Bloomington, Indiana

Best Places to Retire in Indiana


Bloomington (population about 70,000, including students) is located in the rolling hills of southern Indiana, 51 miles southwest of Indianapolis. It is a small college town that is home to the main campus of Indiana University, with 40,000 students. It has a friendly atmosphere with a very stable economy and a reasonable cost of living. The arts and cultural opportunities are simply outstanding, and there is big-time college athletics, good shopping and excellent healthcare. Great Places to Retire Bloomington, Indiana Profile Bloomington (population of 70,000, including the students) is located in the south-central part of the state, 51 miles southwest of downtown Indianapolis. It is home to the main campus of Indiana University, with nearly 40,000 students. Bloomington is also the county seat for Monroe County which has a total population of about 115,000.The city, noted for its warm and friendly atmosphere, is nestled in the rolling hills of southern Indiana. It is a very much a college town, with small town charm and a blend of sophistication. It has a stable economic base, with the university as its largest employer. It is desirable place to work and live with a very reasonable cost of living and outstanding amenities.

The presence of Indiana University brings a wealth of benefits to the community. Among them are Broadway theater productions, a seemingly endless number of arts and music events, big-time college athletic events, museums, libraries, and outstanding venues and facilities. It also hosts world-class entertainers and world leaders. The college also helps to attract and support a wide variety of service businesses that add amenities to the area.

The downtown area includes the city and Monroe County governments, as well as nearly 400 small businesses. There are also a large number of restaurants, specialty shops and services. The city has everything from pubs and unusual restaurants, to international, family fare, fast food, clubs with live entertainment, and world-class restaurants. Shoppers will also find a wide range of choices, including home furnishings, jewelry, art shops, antiques, upscale apparel, specialty shops, bookstores, imports, and more. For the very occasional hard-to-find item, it is a short drive the Indianapolis.

The Bloomington area offers excellent recreational opportunities, both within the city and at the nearby state parks, and the state’s only national forest. It also offers excellent healthcare with its large regional hospital.

It is not at all surprising that Bloomington is considered a great retirement destination.

Arts & Culture

Indiana University has an outstanding music school as well as nationally ranked programs in the fine arts, theatre, drama, and ballet. Literally hundreds of performances are given each year by ensembles, groups, artistic performers, bands, and orchestras. IU Opera Theater and IU Ballet Theater –

The IU African American Arts Institute seeks to promote and preserve African American culture through performance and learning. It has a choral ensemble, soul revue, and a dance company.

The Indiana University Ballet, part of the School of Music, offers three performances annually. It also performs with the Opera Theater, the IU Theatre, and productions by the School of Music.

The beautiful and historic IU Auditorium is in the heart of the campus. It hosts major Broadway productions, world-class entertainers, music groups, dance, world leaders, and educational events. The auditorium also contains Thomas Hart Benton’s “Century of Progress” murals, the Dailey Family Memorial Collection of Hoosier Art, and two Robert Laurent sculptures.

The IU Musical Arts Center (MAC) is a 1,640-seat facility renowned for its acoustical design and technical capabilities.

The IU School of Fine Arts Gallery presents contemporary art by nationally-known as well as student artists.

Mathers Museum of World Cultures at IU offers a wide range of exhibits, special events and educational programs.

The IU Art Museum has become one of the foremost university art museums in the country. Its collections from around the world include over 30,000 art objects.

The Wylie House Museum is the restored home of the first president of Indiana University, Andrew Wylie. It is one of the oldest structures in the city.

IU’s “City Lights” offers a weekly film program of both classic and contemporary films. All screenings are free and open to the public.

Monroe County Public Library –

The William & Gayle Cook Music Library at IU contains 540,000 cataloged items, 218,000 performing ensembles parts, virtually all the standard orchestral and choral repertoire, more than 130,000 sound recordings, and more. It also has over 100 Windows workstations, 37 Macintosh computers, and 72 MIDI keyboards.

The Lily Library at IU has holdings of about 400,000 books, over 100,000 pieces of music and over 6.5 million manuscripts. It is accessible to anyone with a research need.

Bloomington/Monroe County Convention Center is a 22,000-square-foot facility with over 500 parking spaces. It hosts trade shows, conventions and special events.


The city’s Parks & Recreation Department manages the parks, recreational facilities, programs, leagues, and events sponsored by the city.

Indiana University (“Hoosiers”) is a member of the Big Ten Conference. It hosts a great number of competitive sporting events involving men’s and women’s teams.

McCormick’s Creek State Park is located 14 miles north of Bloomington, in Spencer. It has limestone formations and scenic waterfalls along the White River, a large canyon with high cliffs, and well-maintained grounds. The park’s activities and facilities include hiking trails, picnic sites and shelters, a nature center, swimming pool, riding and saddle barn, tennis and other types of recreation. There are over 180 camping sites with electricity, and there are cabins to rent.

Brown County State Park, located 17 miles east of Bloomington in nearby Nashville, is the state’s largest state park. Facilities and activities include shelters, riding trails and a saddle barn, picnic sites, a nature center, fishing, hiking trails, a swimming pool, tennis courts, and playgrounds. There are also over 400 RV camping sites with electricity. The park includes 20 miles of roads with many scenic vistas.

Spring Mill State Park, 33 miles south in Mitchell, features a restored pioneer village. Its many activities and facilities include fishing, cave exploration, hiking, trail riding, a swimming pool, playgrounds, volleyball courts, and other games. It also has over 180 camping sites with electricity.

Shakamak State Park in Jasonville, at the western edge of the state, offers three man-made lakes with 400 acres for fishing and boating, as well as a family aquatic center. Other facilities include campsites. The park is about 50 miles from Bloomington.


Indiana University is comprised of 98,000 students on eight campuses across the state. The Bloomington campus, which is the residential campus, has an enrollment of nearly 40,000 students. It is considered one of the most beautiful college campuses in the nation.

IU’s “Creative Learning Center,” located at Indiana Memorial Union, offers a selection of short, non-credit courses such as pottery and photography. It also offers one-day workshops and education-based trips.

Senior Programs

The Bloomington Adult Community Center offers programs targeted for persons 50 years and better, including sports and fitness, adult and senior classes, travel and special events.


Bloomington Hospital & Healthcare System is a regional referral center serving a nine county region. Specialties include heart services, cancer services, a Center for Women & Children, emergency services, psychiatric, rehabilitation, occupational health, urgent care, Hospice and home health care. The Bloomington Hospital has 355 beds. 


Indianapolis International Airport –


Average temperatures for January are a high of 36 degrees and low of 19 degrees. The average temperatures for July are 86 degrees and 65 degrees.


Herald-Times –

Property Taxes

State Taxes

Chamber of Commerce

State Aging Agency


Indianapolis – 51 miles
Terre Haute – 58 miles
Lafayette – 105 miles
Louisville, KY – 100 miles
Cincinnati, OH – 125 miles

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