Columbia features big city culture with small town friendliness and is an
ideal community for retirement. Retirees are especially attracted to the
youthful spirit of the community, clean environment, health care availability,
educational and recreational opportunities. Seventeen percent of Columbia's
population is composed of individuals over 50 years of age.
Columbia's strong growing economy is based on education, health care, and
insurance industries which offers advantages to retirees by providing a high
level of prosperity and stability in the community. Columbia is a great spot to
start a small business. Community advantages include: low taxes and cost of
living-- Columbia is well below the national average; high quality of health
care-- provided by nine hospitals and boasts of more doctors per capita except
for Rochester, Minnesota. Columbia is located in the center of the state and has
easy access to either St. Louis or Kansas City; each 2 hours drive or Lake of
the Ozarks recreational area is just an hour away. Columbia's location is an
advantage with an airport and public transportation available. Along with being
an easy city to drive in, the community is very accessible. Other advantages
that attract retirees are the continuing education opportunities; a variety of
housing; social, cultural, recreational and volunteer opportunities; a fairly
moderate year-round climate; and a safe low crime area.
Columbia is nationally ranked as an excellent place for retirees to live due
to our high quality of life. Columbia was selected for "50 Fabulous Places to
Retire in America," Lee and Saralee Rosenberg's relcation book by Ken Stern,
2nd edition, 1996. The book "Where To Retire" by John Howells selects
Columbia as one of three Missouri cities named as the best and most affordable
place for retirement. "5 Best College Towns for Retirement" in Successful
Retirement magazine September/October 1994 lists Columbia as one of five top
college towns for retirement.
The American Chamber of Commerce Research Association compares the cost of
living in 300 cities across the country on a quarterly basis. It compares items
such as groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, health care and
miscellaneous expenses. 100 is average. Columbia is consistently 6-8% below the
More and more seniors are taking advantage of continuing education programs
for life-long learning. The University of Missouri-Columbia and Stephens and
Columbia Colleges offer a variety of courses. The Columbia Career Center and the
City Parks & Recreation Department offer a variety of classes for adults
including personal enrichment, computers, arts, and much more.
There are many senior-related services in the community as well as many
volunteer opportunities to utilize and share your expertise. Contact the
Columbia Chamber of Commerce for the Columbia and Boone County Organizations
Directory, a listing of over 100 organizations with volunteer opportunities.