College Towns are Great for Retirement

College towns are great places to retire, and Gainesville ranks among the top 10 according to a Kiplinger study. Offering intellectual stimulation, cultural events, athletic activities year-round and a chance for alumni to relive glory days or take classes they skipped, university towns offer unlimited retirement options.

Most in-state universities are tax-friendly to retirees, have moderate to low housing costs and are at or below the national average for cost of living according to the Kiplinger report. Another plus is the access to great healthcare.

With a median home price of $169,000 and a cost of living index of 991, Gainesville was ranked the fifth best college town in which to retire. The Kiplinger report mentions the University of Florida’s nationally ranked sports team, Gainesville’s 13 museums and galleries, a thriving downtown scene, and plenty of outdoor activities as opportunities for retirees. The study also states residents 60 years of age or older can take free classes at UF, space permitting, and any number of classes at the Institute for Learning in Retirement at Oak Hammock.


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Nick Banks

Nick created Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group in 2002 and spent the first eight years developing and acquiring office and retail projects in South Florida as well as North Central Florida. In 2010 the focus of the firm was shifted to primarily serve third party clients and perform brokerage, property management and mortgage banking functions. Nick has personally developed and acquired nearly 200,000 square feet of office and retail properties in markets throughout Florida. Prior to founding Front Street, Nick was the Director of Finance and Dispositions for Stiles Corporation in Fort Lauderdale where he financed and sold over $500 million in commercial real estate. Before joining Stiles, Nick was an Associate Director at GE Capital Real Estate where he sourced over $200 million in financing throughout Florida. Nick is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a concentration in Real Estate. He serves as a board member and current vice-chair for the United Way of North Central Florida where he also chairs the Development Committee. Nick is actively involved with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce where he serves as a board member and committee member for the Council for Economic Outreach. He is also a recent graduate of Leadership Gainesville which is a year long leadership program hosted by the Chamber. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church where he has served as finance chair and as a member of the leadership council. Nick serves as an advisory board member of the University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. Nick was recently named chair of the Gainesville committee for the North Florida chapter of Urban Land Institute (ULI). He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and is a long time member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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