Capitalists And Money

11 Best Places to Retire in Colorado in 2023

Many people spend years dreaming of what their retirement will look like. In addition to all of the financial planning that goes into it, you’ve probably also dreamed about what you’ll do with your newfound free time. Finally, you may have given some thought to where you’ll live. Sure, southern states like Florida and Texas have long been popular for retirees. But many people are now branching out and looking for other places to spend their golden years, including Colorado.

Is Colorado a Good Place to Retire?

Colorado has gotten much attention in recent years and has become a popular place to retire. Its population has consistently increased over the past several years, and it’s easy to see why.

First, Colorado has some obvious benefits when it comes to the landscape and recreation. The state is filled with mountains and lakes, meaning people who enjoy outdoor recreation will feel right at home in Colorado.

Colorado also stands out as being one of the healthiest places to live. In addition to all the time its residents spend outdoors, Colorado also has one of the lowest obesity rates in the country and is known for its healthy (while still delicious) food, much of which is locally grown. The state has several hospitals that are nationally ranked and offers some of the best healthcare services to seniors and young people alike.

Additionally, Colorado has a strong culture. In addition to its strong outdoor culture, it also has a strong art scene and is known for its craft breweries and wineries.

Finally, Colorado has some financial benefits. Yes, the cost of living is higher than the national average, and it’s been increasing as more people have moved to the state. However, Colorado is also tax-friendly for seniors. The state allows a large deduction for retirement income for individuals 65 and older. Additionally, the state has some of the lowest sales and property taxes in the country, as well as a property tax exemption for seniors who own and occupy their homes in Colorado.

11 Best Places to Retire in Colorado

1. Greeley

Population: 109,323
% of Population 65 and Older:2%
Median Home Value: $458,146
Cost of Living (Compared to the State Average): 13% lower
Cost of Healthcare (Compared to the State Average): 3% lower
Crime Rate (Compared to the State Average): 11% lower
Amenities Score: A+

Greeley is a large city in Weld County in the northern part of Colorado. It’s located a short drive from plenty of other key areas in the state, including Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver, and Rocky Mountain National Park. Greeley is a college town and is home to the University of Northern Colorado. It’s also home to WeldWerks Brewery, which is one of the most popular in Colorado. Greeley has plenty of outdoor recreation, including hiking trails, grasslands, parks, and more. Finally, the city has a strong history and culture that you can experience at the local museums and other local attractions.

Greeley has plenty of perks for retirees and other residents. First, the city’s housing prices, healthcare costs, and overall cost of living are all lower than the state’s average. It also has a low crime rate and lots of amenities. The only downside to Greeley is the small senior population, which could make it more difficult to build a community.

2. Pueblo

Population: 112,368
% of Population 65 and Older:2%
Median Home Value: $312,177
Cost of Living (Compared to the State Average): 20% lower
Cost of Healthcare (Compared to the State Average): 9% lower
Crime Rate (Compared to the State Average): 74% higher
Amenities Score: A+

Pueblo is a large Colorado city near the central part of the state. The city is home to the Colorado State University of Pueblo, the Pueblo Zoo, the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk, and Lake Pueblo State Park, which sits on the Pueblo Reservoir. The park is a popular spot for fishing, boating, and camping. Pueblo has several museums that display its rich history and culture.

Pueblo has some downsides, including its crime rate that’s above the state average. However, it also has an overall cost of living that includes affordable housing prices (even lower than the national average) and low healthcare costs. Finally, the state has a relatively large senior population.

3. Fruita

Population: 13,508
% of Population 65 and Older:3%
Median Home Value: $433,260
Cost of Living (Compared to the State Average): 6% lower
Cost of Healthcare (Compared to the State Average): 5% higher
Crime Rate (Compared to the State Average): 61% lower
Amenities Score: A+

Fruita is a small municipality located in Mesa County in the western part of Colorado. In fact, the city is just a short drive from Utah. The state’s name stems from the fact that it started as a fruit-producing region. Fruita sits along the Colorado River and has an impressive amount of local outdoor recreation for such a small town. Within and surrounding the town, you’ll find many popular trailheads, canyons, and other natural areas. The town is home to the Museums of Western Colorado’s Dinosaur Journey Museum.

