "college town," even there there are schools there. The healthcare is top notch and culture is great. I would live there.

Why look specifically to college towns for culture in the Southeast? Any mid to large metro area will provide museums, art, etc.

Charlotte, NC. Atlanta, GA, Birmingham, AL, Savannah, GA, Chattanooga, TN . - These all have thriving culture to some extent.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by TN_Boy » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:16 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:50 pm
TN_Boy wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:43 pm
whodidntante wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:06 pm
I'm surprised to see NC recommended more than once. It has a pretty high income tax rate and retirement account withdrawals are not exempt.
There is more to retirement living than tax considerations.

I'm not being snarky, but the many positive things about NC are why it gets so many recommendations.

And overall, I think it is a medium cost of living state.
I agree, but the OP said "tax friendly."
Fair enough, I missed that detail in the OP.

That said, I'd look at overall cost of living, with taxes just one part of the picture.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by an_asker » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:22 pm

I'm curious what is defined as tax friendly to a retiree. More specifically, would someone prefer purchasing a house for $200,000 with lower taxes vs. a similar house for $100,000 with higher taxes? Also, what taxes are we talking about? I see Jack mentioned Blacksburg municipal taxes. How high are they? Wouldn't the lower (I'm guessing) cost of house offset the taxes - compared to say NC?

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by palaheel » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:33 pm

Raleigh, Durham, Winston-Salem, and Columbia are cities where a university or two reside. Chapel Hill, Clemson, Athens, and Boone are what one would really call a "college town." Greenville, NC and Asheville are probably somewhere in the middle. I've heard that Greenville, SC is a much nicer place than it was in the mid '70s, but Furman isn't large enough to be a major factor in the culture.
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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by abner kravitz » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:48 pm

delamer wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:54 pm
UpperNwGuy wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:34 pm
delamer wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:07 pm
We have friends who live in Charleston who are very happy there. Lots to do.

But summers are pretty awful, heat and humidity-wise.
And they have evacuated the entire Charleston area for hurricanes in 2016, 2017, 2018, and now 2019. My parents retired from Washington DC to Charleston in the late 1990s, and they loved it for many years, but once the hurricanes started coming at the rate of once a year, my father is wondering whether it was worth it.
Yes, the hurricanes are definitely an issue. And the older you get, the more hassle the evacuations become.
Amen to that. I'm getting ready to leave tomorrow. 3rd time in 4 years for me - was spared in 2018. Might be starting a "where to retire in New England" thread soon.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by Live » Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:21 pm

Charlottesville is a great choice due to:

1. Excellent healthcare
2. Proximity to DC and Dulles Airport
3. Moderate taxes
4. University of Virginia campus
5. Some snow and 4 seasons, but not a bitter winter
6. Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive nearby
7. Beach not too far away if you want

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:16 pm

abner kravitz wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:48 pm
delamer wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:54 pm
UpperNwGuy wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:34 pm
delamer wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:07 pm
We have friends who live in Charleston who are very happy there. Lots to do.

But summers are pretty awful, heat and humidity-wise.
And they have evacuated the entire Charleston area for hurricanes in 2016, 2017, 2018, and now 2019. My parents retired from Washington DC to Charleston in the late 1990s, and they loved it for many years, but once the hurricanes started coming at the rate of once a year, my father is wondering whether it was worth it.
Yes, the hurricanes are definitely an issue. And the older you get, the more hassle the evacuations become.
Amen to that. I'm getting ready to leave tomorrow. 3rd time in 4 years for me - was spared in 2018. Might be starting a "where to retire in New England" thread soon.
Without trying to be facetious is the answer to that "the Mid Atlantic"?

I grew up in the Great Lakes region a "mild" part. Recent winters have kept my 90 year old mother virtually a prisoner in her home.

I am thinking Pennsylvania far enough south of NYC to be out of commuter range. Or somewhere in MD?

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by longleaf » Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:39 pm

Atlanta is great, but it’s too large and populous. Tallahassee is situated by a national forest, has a decent airport, and is a great size.
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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by chrisam314 » Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:10 pm

If you are looking for a college town in the southeast: Athens, GA is beautiful, low cost of living, great restaurants and has a vibrant independent art and music scene. Golf nearby, botanical garden, UGA has a huge beautiful campus as well. Close to Atlanta for easy travel (almost) non-stop anywhere in the US and pretty much one-stop anywhere in the world. Easy access to the southern end of the Appalachian trail. Savannah, Charleston, Highlands/Cashers NC all easy drives. Rarely snows, can be chilly in the winter though.

Atlanta has gotten quite expensive, but Athens is still low cost.

