Research: Southern College Towns Best for Retiring Boomers

Monday, 16 Apr 2012 01:37 PM

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Southern college towns offer the most ideal conditions for retiring Baby Boomers with Tallahassee, Fla., at the top of the list, a new report by the Washington Economics Group found.

The report, “Best Choice for Retiring Boomers: Head South – An Analysis of Selected U.S. Cities,” noted that a recent survey by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research found one-third of Baby Boomers would consider moving to another state to find the desirable conditions. Those conditions include a mid-size town with a warm climate that has cool periods, a low cost of living, favorable tax rate, and a top-quality healthcare system.

“Through the Mason-Dixon Poll, we’re learning exactly what Baby Boomers are looking for as they near retirement, and where they can find it,” said economist Tony Villamil, founder and principal advisor with the Washington Economics Group. “The Mason-Dixon survey provided an intriguing snapshot of what matters to this important group of 78 million Americans. We thought it would be beneficial to take the analysis a step further and ask the key question of which cities come closest to offering Baby Boomers what they’re looking for.”

The analysis concluded Southern college towns best fit the Baby Boomer bill. The top-ranked community in the Washington Economics Group  analysis is Tallahassee, Fla., home to two state universities. Tallahassee also has quality affordable housing and the nation’s top-rated Medicare program, according to the analysis.

The top 10 cities, according to the Washington Economics Group analysis, are: Tallahassee, Fla.; Memphis, Tenn.; Athens, Ga.,; Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Atlanta, Ga.; Oxford, Miss, and Charleston, S.C. (tied); Louisville, Ky.; and Richmond, Va., and Pittsburgh, Pa. (tied).

“Finding the right mix can be tricky for retirees – because they want to live in a community that is big enough but not too big, warm and cool enough but not too warm or too cold, and with the amenities and resources of a big city but not the annoying traffic and congestion,” Villamil said. “College towns in Southern states, with their dynamic communities and temperate climates, appear to offer the best mix of these many factors.”

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