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Why Retire in Colorado: 7 Reasons – and 1 Warning

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.

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 1. 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.

retiring in colorado

2. 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.

3. 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.

active seniors

4. 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.

5. 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. 7 in 2017 in America’s Health Rankings.

senior living

6. 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.

7. 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.

retirement community

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 city.

Where to Retire in Colorado

The Denver metro area is the most popular place to retire in Colorado on You’ll find the most retirement communities there in Denver itself and in Aurora. The Colorado Springs area also is increasingly popular for retirement, with most communities in the city.

What do you think? Have you retired in Colorado already? What are other key things to consider? Share your questions and/or experiences in the comments below.

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  • Rafael Henriquez

    About :

    Rafael (Raf) is the Targeted Content Writer & Strategist for,,, and He helps create, edit, and plan content that connects current and potential renters with apartment and property managers and owners. When Raf isn’t busy writing, he spends a great deal of his time performing sketch and improv comedy, hanging out at the beach, and looking at memes on the Internet.


    1. What are the chances of a senior retiring in Colorado who has been forced to live on Social Security? Where do they fit in Colorado? I know many who are living that way! Thanks.

    2. Geraldine Oliver says:

      Please send me more information on residential areas for 55 and over, I am self sufficient.

    3. Can you send me info on senior communities for Colorado springs and other communities

    4. I totally disagree with your article. To be blunt Colorado is absolutely horrible.yes it has the mountains and pretty scenery .however the congestion in the Denver metro area is ridiculously bad.rush hour is a minimum of 3 hours morning then 3 in the evening.people walk around stoned from weed half the time. Housing and rent is catching up to San Francisco and NYC.rents have increased 40 percent in 2 years with no slow down in the near future. Millennials have come here like cockroaches coming out of the floorboards. If you are smart stay away! I can’t afford to move but can’t afford to stay. Im 65 and my retirement doesn’t cover expenses so i drive for a living .

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