Not many places on Earth compare to the beauty of Colorful Colorado. The unassuming plains, enticing terrain and abundance of wildlife are just a few of the benefits that see so many flocking there to live out their retirement years. But is the hype well-deserved? Read on to find out more...
Many Americans choose to uproot somewhere new to spend their golden years in a beloved place that provides comfort and resources. Maybe you want mountains or beach backdrops for your morning coffee. Perhaps you crave access to golf courses, bike trails, or lakes for fishing. If you're thinking of where to retire, have you considered retiring in Colorado?
It’s currently one of the best options in the United States for retirees. Even if you haven’t considered the Centennial State before, you may want to give it a look now. To help you decide if Colorado is the right place to spend your retirement, we compiled a list of the top pros and cons of retiring in Colorado.
When it comes to relocating to or from the state of Colorado, there are a number of benefits and a few drawbacks you should consider. Whether you're considering moving out of, into, or remaining in Colorado for your golden years, Agemy Financial Strategies can help.
Our head office is in Connecticut, but did you know that we now have a base here in Colorado? Equipped with first-hand knowledge, we can offer you experienced advice on how to manage your retirement in this beautiful state. But before making such a life-changing decision, here’s a look at some of the pros and cons to think about.
Pros of Retiring in Colorado
Enjoying the Scenery
Colorado is home to some of the most beautiful countryside in America with its impressively massive mountains, towering trees, rolling plains, crystal clear lakes, and soft sand dunes. With trails for every fitness and experience level, you’re never too far from nature.
There’s something about waking up to have your morning coffee with the mountains out your window. Of course, you can always take your fill of sand at Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve. Are you craving a dip in the water? Visit one of the many sparkling lakes or rivers winding through the state!
Here are just some of the many places you can easily visit when retiring in Colorado:
- Explore the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.
- Take a mining tour at Cripple Creek or Mollie Kathleen gold mine.
- Visit wine country in Grand Junction.
- Take a gondola ride in Telluride.
Pay Lower Taxes in Retirement
Colorado routinely ranks among the top tax-friendly states for retirees. The state income tax range is a low, flat rate of 4.63%, and you get a fair deduction on retirement income. Sales tax may run higher in the state, but it doesn’t apply to groceries or medication. Another great reason to retire in Colorado, there’s no estate tax. You can leave money to your family without paying hefty fees, which is a huge perk.
Access to Quality Medical Care
Colorado rounds out the top ten for overall health care in America. The state has some of the highest-quality medical care available with access to top-level hospitals. Though some remote areas may lack the ease of access, most of the population is never far from premium medical care.
Additionally, health care costs less in Colorado than in many other states. Thanks to significant policy moves, Colorado made strides to improve affordability and serve as a model for other states.
Retirement Communities are an Abundance
Traditionally, people tend to retire in warmer states such as Florida. You might be surprised to see that trend change as more retirees venture to Colorado. The state saw a significant jump in the number of people retiring there since 2010.
Aside from having more people your age to connect with, Colorado has some impressive retirement communities to make it even easier. Get the best of everything with neighbors your age and loads of activities to keep you as social and busy as you want to be.
Cons of Retiring in Colorado
Prepare for the Cost of Living
Taxes are better in Colorado, but you may notice a bump in the cost of living. Depending on where you currently reside, you may need to pay a little more for some things.
While you may pay substantially more for housing, you should only see a slight uptick in groceries and transportation. On the other hand, most people should see a drop in health care costs and even spend less on utilities. It’s a good idea to do your research so that you don’t get sticker shock! Try using a comparison calculator for a ballpark idea.
Coloradoans see an abundance of sunny days every year, but that doesn’t mean they’re exempt from severe weather. Depending on where you settle in the state, you could face high winds, hail, and even wildfires. Additionally, some parts of the state receive high levels of snow that make it challenging to get around.
Be prepared for the occasional damaging storm. In 2017, parts of Colorado saw enormous balls of hail that caused billions of dollars of damage. The large hail balls damaged homes and vehicles around Denver, but it wasn’t the first incident in the state.
There are a lot of pros to being surrounded by nature, but the biggest con would be being mindful of the wildlife that comes with it. Some people love to see moose, deer, and other beautiful animals roaming through their yards, but not all Colorado wildlife is welcome. Colorado has some dangerous creatures that can do damage if you’re not prepared.
Though animal attacks remain rare in Colorado, it’s still something to consider before retiring there. Education goes a long way, and you can easily prepare to handle the wildlife.
The horror traffic stories are true. In some parts. Due to the popularity of Colorado, some residents have been irked by the overcrowding, and in very populated areas, traffic congestion is also a problem. These are somehow inevitable consequences of a popular place. As more and more people move to live there, the population increases and overcrowding continues. For retirees wishing to live in Colorado, the overcrowding can be a problem if you were hoping to move into a quiet and calm environment.
To summarize, Colorado has great weather, the pension taxes are lower than in most states, and lots of retirees live there with several retirement communities all over. On the flip side, Colorado’s living expenses are high, and some people have complained of overcrowding and traffic congestion in some areas.
Now that you know some of the pros and cons of retirement in Colorado, it's important to look at your retirement plan and see if retiring here would benefit you. If you’re like most people, qualified-retirement plans, Social Security, personal savings and investments are expected to play a role. Once you have estimated the amount of money you may need for relocating in retirement, a sound approach involves taking a close look at your potential retirement-income sources.
At Agemy Financial Strategies, we want you to know we’re here to help you navigate retirement and any questions that come up during your retirement process, including relocation opportunities. As Fiduciary advisors, it's our duty to act on your behalf in finding the right solutions for your individual wants and needs.