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best places to retire in colorado

The high mountains and pristine lakes in Colorado can serve as aesthetic backdrops for those who want to spend their retirement years close to nature. And the best places to retire in Colorado offer plenty of that. The state can also serve as a fine retirement ground for those who still want adventure in their life. Common activities among the best places to retire in Colorado include white water rafting, kayaking and horseback riding. You also have miles of trails  to hike. And to stay healthy enough to enjoy these tasks to the fullest, these locations also offer easy access to healthcare facilities. And if you’d like professional guidance in planning your retirement in Colorado, you can use our financial advisor matching platform to get connected with local advisors right away. You can also check out our report on the top financial advisor firms in Colorado.

How We Determined the Best Places to Retire

We began by exploring critical factors such as the tax burden, access to healthcare facilities and abundance of recreational activities in towns and counties throughout Colorado. After running through the metrics, we determined some clearly outshined others. Below, we’ve listed our findings for the 10 best places to retire in Colorado. Read on to learn more about why these particular places made the cut.

1. Littleton

Anyone looking for a little slice of small town American heaven in Colorado should consider Littleton. This vibrant suburban environment offers plenty of recreational activities and events. Its downtown area boasts more than 200 shops and businesses. And outdoor enthusiasts have plenty of nature to bask in while in Littleton. In fact, you can find a range of hiking and biking trails that link the downtown area to parks and lakes. You’d also be near the Rocky Mountains and the popular South Platte River. Furthermore, the town hosts plenty of festivals and performances, including the 10-day Western Welcome Week, which can trace its roots back to the 1920s. You can also celebrate the official start of the holiday season with the annual Candlelight Walk and Tree lighting.

In addition, Littleton is also known for its ease of healthcare access. Our research shows the town houses about 10 medical facilities per 1,000 people. However, the town isn’t the most affordable to live in. Colorado taxes Social Security benefits and the tax burden in Littleton stands at a mid-level 19.0%. So it may be wise to invest in tax advantaged savings vehicles like a Roth IRA. You can make qualified withdrawals tax free.

And to make measuring the price of retiring in Colorado easier, we published a study on the cost of living in Colorado.

2. Englewood

Englewood can serve as a retirement paradise for the outdoor lover who wants to stay connected to nature well into his or her golden years. Common activities include zip-lining, skiing and white water rafting. You’d also have access to the Broken Tee Englewood Golf Course along with a few others. Plus, you have several hiking trails to explore including the Platte River and Bear Creek trails. And if you want some big city action, Denver is a 20-minute drive away. As far as healthcare goes, our data shows Englewood houses about 14 medical facilities per 1,000 people.

3. Evergreen

Another great spot for lovers of the great outdoors is Evergreen. This small town boasts about 2.42 recreational centers per 1,000 people. And there’s plenty to do here from the Evergreen Golf Club to the Denver Mountain Park. Our data shows 18.8% of the population consists of seniors. However, the average income stands at about $90,000 and the cost of living is higher than the national average. But this shouldn’t be a problem if you saved aggressively in an individual retirement account (IRA) or workplace retirement savings vehicle like a 401(k)plan.

4. Berthoud

About 12.7% of the population in Berthoud consists of seniors, according to our research. In fact, the median age stands at 47.3, which is higher than the national average. So retirees should feel right at home. And they’d have access to 1.82 medical facilities per 1,000 people. But considering the rather high tax burden of 16.9%, it will be a good idea to save for future medical expenses as soon as possible. One way to meet this goal is by opening a health savings account (HSA) if you’re already enrolled in an eligible high-deductible health plan (HDHP). This savings vehicle provides some exceptional tax benefits such as tax-free growth on your earnings and tax-free withdrawals for eligible medical expenses. And while you’re staying healthy in Berthoud, there are plenty of activities to engage in. Activities range from zip-lining to hot air balloon trips and canyon passage exploration.

5. Estes Park

best places to retire in colorado

If you enjoy some privacy and want access to the great outdoors when you need it, Estes Park may be the premier spot to spend your golden years in. Plus, our research shows about 32.6% of the population is comprised of seniors. And you’d have several outdoor activities to keep your brain active and your soul healthy at Estes Park. For instance, the town serves as a base for the Rocky Mountain National Park. And you’d have access to 2.46 medical centers and 2.13 recreation centers per 1,000 people.

6. Monument

Among our list of best places to retire in Colorado, Monument stands out for its ease of access to healthcare with more than 4.3 medical facilities per 1,000 people. The tri-lake area stands as a quiet and peaceful community, but you’d also have easy access to all of Colorado’s major metropolitan attractions. Those who like to engage in the arts can visit its downtown area for everything from folk art galleries to a Victorian tea house. And the adventurous can hit the dirt with plenty of hiking space, including the 15-mile Santa Fe Regional Trail, which cuts through Monument.

7. Golden

The town of Golden isn’t only among the best places to retire in Colorado; it also ranks among the top 20 places to retire in the United States index. It stands out for easy access to health care with among 4.9 doctor’s offices per 1,000 people. Golden may also suit you if you’re a big fan of festivals and the outdoors. The area supports about 1.96 retirement recreational centers per 1,000 people. Attractions include the Clear Creek Whitewater Park kayaking course, the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum and the Colorado Railroad Museum. History buffs would be pleased to learn of the town’s Gold Rush days.

8. Salida

Salida has a lot to offer to seniors who make up about 22.9% of the population. Common activities include kayaking, skiing and horseback riding. Music lovers with a diverse ear would be happy to know their options span from the Alpine Orchestra to a summer concert series. And you can also relax at the Salida Hot Springs, which serves as the largest indoor hot spring pool in Colorado. Here you can enjoy lap pools or take swimming lessons. And if you fall ill, the town offers about 5.21 doctor’s offices per 1,000 people. However, its tax burden rises slightly higher than other towns on our list of best places to retire in Colorado.

9. Lone Tree

If you’re looking to move into a small, affluent town in Colorado, look no further than Lone Tree. This sleepy town rests 26 miles from Denver, which you can get to via rail or bus. In fact, our study found Denver suburbs to be among the best places to raise a family in Colorado.

But there is plenty to keep you occupied at Lone Tree. For instance, the town boasts its own performing arts center and its very own Symphony Orchestra. It also houses the state’s biggest shopping center, Park Meadows Mall. Its more historic attractions include the Schweiger Ranch. Lone Tree is also home to the Skyridge Medical Facility, which is one of the region’s largest employers. In fact, Lone Tree has about 8.99 medical facilities per 1,000 people. And senior citizens make up a 10.2% of the population.

10. Montrose

Last but not least, we bring you Montrose. Settled in the high desert region of Colorado, this town provides its residents, 19.6% of whom are seniors, with plenty to do. John Wayne and Western novie buffs can explore nearby Ridgeway, where parts of “True Grit” were filmed. Attractions in Montrose include a botanical garden, the Ute Indian Museum and plenty of areas for outdoor sports like horseback riding for those who crave adventure. The median house value rests a $182,300, according to a study by Niche.com. The rate falls slowly below that of other locations on our list of best places to retire in Colorado.

best places to retire in colorado

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Photo credit: ©iStock.com/marekuliasz, ©iStock.com/Adventure_Photo, ©iStock.com/BevLinder

Javier Simon, CEPF® Javier Simon is a banking, investing and retirement expert for SmartAsset. The personal finance writer's work has been featured in Investopedia, PLANADVISER and iGrad. Javier is a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. He has a degree in journalism from SUNY Plattsburgh. Javier is passionate about helping others beyond their personal finances. He has volunteered and raised funds for charities including Fight Cancer Together, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
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