About Us

About College Town Retirement
 
College Town Retirement is based in Princeton, New Jersey, where founders Alison Denis Longley and Steve Longley have lived for 12 years and learned firsthand the benefits of college town life.  Those advantages include easy access to high quality theater and concerts, excellent health care and fitness facilities, parks and trails, farmers’ markets and fine dining, good transportation and living arrangements, community engagement and the opportunity to participate in a vibrant campus life, including auditing courses.
 
The good news, they've found, is that more college towns across the country are enhancing these benefits to attract the growing population of adults 50 and over. Two major studies published in the past few years have both prompted and promoted the progress—the Milken Institute’s “Best Cities for Successful Aging” and AARP’s “Beyond 50.05: A Report to the Nation on Livable Communities: Creating Environments for Successful Aging.” Both reports, along with the American Institute for Economic Research’s “75 Best College Towns and Cities for 2013-2014,” informed College Town Retirement selections. Other useful studies include "The SunAmerica Retirement Re-Set Study: Redefining Retirement Post Recession" from SunAmerica Financial Group, and “Mapping the Growth of Older America: Seniors and Boomers in the Early 21st Century” from the Brookings Institution. Among the media, some of the best reporting and writing on Baby Boomers and retirement trends is being done by CNN Money, U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger, The Fiscal Times, WSJ Market Watch, and, of course, AARP. Their ongoing insights are invaluable.
 
What distinguishes College Town Retirement from other “Best of” and “Top 10” lists of locations is its focus on lifelong learning: Where can you take courses, what your options are, what kinds of programs are available through the college or university directly—auditing or blended online/on campus classes—or through membership organizations? If you need convincing that lifelong learning is booming, just look at the growth of Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes. Endowed by the Bernard Osher Foundation, these college-affiliated institutes have increased from two in 2000 to 117 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2014.  On other campuses, such as Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi, and Bucknell in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, university-sponsored programs are also growing, and in many states free auditing or low-cost tuition courses are opening up at state-supported colleges.
 
Baby Boomers have challenged the status quo at every stage of life, and retirement will be no different. Truth be told, many will never “retire.” Some will choose to pursue encore careers, and therefore pursue new knowledge and skills to succeed in them. Others will want to learn purely for the joy of it, because, as many Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes’ taglines profess, “curiosity never retires.” College Retirement serves both groups.
 
We also serve those who choose to learn in place and those who choose a place to learn. For the latter, College Town Concierge provides services to connect you with programs and with professionals who can assist you with the move into your next exciting chapter.
 
About Stephen R. Longley, Cofounder
 
Steve Longley, 57, is an advertising and marketing executive who has had the good fortune to work with such clients as Procter & Gamble, Kellogg’s, Microsoft, General Motors, JP Morgan Chase, HSBC, AIG, Blue Cross Blue Shield and many others over the past 35 years. He began his career with Leo Burnett in Chicago. Later he moved to Rio de Janeiro where he served as Deputy Managing Director of Leo Burnett Brazil, before going on to Mexico City in the post of Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer of McCann-Erickson Mexico. Several years later, fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese and with a deep understanding of Latin culture, he launched Integra Hispanic Marketing in Princeton, New Jersey. Recognized as a leading authority on targeting, segmentation, and data mining, Steve was recruited by Omnicom in 2008 to head up its TPG Direct Marketing firm in Philadelphia and expand its client base and capabilities in the fields of insurance and financial planning.
 
Steve was graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a degree in American History and Literature; he also studied abroad at the Institute of European Studies in Vienna Austria. He holds a 4AAA’s Certificate in Advertising from Northwestern University.
 
Alison Denis Longley, Cofounder
 
Alison Denis Longley, age 54, is a senior marketing professional with extensive client side and agency leadership experience in marketing strategy and communications for global financial services firms and leading advertising agencies.
 
She specializes in integrated multi-channel marketing, process and organizational infrastructure development, business transformation and change management, sales training, and incentive programs to maximize marketing ROI for employers and clients in the financial services, health care, and insurance sectors. Since date, she has served as Senior Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer for Athene Annuity and Life Assurance Company, where she is responsible for brand management, advertising and communications, among other areas, for Athene’s expanding retail annuity business. The founder of Edgehill Consulting, she has held senior positions with UBS Wealth Management and Merrill Lynch. Alison also contributed to the growth of with Boston-based Hill Holliday, Digitas, GE Capital, and AT&T Universal Card Services.  She earned Six Sigma Black Belt Certification and holds NASD series 7, 24, and 66 licenses.
 
Alison holds a bachelor’s degree from Vassar and an MBA from New York University.
 
About Laura Longley, Content Developer
 
Laura Longley, 65, brings more than 40 years’ experience in journalism and marketing communications to College Town Retirement. Over the past two decades she has worked with clients in the arts, financial planning, insurance, media, business, and education. From 1982 to 1993 she served as communications director of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, establishing its logo and identity program, managing public relations, and launching its in-house advertising/publishing agency. In the prior decade, she worked as an editor at The Washington Post in two capacities—first as a partner in the startup of the syndicate of columnists called the Washington Post Writers Group and then as editor of The Washington Post Magazine.
 
A 1970 graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and recipient of its prestigious Walter Williams Award, she has written for a wide variety of publications, including National Geographic, Educational Leadership, BusinessWeek, Washingtonian, Town & Country, and Civil War Times.