Fruita is a relatively small town with a large percentage of its population being 65 or older. It also has housing costs and an overall cost of living that are below the state’s average. Finally, the state has a crime rate that’s considerably lower than the state and national average.

4. Fort Collins

Population: 168,538
% of Population 65 and Older:9%
Median Home Value: $592,263
Cost of Living (Compared to the State Average): Equal to
Cost of Healthcare (Compared to the State Average): 3% lower
Crime Rate (Compared to the State Average): 27% lower
Amenities Score: A+

Fort Collins is the fourth-largest city in Colorado by population. It’s located in the northwestern part of the state, just over an hour directly north of Denver. Fort Collins has a deep culture that retirees will love. First, the city is known as the Craft Beer Capital of Colorado, which is saying something, considering the large number of craft breweries the state is home to. It also has a large art scene that includes its orchestra, ballet, opera, and art galleries. Finally, Fort Collins is surrounded by things to do outside, including its local hiking, camping, fishing, boating, kayaking, horseback riding, and much more.

Fort Collins has a cost of living that’s on par with the state’s average. Housing is slightly more expensive, while healthcare is slightly more affordable. Meanwhile, the city’s overall cost of living is exactly equal to Colorado’s average. The city also enjoys a low crime rate and many amenities. However, it has a low senior population — only about 10% of the residents are 65 or older.

5. Estes Park

Population: 5,880
% of Population 65 and Older:9%
Median Home Value: $731,040
Cost of Living (Compared to the State Average): 4% higher
Cost of Healthcare (Compared to the State Average): 3% lower
Crime Rate (Compared to the State Average): 67% lower
Amenities Score: A+

Estes Park is a small town in Northern Colorado that serves as the base of Rocky Mountain National Park. In addition to being just outside one of the most popular national parks, the city is surrounded by mountains on all sides. Nearby you can find Roosevelt National Forest, as well as plenty of wildlife. In other words, if you enjoy outdoor recreation, Estes Park is a place you’ll enjoy.

Estes Park has housing costs and an overall cost of living that are higher than the state’s average. However, it also has below-average healthcare costs and a very low crime rate. And as an added bonus for seniors, more than 40% of the town’s residents are 65 or older, so you’ll have an easy time finding a community.

6. Buena Vista

Population: 2,935
% of Population 65 and Older: 12%
Median Home Value: $524,725
Cost of Living (Compared to the State Average): 5% lower
Cost of Healthcare (Compared to the State Average): 2% higher
Crime Rate (Compared to the State Average): 45% lower
Amenities Score: A+

Buena Vista is a small town located in Chaffee County in the central part of Colorado. The town is well-known for its Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area in and around the San Isabel National Forest. The area is also home to part of the Sawatch Range Mountains. You’ll find mountains on all sides of Buena Vista, making for excellent hiking and outdoor recreation (not to mention the incredible views). And if you’re looking for local culture, Buena Vista is also home to the Buena Vista Heritage Museum.

Buena Vista has a small population. In fact, the latest census showed it was just shy of 3,000 residents, about 12% of whom were 65 or older. The state enjoys housing costs, healthcare costs, and an overall cost of living that are all lower than the state’s average. Finally, the town enjoys a very low crime rate.

7. Woodland Park

Population: 7,983
% of Population 65 and Older:6%
Median Home Value: $523,059
Cost of Living (Compared to the State Average): 4% higher
Cost of Healthcare (Compared to the State Average): 2% higher
Crime Rate (Compared to the State Average): 56% lower
Amenities Score: A

Woodland Park is a small town in Teller County in the central part of the state. The town is a part of the Colorado Springs metropolitan area and sits just half an hour from the larger city’s downtown. Woodland Park has the nickname “City Above the Clouds” because it sits at nearly 8,500 feet above sea level. It has incredible views of Pikes Peak, as well as nature areas on all sides, including recreation areas, campgrounds, lakes, and more.

Woodland Park’s healthcare costs and overall cost of living are higher than the state’s average, but housing costs and the crime rate are both lower. The city has roughly 8,000 residents, nearly 19% of whom are 65 and older.

