When my parents retired to the Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community (VMRC) in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, they looked forward to the many resources available to residents — a wide range of activities, the wellness center, the beautiful campus, and much more. However, another advantage of retiring in the VMRC location was the university next door. In fact the retirement community abuts the university land.
My parents also enjoy all sorts of opportunities at this university. They attend concerts, listen to lectures, and use athletic facilities — especially an indoor track. Athletic teams play each season, and a group of retirees gathers at almost every event to cheer them on to victory. A personal favorite of my parents, both former college professors, is the university library, which welcomes residents of the VMRC community. And once in a while my parents even enjoy purchasing dinner tickets and visiting the university dining hall.
As I watch my parents enjoy their retirement community along with the university next door, I realize that I think the idea of retiring near a university sounds wonderful.
So today I listened carefully, with a bit of enthusiasm even, to a Marketplace radio segment, on the American Public Media network (public radio).
The segment, Retirement Heads to College, was broadcast on the PM edition of Marketplace. The story describes the trend of building retirement communities near and sometime on college campuses, focusing especially on Belmont Village near the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and interviewing a number of Belmont residents. According to the report, “More than 60 other colleges have retirement communities near campus, including University of Michigan, Ithaca College, and Stanford.”
If many colleges and universities are connecting with retirement communities, and the report, I want to pay close attention to this trend. It sounds like an appealing opportunity sometime in the future.
You can read this US News and World report article on the same topic, Retirement Communities 101: Seniors Flock to College Towns.