If you’re looking to retire, there are plenty of places to do so, and each of them has its
own pros and cons. But when it comes down to it, some places are better for retiring than
others, and Colorado is one of the best. Here are seven reasons to retire in Colorado – and
one warning if you’re planning to settle down in the Centennial State.
- Retirement income taxes are low
In many states, retirement income is taxed the same way earned income is, or on a level
that’s slightly lower but still very similar. Colorado, on the other hand, has a pension/annuity
subtraction that includes Social Security, retired military pay, and military disability pay, as
well as a homestead exemption for qualifying seniors.
The pension/annuity subtraction allows those 55 to 64 years old to exclude $20,000 of
qualified retirement income and those 65+ to exclude $24,000. Those 65+ also qualify for a
homestead exemption, which excludes 50% of the value of a primary residence that has
been lived in for 10+ years. Altogether, this means Colorado has one of the highest senior
citizen tax deductions in the United States, making it great for retirement.
- Lots of retirees already live in Colorado
Many retirees like to take into account potential issues such as moving into a neighborhood
with lots of younger people. If you’re the only senior citizen in your neighborhood, it can
feel extremely alienating. Not so with Colorado. Not only do many people choose to retire
here, but retirees contribute over $4.75 billion to the economy every year. You won’t just be
welcomed in Colorado; you’ll be an essential part of the state.
- Gorgeous areas are accessible to all
When you’re looking for somewhere to retire, obviously the landscape is going to be
important. There’s nothing like sitting outside and seeing the beautiful sunset or taking an
afternoon trip to the lake for a bit of fishing. Colorado is full of beautiful scenery. Sunsets
are gorgeous, and the hills and mountains that cover much of the state make for an even
more unforgettable experience. If you’re one for more athletic pursuits, hiking those hills
and mountains will give you an even nicer view.
- Colorado has places to retire for all income levels
You may sometimes see that Colorado has a higher cost of living than other states (more
about that below). However, that tends to hold true only for specific cities. If you choose to
retire in Denver, for instance, the cost of living is 12% higher than the national average. So
while it’s true that areas like Boulder will often be fairly expensive, there are hundreds of
suburbs and cities that are much cheaper. You’ll still have plenty of things to do and
beautiful sights to see.
- Health care is strong in Colorado
As you age, you’re going to need certain kinds of medical attention. Colorado is great for
that. More than 1 million people in Colorado are with UnitedHeathcare, and nearly a million
are with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. So there are hospitals and doctors’ offices all
over Colorado that take many kinds of insurance. The state overall also ranked No. 10 in 2020
in America’s Health Rankings.
- Many rural areas are close to cities
If you’re looking for a more rural area to live, whether because of your budget or because
you just prefer to live somewhere with fewer people, there are a number of affordable rural
or at least suburban communities that are just a short drive from urban life. These areas
have all the amenities you need without the high price tag. You might, for instance, look
into Fort Collins or Loveland, which are within range of Denver. Or go just a little farther
south to Colorado Springs, which has an abundance of retirement communities.
- Great retirement communities exist all over
If you’re looking for a place where you can meet retirees and have friends your age,
Colorado is a great area to do so. Retirement communities can be a great place to live, and
they also usually have centers for exercise and events. Retirement communities make it
easier to find residents like you, rather than just hoping you stumble upon some other
senior friends. If you want to stay active like so many Coloradans, you might want to look at
active adult communities in the Denver or Colorado Springs areas.
One Downside to Retiring in Colorado
As noted above, Colorado living expenses are, overall, higher than the rest of the nation,
though the state likes to note that it’s still cheaper than California and Massachusetts. On
the cost of assisted living, the average for a month of care in Colorado is $3,850, which is
$100 a month above the national average. Even some rural areas, which are still beautiful
and engaging, can have a slightly higher cost of living. Or, in the case of mountain towns like
Aspen, much higher than the national average. This is usually not a problem unless you’re
on an extremely tight budget. But if you are worried about potentially running low on
money in retirement, you’ll want to look carefully at the cost of living in your ideal Colorado
Where to Retire in Colorado
The Denver metro area is the most popular place to retire in Colorado.
You’ll find the most retirement communities there in Denver and in Aurora. The
Colorado Springs area also is increasingly popular for retirement, with most communities in
Guest writer: Rafael Henriquez Rafael (Raf) is the Targeted Content Writer & Strategist for ForRent.com, CorporateHousing.com, and ForRentUniversity.com