8. Steamboat Springs

Population: 13,390
% of Population 65 and Older:1%
Median Home Value: $1,090,234
Cost of Living (Compared to the State Average): 23% higher
Cost of Healthcare (Compared to the State Average): Equal to
Crime Rate (Compared to the State Average): 55% lower
Amenities Score: A+

Steamboat Springs is a ski town in the northern part of Colorado in the Yampa Valley. The city is home to two of the state’s well-known ski areas — the Howelsen Hill ski area and the Steamboat ski resort. You’ll find many nearby peaks, including Mount Werner. The city is also home to geothermal hot springs, which are said to have therapeutic properties.

Steamboat Springs isn’t exactly an affordable place to live. While its healthcare costs are on par with the state’s average, its overall cost of living is higher, and the median home price is more than $1 million. But if you can afford to live in this quaint ski town, it’s worth it.

9. Salida

Population: 5,812
% of Population 65 and Older:9%
Median Home Value: $577,602
Cost of Living (Compared to the State Average): 1% lower
Cost of Healthcare (Compared to the State Average): 5% higher
Crime Rate (Compared to the State Average): 59% higher
Amenities Score: A+

Salida is a small city in Chaffee County in the central part of Colorado. The city sits along the Arkansas River and is home to the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area. It’s also home to local outdoor recreation, like hiking trails and campgrounds. And when you head just a bit further outside of town, you’ll find the Pike and San Isabel National Forest, as well as many mountains.

Salia has housing costs and an overall cost of living that are slightly lower than the national average. However, healthcare costs are a bit more expensive than the state’s average. The city’s retirees also enjoy a strong community since nearly one-quarter of the residents are 65 or older. A major downside of Salida is the crime rate, which is nearly 60% higher than the state average.

10. Grand Junction

Population: 66,964
% of Population 65 and Older:3%
Median Home Value: $384,319
Cost of Living (Compared to the State Average): 8% lower
Cost of Healthcare (Compared to the State Average): 5% higher
Crime Rate (Compared to the State Average): 59% higher
Amenities Score: A+

Grand Junction is a medium-sized city in the western part of Colorado, located in the state’s Western Slope region. The city is known as the hub of the state’s wine country. It sits along the Colorado River, which brings plenty of outdoor recreation, including river access, lakes, wildlife, and more. The city is also home to plenty of other sites, including the Colorado National Monument, trailheads, botanical gardens, and more.

Grand Junction is one of the most affordable cities on our list. The overall cost of living is lower than the national average, and housing is quite affordable. The city also boasts a large senior population. Unfortunately, both the city’s healthcare costs and crime rate are higher than the state average.

11. Montrose

Population: 20,648
% of Population 65 and Older:3%
Median Home Value: $419,425
Cost of Living (Compared to the State Average): 10% lower
Cost of Healthcare (Compared to the State Average): 5% higher
Crime Rate (Compared to the State Average): 3% higher
Amenities Score: A+

Montrose is a municipality located in Montrose County in the western part of Colorado. The small town is known for its tourism, with many museums, restaurants, breweries, and local lodging to visit. Montrose sits just to the west of the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests. It also sits just to the east of the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area.

Monrose has housing costs and an overall cost of living that are lower than the state’s average. Of its population of just over 20,000 residents, more than one-quarter of them are 65 or older, meaning retirees can find a strong community. Unfortunately, the city’s crime rate and healthcare costs are slightly higher than the national average.

Next Steps for You

Colorado can be an excellent place to spend your retirement, thanks to its strong culture, outdoor recreation, beautiful scenery, and tax perks. But remember that where you’ll spend your retirement years isn’t the only thing you should think about. It’s also important to ensure your finances are on the right track.

Visit the Personal Capital Retirement Planner to see whether you’re on track for retirement and determine how much you should be saving per month to reach your retirement goals.

Get Started with Personal Capital’s Retirement Planner

Author is not a client of Personal Capital Advisors Corporation and is compensated as a freelance writer.

The content contained in this blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal, tax, accounting or investment advice. Compensation not to exceed $500. You should consult a qualified legal or tax professional regarding your specific situation. Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time and you may gain or lose money. Any reference to the advisory services refers to Personal Capital Advisors Corporation, a subsidiary of Personal Capital. Personal Capital Advisors Corporation is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training nor does it imply endorsement by the SEC.