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If you could would you retire on campus?

gwnorthgwnorth 366 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
A few friends and I, all who have had our first children start university this fall, were talking about how we were envious of our kids beginning their post-secondary journeys and if we could have stayed students forever we would have. We were floating the idea of retirement communities on campus where you could have amenities like the kids do in rez (food & cleaning services etc.), while being able to attend classes. Then this article appeared in the NY Times. It's like they read my mind lol.


If you could do this, would you?
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Replies to: If you could would you retire on campus?

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7004 replies50 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    A million times yes!

    We're fortunate to live within a block of a major university and we are on campus all the time for concerts, lectures, shows, and just to walk around. It's wonderful on so many levels and I also love when the students strike up conversations with me (I can always tell when it's exam time because everyone wants to pet my dog).
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 3990 replies86 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Interesting post; could be an interesting business idea.
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  • mackinawmackinaw 2997 replies53 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I live in a university town, a few blocks from the campus. I get everything that comes from living near a university (mostly good, some bad: noise). I even work there. It would be easy for me to stay in place after retirement, to enjoy (or sometimes suffer) all that comes from living where I do. But I'm looking to retire to a different town, just to change the scenery, the restaurants, and the neighbors. Where is that different town? It could well be another university town.

    I think the idea of building ("senior"?) housing on or near a college/university campus has some real pluses. The campus itself, events, and probably excellent medical/health facilities.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77793 replies678 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 11
    mackinaw wrote: »
    I think the idea of building ("senior"?) housing on or near a college/university campus has some real pluses. The campus itself, events, and probably excellent medical/health facilities.

    Unless the housing is reserved for "seniors" (senior citizens, not college seniors) or is expensive relative to other housing in the area, it may attract students as well, particularly if it is a residential school where the norm is for upper-class students to live off campus, and there is a housing shortage in the area. If you have a car, there could also be parking issues at both commuter schools and residential schools where students commonly bring cars.

    How extensive the medical facilities are could depend on whether the campus has a teaching hospital.
    edited September 11
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33603 replies369 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Well, those that exist now ARE for retirees, not students. Sometimes, a venture under the college's mantle, but independent functioning.

    This is a contrary view. I also live in the shadow of a U (work there and take advantage of perks, too,) and, believe it or not, find it oppressive. What happens is a constant turnover, as kids graduate and new students arrive. (A friend refers to it as a 4-year mentality that that they won't be here long, really live elsewhere.)

    I'm a mile away. I find a great distinction between committed residents and, especially, grad students who just want to do their thing, establish their families.

    OTOH, wonderful to live near such great medical services.
    Sorry if my comments disappoint. For years, I thought I'd love staying close enough to a major college.
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  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 1389 replies19 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    This already exists at Alabama. https://capstonevillage.ua.edu/
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  • bclintonkbclintonk 7679 replies31 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I'm not so sure about retiring on campus per se, but there can be many advantages to retiring in the right sort of college town. As others have said, some have great medical care. Many offer a wide variety of first-rate cultural offerings--music, dance, theater, and the like, as well as free, and often intellectually stimulating, lectures and presentations of various kinds. Big-time college sports right at your doorstep. In some cases a quite wide range of interesting and affordable restaurants. Many college towns are very walkable with pleasant campuses, botanical gardens, and arboretums, as well as pedestrian-oriented business areas. I'd find it much easier to remain intellectually engaged, culturally stimulated, and emotionally satisfied in that sort of environment than in some golf-oriented retirement community in Arizona or Florida, or in most towns of comparable size or even much larger. i'm a little surprised more people don't opt for college-town living when they retire, but then, I suppose some people prefer golf.

    The new on-campus retirement options now being offered on some campuses have some advantages---no home maintenance responsibilities, and in some cases facilities to allow you to transition from independent living to assisted living to nursing home care, all within the same complex. But to me it all fells a little too sterile and paternalistic, at least for the early stages of my retirement.
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  • northwestynorthwesty 3447 replies9 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 11
    This has already been going on for a looong time. There's hundreds of senior housing projects which have been developed in connection with colleges. College towns are attractive amenity rich towns, and often include a high end university hospital complex.

    Check out Holy Cross Village in Notre Dame, Indiana. Adjacent to the ND golf course and within a mile of Touchdown Jesus. #RetireLikeAChampion

    Or The Traditions Club in Aggieland, where you can get a "Gameday Cottage" located on the fairways of the TAMU golf course.

    Or the Village at Penn State ("Retire In The Happiest Place In Happy Valley!"). Or Longhorn Village in Austin. Or The Colonnades near UVA, featuring Jeffersonian architecture and a health clinic run by UVA hospital.

