West Lafayette : Indiana


What It Is Like to Retire in West Lafayette

West Lafayette is a small but vibrant college town in central Indiana, located along the Wabash River, and across from its sister city, Lafayette. The community has a population of 46,269 (2017 census), along with 40,000 residents who are college students attending Purdue University, the town’s claim to fame, and the reason for the average age here to be just 21. West Lafayette has been recognized by Livability.com in their 2018 Top 100 Best Places to Live due to affordable housing, entertainment options and cultural amenities. Large cities are nearby with easy access to the state capital of Indianapolis just 65 miles away, and Chicago is about 100 miles northwest. Photo of the West Lafayette Public Library, with Purdue campus skyline in background, and photo of Loeb Fountain on Purdue's campus courtesy of Wikipedia and Quinn Thomson, Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0/

Where to Retire in West Lafayette and Home Prices

There are several neighborhoods within West Lafayette, some historic and some within close proximity to Purdue. Zillow reports the median home value to be $238,122 in mid-2020 and calls it a "Very Hot" market at this time. There is a senior living community located close to the university (see link at left).

What Is Special about West Lafayette

West Lafayette has been recognized as one of the safest and healthiest towns in the nation, and is home to many parks, miles of trails, a nature center, skating park, and a new Wellness and Aquatic Center to open in 2020. Purdue University is a big part of the community and is host to cultural events and programs.

What Is Not Special about West Lafayette

With more college students than full-time residents, the town definitely has the college town atmosphere and is the most densely populated city in Indiana; winters are chilly with an average of 20 inches of snow.

Who Will Like Retirement in West Lafayette

Although retirees are vastly outnumbered by the college crowd, they will find the town and the university have a lot to offer them. There are many sporting and cultural events, festivals and community activities. There is a public library, a wellness and aquatic center, parks, and health care. Purdue University offers golf at the Kampen Course in the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex, with senior memberships plans.

Local Economy Is Driven by

As with most aspects of life in West Lafayette, Purdue University also drives the economy. The university is the town's largest employer and provides for research and technology, with Purdue Research park. Purdue also has its own airport for public and private aerospace research and development in aeronautics innovations.

Climate and Physical Environment

The average January temperature is 28 degrees, with July's average is 75 degrees. West Lafayette gets about 20 inches of snow each winter.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

There are many restaurants and cultural events in West Lafayette including those hosted by the University and by the town.


The crime rate here is below the national average.

Medical Facilities

There is health care available in West Lafayette and there is a hospital in nearby Lafayette. Purdue has its own health care system for students and staff.


The nearest large airport is in Indianapolis, about 75 miles away. An Amtrak station is located in Lafayette; Purdue University Airport is the country's first university-owned airport, and actually the 2nd busiest airport in Indiana, with two runways for private, corporate and university use.

Valuable Links

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