Is retirement looming in your future? Are you looking at “traditional” retirement or longing for a new adventure? Will you continue working but in a different capacity?
Today’s retirees look much different than the previous generation (the Greatest/Silent Generation). The leading edge baby boomers are now into their mid 70s. Many are still working and aren’t showing signs of stopping. Some stay in the workforce to maintain their lifestyle; others because they enjoy working or need the income.
Regardless of your circumstances, it might be time to start thinking about your “golden” years and where they might be spent. Many people have concluded that Colorado is one of the best states in which to stake their long-term future. Whether you live here already or are thinking of moving to Denver for the first time, here at Usaj Realty, we can help.
Eventually, the time will come to step down from your current position, and perhaps leave the working world or consider part-time work. But many people end up struggling with the lack of structure and purpose that often comes with retirement.
Is there a hobby you've always wanted to pursue or resume? Is there a skill you've always wanted to learn? In retirement, you’ll likely have more time to pursue your interests. For some, that may mean traveling, performing volunteer work or helping family members. Studies show that having a “purpose” in life is critical in your retirement to maintain your health. It's also important to feel a sense of well-being in the community in which you reside.
Many have come to the conclusion Colorado in general and the Denver metro area, in particular, is one of the best locations for retirement. Last year, WalletHub ranked Denver as the sixth best large city in which to retire. Not quite convinced that the Centennial State is the place for you? Check out the top 11 reasons to retire in Colorado.
#1: The Weather Is Wonderful
Do you remember when winter was cold, spring was temperate but warm, summer was sizzling, and fall was chilly? In Colorado, you can still experience all the seasons but not necessarily in that order! Although the state is known for its skiing and snowboarding, the winters don't overstay their welcome. In fact, you’ll often enjoy 60 degree days in January and February but don’t be surprised if it snows 24 hours later. Those retiring in Colorado will be glad to know that the sun shines nearly every day. While it's not Florida or Arizona, you'll get at least 300 sunny days, which is more than half of the year! And while some prefer to retire to a warmer climate, others don't like hot, stifling weather in the summer. Shielded by the mountains, the weather in Denver is temperate and extreme temperatures usually don’t last long. Best of all, there's virtually no humidity.
#2: Pets Are Welcome, Especially Dogs
In Colorado, you'll notice many dog owners walking, running or traveling with their dogs. From hotels to retail establishments to hiking trails, your canine pal is a welcome guest. Having a pet in your life after retiring can be very beneficial and therapeutic. Pet ownership requires you to get up in the morning and out the door as every dog (and human) benefits from a rigorous walk. Regular exercise benefits you as well as your pet and a side benefit is you’ll probably meet new people at the local park when you walk your dog. Everyone loves to stop and pet a pooch!
#3: The Restaurant Scene is Thriving
You may have more time to cook but for special occasions or nights when you just don't feel like it, Colorado has a rich culinary scene. There are thousands of restaurants across the state that specialize in all types of food. Do you want a good, juicy burger? Maybe you want to sit down to a classy Italian meal? You can find all that and more in Colorado. There are food trucks, taco stands, steakhouses, and endless eateries that cook up Japanese, Indian, Mexican, Thai, and other ethnic foods. Next time you feel your stomach rumbling, let your taste buds guide you. Regardless of your budget, you can find a fantastic restaurant near you.
#4: There's Plenty of Transportation Options for Retirees in Colorado
As you get older, it can become more difficult to drive. You might have slower reflexes or suffer from night vision issues. Luckily, Colorado’s public transportation is first rate. RTD’s network of bus and light rail lines makes getting around the metro area a breeze. A free bus shuttles people up and down the 16th Street Mall, and Uber and Lyft are also available. If you decide to live in a ski town, most areas offer free bus service which makes use of a car optional.
#5: The State Has a Thriving Cultural Scene
Art, music and theater are an important part of life. It inspires us, and feeds our creativity and our souls. Whether you are in Denver, Arvada, Colorado Springs, Vail or Aspen, you’ll be amazed at the slate of theater and arts events. You’ll find a myriad of art galleries, dinner theaters, Broadway shows, Tony-award winning plays, concerts and impressive exhibits at museums. Many mountain communities offer music and art festivals, and lecture series during the summer. While the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on cultural events, it is hoped that by next year, we will once again be able to enjoy live performances and embrace the arts.
#6: The Rocky Mountains Are Colorado’s Signature Feature
If you have enjoyed an active lifestyle, you’ll be amazed at the recreational pursuits at your doorstep in Colorado. Whether it’s hiking, cycling, skiing, golfing or sailing, you will find access to your passion. Best of all, if you live along the Front Range, you can enjoy getting into the mountains during the week when it is less hectic. If your activities were limited during your working life, there is no better time to try out the things you’ve been missing. Learn a new sport, take up a new hobby but most importantly, get outside! Colorado’s great outdoors is waiting for you.
#7: The Economy Is Solid
Colorado residents are fortunate to enjoy one of the strongest economies in the nation. There is an abundant job market and many opportunities for employment, should you decide to continue to work.
#8: There Are Plenty of Free Activities and Events
Retired life can sometimes get stale. People get used to the constant hustle and bustle of working life and when that ends, they don't know what to do. You won't have to worry about being bored while living in Colorado. There are nearly endless events and activities with which you can fill your time. Better yet, many of these opportunities are free. You can attend local trivia nights, join a book club or volunteer for a local non-profit. By getting out in the community, you’ll meet other like-minded individuals and enjoy greater purpose in your life.
#9: Relatively Low Taxes in Colorado
Even though you're retired, you may still have to pay taxes. Colorado residents have cheaper taxes compared to many other states. Colorado has a flat marginal tax rate for social security but some people may be exempt. Check with a tax advisor to learn your status. All this helps to offset the higher cost of living index. When you're not working and every dollar counts, you'll probably save more living in Colorado.
#10: Hospitals Are Top-Notch
As you or your loved ones get older, quality medical care becomes more important. Colorado offers excellent health care, featuring many renowned hospitals across the state. Whether you need a new doctor, a hospital, or even a nursing home, there are many options from which to choose. When you retire, making medical care a high priority as well as living close to your providers is a smart move.
#11: Housing Developments Specifically Designed for People Ages 55 and Up
Toll Brothers have popular housing developments open to people who are 55 and older. Some of the people living in these communities still work but all are active in clubs, social activities and getting outside. Many baby boomers are still working and want to continue working as long as they can. But, they also want to live in an environment that supports plenty of diversions and activities. Toll Brothers at Inspiration, located in southeast Aurora, is an example of a luxury 55+ active-adult community. It offers six single-family ranch homes ranging from 2,400 to 3,000 square feet with 2-5 bedrooms and 2-4 baths. This master-planned community features resort-style amenities, miles of walking and biking trails, breathtaking views, and exceptional convenience.
Regardless of your goals in semi-retirement or full retirement, there's something for everyone in the Colorado real estate market. Contact Usaj Realty to start browsing homes and rentals in the Denver real estate market today. Ready to jump in? Learn more about the home buying process in Denver.
(Editor's note: This blog was originally published in December of 2018. It has been edited and updated to provide current information).
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