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>> I am also thinking mostly about college towns, chiefly because of the amount of free or inexpensive entertainment most have. One thing that makes me cautious, however, is that many of them, especially the smaller ones, are ingrown and gossipy, a general problem of company towns no matter what the business is. I know this because I lived in college towns for almost 30 years. <<

College towns are certainly a trendy pick among retirees for access to recreational opportunities and health care, but they are largely becoming very expensive relative to the job markets there, particularly in areas with scenic beauty and relatively moderate climates.

But as far as the job markets go, college towns tend to be a LOT more recession-proof than many other cities since their main "industries" tend to remain stable (or even grow) in lean economic times, so if that's something you value, then I guess that goes into the equation as well.

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