    And, of course, if you want to over-achieve and chase the prestige CC-style even in retirement, check out the Distinguished Careers Institute at Stanford. Just as hard to get into as Stanford undergrad!


    Go to any decent sized college campus in a nice college town and you'll see two kinds of construction around the periphery of the campus.

    First, there's the luxury student apartments. There's even REITs specializing in that segment (e.g. American Campus Communities, NYSE: ACC).

    Second will be the senior/retirement housing.

    edited September 11
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  • ChedvaChedva 18857 replies11619 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    There's one associated with Lasell College in Newton, MA, a suburb of Boston. No issue with medical services there!
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  • cypresspatcypresspat 314 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    I hope to shed myself of most possession and have a somewhat gypsy-like life for as long as our health holds out. We have never not lived within a mile of a university, so that in itself would not be novel.

    Because we are dual citizens (Italy), and are three kids will almost definitely live in different parts of the US, as soon as my husband can retire, I want to move around a lot, for 2-3 months at a time. I would like our home base to be adjacent to a college campus (that I don’t fear will close in the next 10-15 years); we will live in it during summers and rent it out for the academic calendar. During the school year, we hope to spend 2-3 months in Italy, and then 1-2 months near each kid.

    I think that this type of lifestyle for healthy seniors will be popular because of he growing acceptance of technology and things like AirBNB.

    We have friends who waved goodbye to the youngest as he headed off to college and then promptly sold everything they had, rented a teeny apartment in their town (so he had a home for breaks), bought a class B RV (looks like a big van) and drive all around the country, going from national park to national park. They are only in their mid fifties and are consultants so can work anywhere. The wife has found that she MUST have a few periods where she is just in the apartment for a while. The guy is totally fine with the gypsy lifestyle and let’s her hang in the apartment as he travels off somewhere else for a few weeks. There is this whole world of websites to help folks like this navigate this lifestyle. They routinely target being near universities for lots of reasons.
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  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1274 replies35 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    University towns are attractive for retirement, only if they have good medical facilities and are in warmer places.
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  • college_querycollege_query 4297 replies317 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I recently lived a mile from a top LAC college campus (and H worked on campus). The local retirement community had buses that brought residents to every music, speaker, theatrical, sporting, etc. event that there was interest in.

    My S attended a different LAC and was active in choir and theatre. He said the local retirement community there sent bus-loads of residents to all their performances/productions.

    We have friends who summered where my S went to college, and otherwise lived near the first campus. They chose these locations specifically for the college community and associated offerings.

    And I worked for 15 years on a third campus. I started working there when my children were very young (K and 3rd grade). We attended concerts, art shows, speaker events, etc. whenever we could. It was almost always free! And yes, the local retirement communities always had their buses parked in the parking lot for these types of events. This school also offered those in the community 60 and older the opportunity to audit classes that were not full for free.
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  • compmomcompmom 10693 replies76 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The article mentions Kendal but not the fact that it already has communities near Dartmouth , Oberlin, and in Northampton MA. Too bad that young man objects to digressions by “ older people” based on interest rather than the chase for grades. And I wouldn’t assume that everyone over 62 is auditing. I sold my house and got rid of my possessions and ran into the rental shortage on MA. It might sound fun to be a nomad but I am writing this in the ER after suffering a stress- related heart issue!! The bottom line is that the kind of stability and stimulation described in the article is only available to those with considerable means.
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  • EmmycatEmmycat 93 replies13 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @Eeyore123 - My grandparents lived in The Capstone! They loved it. They'd lived in Tuscaloosa almost all of their lives, were huge Alabama fans, and thought it was fun to be so close to campus. One of the last pictures we have of my grandfather was taken with Big Al (Alabama's elephant mascot) when he came to visit the retirees one day. :smile: That said, it wasn't TOO close to campus. They could hear the stadium on game days, but not regular parties. It was a really great decision for them.
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  • gwnorthgwnorth 366 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    I think the point here is to be a little bit more integrated than just retirement living near campus. Having retirement living with all it's amenities on campus would allow for specific programming for residents plus the ability to audit classes as well as an opportunity to mentor students and provide them with an additional venue for experiential experiences. I kind of like the idea of low maintenance living (but nicer than the standard student rez experience lol) in a community of other individuals who have similar academic interests and access to all the benefits of campus.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33603 replies369 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I hope I'm never in an "old folks" environment until I'm so old I can't tell what I'm missing. Near a college doesn't change the fact of the inherent segregated daily living. My grandmother adored her official "independent living" places, several of them. But didn't move in to any before she was over 80.

    And before that, she already took advantage of many opportunities from the local colleges, from senior classes to music and other performance. Lol, she'd drive to where the bus met folks.
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