Charlottesville makes list of top college towns for retirees

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Charlottesville has been listed among ‘10 great college towns to retire to” by personal-finance publisher Kiplinger.

The home of the University of Virginia is one six Southern cities on the list.

In addition to Charlottesville, the list includes Oxford, Miss. (Ole Miss); Ann Arbor, Mich. (University of Michigan); Asheville, N.C. (University of North Carolina-Asheville); Athens, Ga. (University of Georgia); Boise, Idaho (Boise State); Fort Collins, Colo. (Colorado State); Gainesville, Fla. (University of Florida); Lexington, Ky. (University of Kentucky); and State College, Pa. (Penn State).

The cities weren’t ranked, but Oxford was the first college town shown in a slide show of 10 town on the MSN Money website. Charlottesville was the sixth town.

“In these 10 towns, a university generates intellectual and cultural sizzle for local residents and opens the door for retirees to take free or low-cost classes,” Kiplinger’s Sandra Block reports. “College sports unite the entire community (and sometimes impel retired alums to move back). On-campus attractions, such as concerts, lecture series and games, are open to all comers, not just undergraduates.”

In Charlottesville’s case, the report says, residents 60 and older “can take noncredit classes tuition-free at U.Va. and other area schools, including Piedmont Community College.

“For cultural stimulation, music lovers can catch free Fridays After Five concerts at the Downtown Mall from April to September. Oenophiles won’t have to venture far to sniff, swirl and sip worthy vintages. Try Trump Winery (yes, that Trump) or Barboursville Vineyards, which is located 18 miles northeast of Charlottesville.”

Block also notes that Charlottesville is situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, “so options for hiking, biking and paddling abound.”

But the report cautions that unlike many of the other college towns on the list, homes in Charlottesville “can be pricey. Retirees with a budget under $500,000 might like Lake Monticello, 25 minutes southeast of town.”

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