25 Best Places to Retire

Your post-work years are a time to improve your golf game, take up a new hobby, or just enjoy a well-deserved break. In these great college towns, you can expand your intellectual horizons too.

21 of 25
21. Northampton, MA
Northampton, MA
Population: 28,411
% over 50: 34%
Median home price: $237,000
State income tax: 5.3%*
Where to take classes: Smith, Amherst, etc.

If you're looking for a small city with a lot of intellect you can't go wrong in Northampton. Five schools -- Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mt. Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst -- call this picturesque New England city home. And retirees can have their pick of seminars and workshops at all five institutions thanks to Five College Learning in Retirement, a membership organization that's affiliated with all five schools.

Of course the nice thing about learning in retirement is that you don't have to devote your evenings and weekends to term papers and study groups. That frees up time for Northampton retirees to wander the leafy campuses at their leisure, art-gallery hop on Main Street and explore the nearby Berkshires.  

See complete data and interactive map for Northampton

NEXT: Asheville, NC

Last updated October 06 2010: 4:55 PM ET
* top bracket

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