Georgia has quite the tax break for retirees:
https://smartasset.com/retirement/georg ... ment-taxes

randomguy
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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by randomguy » Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:23 pm

stan1 wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:26 am
Lots of choices, here's a few more not mentioned yet:
Clemson/Calhoun County, SC (Clemson)
Columbia SC (USC)
Nashville TN (such as neighborhoods near Vanderbilt)
Huntsville (higher incomes than much of south)

I'd have Asheville, Knoxville and Nashville on my list over some of the smaller towns, but that's a personal preference.

Of course Chapel Hill or Charlottesville would very nice (but you pay a lot to live there).
Nashville is more of a city with some colleges than a collage town. It may or may not be what your looking for.

To narrow it down.
1) What is acceptable weather? Is some snow (knoxville) ok? What about 12" snow (Asheville)? What is cold? Is a week in the 20s ok? What about 30s? How about 12 weeks of high 90s and humidity?

2) What is a cultural event to you? If the local cultural event is the bass fishing tour and you are looking for art exhibition, you might not be happy.

3) tax friendly? What type of income are we talking? Lots of places have low income tax and high property which is the opposite of what a lot of retirees want

4) Do international airports matter? What about regional?

5) How big do you want? Looking for the city like nashville or a much more rural area?

6) Any specific activites (i.e. does the ocean hold an appeal?) that would narrow down the locations.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by ScubaHogg » Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:32 pm

Nowizard wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:09 am
Fayetteville, Arkansas area. Beautiful, growing, substantial culture that accompanies a University and world-class museum started by Walmart heiress, Walmart headquarters, along with Tyson and J. B. Hunt trucking nearby, LCOL, major, outdoor activities including location of several, large lakes holding world record Walleye, and tailwaters with world-class trout fishing. One of the most popular areas for retirees. Excellent climate.

Tim
+1. And FWIW, Fayetteville (Northwest Arkansas in general) consistently make the US News and World Report top-5 places to live.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:19 am

I'd recommend that people considering moving for retirement (as we are in less than 2 years) make sure to consider many, many factors before picking a city. There are numerous websites that can aid in this process.

A "top place to live" may not be a "top place to retire" for reasons including taxes - both income and property. Some states have much lower income taxes for retirees, like Georgia. But make sure to compare apples and apples. Income taxes, property taxes, taxes on boats, vehicles, etc. For example, South Carolina has a lot of taxes that are much higher than other states, but low property taxes as compared to some other states. Moving from Michigan to SC our property taxes would be roughly 1/3rd. But our vehicle - cars, boats - taxes would be higher by hundreds of percents. Income tax would jump from 4.25% to a 7% top rate with some deductions for seniors that Michigan doesn't have. In total, taxes would be lower a bit. But in Georgia they would be lower by a lot.

Of course housing costs matters. But also consider that in retirement you may choose to downsize.

As others have stated, a college town is not the same as a city with colleges. Boston is not a college town by any definition, yet it has 35 of them by one count. Some states give free college to seniors. Some limit what is free. Some have nothing free.
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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by ncbill » Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:18 am

Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill...you'll want to live where you can walk everywhere (traffic)

Charlotte is even worse traffic (well on its way to becoming another Atlanta)

Of the other cities posted, I'd pick Charlottesville, VA or Greenville, SC (and I live in one of the other cities mentioned)

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by CULater » Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:40 am

Here's one list. The college towns in the SE mentioned are:

Athens, GA
Boone, NC
Gainesville, FL
Oxford, MS
Lexington, KY
Bloomington, IN (more Midwest)

https://www.thebalance.com/what-are-the ... re-4175840

In addition to these, AARP throws in Durham, NC and Beaufort, SC

https://www.aarp.org/retirement/plannin ... tml#slide3
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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by jlawrence01 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:10 pm

I visited Boone several times when my nephew attended Appalachian State. I noticed two things. First, the place is pretty remote. No matter how you get there, it involves mountain roads. Second, you better be in great shape as the terrain is very hilly.

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Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Post by Nowizard » Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:28 pm

Being very familiar with Nashville and the Vanderbilt area, it is nice to visit, but as a retiree, I would not suggest moving there. Though currently an "It" city with much to recommend it on the surface, things such as Vanderbilt, professional sports (They are wild about the Predators), music, opportunities to see many celebrities, no state income tax, etc., housing prices are ridiculous and the increase in population has far outstripped the infrastructure. It is definitely not a sleepy, southern city, and the traffic is maddening. That is not to say it is not a great city, it is. However, it is likely to be more appealing to a younger crowd and those moving there due to strong employment.

Tim

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