Linda Geist

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute makes Columbia one of the top 10 places to retire, according to the August 2015 edition of Kiplinger’s, a Washington, D.C.-based magazine of business forecasts and personal finance advice.

Osher, part of University of Missouri Extension, complements Columbia’s institutions of higher learning with its noncredit programs for adults 50 and over.

“Because Osher appeals to the intellectual, cultural and curious worlds of adults 50 and better, what we have created is unique,” says Osher director Kristin Millikan. “Our classes are taught by retired university instructors, authors, artists and world travelers.”

This fall, Osher offers 30 courses covering subjects such as religion and politics, poetry and 19th-century fiction, discoveries in research, writing your memoirs, and current events.

In addition to classes, social activities for seniors are another reason Osher is popular with retirees, Millikan says. “Osher is a place to feed your brain and grow your friendships.”

The Kiplinger’s report noted that a 2014 Milken Institute survey of “Best Cities for Successful Aging” ranked Columbia third for small metropolitan areas, largely because of its outstanding health care and job opportunities for older residents. The town’s fitness trails and parks and events such as Art in the Park are cited as key attractions.

Columbia shares the top 10 spotlight with Sarasota, Fla.; Charlotte, N.C.; Winchester, Va.; Cambridge, Mass.; Rochester, Minn.; Santa Fe, N.M.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Carlsbad, Calif.; and Portland, Ore.

For more information about Osher at Mizzou, go to

Read the Kiplinger’s magazine report at