Sometimes, the dilemma in choosing the best place to retire means deciding between being in touch with nature and enjoying the pleasures of metropolitan culture. In Colorado, you won’t have to choose. You can have both. In fact, the state has such a diversity of appealing environments that it can be challenging to choose your favorite city. That’s where Colorado Springs really shines. In a state that stands out for its natural beauty, crisp blue skies and snow-capped mountains, Colorado Springs is consistently cited among the best places to retire in Colorado.
With more than 9,000 acres of parkland, 105 miles of urban trails and 160 miles of park trails, Colorado’s second-largest city is a haven for nature lovers. From just about anywhere in Colorado Springs, you can enjoy a view of Pikes Peak, which is only 12 miles away. On the city’s northwestern edge, retirees can explore the Garden of the Gods and hike any of its 15 miles of trails. The historic, walkable Old Colorado City neighborhood is home to beguiling shops and restaurants, and the city boasts an eclectic arts scene, with options ranging from art shows and theatrical performances to regional premieres and original works. A stroll through the city’s tree-lined streets will reveal more than 50 pieces of public art, and any number of inviting art galleries.
Will you find the retirement lifestyle you’re looking for in Colorado Springs? Without question. Here are 10 quick reasons why.
1. FOUR-SEASON WEATHER.
Popular retirement destinations often give you one or two seasons, but retiring in Colorado means experiencing all four. This mild climate brings nearly 300 days of sunshine per year while still managing to fill ski resorts with a blanket of snow. Colorado perfectly combines elevation and interior geography to offer a cool, dry, invigorating climate. The average annual temperature is just under 44 degrees Fahrenheit. You can stroll through autumn leaves, and then hit the slopes with fresh powder. Pick spring wildflowers and take an easy mountain hike in the sun. The glorious sunlight will do more than boost your attitude; it’ll trigger production of serotonin to help maintain focus and a sense of calm – perfect for seniors. And aside from the emotional benefits of regular exposure to sunlight, the physical benefits include lowering blood pressure, which in turn lowers the risk for other heart ailments.
2. OUTDOOR RECREATION.
With all those beautiful days, you’ll want to get out and enjoy them. Colorado is world-famous for hiking, skiing, and exceptional scenery. Boasting some of the best state parks in the country, Colorado is a haven for retirees looking to spend more time in the great outdoors. The state has four national parks: Rocky Mountain National Park, Mesa Verde, Great Sand Dunes, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Ski towns like Aspen, Vail, and Breckenridge thrive in winter and provide great opportunities for seniors to hike, picnic and more in the summer months.
3. SENIOR-FRIENDLY ATTRACTIONS.
As the weather warms into the mid-60s, seniors can explore walking paths and driving tours in Colorado Spring’s nearby mountain areas and nature parks, including Garden of the Gods. Attractions like the Peterson Air & Space Museum provide entertainment and education options any time of year. Seniors can take advantage of discounted admission to many of these attractions, and you can visit the Peterson Museum free when you request a base pass at least one day ahead of time.
4. HEALTHY LIVING.
In addition to a temperate climate and all the options for keeping active that draw retirees from all over the country, Colorado has the second-lowest obesity rate in the country. The state is ranked 8th in the nation for good health by the United Health Foundation. Choosing to retire in Colorado means choosing health and wellness. Retirees in Colorado are surrounded by opportunities for fitness, for being active outside, and for engaging with others who have chosen the same healthy lifestyle.
5. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.
In Colorado Springs, even seniors who can no longer drive or don’t like getting behind the wheel of a car can access much of the city via public transportation. Mountain Metro Transit provides both bus and on-demand ADA paratransit services (for those unable to use regular bus lines due to disability). Seniors pay 85¢ per ride on the main bus lines, and frequent riders can save by buying a 20-ride pass for $16.
6. LIVING INDEPENDENTLY OVER TIME.
In a similar vein to senior-friendly public transportation, Colorado Springs is home to many organizations that help seniors live independently as they age. Silver Key Senior Resources is one example. This organization provides Meals on Wheels as needed and free rides for medical appointments and other events. Seniors can reserve a spot in the Connections Café to eat lunch with other older adults in the area, and the organization also provides some help with certain legal matters.
7. SMALL-TOWN ACCESSIBILITY.
Though you’re free to enjoy the urbane culture of Colorado Springs, you’re still living in a state with an abundance of quaint shops, seasonal farmers markets and small-town fairs. Colorado has several fairs throughout the year, including a Winter Carnival in Steamboat, the Santa Fe Trail Festival in Trinidad, and a hot air balloon festival in Colorado Springs. The state strikes a perfect balance between big-city amenities and small-town living, so Colorado retirees can have the best of both worlds.
8. THE AFFORDABILITY FACTOR.
The cost of living in Colorado Springs is 6% lower than the national average, and housing expenses are 2% lower than the national average. Choosing to retire in Colorado means choosing significant tax relief too, including a large deduction on all retirement income, and some of the lowest property taxes in the country. The average effective rate in the state is 0.57%. Additionally, food and medicine are exempt from sales tax. Colorado allows an annual deduction of $24,000 on all retirement income for taxpayers age 65 or older.
9. WORLD-CLASS CARE.
Seniors who wish to lead a vibrant lifestyle in an exciting locale won’t sacrifice access to quality health care in Colorado Springs. Residents here enjoy access to quality hospitals, physicians, cardiac care, and post-surgical rehab services, including the University of Colorado Health Memorial Hospital and Penrose-St. Francis Health Services. Both are highly rated for geriatric care by U.S. News and World Report.
10. FOOD AND DRINK.
Colorado is also known for its incredible restaurants, eighteen of which have earned four or five diamonds from AAA restaurant rating. The state also has 235 craft breweries and some of the highest elevation vineyards in the world with more than 100 commercial wineries. In fact, Colorado is home to four of the top 50 brewing companies in the country, including Coors, the largest single brewery in the world, producing approximately 22 million barrels of beer annually.
LIVE IT ALL AT ABERDEEN RIDGE.
With gorgeous weather, spectacular geology, sophisticated culture and exceptional health care, Colorado and Colorado Springs are the total package for retirees. For even more on the timeless appeal of retiring in Colorado Springs, be sure to read this post from Aberdeen Ridge.
Aberdeen Ridge will soon become the first community in Colorado Springs to offer estate protection through a largely refundable entrance fee. In addition to independent living, our Unique Health Care Benefit package gives residents the reassurance of access to quality assisted living and memory care services right where they live at a predictable monthly rate. This is senior living with a different view. To learn more about residency, please call us at (719) 286-3014 or contact us online.