From the Great Plains to the Rocky Mountains and everywhere in between, Colorado has something for nearly any retiree. Many of the retirees who move to the state cherish Colorado s 55+ active adult communities because they offer a lifestyle and amenity package unmatched by regular communities. Most of Colorado s active retirement communities include clubhouses, fitness centers, swimming pools and hobby and craft studios that provide the opportunity for residents to stay physically and socially active. Plus, most of the larger 55+ retirement communities in Colorado have an on-site activities director who coordinates fun events, clubs and social gatherings. Many retirees are drawn to the endless recreational opportunities like skiing, hiking, fly fishing, camping, rafting and more. Others are simply drawn to the breathtaking views and quiet, laid-back atmosphere.
Climate & Geography
For most retirement-age individuals who settle in Colorado the greater Denver and Front Range area have been the primary destination. The Front Range is the major population concentration that extends along the base of the Rocky Mountains from Pueblo, Colorado all the way to Cheyenne, Wyoming and includes places like Colorado Springs, Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins. This region accounts for over 80 percent of Colorado s population.
Colorado is mostly made up of high plains, foothills, mountains, and desert lands. Most of the high plains can be found in east, northeast and southeast Colorado. Northern Colorado has a mix of foothills, high plains, and mountains. West and northwest Colorado are primarily mountainous with desert lands. And southern and southwest Colorado is a complete mixture of different elevations.
When elevation increases, temperature decreases and precipitation increases. Colorado has the highest average elevation in the United States and numerous mountain ranges that provide very different climates. Therefore the climate of Colorado is more complex due to the variety of elevations throughout the state. However, generally speaking winters are typically cold and snowy, especially in the higher elevations of the Rocky Mountains. Summers tend to have warm, dry days and cool nights.
Recreation, Culture & Entertainment
Colorado is an outdoor adventurer s paradise with 42 state parks, 11 national parks and monuments, world-class ski resorts, natural hot springs, gold mines, and more. Denver s Museum of Nature & Science, the Denver Zoo, and the Denver Botanic Gardens are popular attractions.
Art, culture, and history are abundant within many museums throughout the state. Colorado s top museums include the Denver Art Museum, the Colorado Railroad Museum, Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave, Bent s Old Fort National Historic Site, Aspen Art Museum, and tons more. The most populous city, Denver, offers great opportunities for nightlife and entertainment as well.
Cost of Living & Taxes
For the entire state of Colorado, the cost of living is higher than the US average. However, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research, Colorado s average cost of living is 30% below east and west coast cities. Mountain resort towns and the Denver metropolitan area are more expensive areas in Colorado.
Regardless of income level, Colorado has a flat 4.63% income tax. Unlike most states, Colorado taxes are based on taxable income, which is income after exemptions and deductions. The state offers senior and veteran property tax programs as well.
Colorado is known for its numerous opportunities to stay fit, active, and healthy through their miles of outdoor recreation areas and its residents are some of the healthiest in the nation. Colorado is known to have the lowest obesity levels of any state in the United States. There are 101 hospitals located throughout the state. Fourteen of which have met standards for strong performances and two are nationally ranked. Craig Hospital in Englewood and University of Colorado in Aurora are the two nationally ranked hospitals.
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