Struggling Seniors Leave Beach Retirement for Campus Town Life

It’s supposed to be the “golden” years, but some seniors are struggling to find the gold in their finances. By the time one is considered a senior citizen, it’s hoped that previous years of investments, sound living, and smaller needs will help to propel a senior household into a more comfortable retirement. However, today’s retirees are finding a much different financial environment than their parents. Their investments have lost value at a critical time and the cost of everything just keeps rising, but their income has stagnated. Add to this the ever-escalating cost of health care, and many seniors who had hoped to ride out their golden years smoothly are now turning to debt counseling services to find out how to make it through a financial maelstrom of bad news.

The House Isn’t a Sure Thing Anymore

Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions has seen a rise in seniors seeking help from less than 5 percent a few years ago to over 13 percent of their clients in 2011. The recession has hammered most seniors who had thought they were in good shape until a combination of factors left them facing retirement with far less than they had planned. These seniors could not count on the equity of their homes to bail them out as that had disappeared in the housing collapse. Even with the economy recovering, it’s not recovering for those who are retired and on a fixed income. Many have chosen to take on more unsecured debt, which can be difficult to repay later. However, there are other alternatives.

What Can Seniors Do?

Struggling Seniors Leave Beach Retirement for Campus Town LifeYou don’t have to be retirement age to get assistance in some cases. Some programs are set up for people as young as 50 years old. There are programs to help with utility and rental payments. If medical issues are a problem there are special programs to help seniors pay for medicines and treatments, too. However, if you don’t ask you won’t get. The key is to ask your physician or your insurer or the manufacturer of your drug. They can all have information to help locate financial assistance if you have trouble paying for medical bills. Other places to contact can be HUD for help with home improvements or your county social services for help with rent assistance. Utility companies can also have programs to help seniors who are getting behind on their utility payments. Before opting to pull out the plastic, think about ways you can lower costs first and get some assistance to help offset rising costs. You may qualify for food assistance, too, via SNAP or a local food bank. Take advantage of senior discounts every change you get, whether it is AARP discount on insurance or a senior discount day at the local grocery store. You will be surprised what type of help is out there to help make it easier for seniors to get by. Every bit of money you save in one area of your budget can be used to help stretch the little money you do have further.

Retiring at Your Alma Mater

Flocks of boomers went to Florida to retire and then returned halfway to North Carolina when it got too hot and too expensive for their tastes.  When it comes to retirement, people often think of their fondest vacations and choose either a resort-like spot where they can spend their time enjoying themselves, and beach or mountainous areas are favorites. However the current financial climate has started a new trend. Not only are they more affordable to live in, college towns also tend to have more to keep people active and healthy in their golden years than most tourist-like areas.

What College Towns Offer

College towns all over the country tend to have fabulous school campuses and a diverse population to support them. They are generally affordable, due to the main residents being students who normally don’t have a lot of money to spend. They are not affected by economic ups and downs as much because they tend to attract their base demographic no matter what the economy does. You can find college towns located in major cities, in small towns, or even in Florida – if that’s what you prefer. However, the affordability of real estate, beautiful scenery, and economic stability are just the appetizer. There’s plenty of offer a full course for any retiree looking for a new home.

Events and Facilities

Colleges are known for hosting numerous events that range from sports to more intellectual pursuits. Colleges might have a poetry reading one night, and offer a football game another night. Many events don’t even have an entrance fee, like free concerts or classes. And, if you’re a senior citizen, odds are you can get a discount if the event has ticket prices. Even if nothing big is scheduled, they also have the types of facilities that make for a nice afternoon either lazing around the college library or getting in shape at the gym. There are also social programs for those who have the inkling to promote some sort of social agenda and be an activist for their favorite causes in their golden years.

Colleges and Retirement Communities

Colleges are paying attention to this new trend, and offering retirement communities nearby or directly on campus. Professors are recruited to offer free classes at the retirement communities to help bring some of the wealth of knowledge to those who may still want to learn, no matter what their age. Notable campuses that offer retirement communities are: Duke, Notre Dame, and the University of Michigan. If you still want to live in Florida, you can check out Oak Hammock retirement community. It may not be part of the universities offerings, but it has affiliated with the University of Florida to provide many of the same perks. People who are first retiring aren’t ready to just sit back and fish or knit all day. They want a lifestyle that is mentally as well as physically active in a beautiful location that is affordable. For many, that brings back nostalgia of their college days when they go looking for places to retire that fit the bill.

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